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General Motors Is Blind to Pontiac Potential

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On: Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 2:34PM | By: Gary P Garry

General Motors Is Blind to Pontiac Potential

Many young people today are completely unaware of the one time existence of the Pontiac division of General Motors. This division, which dates back to 1926, is named for a Native American chief who also lent his name to the city of Pontiac, Michigan. The Pontiac name became a deeply embedded part of the American automotive landscape for many decades, but the company decided to scrap the division in 2009 during the height of the financial crisis of that era.

The Detroit “Big Three” was on its heels at that time, and it took a highly controversial government bailout to save the day. Since then, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler have regained their footing to a large extent. Current versions of classic muscle cars from the past have been a large part of this resurgence. For the Ford Motor Company, there is the Mustang, including the beastly Shelby GT 350 sports car. The Dodge division of Chrysler Motors is is in the running with the popular juvenated Charger and Challenger. Over at the Chevrolet division of General Motors, you have the venerable Corvette, and there is also the eye-catching Camaro.

Pontiac was actually right in the middle of the muscle car movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. They produced the Firebird (particularly the Trans Am), and they also developed the Pontiac GTO. You may recall the name of John DeLorean, a visionary who founded an eponymously named upstart company in 1975. Prior to that, he was actually a Pontiac executive who was instrumental in the development of the GTO.

Since Ford, the Dodge division of Chrysler, and Chevrolet have had such success with their venerable muscle car models brought into the present, I see a missed opportunity when it comes to the Pontiac Firebird and the GTO. I would imagine that a reprisal of the Firebird and the GTO would generate a great deal of interest. At the present time, I drive a 2014 Chevy Camaro; if I was in the market for a new car, I would definitely want to take a long look at a GTO or Trans Am, if new versions of these cars were made available to me.

Time will tell if General Motors decides to bring these legendary models back to life.


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