Bye-Bye, Vibe

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
bye bye vibe

The GM/Toyota partnership known as NUMMI builds but one vehicle for GM: the Pontiac Vibe. And it will continue to do so. Until the end of August, that is. GM’s announced that’s when they’ll cease production of the Toyota Matrix’ platform mate at the California plant. The press release states “While no replacement for Vibe production has been determined, GM and Toyota remain in active discussions regarding potential future production at NUMMI.” What’s next for NUMMI?

Toyota will keep producing Corollas and Tacomas there, but GM is in talks with three states about facilities to produce their next small car instead of letting NUMMI do it.

So what do you think? Will GM build another Corolla-based car there? (Coradillac?) Or will GM use its bankrupt status to walk away and dump NUMMI on Toyota? And if GM walks, will Toyota cut costs by moving Tacoma and Corolla production somewhere else with lower (i.e., non-UAW) labor costs?

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4 of 36 comments
  • Akear Akear on Jun 19, 2009

    I drove a vibe once and was surprised how noisy and unrefined it sounded. I asked the dealer if was something was wrong with this particular Vibe and he said no. It sounded as coarse as a Quad four. I won't miss it, and judging by average sales not many other people will miss it either.

  • Bryanska Bryanska on Jun 19, 2009

    Wow. That's their most productive plant. Shame.

  • FleetofWheel FleetofWheel on Jun 19, 2009

    Calling the Vibe(or Matrix) 'bloated' is misplaced. The whole point of the car is to provide ample space in an otherwise small car format. The high roof, high seating position, wide opening hatch and fold flat seats and great outward visibility make for a very nice daily car. It's not for enthusiasts who equate cramped seating and narrow windows to be good design. Unfortuantely, the 2nd generation Matrix/Vibe has a tighter front seat and smaller windows and sits lower. One of the design reps for Toyota boasted about the 2nd gen's more steeply curving 'coupe-like' roof. WTF? Talk about working against the car's basic reason for existence. It's as stupid as making a men's size 10 shoe smaller and narrower in a quest for "sportiness". Well, then it's a 9 narrow after the re-design.

  • Sammy Hagar Sammy Hagar on Jun 20, 2009

    Yes, the Vibe drivetrain is a bit louder than I'd like, but it's no different than the Matrix or Corolla (same engine, same trannies, same sound deadening materials). Considering the relative success of the Corolla and Matrix over the same period, I'd have to say that wasn't much of an issue to buyers. Remember: This wasn't a Lexus, it was an econobox Toyota with kidney grill. And to second another posters point, the Vibe holds it's resale value better than most every other GM obviously, a lot of people value it. The only things "GM" about it are the styling cues, the battery and the alternator. Even the coolant is Toyota DEXCOOL (good, very good). Though there seems to a bit of misperception here about what the Vibe exactly is/was, I think the resale market understands that the vehicle is a solid choice. Way to go continue to impress all with your "Bizarro World" business model.