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Struggling automaker wants out of joint project with Toyota
With the Pontiac brand gone, GM is looking to get out of its arrangement with Toyota that spawned the Vibe/Matrix models
In stark contrast to official statements by General Motors reps (and to a story we ran yesterday) the struggling U.S. automaker does indeed want out of the joint project with Toyota that saw the creation of the Vibe/Matrix.
Word comes at GMInsideNews reports that it has obtained a list of four of the six plants General Motors plans to shut down or idle as a part of its new viability plan. Included on that list are the Wilmington, Orion and Pontiac plants… as well as the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) facility in Fremont, CA.
Just yesterday Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson stated that GM is in talks with Toyota about the shared NUMMI project and that ideally GM would like to collaborate on another vehicle.
“We’re clearly not backing away from our partnership at NUMMI,” Hopson said. “There’s no issue of us backing away from NUMMI.”
But apparently there is.
GMInsideNews is reporting that their sources say GM wants out of NUMMI entirely. And to stoke the flames of that fire even further the source claims that were GM to go into bankruptcy, its part of the NUMMI facility would wind up in the “BadGM” pile.
With news today that the Pontiac brand will in fact be eliminated, General Motors is eager to get working with Toyota to build a new shared platform to replace the Vibe.
The Vibe is to GM what the Matrix is to Toyota, and both models come from an evenly shared joint venture known as New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. or NUMMI.
Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson told Automotive News that the company is currently in talks with Toyota to develop a new platform and says General Motors will stand behind its commitments to the NUMMI project.
“We’re clearly not backing away from our partnership at NUMMI,” Hopson told Automotive News. “There’s no issue of us backing away from NUMMI.”
The plan is to develop another shared platform with Toyota that would be sold under one of the four remaining GM brands: Chevy, GMC, Buick or Cadillac. There is no word on what sort of a vehicle this new model might be, especially as the Vibe/Matrix fit a perfect nice segment for both companies, situated somewhere between a compact sedan, a mid-sized sedan and a crossover/SUV.
The obcvious solution, in the mean time, would seem to be a rebadging of the Vibe as a Chevy model, but for some reason General Motors isn’t interested. Instead GM is set on washing its hands of the vehicle despite how successful it has been for the company.
There’s really nothing wrong with the Vibe,” Hopson said. “Its only problem right now is that it is a Pontiac.”
[Source: Automotive News]