Feds Demanded Death of Pontiac to Secure GM Bailout
It’s one of the greatest performance brand’s America has ever produced and it was killed by politicians. That, at least, is the assertion of former General Motors product boss Bob Lutz in a new interview.
Speaking in a recent interview at the Peterson Museum, Lutz reveals that during the bankruptcy and reorganization of General Motors in 2008, the bailout came at the cost of the Pontiac brand.
“The Feds basically wanted to get GM down to Cadillac and Chevrolet,” he says. After convincing the money lenders that Buick was critical to GM’s success in China and showing them the profitability of GMC, the focus then turned to Pontiac.
Turning no profit in a decade the decision was made. Was it so simple? According to Lutz, yes. “When the guy who is handing you the check for 53 billion dollars says I don’t want Pontiac, drop Pontiac or you don’t get the money, it doesn’t take you very long to make up your mind,” he says.
Lutz laments the decision, commenting that, “I badly wanted to keep Pontiac.” He says the brand was “on its way back” even spilling info on what were then the brand’s future plans, positioning it as a marque with only rear-wheel drive models, with the G8 and Solstice soon to be joined by a new G6 model based off the Cadillac ATS.
Perhaps the blame for the death of Pontiac isn’t all to fall at the feet of beaureaucrats and politicians, however. Lutz does admit that in many ways it was the victim of mismanagement over the decades. “Mechanically there was nothing about a pontiac in the ’90s that would make your heart beat faster,” he s
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