Pontiac Given Death Sentence, GM Speeds Saturn’s Demise
By Brendan Moore
GM’s press conference this morning brought the news we have been expecting; that is, the announcement of Pontiac’s closure. Pontiac is gone next year, sooner than many thought last week. Additionally, in remarks made to the press, Fritz Henderson, CEO of GM, stated that no Pontiac models would be rebadged as other General Motors surviving brands.
If you want a new G8 or a Solstice, you had better get one soon. At least both models should be discounted considerably in the near future.
Somewhat oddly, GM said that they may sell the Pontiac Vibe through 2010, depending on how the contract with Toyota shakes out. The Vibe is the brother of the Toyota Matrix, manufactured through a joint production agreement between Toyota and GM.
Additionally, GM mentioned, just as an aside, that no more Hummers would be built after this model year.
GM also announced that the company intends to slash the amount of dealers by half as part of their restructuring acceleration.
In a surprise move, General Motors more or less pulled the rug out from underneath Saturn, stating that the last Saturn would be built this year as opposed to their previous assurance that Saturn would continue until 2011. Now the company plans to have only four brands in 2010; Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and GMC, the truck division.
So, as with Pontiac, if you want one of the new Saturns not shared with other GM divisions (Sky, Astra), you should act soon.
All in all, a very tough and painful day for General Motors.
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