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GM says Pontiac and GMC are safe, updated restructuring plan coming tomorrow

 

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An updated restructuring plan will be revealed Friday morning

An updated restructuring plan will be revealed Friday morning

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General Motors is currently seeking a buyer for Hummer, is looking to sell a stake in Opel, plans to cut its ties with Saab, and is open to almost anything with Saturn, but despite the drastic moves the auto industry task force established by President Obama is still seeking more. After rejecting the second round of viability plans from GM at the end of last month, the carmaker was given just 60 days to restructure or face paying back all its government funded loans.

Facing a new June 1 deadline to restructure, GM will need to make more cuts to appease the task force and recent reports have indicated that these cuts may include dropping Pontiac and GMC. GM has officially denied these suggestions, with the company’s sales chief Mark LaNeve also confirming that rumored plans to terminate franchise agreements of poorly performing dealers before June 1 to accelerate dealership consolidation was also false.

Speaking with Automotive News, LaNeve said the strategy laid out in February “is still the strategy" but explained that it will be tweaked as the June 1 deadline approaches. GM’s new Fritz Henderson has also announced that an updated restructuring plan will be revealed tomorrow morning.

GM has consistently stated that it will keep its Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC brands, while also downsizing Pontiac to a niche player, and it appears nothing has changed.

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Comments (11)
  1. Shocked GMC is on the chopping board, not so much about Pontiac since they have an identity crisis
     
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  2. GM should only be comprised of Chevrolet and Cadillac.
    case closed.
     
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  3. GMC and Pontiac actually sell quite well-before you let your preconceived notions influence what you say, look at GM's financial reports.

    That said, Pontiac needs to be ONLY rear wheel drive performance cars. Holden can provide a lot of the R&D and there are plenty of V8's to go around (and yes, people do want V8's-not everyone commutes 100 miles a day)
     
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  4. Sorry, but I've never quite understood the rationale for GMC in the 21st century when GM already has Chevy trucks. The vehicles are near-identical mechanically. OK, one brand is marketed as "Professional Grade" while the other represents "An American Revolution" with styling differences to match. But in reality they consume marketing dollars competing for many of the same customers. Ford doesn't sell a "professional grade" line of trucks (sorry, pimped out Lincolns don't count). Dodge failed to sell the Durango as an Aspen and thankfully hasn't tried to so the same with the Ram.

    As for Pontiac, the G3, G5 and G6 lines are the complete antithesis of a performance brand. The Solstice is also marketed as a Saturn, which does it no favors. The G8 is worthy, but niche.

    I have no doubt GM wishes to retain as many brands as possible, but four and a half (Chevy, Buick, Caddy, GMC and a few stray Pontiacs) still seems too many for their diminished market share.
     
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  5. Sorry, but I've never quite understood the rationale for GMC in the 21st century when GM already has Chevy trucks. The vehicles are near-identical mechanically. OK, one brand is marketed as "Professional Grade" while the other represents "An American Revolution" with styling differences to match. But in reality they consume marketing dollars competing for many of the same customers. Ford doesn't sell a "professional grade" line of trucks (sorry, pimped out Lincolns don't count). Dodge failed to sell the Durango as an Aspen and thankfully hasn't tried to so the same with the Ram.

    As for Pontiac, the G3, G5 and G6 lines are the complete antithesis of a performance brand. The Solstice is also marketed as a Saturn, which does it no favors. The G8 is worthy, but niche.

    I have no doubt GM wishes to retain as many brands as possible, but four and a half (Chevy, Buick, Caddy, GMC and a few stray Pontiacs) still seems too many for their diminished market share.

    Why would you cut GMC when it makes money
     
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  6. True; guess I'm surprised that such an obvious overlap can succeed while more distinct brands have languished. A triumph of marketing over engineering, perhaps?
     
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  7. Pontiac has not been selling well. If you look at GM's sales data available on their corporate website you will see a division in steep decline.

    Pontiac Sales:
    2001 --- 533,402
    2002 --- 516,832 ---- (-3.1%)
    2003 --- 475,615 ---- (-8.0%)
    2004 --- 474,179 ---- (-0.3%)
    2005 --- 437,806 ---- (-7.7%)
    2006 --- 410,229 ---- (-6.3%)
    2007 --- 358,022 ---- (-12.7%)
    2008 --- 267,348 ---- (-25.3%)

    Setting aside 2008 due to the collapse of car sales in general; from 2001 to 2007 Pontiac saw a drop in sales of 32.8%. That is an average of 4.7% per year compared to 3.0% per year for GM as a whole. The only division that has done worse than Pontiac is Buick. (Buick sales dropped from 405,678 in 2001 to only 185,781 in 2007. That is a drop of 54.2% or 7.7% per year)

    Edmund's had this to say about the 2008 Pontiac G5:
    "Here's about all you need to know about the 2008 Pontiac G5: it's a badge-engineered knockoff of the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe, sharing just about everything with its corporate cousin except for minor differences in exterior styling and interior trim. Therefore, it shares both strengths and weaknesses with its platform-mate."

    The same can be said about Pontiac as a whole. It is simply a cheap copy of Chevrolet. When you remove all the clones all you are left with is the G8. One car is not a reason to keep a brand. Pontiac, GMC, and Buick are all copies with minimal unique vehicles. Let them die already. GM = Chevrolet and Cadillac in North America. This is the time to kill of these extra brands and duplicate dealerships.
     
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  8. I've proposed this before, but I'll offer it again. If GM won't go down to just Chevy and Caddy in the U.S., then Pontiac/Buick/GMC should really become just one brand from a practical point of view. Each of these three severely reduced brands would have no more than three vehicles each with no overlap and would be sold in combined dealerships only. So, Pontiac could offer the G8 and two other sporty cars from Europe or Australia, Buick no more than three U.S./China-focused luxury sedans/coupes, and GMC three SUVs/crossovers/pick-up trucks. Nine vehicles under one dealer's roof is more than sufficient. GM has alluded to adopting a niche strategy with Pontiac already of course, but I think they might want to consider the same route for Buick and GMC.
     
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  9. The funny thing is that GM is killing one of their better performing brands while keeping the 2 worst performing.

    Saturn has been one of GM's bright spots the last couple of years. They have actually seen healthy sales growth since introducing decent cars in 2005. They grew 0.8% in 2005, 6.0% in 2006, and 6.1% in 2007.

    On the other hand Pontiac sales have been in free fall. Pontiac's sales dropped -7.7% in 2005, -6.3% in 2006, and -12.7% in 2007. Pontiac's new G models that have been poorly received and the brand's sales slide is accelerating.

    Buick is even worse than Pontiac.

    If GM wanted to keep dual dealership networks, Saturn is much stronger than Buick and Pontiac. Looking at sales numbers GM's turn around plan simply doesn't make any sense. Of course that is most likely why they have been unable to secure further Federal funding.
     
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  10. I agree that Saturn's line-up is the strongest they've had in years. Opel/Vauxhall make some very competitive products, as does Ford's European division. Hopefully more of them will be sold here, even if they won't be called Saturns for much longer.

    It's a shame that aborted attempts in the late '80s to sell re-badged European products such as the GSE LeMans (old GM Astra), Merkur XR4Ti (Ford Sierra) and Merkur Scorpio (Ford Granada) scared off Ford and GM from trying again for such a long time. I believe the cars were undersold by dealers who simply didn't understand what they had. That experience, combined with the rise of the SUV, drove a series of management decisions that helped place us where we are today.
     
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  11. True; guess I'm surprised that such an obvious overlap can succeed while more distinct brands have languished. A triumph of marketing over engineering, perhaps?

    Least now they are using different sheetmetal and some interior options to differniate the two
     
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