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Driving Away Excitement: Pontiac Kills Rear-Wheel-Drive G8

Old 10-22-2008, 07:41 PM
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Default Driving Away Excitement: Pontiac Kills Rear-Wheel-Drive G8

DETROIT After acknowledging that there will be no replacement for the Solstice roadster, Pontiac looks like it will lose a little more excitement when the rear-wheel-drive G8 sedan goes out of production in about five years' time.

According to sources, Pontiac will not get a version of the next rear-drive platform that underpins the Australian Holden Commodore. This move is indicative of a fundamental switch in direction for Pontiac, the General Motors division that just a few years ago was envisioned by Bob Lutz to be the American BMW. The deaths of the Solstice and the eventual discontinuation of the next-generation G8 will leave Pontiac with zero rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

Pontiac already sells the G5, a Chevrolet Cobalt with the ol' excitement treatment and soon will begin selling a version of the subcompact Chevrolet Aveo called the G3. Not exactly sporting propositions, those.

Limited corporate resources and fear of rising fuel-economy standards look to be the prime drivers in the return of Pontiac to the badge-engineering days. Those limited funds might also explain why the midsize G6 sedan won't be substantially updated (to match the level of refinement of the recently revamped Chevy Malibu) for about another five years.

Inside Line says: You've still got plenty of time to pick up your very own G8 the high-horsepower GXP and the quasi-pickup-truck ST versions are still to be introduced. But you don't have forever. Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit



http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=134167
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:59 PM
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Default RE: Driving Away Excitement: Pontiac Kills Rear-Wheel-Drive G8

alot of rear wheel drive cars will be gone in 5 years...

the solstice is the best selling car in its class...so it aint going anywhere. It may change platforms but it will still exist.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:42 AM
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Default RE: Driving Away Excitement: Pontiac Kills Rear-Wheel-Drive G8

Could Pontiac be going down the same road as Plymouth? Will they be the next Car line to go away?
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:56 AM
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Default RE: Driving Away Excitement: Pontiac Kills Rear-Wheel-Drive G8


ORIGINAL: kevin2323
the solstice is the best selling car in its class...so it aint going anywhere. It may change platforms but it will still exist.
You sure bout that? I would imagine the Miata is a much bigger seller. Maybe the Solstice and Sky sell more combined than the Miata, but even then I doubt it.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:01 PM
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Default RE: Driving Away Excitement: Pontiac Kills Rear-Wheel-Drive G8

I have heard rumors that GM might want to get rid of GMC, Buick and Pontiac. If the Merger / acquisition of Chrysler happens they might do just that and assume either Chrysler or Dodge as their other car brand along with Jeep.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:17 PM
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Default RE: Driving Away Excitement: Pontiac Kills Rear-Wheel-Drive G8

Translation: Pontiac will turn into Eagle just before death. The Pontiac division's performance image is as dead as Spam. They could not sell the GTO. They cannot sell the G8. They lost the capability to sell the Bonneville. If you remember it took Pontiac a while before they were able to sell the G6. The G5 is a very tragic joke. The Chevrolet the dull, volume division gets a turbocharged performance model for their version the Cobalt, Saturn a non-performance division got a supercharged I4, the G5 has the 2.4 just like the Cobalt, oh wait, no they dropped that so now it only has the 2.2L. How exciting!

People have tried to say that Dodge's brand image is weak and dropping them wouldn't be a loss. Just take a look between the two divisions. The Charger outsells the G8 between 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 despite the fact that the G8 did better in the performance numbers, gets better fuel economy, can be cheaper in some cases, etc. There are several lessons that can be learned from this. Despite the conventional wisdom, FWD cars are still more popular with the mainstream consumer. Halo cars like the Viper add more to a brand than just a potential profit, they can help stretch the range in which people are willing to spend on a car, and they add what can be unmeasurable boost to a brand image. A followers strategy is the formula to failure (in many ways the G8 was superior to the Charger, but being the innovator has its advantages such as generally higher sales in a segment).

Pontiac has also had a lot of things damage their brand image. The Aztek has to be the worst with the fact that it keeps landing 1st on ugliest car lists everywhere. The Vibe does not belong in that line-up. The G5 was done completely wrong. The discontinuing of the Grand Prix coupe was a mistake for a performance division which further killed the performance image. Killing the Firebird was an enormous mistake. The Solstice may have helped the image but having the Sky sister car hurt Pontiac from gaining from it as much as it needed it. Having Chevrolet gain the same level of performance as the Grand Prix, G6, and having better than the G5, having better base powertrain offerings than the G6, and having a full blown sports car (Corvette) with Pontiac having nothing after the Firebird's death, did a real number to them as well. The Torrent hasn't helped anything either. And I'm sure that no longer being in NASCAR didn't help.

Suggestion to GM, kill Chevrolet before it kills GM. You have got to let go of this ego about having the highest sales number when it isn't profitable enough and it is costing you the potential of models that could turn a higher profit. Volume brands are gone with the introduction of Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, and other brands. Utilize the other divisions better and turn a better profit. You cannot undersell them and hope to make a profit when their costs are lower than yours.
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