RSS
A requiem for Pontiac
Why the once-iconic brand had to die, and who’s next
 

To understand why General Motors is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, said USA Today in an editorial, “look no further than Pontiac.” The “once-storied” brand, which GM is killing off next year, is long past its GTO and Trans Am glory days, a victim of GM’s “placating” of unions and dealers instead of investing in its cars. “It’s sad to see an 83-year-old brand wither,” but GM still has a chance to save its strongest brands, Chevy and Cadillac.

People born after 1963 “may not shed a tear when Pontiac is read its last rites,” said James Cobb in The New York Times. But given a few more years, the new models—like the “terrific” G8 GXP—could have turned things around. Too bad these “impressive new Pontiacs arrived at Detroit’s party as the floors were being swept and the last drunks were staggering out.”

So who will GM kill off next? said Bill Howard in PC Magazine. The overhyped Saturn and “quirky” Saab are doomed, as is the one-time “shock effect”–chic Hummer. But surely the next “goner” is the “almost-Cadlillac” brand Buick. That would leave GM with one mass-market brand, Chevy, and its luxury brand. “Just like Toyota and Lexus.”

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week