Pontiac, R.I.P.

Surely not news, but GM today confirmed that it is shutting down its Pontiac division.

Putting aside for the moment that GM’s entire lineup has been crap for a couple of decades, why Pontiac? Its a youth-oriented marque that has produced some of the most storied vehicles from GM’s past. Look around Williamsburg – a statistically significant percentage of the hot vintage cars you see are probably Pontiacs. Put another way, why not add Buick to the ash heap of history (along with Oldsmobile) – neither bring anything to the table that isn’t already covered the rest of the GM line up (and yeah, both made great cars in the past, but does an aging boomer demographic really need Caddy, Olds and Buick?). Drop the old-folks cars, make Pontiac the performance division, keep Chevy (which will no longer be siphoned off by Pontiac, Buick and Olds), and keep Caddy as the luxury division (but lose the Karl Fischer designs).

GM is also looking to sell Saturn. Brand-wise it was never that well defined, but its the only GM line that doesn’t make typical GM cars. And considering where “typical GM cars” have led the company, maybe they want to be keeping Saturn.

Saab, on the other hand, makes sense to sell off. It was a good company with a distinctive product. GM has only managed to homogenize all the character out of Saab.