Monday, April 27, 2009
Goodbye to Pontiac
A slice of automotive Americana is expected to be permanently shelved today in Detroit. Say so long to the Ponitac -- once marketed as General Motors' "excitement division" -- as the struggling auto giant continues its government-supervised restructering.
The Detroit News reported Saturday that GM has already notified Pontiac dealers that the 83-year-old brand will be discontinued. Despite being the third-best selling brand behind Chevrolet and GMC, Pontiac’ fate has been on the fence since it was not named as one of GM’s four “core brands:” Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.
Pontiac was originally founded in 1909 as the Oakland Car Co. in Pontiac, Mich., and is credited by many for launching the muscle-car era in the U.S. when it introduced the GTO in 1964.
Funny what you remember as a kid. But when I was young we had a Pontiac, a Bonneville I think. When the headlights were on bright, the little Indian head near the odometer would light up in red. Now the whole division is apparently in the red and will soon be dead.
So the division that gave American the Trans Am, from "Smokey and the Bandit" fame, the Grand Am, the Firebird, the GTO, the LeMans and the Tempest is no more.