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Contrary to recent reports that the Vibe would be the sole Pontiac model to continue on into 2010, General Motors has now decided to end production of the utilitarian vehicle early. Production of the Vibe at the GM/Toyota joint-venture New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated (NUMMI) facility will end this August.
Several weeks ago GM’s interim CEO Fritz Henderson stated that the G8 would not continue on past 2009, while other reports highlighted the elimination of the G3 and G5. The G6 will be offered to rental, corporate and government fleets.
There is no official word on when the Solstice, but it is also expected to be phased-out this year as GM seems dedicated to eliminating the Pontiac brand before 2010 even gets started.
GM continues to reiterate that it wants to work with Toyota to develop another shared platform at the NUMMI facility. Toyota may, however, have its hands full with the upcoming Toyota-Subaru project.
The 2010 model lineup for the soon-to-be-terminated Pontiac brand will consist of just one model – the Vibe.
Recently GM interim CEO Fritz Henderson reiterated the company’s position that the G8 would not carry on as either a Buick, Chevy or Cadillac. The G3 and G5 will also cease production this year, while the G6 will only be made available to government, corporate and rental car fleets.
There has been no word lately on the Solstice model. GM had made it known that it would consider offers for the Solstice (as well as the Saturn Sky and Opel GT) as a separate entity, but with the sale of Saturn to Penske, that now seems unlikely.
In an effort to spice up sales of the final run of the Vibe, Pontiac will offer the car with air conditioning standard, and make it available in a new color – Ignition Orange.
GM’s official line is that it wants to work with Toyota on a new vehicle to build at the joint GM-Toyota NUMI plant in California where sister cars the Vibe and Martix are produced, but our sources have indicated that GM wants out.
While the Vibe is a great car, we hope the sad irony of a vehicle built for utilitarian purposes being the last one offered by the company’s performance brand is not lost on the folks at GM.
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]