Pontiac Conference Call Regarding the Phase-Out

Pontiac Underground

So I just got off a conference call with the fine folks at the Pontiac Underground blog, and I thought I should answer a few questions that I’m sure many of you are asking yourselves regarding GM killing off Pontiac.

Needless to say, the tone of the call was somewhat bleak, but they were happy to answer all questions. I’ll go over a few questions that I’ve received regarding this, and a few other things that they mentioned on the call:

Jim Hopson, blogger for Pontiac Underground was the moderator, and came on the line clarifying that December 31st, 2010 will be the last day Pontiac exists. Along the line they will be stopping production on all models, but haven’t made a decision on when quite yet. The Q&A below is not verbatim, but summarized by myself.

Why Pontiac and not Buick?

This is the most frequently asked question I heard. In the United States, Buick is seen as a “Grandma’s Car” – a vehicle left for the folks collecting social security, and not a car a young person would even consider buying. However, Buick is a global brand. Especially in China, Buick is seen as a young brand. Teenagers and young buyers look forward to driving a Buick. GM sells more Buicks in China than Pontiac, Buick, and Cadillac combined in the US. Pontiac, however is not a global brand, and sells far less overall than Buick.

Buick is also very profitable in terms of profit-per-unit, as is GMC, whereas Pontiac is not.

If I have a Pontiac already ordered, will I still get it?

Most likely yes, and you can still order Pontiacs without fear of not receiving it. Pontiac will be updating us on when the ending production dates for each model will be. Now, I said “most likely yes” because the G8 is the most unpredictable model. It has a two-month delay on ordering because it has to be made and shipped from Australia. If you have any questions about this, contact Jim at [email protected]

Are there models that they will redistribute to their other brands like the G8 or the Solstice?

No. They thought about this long and hard, apparently, but ultimately decided that rebadging models cheapens both brands involved (interesting thing for GM to say!) Specifically regarding the G8 – since people are most upset about it – the Camaro and G8 share the same platform, and rebrading the G8 as a Chevy could take sales away from the Camaro, and would ultimately be a duplicate model in the line-up. I’m sure when they were thinking about each model, there was no car that didn’t have a sibling in another GM line. They said that this is a final decision, and that there was no way a model will be rebranded.

Will my current Pontiac be worth more money now?

Doubtfully, but it depends on the model. From the aspect of a collector or investor, it might be a good idea to buy a Solstice Coupe (only 800 made for 2009,) or a G8 GXP, which I could see being a classic after a few years. Pontiac really hit the nail on the head with the G8, so getting yourself a nice, fully loaded G8 GXP might be beneficial to your bank account, given some time. Might want to get a 2010 model year though (“last year made” could up the value.)

What about the warranty and service?

Warranties are served under GM, so your Pontiac warranty will still be honored in full. Service will also be performed at a GM dealership. They wanted to stress that the only thing changing about the safety of buying a car from Pontiac is perception. All other aspects will remain the same.


This was a quick summary of the call, and answers the main questions I heard about this piece of news. If you have any other questions or comments, leave them in the comments below.

12 Comments on "Pontiac Conference Call Regarding the Phase-Out"

  1. Shane

    Thanks for the post. This seems to answer all the questions that everybody is asking about. I find it peculiar that they think a rebranded G8 would take away from Camaro sales. I don't think of them as the same type of car. And as much as I love the look of the new Camaro, it's still a muscle car that I just can't see me driving except for on the weekends while listening to REO Speedwagon on the radio. Talk about an image problem!

    I just discovered your blog while googling info about the fate of the G8, and I love it. I'll be a frequent visitor! Thanks for all the great info!

  2. Shane, thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you like the blog.

    The G8 and Camaro are different, and in most cases, for different people. The main thing that separates the two is the 2-door and 4-doors, but they're both muscle cars sharing the same platform with similar engines. It's a tough argument to predict, and I think their main reason behind it was to not cheapen the name.

  3. This is all very unfortunate, I didn't see this coming at all. The questions on the Buick make sense from a marketing stand point. I'm just not sure what the logistics are phasing a brand out in different markets. Is it possible they could phase out Pontiac in all countries except for a select view that offer a high intake? I mean for god sakes, you see Pontiac's all over the place here in the state.

    I'm sad to see it go. I've owned several Trans am and thought they were fantastic cars.

  4. Dave

    Is there really going to be a 2010 G8 GXP model? I would think they are not producing any more. I hope not because I already purchased a 2009.

  5. Marc – Pontiac is a North America-only brand. In most of the rest of the world they have Opel, Vauxhall, and Holden – which is where most of the Pontiac models come from.

    Dave – they didn't say on the call, but I suspect there will be, depending on demand.

  6. Rick

    I have a novel idea. How about giving the G8 to Buick,remove the roof and name it the Velite, since they were going to share the same zeta platform anyway. Then give the Solstice and Saturn Sky to Cheverolet and call it the Stingray.

  7. Shane

    I think Rick is on to something. If GM is going to TRULY shuffle things up, they need to start from scratch. They need to pick and choose which models (Saturn Sky, Pontiac G8, etc.) are worth keeping and then place them in the proper brands and use a number system to assign them names.

    Now is the chance for them to really take advantage of these times are make BOLD moves that can put them back on top once again. Their quality is there and they have some damned fine designs, so without all the UAW restrictions and contracts to keep plants open and models going, they really have a chance to streamline the business the way it needs to be done.

    I think Americans are very patriotic and loyal and want our auto industry to be back on top again, so at this point the ball is in their court.

  8. I agree Craig, the G8 certainly fills a need that no other GM product fulfills, there's no doubt about that. God forbid they actually consider a Camaro sedan.

  9. Craig

    I really hope GM reconsiders bringing the G8 over under the Chevy brand. I’m sorry, but with a wife and two small children, the Camaro is not going to be an option and I fail to see how it could possibly be a competitor. If GM can’t produce a performance sedan like the G8, then I will be forced to look at other brands.

  10. Just to update this a little bit about the G8, I was at a dinner with Ed Peper, Vice President of General Motors on Wednesday. When the question was asked about the G8, he said that it will be more than likely the vehicle WILL NOT be carried over.

    His reason: the company was happy with their current line-up and future products planned, and does not see where the G8 would fit into their plans.

    I think it’s a load of hogwash (to put it lightly). I drove a GXP earlier that day and it is truly a phenomenal piece. Another dumb decision on GM’s part.

  11. john schrades

    I'm 21 years old and from a cozy little city in Iowa. All the cars I've owned were Pontiac's Ive slowly worked my way up to an 01 grand am. I love the Pontiac brand and I was looking forward to buying a brand new gto sometime in the near future. It disgusts me that GM would prefer their ratings in China and keep Buick instead of Pontiac. Another insight into the greed of people. Send the jobs to China? Just move to China. Give sum1 else the chance to help American people with jobs that are desperately needed right now. I will never buy another GM made product.

  12. Moanalua

    Here’s GM, an American company, killing Pontiac on account of China buying Buicks. What a slap in the face of all the folks here in the US who have been buying Pontiacs loyally for decades. My first Pontiac was a ’66 Le Mans, and I’ve owned no other make but Pontiac since (I now own an ’84 Trans Am). If GM has elected to put all its eggs in China’s basket, so to speak, then perhaps there should be an economic consequence here in the US. For the first time in my life, my next new car will probably not be a GM product. I wonder how many other Pontiac buyers are thinking the same thing? I simply cannot imagine purchasing a new car from a company that decided Buick’s sales in China were more important than Pontiac’s sales in the US. By the way, Pontiac was outselling Buick here two-to-one.

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