After eight decades the Pontiac brand is about to die or be sold by GM. The auto maker will announce the end of the iconic American brand early next week. Pontiac is the latest casualty of the radical down-sizing of General Motors. The company will outline further cuts early next week, but it is GM's departure of a brand that's been around 83 years that will get the most attention.
At one point, Pontiac was as much a part of the fabric of America as Chevy and Cadillac. It gave us the GTO, Grand Prix, and Firebird. All Classic American muscle and sports cars.
Those were the days.
These days, Pontiac has become a niche brandthat has failed to re-capture the buzz it generated in its glory days. Much as Oldsmobile faded before GM killed it back in 2000, Pontiac has drifted in recent years. Despite repeated attempts by GM to re-cast the brand as a niche brand producing sportier models, Pontiac has struggled.
It still generates about 10% of GM's sales. When it is gone, the company will be left with 4 core brands: Chevy, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC. Half of the eight brands GM currently sells in North America. By the way, the remaining four brands have collectively been outsold by Toyota this year. A sign Pontiac departure, along with the sale of Hummer, Saturn, and Saab means GM could slip to #2 in the U.S., behind Toyota.
The company that gave us "the goat" is going away.
An American icon is getting put in the garage for good.
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