Earlier this week General Motors produced its last Pontiac for the U.S. market, ending the brand’s 82 year run. The final vehicle to roll off the assembly line at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25th at the Orion Township plant was a rather unspectacular white G6 sedan which is scheduled to be sold to a fleet. It’s hardly the sort of send-off one might expect for a brand that has produced such memorable legends as the GTO and Firebird.
There was no pomp and circumstance as the last 100 vehicles rolled off the line and no GM executive was on hand.
The Pontiac brand was highlighted for elimination on April 27, as a part of General Motors’ viability plan. GM agreed to kill-off Pontiac and try and find buyers for Saab, Saturn and Hummer in exchange for a bailout by the U.S. and Canadian governments. To date, both the Saab and Saturn deals have fallen through, leading to the scheduled elimination of Saturn with the same fate likely for Saab. The sale of Hummer to Chinese heavy machinery company Sichuan Tengzhon is still pending.
Watching the Pontiac brand come to an end isn’t an unfamiliar event for may of the plant workers, as many of them were building Oldsmobiles when GM decided to retire than brand in 2000. For workers there is a glimmer of hope as GM has announced that in 18 months it will begin producing a new small car at the same facility.
In the mean time, the plant will stay open as it wraps up final production of the Pontiac G3 Wave, which is sold in Canada.
Since the brand’s inception in 1926 it is estimated to have sold as many as 41 million cars.