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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > Saturn and Pontiac: R.I.P.


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Saturn and Pontiac: R.I.P.

By corsa

Last night, GM held a press conference to discuss their viability plan being submitted to Congress today. In addition to the announcement that they are requesting an additional $16 billion, they also announced plans for Saturn and Pontiac.

Saturn is going to be eliminated. All dealerships will be closed by 2011, and no new models will be introduced. Also, Pontiac will be phased out as a division. Certain niche models will still carry the Pontiac name, but will be sold at Chevy dealerships.

So, Saturn and Pontiac will join Hummer (which is currently up for sale) and Saab (which is trying to "quit" GM and become a standalone company) as divisions that will no longer be a part of GM, leaving them to focus on Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC here in the United States. (To me, GMC seems redundant and should've been axed, but I guess that's why I'm not in charge.)

While Saturn has some good cars now in the Astra and Aura (which are re-badged Opels) I feel that the Saturn nameplate has really hurt those cars. Most people equate Saturn with cheap plastic-bodied cars, and that's a shame, because Saturn was just starting to shape-up product-wise. That said, I would have preferred them to just sell the Astra and Aura as Opels, they would've sold better to the younger crowd I think. So I'm not too broken up about Saturn as a brand dying, but I'm sad to see the Astra and Aura (and my hopes for the Corsa coming over) going up in smoke.

Pontiac, however, seems like more of a loss to me, at least as a brand. Interestingly, the only current Pontiac model I think is any good is the G8 (since they killed off the GTO) and even that isn't my cup of tea, so I'm not sad to see the models go, but I am sad to see the brand go. Pontiac is such a part of the American car culture, and has produced legendary cars such as the GTO and Firebird, and of course songs like "Little G.T.O."

So there you have it: I'm not bummed about the Saturn brand going away, but I am bummed about some of the Saturn models going away; and conversely, I'm not sad about the Pontiac models going away, but I am sad about Pontiac as a brand going away.

What about you? How do you feel about the end of Saturn and Pontiac as we know it? Let us know in the comments!

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 10 of 30

XA351GT’s Profile Photo
Mar 1, 2009 at 9:35 pm
I agree with the GMC comment. Everything sold by the brand is covered by the rest of the brands. The loss of Pontiac mystifies me , as they have always outsold Buick. Hell Olds was outselling Buick when they killed off the Olds brand. The creation of Saturn never made sense to me and when they started to duplicate the other brands models made even less sense. I feel the only thing saving Buick is that they are GMs best selling brand in China where it is pronounced easier than the other brands. Before anyone flames me for that comment ,that was explained to me by a friend from China I work with that regularly returns to China.
RAREBIRDS6702’s Profile Photo
Feb 25, 2009 at 9:48 am
Don`t get your panties in a bunch!!! They may cut back on the line, like BUICK but Pontiac is not going away anytime soon!!!!!!!
TransAmGTA’s Profile Photo
Feb 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm
I don't know why there doing away with pontiac??? Every time you take a drive you see a Grand Prix, Grand Am or G6!!! I've had NO problems with my 1988 Trans Am GTA or my 2001 Grand Prix GT. I really like the pontiac brand! It's sad to see it go!
camaro1093ac’s Profile Photo
Feb 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm
GM should keep the models of each division that sell the best and drop the rest. That way you could still have a Grand Am a Camaro and whatever else was selling. Keep the names and sell them all at the same place.
dragon_chick_99’s Profile Photo
Feb 21, 2009 at 9:55 pm
yeah, i was shocked about pontiac. but if i ever had a thought of selling my bird, it is stomped out now. i will never depart with my PONTIAC trans am. and yeah i 2 believe the gm ceo is a moron!!!!!
GoldenGirl’s Profile Photo
Feb 21, 2009 at 8:29 pm
I was really hoping against hope that we wouldn't hear this news. Guess the bailout just wasn't enough. I also heard that Dodge is shutting down the SRT division and other than orders in the pipeline, no more SRT8 Challengers will be made.

At first I thought it wasn't possible that the US would lose GM and Chrysler but now I'm thinking it actually might happen. frown image
buickxl’s Profile Photo
Feb 21, 2009 at 7:36 pm
As a Buick owner and general "GM" guy, I am surprised to see Pontiac go. After losing Oldsmobile, I really thought that Buick would be next and GM would eventually move to Pontiac as the performance division, Chevy as trucks and sedans, and Cadillac as the Luxury division.

I feel that the redundancy of the last three decades killed what we think of as the American car.
My buick is only slightly cosmetically different from an Impala/Caprice,88/98,Parisienne and Sedan Deville. I believe that that was the beginning of the end of brand loyalty for most Americans. I also own an Eagle Vision/Dodge Intrepid/Chrysler Concorde.
I am saddened by the current state of American car manufacturers, and espescially those who they employ, but I think they dropped the ball many years ago.
formulajeff’s Profile Photo
Feb 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm
I'm sadden that Pontiac is going away. I've owned a variety of cars over the years, but always favored Pontiac ( I own a 99 Sunfire and a 79 Firebird Formula). I agree that Pontiac is GM's only performance division and would have loved to see the Firebird and Sunfire come back). A few years ago when Pontiac dropped the Sunfire, I thought to myself "now what do I do", switch to the Cavalier ? I don't like plain Pontiac wannabe's. A Camry or Buick LaCrosse? I'm not a retiree living in Century Village. I may be over 50-barely- but I still like a car with style and guts, and in my opinion, the Sunfire, as well as the Firebird fit the bill, The Sunfire, stylish and gutsy, and the Firebird- well need I say more!
gpjim’s Profile Photo
Feb 20, 2009 at 7:47 pm
PONTIAC is GMs only performance division, always has been, you would think they would get rid of Olds & Buick and leave Caddilac as their luxury division..., they are as good as Kia without Pontiac !
Les’s Profile Photo
Feb 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm
I'm a pontiac owner and all i have to say is I'm very sadden by this news i also agree that GMC should be eliminated as i see more pontiac models driving as apposed to GMC models. one more thing looks like Im never getting rid of my car now! Collectors item here i come!

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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > Saturn and Pontiac: R.I.P.

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