Saturday, December 11, 2010
GM's Pontiac Brand is Dead at the Age of 84
After 84 years, Pontiac, the once proud maker of American icons such as the Trans Am and GTO, breathed its last breath on Monday with the sale of the last remaining new cars. The closure comes one year after General Motors announced that it would terminate the brand as part of a restructuring plan.
Even though production of the last Pontiac, the Vibe, ended in August 2009, there were many new cars left in stock, so a deal was struck with dealers who received official backing to sell them. The agreement ended on Sunday, so Pontiac fans didn't actually get any treats for Halloween, only the confirmation that their favorite manufacturer is really dead.
It was a long year of clinical death, as buyers' interest towards the brand was insignificant. The New York Times reported that, at the end of August, GM dealers had fewer than 125 Pontiacs in stock, of which only eight were sold in September.
A sad end for a manufacturer whose name was once synonymous with "driving excitement". At the height of its existence, in 1973, Pontiac sold 920,000 cars, but after that it was mostly a downhill ride.
Pontiac did offer a few interesting cars in its final years – like the G8 and the Solstice -, but it was not enough to bring back the glory days, when GTOs, Firebirds /Trans Ams sold like hot cakes.
It may be of some comfort to Pontiac fans that General Motors has kept the rights for the brand, so who knows, maybe it will be resurrected sometime in the future. Until then, take a look at the gallery and videos below and keep the legacy of Pontiac in your hearts.
By Csaba Daradics