By on April 27, 2009

But as one door closes, another opens. With Pontiac dead, Automotive News [sub] reports that GM will use its NUMMI capacity for some other Corolla-based GM product. Because, as one Pontiac spokesman puts it, “there’s really nothing wrong with the Vibe. Its only problem right now is that it is a Pontiac.”


G8 Gt slow motion burn out

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

34 Comments on “Color Me Gone...”


  • avatar
    Juniper

    Can’t read the text picture is all over it.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    See, that’s why GM is in this pickle. If the Pontiac spokesman were thinking right he would have said, “there’s really nothing wrong with the Vibe. It’s only problem right now is that it is a Toyota.”

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    The problem is that the Matrix/Vibe suffers from the same thing that a lot of Toyota’s new models do; it’s been bloated and softened up. The 1st gen Matrix was actually a pretty cool car, fun to drive with decent handling. Now it just feels bigger and too spongy.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    @ Juniper: what browser/plugins are you using? Chrome and Safari both display the post just fine, IE’s too slow for me to even bother.

    So, what’s the new NUMMI GM-branded product going to be? A rebadged GMC Tacoma? return of the Chevy Prizm? or a Cadillac HS250h?

    autonews.com link [reg req\'d]

    EDIT: according to a post at GMI, NUMMI will become part of “Bad GM” if bankruptcy occurs.

  • avatar
    tpandw

    Rebadge, rebadge, rebadge. That’s what got them into this mess in the first place, at least in part.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Two more quotes from the movie:

    1.”Performance and image, that’s what it’s all about.”

    2.”But I tell you one thing mister, they’ll run right over you if they get the chance…”

    Pontiac forgot about the first quote, and then the second one came true. Still, I stuck with them to the very end.

    So long Pontiac, I’ll miss you. Say hi to Plymouth, AMC, and Oldsmobile for me… And make sure Dodge’s seat at the table is ready.

  • avatar

    I wonder how much GM wants for rights to the Pontiac brand name.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Eh, I don’t get GM brand management, I always thought Pontiac should stay and GMC should get the boot, as GMC is only rebadges Chevys, nothing unique at all. Also, while I will admit Buick has built some quality vehicles as of late, getting rid of Oldsmobile, which had the pretty bas-ass Aurora, in favor of a Buick which at the time had nothing appealing to anyone under 60 made no sense at all.

  • avatar
    Jason

    NulloModo;

    Nothing you said refers to profitability…GM can’t afford to be worried about how cool a given car / brand is. GMC may be profitable, and nothing else really matters. Same with Buick vs. Oldsmobile.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    Nothing you said refers to profitability…GM can’t afford to be worried about how cool a given car / brand is. GMC may be profitable, and nothing else really matters. Same with Buick vs. Oldsmobile.

    I think what he said makes perfect sense. They’re going to take short term profitability and fix nothing, rather than try to stay the course fixing the brands that they’ve been working on, providing profitability in the future. Some of GM’s new products, cars that really could make an impact, have come at a very bad time into an economy slump that is worse than anything most of us (all of us?) have ever seen. How do you accurately judge the success of the new Malibu, the G8, the CTS, or any model in a sales market that is expected to lose several million sales this year?

    Some of the nameplates they’re dropping could easily be slid into other lines, and several could be lumped into one brand without overlap. I don’t think they really thought this whole thing through, I think they’re pulling the trigger on moves that they think will get the NSFW PTFOA off their asses. It’s a damn shame, too, we’re going to lose some pretty cool rides and wind up stuck with some pretty boring ones that probably still won’t keep GM alive.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Jason – I agree, profitability matters. However, in the case of GMC, all of the customers know it is a GM product, and I am sure at least 90% of them know it is identical to the relevant Chevy product. While I am sure having two models differentiated only though badge engineering isn’t nearly as costly as having two models on different platforms, it stands to reason that it does cost GM something extra to make two sets of grills, two sets of badges, two sets of manuals and brochures, and two seperate marketing/ad campaigns. Making them all Chevys would have to save something noticeable.

    As per Oldmobile vs. Buick, while Buick may have been more profitable at the time, Oldsmobile was managing to attract a younger demographic of buyers, which is very important to future profits. Oldsmobile was by no means a go-to brand for most 20 or 30 somethings, but it was at least making some major inroads with middle-aged buyers with products like the Aurora, Intrigue, and Alero. Yes there was some badge engineering there, but it wasn’t as blatant as the rest of GMs logo-swapping at the time. Buick, on the other hand, is perhaps the stodgiest nameplate in the business. As those older buyers die off Buick is going to fade, especially considering that those who are currently approaching Buick-age have already accepted foreign nameplates as legitimate competitors. I have heard the Toyota Camry and Avalon referred to as the best Buick’s Buick never built on numerous occasions.

  • avatar
    Shogun

    The text says,

    But as one door closes, another opens. With Pontiac dead, Automotive News [sub] reports that GM will use its NUMMI capacity for some other Corolla-based GM product. Because, as one Pontiac spokesman puts it, “there’s really nothing wrong with the Vibe. Its only problem right now is that it is a Pontiac.”

    So uh.. another Chevy on deck? Awesome.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    GM will use its NUMMI capacity for some other Corolla-based GM product.

    GM’s problem in 13 words. “Gee, we have this plant that builds one of the best cars we have, but we’re killing it because of its badge. I guess we’ll use the plant to make something else. Guess it doesn’t really matter what, we’ll think of something. One car is as good as another. Maybe Buick needs a small car.” GAAAAAAAAAA!

  • avatar

    But as one door closes, another opens. With Pontiac dead, Automotive News [sub] reports that GM will use its NUMMI capacity for some other Corolla-based GM product.

    My money’s on a Buick to slot in below the LaCrosse.

  • avatar
    Shogun

    Hahaha, we have a bet in this house. A Chevy or Buick? We’ll see, my money’s still on a small Chevy..

  • avatar
    cardeveloper

    That was a lame excuse for a burnout

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    The Vibe can die, it’s the 2nd best selling Pontiac, but that’s hardly impressive. In the Chevy lineup it would just be painfully redundant to the Cruze, especially if the Euro Cruze multiwagon comes over.

    Hopefully the best selling Pontiac, the G8, will keep coming over, except with the Chevy badges that Holden already puts on it in Australia for the Middle East and South Africa markets.

    Hell, bring the LWB G8 over with the Buick badges that Holden already puts on it for the Chinese market also.

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    My money’s on a Buick to slot in below the LaCrosse.

    I’m thinking an extra-small pseudo-CUV for GMC to slot below the new Terrain.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Y’all are insufficiently creative. Cadillac is one of GM’s core brands, yet it clearly lacks for a small, fuel-efficient car. What better product for these economic times than a Corollimarron?

  • avatar
    charly

    Two sets of grills, two sets of badges, two sets of manuals and brochures do cost money but in compared to the cost of a car it is nothing.
    The only expensive part on your list was the two seperate marketing/ad campaigns but that is the beauty of it. It makes separating the market easier and is in fact not an extra cost but an opportunity

  • avatar
    folkdancer

    What does NUMMI stand for?

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    folkdancer: New United Motor Manufacturing Inc

    Also, the Corolla part is speculation based on the fact that all of GM’s NUMMI products have been ‘rolla based. And who thinks it will be a Tacoma rebadge?

  • avatar
    BDB

    My money’s on a Buick to slot in below the LaCrosse.

    A new Buick Century? Let’s hope not!

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    GM already has the midsize Truck platform with the Colorado/Canyon. Besides I doubt Toyota would want to share the “secret sauce” of their truck platform.

    The simple & easy method would be to just start rename the Vibe the Chevy Prizm Wagon. Its a perfectly good small wagon, just change the name on the grille.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    If the Vibe sells well, it might make sense to move it to another GM lineup (a few styling tweaks would match it up).

    Chevy could kill the Aveo, frankly a pretty crummy car, and move a de-contented or revised Vibe into that slot (RedStapler’s “Prizm” name’s good, as the Prizm maintains an excellent reputation for a solidly reliable, if unexciting, car).

  • avatar
    detroit58

    folkdancer :What does NUMMI stand for?

    New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. – jointly owned by Toyota and GM and staffed with UAW members. It was where GM was to learn the “Toyota Way”.

    I vote for “Chevy Prizm”.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    The matrix/vibe is an OK car but not that great. I spent a week with one and drove all over Florida in it. Good mileage, decent ride, but I wouldn’t want one. The rear hatch doesn’t go high enough and if you are over 5’8″ you hit your head.

    But this does extricate Toyota from NUMMI. This partnership was a sop from the beginning to give GM product to sell they could not develop on their own. It also kept Congress from imposing tariffs on imports.

    The Solstice and Sky are probably doomed too. Too bad, with a V8 engine that car would have been a second generation cobra or vette,

  • avatar
    Rday

    Because, as one Pontiac spokesman puts it, “there’s really nothing wrong with the Vibe. Its only problem right now is that it is a Pontiac.”

    This is really funny and also points out the attitudes of some of the people running GM. Is there any wonder why GM is in so much trouble when their own spokesman make such a statement as above.

  • avatar
    TRL

    I get a little confused with all the talk about how Buick’s customer base is dying off. Right now the 55 – 65 year old bracket is the fastest growing in the US. True, many will buy an Avalon, but compared to one of those a Buick is actually more exciting. Since many in that age group actually remember when a Buick wasn’t really bad, they might be ready to give it another try. Do the math, most of this group was born in the late 40 or early 50′s before GM really sucked. Their rich Uncle maybe had a Buick. A few years from now we may look back and see the Enclave the as the vehicle that saved Buick. You know kind of like we see the Chrysler 300 (Oops, never mind.)

    The standard rule is still the higher the sticker price the higher the margin %. Buicks sticker for more than Pontiacs do. Even with the same money on the hood GM has a more profitable future if Buick survives.

    There are long shots and there are Hail Mary’s. I think Buick is just a long shot.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Also, the Corolla part is speculation based on the fact that all of GM’s NUMMI products have been ‘rolla based. And who thinks it will be a Tacoma rebadge?

    It’s not a bad idea; is a rebadge of the Tacoma. Small trucks would benefit from GM’s dealer reach (yes, even post-carpocalyptic), and goodness knows the Tacoma is a better product than the Colorado/Canyon (and the Ranger, and the Dakota).

    If I were Toyota, having GM sell rebadged Tacos is pure win/win.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Right now the 55 – 65 year old bracket is the fastest growing in the US.

    Yes and no. People entering that demographic en masse (Boomers) are, generally speaking, pathologically afraid of being labelled as “old”. They will not buy “old man” cars, and will shun Buicks and Lincolns for something that may not be holistically more exciting but doesn’t remind them of their own mortality.

    Chrysler had a shot at this with the 300C because their image wasn’t in the tank and the 300C was a brilliant design. Toyota (or Honda, or Nissan, or even Hyundai) can sell cars to anyone regardless of sofa-ishness because Toyota’s brand “stink” it reliability (or what have you), not fogeyness. A “damn right you dad drank it” campaign would be Buick’s only hope, and in my opinion they’re too far gone for even that.

    True, many will buy an Avalon, but compared to one of those a Buick is actually more exciting

    Oh, come now. None of these cars is “exciting”, except in the sense that Chapman’s vanilla ice cream is different, and thusly exciting (for a very lame definition of “exciting”), versus Breyer’s vanilla ice cream. The Avalon, in Touring spec, has marginally more exciting suspension, while the V8 Buicks have marginally more exciting power, but the difference is so minute that any enthusiast wouldn’t care or notice.

    It’s like people complaining that the Camry and Accord are boring. Outside of the 6 and Fusion (and even then…) no midsize mass-market sedan is exciting. Exciting is for niche cars.

  • avatar
    hal

    “there’s really nothing wrong with the Vibe. Its only problem right now is that it is a Pontiac.”

    this quote is dead on – the Vibe is a decent car but Pontiac was never on the radar for most of the Vibe’s natural market. They should build a Chevy Vibe to compete with the Mazda3 and take the Chevy badge off the Aveo and all the other Korean stuff.

  • avatar
    davey49

    “If I were Toyota, having GM sell rebadged Tacos is pure win/win.”

    Not a bad idea. It lets GM close a plant.
    The midsize and larger cars are not exciting, but probably less than 5% of people want “exciting” cars anyway. The midsize and larger cars are roomy and comfortable, which a lot of people want.
    I’m 42 and I want my next car to be an “old man” car. Driving an “exciting” car is rough on my back.

    Pontiac is leaving instead of GMC because this way every GM dealer now sells trucks. Trucks help dealers make money during lean times because they always sell.

  • avatar
    pmd1966

    folkdancer

    At the old Pontiac Motor Division we always said that NUMMI stood for: Never Underestimate Management’s Misguided Ideas.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States