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Pontiac axes Torrent SUV, shifts focus to cars

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GM sold just 987 Pontiac Torrents last month – down 55.3% on February’s figures for 2008

GM sold just 987 Pontiac Torrents last month – down 55.3% on February’s figures for 2008

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General Motors has confirmed that Pontiac's struggling Torrent SUV will be canned this week due to poor sales and a need to remarket the brand as a lineup that specializes in cars. The news comes from the company’s North American vice-president of Buick, Pontiac and GMC, Susan Docherty, who confirmed that the Torrent is the only Pontiac model being discontinued in the near term.

This means that Pontiac will continue to sell its mainstays, such as the G5, G6, G8, Solstice, Vibe and the upcoming G3. Docherty explained to Edmunds that the Torrent was being discontinued to "enable the brand to focus on cars" and fuel economy.

Additionally, sales of the Torrent are down by over 50% in February 2009 compared to the same period last year, making the car unfeasible to maintain in the current GM portfolio. While media speculation is rife about the possible demise of Pontiac and the brand's hazy future, Docherty stated that GM is still considering its position on Pontiac and that it will not let "media speculation and negativity" influence any decision.

Refocusing the Pontiac brand on fuel economy also fits in line with rumors that the brand will be receiving its own variant of the Volt at some point. Since August last year there has been speculation that Pontiac will be the first GM brand to get the Volt's technology following Chevrolet.
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Comments (3)
  1. This makes absolutely no sense at all. Pontiac is going to be GM's fuel economy division? What happened to "Driving Excitement -- Pontiac"?

    Pontiac needs to die, it is as simple as that. For the US all you need is Chevy / Cadillac. Keep Buick if you want a mid-level brand and to keep the American connection for all those Chinese Buick buyers.
     
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  2. Compared to the brazenly hideous Aztek, the Torrent was hardly the worst Pontiac in recent memory. However, the thinly re-badged Chevy Equinox "cute-ute" produced few sales at its height, yet still managed to dilute what was left of the Pontiac's sporting brand legacy. Rental car specials like the G5 and G6 are little better, reinforcing the notion that one's money is far better spent elsewhere. Time to let Pontiac and other moribund brands go in order to focus on what little can be saved elsewhere at GM.
     
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  3. This is new news, GMC is getting the Torrent replacment, to be called Terrain (But will look different the the version the Middle East got which is a rebadged Vue).
     
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