By on June 16, 2009

Why did 44 percent of “nearly 1,700″ CarGurus respondents prefer Pontiac to other leading discontinued GM brands? Beats me. Save Hummer and merge it with Chrysler’s “Peapod Mobility,” say I. Call it a monument to the industry. It’s the only way things could become any more, well, weird. The results of the survey were published on Ad Age yesterday. And then today, while Fritz Henderson was performing his weekly new-media ablutions, he had to go and crush the dreams of (nearly) 7480 people. Ad Age’s Jean Halliday asked, “Why can’t Pontiac be sold? Why are you just eliminating it?” and Henderson replied, “we have had success in discussions with buyers re hummer, saab and saturn, but in the end we did not see the same potential to be honest for pontiac.” Ouch. To compound the weirdness, Henderson dismissed the notion that Pontiac’s G8 would be moved to another brand by saying, “I am not a fan of rebadging.” Unless it’s called “interbuildability.” Which would have, could have allowed the G8 to be a real American muscle car (no offense to the Aussies).

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27 Comments on “After The Funeral, Fans Pick Pontiac. Too Bad Fritz Doesn’t...”


  • avatar
    86er

    I have no words for this.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “I am not a fan of rebadging”- Fritz

    So what the hell was the G8 in the first place if it wasn’t a rebadged Commodore?! You really want to get rid of your most critically-acclaimed sedan in decades because you aren’t a “fan” of something? How is it even a rebadge if the G8 and Pontiac doesn’t exist anymore? Do you give a damn that lots of your customers want to see this car moved to Chevrolet or Buick?

    And isn’t GMC one of your four “Core Brands”? What do they build that isn’t a blatant rebadge?

    I hate GM so much.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    You guy’s will have to persude HSV to set up shop in America somewhere and import HSV Commodores. Then you’ll still be able to get your G8 fix :)

  • avatar

    Fans and consumers are different.

    Fans may have voted Pontiac on top in one internet survey after it’s already been discontinued but consumers have been voting it down for years with their wallets by not buying Pontiac vehicles.

    Pontiac and the G8 are over and done, let’s move on.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    To compound the weirdness, Henderson dismissed the notion that Pontiac’s G8 would be moved to another brand by saying “I am not a fan of rebadging.”

    Since when?

  • avatar
    KixStart

    I imagine Chevy dealers would like the option of an Impala SS. Relabel the current Impala to Caprice or something.

    ajla,

    Fritz wasn’t in charge at the time they made that decision. New sheriff in town, ya know?

    If the Aussie dollar is still very strong, maybe this is Fritz-speak for “I’m not a fan of uneconomical rebadging.”

  • avatar

    ajla, this car also never had a hope of being remotely profitable from what I understand. GM should be in the market of selling cars that make it money. Not giving a handful of fans a very expensive car that doesn’t make it money.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Don’t even have to rebadge it, as it sold as Chevrolet Lumina in some countries.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @trishield, Kixstart:

    If that is the case, and the car was a money pit for GM, then that is what Fritz should say. He should say that the G8 program was not profitable and that is why it won’t be moved to another brand. He should also explain how it wouldn’t be profitable if production moved to Oshawa with the Camaro. Finally, he should explain how if the importation of Commodores to sell in showrooms is unprofitable, it makes financial sense for GM to import 30000 Commodores to the US to sell as police cars. If he gives a legitimate argument on these things, I’ll stop my complaining.

    He should not say “I’m not a fan of rebadging” as the reason for not rebranding the car. I personally find that justification insulting when Fritz has thrown his support behind GMC.

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    He should say that the G8 program was not profitable and that is why it won’t be moved to another brand.

    On average, GM sells most of it’s vehicles at a loss. However, the company lost more on a G8 than a Malibu because GM was selling about 36K G8′s a year. If they say they aren’t selling the G8 because it isn’t profitable, it opens them up to the “why are you selling any vehicles?” question.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    I think we have a winner in this years Lutz award. “I’m not a fan of rebadging” is right up there with the best of them. It’s beyond signature material. It’s t-shirt material. It’s lapel pin material. Would fit rather nicely besides that “29%” lapel pin.

  • avatar
    Jason

    Evidently GM only rebadges cars people are indifferent towards. Rebadging a car that people like, to save it? Nah. Too logical.

  • avatar
    lw

    GM’s goal isn’t to make money. The goal is to suffer the least pain. Killing Pontiac was the least painful way to meet task force requirements.

    A major brand (not Saturn, Saab, Hummer) had to go to get the welfare. Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealers needed cars and trucks, so GMC has to stay and then it’s a question of saving either Buick OR Pontiac. So Pontiac dies.

  • avatar

    Fritz is beginning to really become a disappointment. :(

  • avatar

    On average, GM sells most of it’s vehicles at a loss. However, the company lost more on a G8 than a Malibu because GM was selling about 36K G8’s a year. If they say they aren’t selling the G8 because it isn’t profitable, it opens them up to the “why are you selling any vehicles?” question.

    Good question. So why is GM still selling vehicles again?

    RELEVANT INFORMATION: The future of America depends on the answer.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’m still getting over the death of Pontiac. As”lw” pointed out,the lifeboat was overloaded and Pontiac got thrown overboard.

  • avatar
    akear

    Only 17,400 G8 where sold last year.
    Heck, the downsized 85 Riveria sold better than that?

    The G8 will be remember as a damn good car, that sold like Kangaroo poo.

  • avatar
    Will from oz

    No offence taken Edward.

    Australia’s population is too small and perhaps not lead all that well in context of supporting a car industry (acknowledging that smaller countries, for example Sweden does have an established world class industry).

    The Australian division of GM survived off tariffs and fleet subsidy for many years. As tariffs have have been successively reduced they had to rely more on exports to stay afloat. It is now on it’s knees and responding by importing re-branded Korean machines into our market. It is on it’s knees.

    The G8 was a well interpreted concept of the American car, engineered for your market. There was no overt Australian subsidy for the development and production of this machine other than the usual tax evasion loops traditionally used by the Australian sub division in these times; declaring a loss.

    The Government has however given condition funding to placing a ‘green’ car on the Adelaide production line. It is yet another Korean import.

    Ford is largely surviving of fleet sales and some well designed Euro imports.

    Ho hum, be interesting to see what arises from the ashes, if anything.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    Fritz is just another GM Treasurers Office MBA. Just like Rick Wagoner, Jack Smith, and Roger Smith.

    He probably makes the PTFOA comfortable. He will stay for a while.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Pontiac has far better brand awareness in North America than Buick does. Keeping Buick while killing Pontiac is just another of the WTF decisions being made at GM.

  • avatar
    zoneofdanger

    Pontiac has long outsold Buick, whose customers are a bunch of geezers and rental car companies. When they die off, there won’t be anybody left to buy them.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    it was my impression the only reason Buick is still around is that the Chinese seem to love that brand

    i do not know the logistics of killing domestic Buick and keeping Buick as a brand only on the Chinese domestic market but I believe GM must have done their sums and worked out keeping Buick alive was the best choice

    i must question the reality of “GM selling most of its cars at a loss”

    i suppose this is what is killing Chrysler… I am astounded by that $100mil. a week burn thru for Chrysler?

    I’d like to see what the current burn thru is for GM.

  • avatar

    Henderson dismissed the notion that Pontiac’s G8 would be moved to another brand by saying, “I am not a fan of rebadging.

    That would be funny if it weren’t for the Aveo

  • avatar
    nevets248

    “freeway” Fritz..just a rebadged Red Ink Rick!

  • avatar
    The_Mase

    As popular as the G8 seems to be on this website, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single one actually being driven on a real road.

  • avatar
    brapoza

    Zoneofdanger

    Pontiac has long outsold Buick, whose customers are a bunch of geezers and rental car companies. When they die off, there won’t be anybody left to buy them.

    Geezers don’t die off. They are replaced by up and coming geezers like me and you, if we live that long.

    I remember many years ago, squeezing my 6’2″ frame into my MG Midget and going for a spin. Pulling up to some older gentleman in a huge Olds 98 and saying to myself, “Why would anyone buy one of those?” Now if I see one I thing, “Gee that looks comfortable”.

    So be careful because one day you will be happy to be a geezer. It beats the alternative.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Rebadging the G8? Ain’t gonna happen.

    I think it’s more about that elephant in the room, the UAW.

    Play through these cards:
    1. GM needs to import cars to stay alive.
    2. The UAW doesn’t want them to import ANY cars – they want everything built here. Thus the fantasy of the new small car factory that’s to be built.

    3. The G8 didn’t sell well, and the Camaro factory is running full tilt right now – no room for the G8 since it wouldn’t make sense slow down building a car that is going great for a car that doesn’t sell.

    So: You promise the UAW to reduce imports, and YOU want to get rid of cars that aren’t selling. Even if they don’t sell you still have cost for parts inventory to carried etc.

    Dumping the G8 is an easy choice.


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