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Pontiac is toast, are GMC and Saturn to follow?
Old 04-27-2009, 08:55 AM   #1
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Pontiac is toast, are GMC and Saturn to follow?

Not unexpected, since GM is on life support. Back in the early 90's, Pontiac was selling about 400,000 cars a year. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.........

General Motors to Eliminate Pontiac Brand on Monday : Auto News
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:28 AM   #2
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I beleive that the plan is to keep GMC and to sell off Saturn, Saab, and Hummer.

As I recall GMC trucks have the largest margins and are the most profitable for GM. based on that I wouldn't expect it to go away.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:33 AM   #3
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Have a 2007 Pontiac Vibe...these boys best take care of it, and not
jack all Pontiac owners around with increased parts prices etc.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:45 AM   #4
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Seems like the end of an era, doesn't it? I can hardly believe it.

My daughter's high school "dream car" would have been a brand new red Pontiac Firebird. She didn't get a car in high school, but had cut out a photo of one from an ad and put it on her wall. That car was considered to be the ultimate of cool at her high school.

It's not quite such a big deal as the demise of Pontiac, but I also noticed that starting this year Toyota is no longer making the Solara model. I guess if I want something similar to replace my present Solara (now 9 years old), I will have to get a Honda Accord coupe.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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I beleive that the plan is to keep GMC and to sell off Saturn, Saab, and Hummer.
It's stupid to have seperate divisions for GMC and Chevy, they are exactly the same except for trim levels and some exterior cladding.

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As I recall GMC trucks have the largest margins and are the most profitable for GM. based on that I wouldn't expect it to go away.
Actually, you are talking about Chevy, which gets the lion's share of advertising and R&D.

Pontiac's numbers have been declining nearly every year. Saturn was a quirky brand that did well initially but their numbers aren't there.

Toyota and Honda have proved you can do extremely well with TWO divisions.

I think GM should go to two for domestic markets:

Chevy: Including Chevy truck, Chevy cars, and GMC as an add-on "GMC package" option (Denali package) for Chevy trucks.

Cadillac: Have Buick rebadged as entry Caddy. Use a detuned 3.6 from the Malibu in the Lucerne, along with a Northstar V-8.

Lose Hummer, Pontiac, GMC, and Saab. They lose money on every car they make anyways. Sad to see Pontiac go, I think someone may buy them and continue the brand.......
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:40 AM   #6
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Well if both Pontiac and Saturn go, I wonder if they will move the Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky to on of the other divisions. This is the only GM product that interest me. However, I doubt I would ever purchase either, but they do look nice on the road.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
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30 years from now a Solstice or a Sky could fetch real money as collector's cars.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #8
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I remember a friends father bought a new 1960 candy apple red Bonneville with a 400 cu. in. engine. You could light the tires on that with ease. Sorry to see the brand go. I have an 06 G6 that I bought when they were giving them away..good thing as the value will take a hit. However, I'll still be driving it 15 yrs from now (if I'm still around) so no big deal.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:32 PM   #9
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Have a 2007 Pontiac Vibe...these boys best take care of it, and not
jack all Pontiac owners around with increased parts prices etc.
If I'm not mistaken, I believe the Vibe is built by Toyota. The Toyota model is the Matrix. So you could probably get parts from Toyota.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:00 PM   #10
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FinanceDude: Give me some of your background in the automotive business. I don't think you know much about the company from your talk on the truck end of the business. Chevy should just stick to the pickups and GMC to the bigger tractor types. GMC Truck could stay around as the producer of big heavy duty items. Chevy should stick to cars and pickups as the entry level vehicle producer. Who should make the vans? I can see Pontiac being gone as they are too much the Chevy with a nicer interior. Little more sporty but Chevy can easily cover that spectrum ala Camaro. Buick might make it if the economy turns around a little as GM buyers need something between the Chevy and Cadillac. End result--I see Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC. My humble opinion after having spent 34 years with GM.

Does anyone out there remember all the companies/divisions that were once part of GM? Start with Oldsmobile, Fisher Body, Electromotive Diesel, Detroit Diesel, Allison Aircraft, Eastern Airlines, Hughes Aircraft and Direct TV, EDS (Ross Perot's company), Frigidaire, Delco Products, Aeroproducts (airplane propellers), etc. --the list goes on. Times change and GM has to change with it. If they file Chapter 11 and can't make it, the country better watch out. The word was that for every direct employee in the automotive industry there are six supporting it on the outside. Steel, rubber, glass, wire, fabric, paint, plastic, tooling, transportation,----.
Let's wish them well!
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:12 PM   #11
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Does anyone out there remember all the companies/divisions that were once part of GM?
Oldsmobile
Saturn
Hummer
Pontiac...
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:29 PM   #12
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First off, I don't know squat about the auto industry! However, that entitles me to an opinion! What a country!

If GM fails it does not mean that Americans will stop buying autos. Glass, rubber, steel and other parts makers should continue to make parts for Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, and all the other cars 'made in the USA'. Now I have no clue how much of those cars are made here, but I would guess some for sure. Heck, I also don't know how much of a Chevy is made here, but I would bet not all.

So I for one, am not of the opinion that if GM goes Chap 11 it is doomsday for the US. For one thing, every town with a closed military base said, "We are doomed". Most are doing just fine 5 years later, and I suspect so with the country be fine if GM goes away.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:31 PM   #13
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Oldsmobile
Saturn
Hummer
Pontiac...
Don't forget...

Reliance Motor Truck Company
Elmore Motor Company
Oakland Motor Company
Rapid Motor Vehicle Company
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:37 PM   #14
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I guess if I want something similar to replace my present Solara (now 9 years old), I will have to get a Honda Accord coupe.
You could do worse.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:38 PM   #15
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If I'm not mistaken, I believe the Vibe is built by Toyota. The Toyota model is the Matrix. So you could probably get parts from Toyota.
That's true.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:02 PM   #16
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Times change and GM has to change with it. If they file Chapter 11 and can't make it, the country better watch out. The word was that for every direct employee in the automotive industry there are six supporting it on the outside. Steel, rubber, glass, wire, fabric, paint, plastic, tooling, transportation,----.
Let's wish them well!
"The country better watch out" why? Because there are six jobs supporting every automotive job?
  • There are 154M in the workforce, 141M currently employed (1).
  • GM has 243K employees (2).
  • 6 X (your number, if that's correct) would be 1.5M. If half (unlikely) of them lost their jobs in BK, that would be 1.0% of total US employment. Wonder how many Wall Street has lost already?
  • Furthermore, those who would have bought a GM vehicle would then buy some other automakers vehicle which will provide work for a Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan or other manufacturer and some/all US jobs.
    • Some autoworkers will go to other automakers.
    • Some supplier workers will go to Ford, etc. suppliers and those suppliers will sell more.
    • Some dealer sales reps will go to Ford, etc. and those dealers will sell more.
    • Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan will buy more rubber, steel, glass, wire, paint, etc. than they would have with GM in the picture.
Don't get me wrong this is awful and I never thought I'd live to see the day that GM might actually go BK. But given the numbers above it's not obvious to me that it would be catastrophic (or whatever "better watch out" implies) to our economy. I think of lot of the (seemingly self-evident) rhetoric stems from 40 years ago when GM had 50% market share and 'as goes GM, so goes the nation' actually meant something.


(1) Employment Situation Summary
(2) GM: Profile for GEN MOTORS - Yahoo! Finance

Bonus (3) Automotive Industry: Employment, Earnings, and Hours
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:07 PM   #17
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If I'm not mistaken, I believe the Vibe is built by Toyota. The Toyota model is the Matrix. So you could probably get parts from Toyota.
That's not quite correct. General Motors and Toyota have a Joint venture located in Fremont California called New United Motors Manufacturing Incorporated (or NUMMI for short). At that plant the Vibe and Matrix and manufactured. They also make the Toyota Tocoma and Corolla. In the past they made the Prism, Hilux, Nova, and Votz. Some of those were exported.

Typically the cars that General Motors sells from NUMMI have a different drive train than their Toyota twin. Parts for the General Motors version therefore may or may not be interchangeable with the Toyota version.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:16 PM   #18
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"The country better watch out" why? Because there are six jobs supporting every automotive job?
  • There are 154M in the workforce, 141M currently employed (1).
  • GM has 243K employees (2).
  • 6 X (your number, if that's correct) would be 1.5M. If half (unlikely) of them lost their jobs in BK, that would be 1.0% of total US employment. Wonder how many Wall Street has lost already?
  • Furthermore, those who would have bought a GM vehicle would then buy some other automakers vehicle which will provide work for a Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan or other manufacturer and some/all US jobs.
    • Some autoworkers will go to other automakers.
    • Some supplier workers will go to Ford, etc. suppliers and those suppliers will sell more.
    • Some dealer sales reps will go to Ford, etc. and those dealers will sell more.
    • Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan will buy more rubber, steel, glass, wire, paint, etc. than they would have with GM in the picture.
Don't get me wrong this is awful and I never thought I'd live to see the day that GM might actually go BK. And given the numbers above it's not obvious to me that it would be catastrophic (or whatever "better watch out" implies) to our economy. I think of lot of the (seemingly self-evident) rhetoric stems from 40 years ago when GM had 50% market share and 'as goes GM, so goes the nation' actually meant something.


(1) Employment Situation Summary
(2) GM: Profile for GEN MOTORS - Yahoo! Finance

Bonus (3) Automotive Industry: Employment, Earnings, and Hours


What I meant by "better watch out" is that I would be wary of what happens to the economy as a whole. If all the US manufacturers are gone, surely replacement vehicles would be made by some global company; however, as is now the case with any "foreign" manufacturer, they create jobs but the profits go back to Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. Don't know how that settles out for us in the financial world. I'm concerned.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:33 PM   #19
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What I meant by "better watch out" is that I would be wary of what happens to the economy as a whole. If all the US manufacturers are gone, surely replacement vehicles would be made by some global company; however, as is now the case with any "foreign" manufacturer, they create jobs but the profits go back to Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. Don't know how that settles out for us in the financial world. I'm concerned.
I read your post as GM BK only. If all the D3 go to BK that would be a greater concern. If all the D3 go into liquidation, even more so.

OTOH, we have essentially no domestic consumer electronics manufacturing industry in the USA where we once did and it was a sizable industry (although not equal to automotive admittedly). The consequences of no US consumer electronics manufacturing is not obvious to me for example, but maybe I just don't see it. I am not suggesting I know where we're headed at all, just that it's not clear what the consequences would be in the case of the D3. Like many here, I would love to see competitive manufacturing expanding in the USA.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:14 PM   #20
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I read your post as GM BK only. If all the D3 go to BK that would be a greater concern. If all the D3 go into liquidation, even more so.

OTOH, we have essentially no domestic consumer electronics manufacturing industry in the USA where we once did and it was a sizable industry (although not equal to automotive admittedly). The consequences of no US consumer electronics manufacturing is not obvious to me for example, but maybe I just don't see it. I am not suggesting I know where we're headed at all, just that it's not clear what the consequences would be in the case of the D3. Like many here, I would love to see competitive manufacturing expanding in the USA.
Actually I was thinking about the consequences if the D3 all went under. You know if the global economy was better I could see a foreign manufacturer buying one or two of our brands. That would have been interesting. Say Pontiac was to be purchased by Volkswagon. Can you see a Volkswagon TransAm on the NASCAR circuit? However, most foreign car mfg's have fallen on hard times also. Saw recently some pics showing thousands and thousands of cars stockpiled in Japan. By the way, I think the VW is a great vehicle and getting more popular. How far back was it that a foreign car maker set up stakes in the U.S.? I'm not sure who was first but I remember when I was in Pittsburgh, VW bought a Chrysler assembly plant in Westmorland County, PA.,
east of us, and started producing cars. I think that was about 1978 or 9.
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