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Pontiac looks doomed


The King and his Pontiac: 1992, the last ride (Photo: RacingOne/Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   Pontiac, once one of NASCAR's proudest GM brands, with from the days of legendary Fireball Roberts through the Richard Petty years and the Rusty Wallace era, is apparently headed for the history books, and Detroit's boot hill.
   The Wall Street Journal is reporting that General Motors has plans to kill off the Pontiac brand, apparently under pressure from the Obama administration.



Legendary Fireball Roberts' 1962 Daytona 500 winning Pontiac, built by Smokey Yunick (Photo: NASCAR/Daytona)



Let's not blame the current

Let's not blame the current administration for the demise of Pontiac. GM has taken years to screw this thing up...it just didnt happen. They have to get rid of some brands to stay alive...Pontiac, Buick, Saturn all had to go.

Oh, i know you're both right

Oh, i know you're both right on this point -- because I made the same point to GM exec John Middlebrook when he made the call to take Pontiac out of NASCAR a few years ago: I told Middlebrook that was a major marketing mistake, because of Pontiac's demographics -- youth, excitement, yada-yada....NASCAR should have told Middlebrook no on that call. This sport needs more brand identities and more brands. If I were Brian France, I'd be talking with Honda and VW; heck, he probably ought to be over in Italy talking with Fiat. And, sorry, i'm just not buying all this detroit doom and gloom. Yes, a bunch of those cars are just dumb gas guzzlers, and detroit hasn't learned many lessons over the years (does that sound like someone else we know? ), but if Obama would do what the Germans just did -- give a $3200 check to anyone buying a new, fuel-efficient car -- the car market would bounce back in a heartbeat. I know -- because I'm in the market for a new car myself.....And after writing those checks -- not to Detroit but to car buyers themselves, to let the market itself decide who makes the right cars --- I'd get rid of these common template COTs, raise the nose of these stock cars about seven inches, to give crew chiefs some room to play....and throw away about 10 or 12 pages of that darned rule book. Did anyone in Daytona notice that the Phoenix 500 TV ratings were a dismal 3.4 last weekend? NASCAR's promoters are getting on the stick and making things happen...but NASCAR officials need to give them a product on the track that people want to see.....

Too many cookie cutter

Too many cookie cutter designs in GM and their brands. The sad thing is that the G8 is the best looking GM car on the road right now.

Honda is coming, Mike. If

Honda is coming, Mike. If Brian France hasn't started lobbying Honda already he will be, and Honda won't take Toyota winning lying down. I'm not buying the Detroit gloom and doom either, since as Michael Perry's blog has noted, their overseas sales are quite strong. The fuel efficient cars issue is oversold because fuel efficiency is generally better than people give credit for. If Obama is telling GM to drop Pontiac, it's # umpteen examples of what a fool he is between this, calling off the war on Islamo-Arab imperialism - i.e. Terrorism - telling our enemies how we interrogate thugs, and pushing a hideously inept excuse of a bloated budget.

Nearly fifty years ago, a

Nearly fifty years ago, a friend of mine bought a new 1961 Pontiac Bonneville. 389 with 3 2 barrel carbs. it would fly, sounded good, and was clean and sleek. I was extremely jealous. Pontiac went downhill from there and have finally reached bottom. That was before Obama was born so don't blame him. When GM builds a pickup that is as good as my Tundra I and a lot of other people will buy one.

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