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Report: GM may drop Saab, Saturn and Pontiac to appease Congress


The Pontiac G8 has proven to be a unique entry to GM's U.S. lineup that was developed with minimal investment

The Pontiac G8 has proven to be a unique entry to GM's U.S. lineup that was developed with minimal investment

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Despite previous assurances made earlier this month by its CEO Rick Wagoner, General Motors is reportedly considering dropping the Saab, Saturn and Pontiac brands in order to improve its chances of garnering a federal government aid package.

GM is currently readying a turnaround plan to present to Congress on the 5th of December, and according to Bloomberg this proposal will hold the answer as to whether or not the carmaker will end up either dropping or selling the Saab, Pontiac and Saturn brands. The information comes from "people familiar with the matter", who wished to remain unidentified as no real decision had been made yet.

While the viability proposal is scheduled to be presented to Congress on December 5th, GM's higher-ups will review the plans on November 30th and December 1st, and a 10 to 12 page document for the public will be made available before the December 5th deadline, followed by a much more detailed 80-page document for Congress to review.

Currently, GM has a number of dealerships that sell Pontiac, Buick and GMC brands all in one location. Dropping Pontiac would adversely affect these dealers, which may be why GM's CEO has been making assurances that the company will not be dropping any more brands.

However, dumping the brands will help GM reduce costs drastically as it struggles to stay afloat. Whether or not its plans have changed in order to woo the federal government into providing loans, the move would make economic sense for GM, which currently has many overlapping models and high associated costs with these struggling brands. More news on this should be available closer to the 5th of December meeting in Washington.
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Comments (23)
  1. Drop Saab, keep the other two.
     
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  2. This is at an early rumor stage, but I don't want to see this happen, I hope GM keeps it all together!
    With Pontiac, I don't care if the G3 & G5 get dropped, but the Solstice and G8 I particularly care about, the G6 is fine, and I'm sure they'll be a nice successor planned.

    Saturn is greatly improved from it's humble beginning and far more solid and complete from their flimsy and crude earlier models. I hope this isn't classic GM where they start a line or product with shortcomings, then they greatly improve it down the road, where shortly after, they kill it. Starting a product with shortcomings causes it's reputation to precede it and jeopardize sales as a result.

    Saab, it unloaded, would it be an independent again, or would someone else absorb it?

    At least Hummer is on the block and not off into the sunset.
     
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  3. Lamest idea ever, sell Saab if you have to, drop Hummer and maybe GMC and do what Ford did with the F-150 and its Platinum trim to the Chevy, keep Pontiac and keep Saturn as the American arm of Opel
     
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  4. Oh and Buick needs to go so Caddy can dominate
     
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  5. Why in the world would they drop Pontiac, just when it's lineup has exciting cars again? If anything drop Buick, it's unnecessary.
     
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  6. Structure the company like ford.

    Caddy

    Buick/Saturn

    GM/Pontiac


    Saab is useless... drop it. they arent even an R&D monster like volvo is for ford.

    buick and saturn have so much overlap, they're the same company anyways. drop one.. leave the other for mid market. buick doesnt have to be a grandpa brand.. look at what they did with caddy

    as far as pontiac.. drop it.. GM has everything pontiac has.. if not.. rebrand the solstice into the "G". done.

    GMC trucks? GM. G10 for the colorado (a little nod to the S10), and the G15 for the full sized line... in a nod to the "1500". there.. you just got rid of chevy too. what does chevy make? oh right.. the Vette.. which is its own brand already.. outside of north america.

    Hummer? they're just dressed up Silverados and Colorados. drop it.

    Done. where's my 30 million dollar christmas bonus?
     
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  7. Quite frankly I'd sell Saab and lose Saturn all together. The product line that consists at Saturn can easily be absorbed under the umbrella of Chevrolet.

    Having two enty level brands witin one carmaker makes no sense.

    As for Buick! Has anyone ever heard of a country called China? May I suggest you go google it! GM holds the largest portion of the market there at 15%. The brand within their portfolio that is achieving this goal is BUICK!!!!!

    As for growth in this rare and what appears to be a complete unknown of a country called China (at least to some of the posters/bloggers on this site) is how many cars there are per 1000 people. That number in the U.S is some 900+ cars per 1000 people and in China its some 30 cars per 1000 people.

    GM needs Buick maybe not so much at home but they need it. Saturn is a domestic brand only and holds no global appeal. Where as Chevrolet and Buick are definitely a global brand.

    As for the future I'd love to see Buick make an excutive coupe again!!!!
     
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  8. Sell Buick to the Chinese then
     
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  9. All Opels are or will be sold in North America by Saturn. Why drop it? Chevrolet and Opel don't mix, check the Aveo/Corsa, Cruze/Astra and Epica/Insignia pairs.

    Pontiac should be the same to Holden: a sporty car division. The G6 and Torana could be sporty mid-size sedans/wagons, the Commodore/G8 are already there, and Holden may get a second-gen Solstice.

    Saab shouldn't die. General Motors should sell it instead to anyone who promises to keep it alive.

    Buick is a big marque in China. They'll make sure it survives this crisis.
     
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  10. I heard that the Swedish government wants to nationalize Saab and Volvo, if that happens won't matter what GM wants
     
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  11. NaBUru38- The point you make is what I'm getting at. The fact that Chevy and Opel dont mix is very true just as Americans, as a whole, have never heard of Opel or Vauxhall for that matter. So badging their cars as Chevrolets instead of Saturns makes no difference. What difference it does make is that it saves GM a small forutune in having one less brand to manage. Especially a brand that outside of the U.S. you cant buy where as Chevrolet is very a global brand.
     
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  12. Saturn has never made money! Look it up, its been a drain on GM from the start. And they build nothing now that Sping hill is closed. Drop-um like a hot rock. Saab whos Saab?? And Mike dont forget Buick is #1 in china so I dont think they'll get dropped
     
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  13. We can go back and forth about which brands should stay or go, but the bottom line is that GM has far too many of them for the North American market. Moreover, GM has amplified the problem though continued shameless badge engineering. Example: the Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook and now Chevy Traverse. It's a decent product for the 8-passenger crossover market segment, but four versions just quadruples marketing costs without doing the same for sales. Either GM should trim each brand to a few distinct models (no more Chevy Cobalt/Pontiac G5 or Chevy Aveo/Pontiac G3 fiascoes), or they should drop at least one entry-level brand and a mid-level one. I still think Saab could be saved if sold, as Ford has done with Jaguar and Land Rover. There's far less equity there, but I detect a pulse nonetheless.
     
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  14. ahh Ford sold Jag and Rover in march for 1/2 of what they paid and then Ford give Tata another $600 million to make up for shortfalls in the two brands pension plans.
     
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  15. True, but Jaguar and Land Rover could have disappeared completely without Ford's intervention, which in retrospect did more for product quality than profitability. Except for Jaguar's shortsighted Ford Mondeo-based X-Type, Saab's neglect under GM has been far more dire. The latter rightly saw Saab as a chance to sell people who might otherwise never set foot in a GM dealership, but then failed to deliver a decent full product line. The Saabaru 9-2X and TrailBlazer 9-7X signaled GM's shallow commitment to Saab, beyond the decent 9-3 and elderly 9-5. The market passed judgment and the brand floundered.
     
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  16. I am a Buick Pont GMC dealer for over 28 years.

    Sell GM to Toyota!!!!!!!

    They need more locations. They could share tech, trim dealers.


    Toyota needs to win over die hard American buyers, they need a good truck.

    People under 40 would consider GM cars again, because overnight they would be cool, and smart etc. (foreign)

    They have the cash, and they have talked.

    BTW. So much for a failed business strategy, I have made a great living in this business, even this year.
     
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  17. uhhhhh.... are they out of their minds get rid of Saab and Saturn And keep Pontiac. Pontiac is like one of the top selling branches. I see the g6 and other models everywhere. Git rid of Oldsmobile or something.
     
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  18. Save Pontiac and Buick,Keep GMC,and get rid of the rest.Buick for the international market,GMC is a very solid truck brand,and Pontiac is well known for the style and power.Chevrolet is good for the mass market that feeds the herd.I really don't see the need to continue with the Comaro.I like the idea but will the market support such an expense just to battle the Mustang and the Challenger ?
     
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  19. I will say I am a die hard Pontiac fan ,and I am not so much a Chevy fan.I personally just feel Chevy cars are to generic.If Pontiac is lost to the ages I will proceed to the neerest MOPAR dealership and enjoy.
     
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  20. I'm pissed..CAN NOT drop Pontiac ! Ok with Saab and Saturn, why Pontiac ? They should drop the GMC brand, all that comes from them is duplicates of stuff that Chevy makes. The day Pontiac goes away will be a sad sad day.
     
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  21. The Government should have let GM go Chapter 5. Why are they spending my hard earned money to keep the union boys happy. I know why ... they need the campaign donations and the voting base. I hope GM goes down the tubes and the sooner the better. The government can't turn a profit with the U.S. Postal Service. What make them think they can run a car company.
     
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  22. I don't know. Saab competes in a market segment that GM otherwise doesn't reach very well with the rest of their brands. Saab competes against Ford's Volvo, Volkswagen, BMW (on the low end), and some of the Japanese automaker models. Without Saab, it's difficult to see GMC, Chevy, or one of the other brands moving into that space.
     
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  23. How can GM drop Saturn? That was the car of the future, good gas mileage low cost. I read they didn't keep up on development? What did the Engineers and Designers do all day? Play Solitaire or World Of War craft? "hey Jim,i hit level 80" "righteous dude high 5"
     
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