Who Killed Pontiac? Bob Lutz Says the Government Did!

Drop Pontiac or the fat lady gets it, see? Replace fat lady with General Motors and you have the same scenario of what happened in 2009, when GM decided, under the government’s pressure, that Pontiac needs to go... forever.
2006 Pontiac GTO 1 photo
Photo: Pontiac
At least that’s what former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz said in an interview with Autoweek’s Blake Rong last week, adding that Pontiac was intended to have an all rear-wheel drive lineup before being eliminated.

“The Feds basically wanted to get GM down to Cadillac and Chevrolet. They said ‘you don’t need all these brands. You need one prestige brand, and one mass-market brand.’ And we said ‘well we can’t get rid of Buick because Buick is important in China, and if Buick becomes an orphan in the United States then the Chinese are no longer gonna be interested in it.’ And the Feds said ‘Fair enough, but everything else goes.’

[...] the Feds said ‘yeah, let’s just, how much money have you made on Pontiac in the last 10 years?’ and the answer was ‘nothing.’ So, it goes. And, when the guy who is handing you the check for 53 billion dollars says I don’t want Pontiac, drop Pontiac or you don’t get the money, it doesn’t take you very long to make up your mind,” Lutz said.

However, he admits that GM’s mismanagement also played an important role in Pontiac’s demise: “Mechanically, there was nothing about a Pontiac in the 1990s that would make your heart beat faster.”

Story via AutoWeek
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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