By on December 29, 2009

You're getting a rebate, and you're getting a rebate....

According to Reuters, GM has sent a letter to its dealers offering $7,000 for every new Saturn or Pontiac they can move to a rental or service fleet between now and January 4. The plan would essentially make dealers the first buyer of the remaining Pontiacs and Saturns, which would then be operated as fleet vehicles or be sold as low-mileage used cars. In any case, the single objective is clear: get those dead brands off the books at all costs. With 7,900 vehicles left at Pontiac as of the 14th of December and upward of 5,000 left at Saturn as of the beginning of the month, the cost to GM could easily approach $100m. But as they say in the advertisements, their loss is your gain…. as long as you’re interested in one of the G6s or Auras that dominate the dead-brand straggler inventory. Where’s Oprah when you need her?

On a happier note, Automotive News [sub]’s data shows 1,000 new G8s left in America as of the beginning of December. If you’re in a haggling mood, this might just be the time to get a screaming deal on the best Pontiac in decades.

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39 Comments on “GM Launching Dead Brand Fire Sale...”


  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    And remember folks, every one of those $7000 packages GM are offering dealers comes from the U.S and Canadian taxpayer.

  • avatar
    texlovera

    Actually getting $7K off MIGHT make a G8 worth it.

    But what’s the likelihood of being able to get parts for one of these things in 2/5/10 years?  Thoughts, anyone (perhaps Intrigue/Alero owners)??

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      2 and 5 years – pretty good. 10 years – not so much. Unless G8 owners band together and do special orders for parts in volume from the factory or specialty manufacturers. The Intrigue and Alero are not the best examples because they were much more mainstream cars and shared parts with other GM models that were still made. Think Pontiac G6 and Aura – lots of parts for those in the coming years, except for trim specific parts.

    • 0 avatar
      Slow_Joe_Crow

      Since the G8 is basically a lightly retrimmed LHD Holden Commodore, as long as Holden remains alive and viable, mechanical/electrical parts and most body and trim items should be available from Australia.  The hard stuff would be US specific electronics, lights and body/trim, although in a pinch you could always use Commodore sheet metal since there were some kits on the market to convert G8s to Commodores, and Holden is currently using left over Pontiac noses on some of  their HSV high performance models.

  • avatar
    mjz

    They will have to do better than that with some of the models, I recently saw a Pontiac G3 (a.k.a Aveo) with modest options stickered at over $18,000. Can you imagine they were trying to get $18,000 for that little Korean built turd of a car?

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      +$7000 rebate, lol.  I would consider a bare bones manual transmission G3 (less power crap to break down.)  But only at about $7000 out the door.  Why would I commute in a G3 when an Accent is about $10,000 and has a superior warranty.  BTW G3s, Vibes, and maybe one G8 is all my local Pontiac dealer seems to have left.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Maybe Susan Dougherty needs to give Oprah a call, she could buy all of them and do another give away. 

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Pathetic and sickening. To think GM squandered gobs of money and resources for Saturn, let Pontiac rot on the vine with pathetic Korean cloned Aveos and Toyota Matrixes,  putting Saab out to pasteur, killed Oldsmobile, the F-bodies, the B-bodies etc etc.  The head execs at GM should be holding there heads in total shame at the sheer stupidity going on at GM for the past upteen years. No wonder they can’t give away GM’s mistakes at anything other than firesale prices.

  • avatar
    detlump

    Of course, the people responsible for these debacles, either got a golden parachute already or are still in charge.  I feel sorry for the guys in the cubicles and the plants who have no control over these terrible decisions.  They suffer the most, as always.  What should happen is the nationalization of both companies, put everyone on the govt pay scale, and cancel retirement for these mgt types who made the bonehead decisions.  I’d rather see tax paypayer money go to people doing something than sitting at home on unemployment.

    • 0 avatar
      tirving

      I suspect you’re just venting, detlump, but….

      The UAW workers have been extremely overpaid for their entire careers.  They are as much to blame as management.  No tax money to anyone.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean23

      re: tirving; name three UAW jobs where the Worker was “extremely” overpaid. Please, cause I need to quit my job and go to work there.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    In this heartland US city, the GM dealers are not certain who would be servicing or responsible for these cars. Not only are our Saturn and Pontiac dealerships dead, our Buick, Chevrolet and GMC dealerships are up in the air regarding their own future. Buick switched dealers, and the largest Chevrolet dealership is on a short list to be culled due to low consumer scores.

    So, it doesn’t matter what the saving are for the 150,000 folks in this city. We can’t buy a GM car since GM doesn’t have a clue how or by whom these cars are to be sold.

    This is an American car town. If GM handles us this badly, how can they possibly continue to exist?

    I will not be buying another GM, regardless of price, after having purchased five over the past decade.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Indeed. My mom’s Olds Aurora is similarly orphaned. The Chevrolet dealer won’t touch G-Bodies or Northstar engines, the Cadillac-Buick dealer wants $100/hr for labor and often cannot get the Aurora-specific parts we need. I usually have to buy online from parts warehouses, eBay, or junkyards. Of course (knock on wood) it hasn’t needed much, but it’s a 2001 built in November 2000, so it’s already into its tenth year in the world.
       
      The G8 is probably built with similar care, will probably hold up to use in a similar manner (i.e. not particularly well – it has less than 60,000 mi on it and it’s looser in every way than a Japanese equivalent with three times the mileage), and the parts will absolutely be harder to come by, since the Aurora uses the G-Body platform, corporation-wide transmission, and a derivative of the Northstar engine (only a few internal casting parts are specific to the 4.0L L47 Aurora V8 vs. the 4.6L L37/LD8 Northstar engines). The rest of the lineups for Oldsmobile and Pontiac are badge-engineered. Same for Saturn, excepting the second-gen Vue and (all twelve) Astras.

    • 0 avatar
      camoeto

      KalapanaBlack:

      Not sure why you think parts for the G8 will be “will absolutely be harder to come by” than parts for the Aurora. The G8 uses very common GM engines LY7/L76/LS3 and transmissions 5L40/6L80/TR6060. If anything those engines and transmissions with the possible exception of the LS3 will be easier to find and cheaper to fix than the Northstar. A lot of interior components and sheet metal from the Australian VE Commodore can also be retrofitted on the G8 as has been shown on the G8 message boards.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    GM should include Buick and Cadillac in this promotion/giveaway.  No one’s buying
    those brands, either.

  • avatar

    so scik of people calling for Buick closure when it is the premier domestic marque and so rich in history. biggest drag is misunderstanding as part of a failed GM.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      I’m sorry Buickman, but I feel/felt the same way about Oldsmobile and it didn’t do anything to stop it’s closure.  I hope Buick survives because it deserves to.  My 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with a 307V8 was the best car I ever owned.  And the 307V8 of Oldsmobile and the 3.8V6 from Buick are the best GM engines of the last 30 years.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean23

      Unfortunately these storied engines and cars do not excuse the turd pile of Firenzas, Achievas, Rendezvous, and Skylarks that these brands unloaded onto the American public. Your happiness seems more a diamond in the rough.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Olds 307, best GM engine oh hahaha that is rich…3.8 sure, but the Olds 307??? that thing had less power than most all of the 3.8s and was just a debored holdover from the 70s for the BOP group.

  • avatar
    mjz

    The difference is that GM actually makes money with Buick. Saturn/Saab were never, ever profitable. Pontiac was on the right road with the G8 (of course they went into the ditch with crap like the G3), but it was too little, too late. The closure of Pontiac is truly the tragedy here. Buick is GM’s best seller in China and will do well here with the infusion of new products coming.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I wonder how this affects the vehicle’s warranty?  I believe the extended GM warranty is transferable only between individual/normal owners, and becomes void when the vehicle becomes part of an operating fleet.  If you’re buying the “low mileage” Pontiac, would you only get covered to the 3/36 term?

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    Sales stats speak for themselves.

    http://www.autoobserver.com/2009/12/the-decades-winners-and-losers-the-data.html

    Buick sold 446 thousand cars in the U.S. just a decade ago and now it can’t even scrounge up 1/4 of that amount. If it wasn’t China, Buick would be dead already, just like Pontiac, Olds, Saturn and Saab.

    Not enough older folks left who give two sh11ts about Buicks anymore, and with the way they are priced nowadays, might as well be buying Cadillacs.

  • avatar
    GrandCharles

    I just pass by the Saturn dealer in Sherbrooke, Québec. All closed down, no even a sign outside. So sad, this was there for 17 years, and now it’s all gone. I still believe that name is worth something for some automaker. If my hometown is any sign of what’s coming, the chevrolet dealer (used to be the biggest) place is now a kia. Hyundai is right in front with a big nice place too. The others have not move….yet? On another front, i am pleased to say that we have two fiat 500 at the chrysler dealer…one red (base)and one white(deluxe)…they look like used european version…much smaller than i had tought…looks good! 

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      I think you’re correct, one of the local ChryCo dealers (at various times the largest in the US) has converted the big lot into Hyundai/Kia and the small lot over to ChryCo and they stopped advertising for ChryCo (At the same time continuously running “buy Hyundai now, no down and don’t pay any money until tax time”, makes me wonder if Hyundai is getting greedy and buying market share at this point in the same way as Mitsu a few years ago)

  • avatar
    mjz

    I’m really surprized one of the Chinese companies didn’t buy the Saturn brand. It  was a top notch dealer network with a sterling reputation. Opportunity missed.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I find it hard to believe there are only 7900 Pontiacs left. The dealer around the corner from me must have 200+ G6s.I drove by another recently, and there were a similar amount.  Considering there are hundreds of dealers out there…seems the number is too low. Of course, I live in Warren, Mi. We tend to have GM products falling out of our asses around here.

  • avatar
    50merc

    I like bargains. So tell me, B&B, is a “final clearance” 2009 G6 at about $14,500 or a G5 for even less money a good deal for a new (but dead brand) car to schlep around in? Sure, there are better cars out there, but they don’t have $7,000 rebates.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I personally wouldn’t get the 2.4L/4-spd auto version.  Otherwise, I’d say go for it (as long as you plan to keep it for awhile).
       
      FWIW, I think that GM’s 2.4L/6-spd auto setup is very nice.  If you can’t find a fire sale G6 equipped as such, see if you can find an Aura with that combo.

      Also, the Aura XR with the 3.6L and brown leather interior is a pretty nice car (if you can find one).

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      If you intend to “drive the doors off of it” (150,000 or 300,000 miles) and don’t get bored with a car every couple of years and then get upset about the crap resale value, then the G6 or G5 would be a good choice.  The Cobalt (which the G5 is based on) seems to have good reliability (if not a world-class driving experience) and G6s are everywhere around here, the owners seem to like them.  My girlfriends mother had one and the only reason she ditched it after 40,000 miles was she preferred something with a higher “hip point” which caused her to trade it for a Torrent (what can I say, she loves Pontiac.)

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy Hagar

      I sold my ’06 G6  (which I bought used, as a program car) w/49k miles and 3.5L V6 for $9999 (cash);  put it up for sale on a Friday, sold it on Monday and still had people calling all week about it.  Now that was for a car that wasn’t very special at all (blah-silver w/hideous black interior), but in excellent shape.  So, though it’s not for me, I’d have to say that an ’09 G6 w/5 year powertrain warranty (it is that, right?) for $14,500 might not be a bad deal…especially considering it was Pontiac’s biggest seller for the last five years and there are like 600,000 of them out there (read:  parts).  Of course, you’d only buy a G6 if you were going to drive it to death…no point thinking about resale value at all.  But what other 4-door sedan that size can be had for that price?

      Now if I could get an AWD Vibe for that same price, I’d snap it up; I have much more faith in a NUMMI-built Corolla platform than any of the other Pontiacs available. Plus, you’ll be able to get many parts at Toyota…not to mention, there are millions of Corollas and Matrixs (sic?) out there. Silly GM…

  • avatar
    skcusmg

    They should include all their brands, they’re all turds anyway!

  • avatar
    NickR

    What was the dealership arrangement like in the US? Here in Canada it used to be Saturn-SAAB-Isuzu. Talk about snake eyes…

    ‘they can move to a rental or service fleet’ why just them? I don’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Saturn usually stood alone.  Saab I haven’t seen enough dealers to know, although one in Albuquerque was a Cadillac, Saab, Subaru dealer.  Isuzu?  Even before they disappeared from NA I can’t remember the last time I saw one, I think there was one in Farmington, NM that was part of a big mega-dealer.
      In the US it’s GMC-Pontiac-Buick and Chevy-Cadillac (although at one time it was Chevy-Cadillac-Oldsmobile).  There are a few stand alone dealers but it’s becoming few and far between.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Nice, GM. They’re getting rid of them, but this won’t up their “declining” fleet sales figures, since GM counts delivery to a dealer as a “sale.” If the dealer shuttles it on to Hertz or Avis, GM rings up their weakly defined “sale” as retail.
     
    Also, Hertz has been getting tons of new GMs. I don’t know if they’re coming from dealers, too, but we’ve been getting ’10 Impalas, G6s, Malibus, Traverses, Cobalts, Aveos, and Equinoxes like it’s going out of (business?) style. Not much else coming in, except for Nissan Versas (though no other Nissan products).

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The only vehicle that would remotely be a ‘good deal’ would be the Toyota Matrix-based Pontiac Vibe and, oddly, from the inventory search feature on the Pontiac website, it’s not listed.

    Are the Vibes actually all gone or is this some subtle manipulation by GM to unload their crappier lines of vehicles?

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      That looks to be the case.
      On the Pontiac website,  when you click on Vibe and Torrent, they both say that they are only available used, so all new units for both are gone… forevever!

  • avatar
    NickR

    Rudiger you can still configure and search the inventory for the Pontiac Vibe here in Canada (that and the G3 and G5).  So, maybe you can swing the same deal on a grey market import. :)


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