Pontiac Kicks the G8 ST Sport Truck to the Curb
You had to know it was coming.
Pontiac is not selling a lot of the G8 sedans, GM is not selling a lot of vehicles, period, and they’re running out of money every month, and the 2010 G8 ST Sport Truck is cancelled.
No, you’re not surprised. I’m not either.
On 12/14/2008, we did an article titled The Future of Pontiac, in which I wrote about GM’s plans to make Pontiac into a “boutique” brand. In that piece, I mentioned the G8 ST.
From that article:
“Pontiac had originally intended to produce a Sport Truck version of the G8, scheduled to have been offered for sale in Fall 2009, which is a modern version of the Chevrolet El Camino, but who knows if that will happen in light of GM’s current financial travails? When this model was announced last year, the national economy and GM’s finances were in much better shape, and even then, I predicted to my colleagues that GM would sell less than 5,000 units a year of the Sport Truck, so I can’t say that I see a bright future for the Sport Truck in the future economic environment.”
Now, let me state unequivocally here that I like the G8 ST. But, just because I like it doesn’t mean that I think everyone else is going to like it, and I couldn’t see much of a market for the vehicle. Whatever appeal the G8 ST would have had in a good market environment went south pretty much once the new-vehicle market tanked in 2008.
So, I think GM made the right decision.
GM told their dealers yesterday about the cancellation of the sport truck model. According to an article in Automotive News, “the reason, in part, is GM’s “continuing vehicle review” to make the company viable, said Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson. That includes turning Pontiac into a “niche brand” according to a plan GM presented to Congress late last year. With Pontiac being more focused on sporty, fun-to-drive cars, we took a long look at the ST and it didn’t fit with what our future vision of Pontiac would be,” Hopson said. “At that point, we decided to not proceed with this vehicle.”
You have to wonder how many models Pontiac is going to have two years from now. Are they going to try to update the Kappa platform that the Solstice cabriolet/coupe is based on? Are they going to abandon the big G8 completely in a couple of years? Is there any money available for new models and new platforms? Will the lineup go all rear-wheel-drive since it’s supposed to be a boutique performance brand?
Hard to say. It’s a pretty safe bet that GM doesn’t have those answers yet, either. They are definitely in previously unexplored territory with Pontiac at this point. Maybe some answers will make themselves apparent shortly.
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