Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So-long to The Chief.

Now that it's official, GM will be shedding the Pontiac brand after a hundred years (acquired by GM in 1909, no kidding), I must say the news is not at all surprising, and it is long overdue. Sure, there are many car nuts out there who love the marque, but as a brand, Pontiac never really found itself. 

Way back in the day, Pontiac was at Ground Zero of the muscle car trend when Mr. Delorean stuffed a big motor with 3 carbs on top into a Tempest. In the following decade, the Firebird Trans Am was all the rage. Looking back on that disco-era monstrosity with a giant bird decal on the hood, four tailpipes and acres of plastic chrome, it's no wonder this brand has been in so much trouble for so long.

What did the Pontiac brand stand for? In practical terms, it was the move-up brand from Chevy. Problem was, model year after model year, consumers bought the Chevy or went straight for the imports.

Styling used to be a strong point for the Pontiac brand, but in recent years, the GM stylists were either half asleep - check out the G-6, G-8 family's styling - just boring - or on psychodelic drugs. For a while there, the cars had so many bumps, spoilers and other 'boy racer" doodads that you would have thought they were targeting 13-year-olds.

I guess that's what killed the Pontiac brand. Damn those 13-year-olds for not being old enough to drive!



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