Friday, April 24, 2009

We Helped KILL Pontiac....

We're not proud of the fact, be we (your humble staff here at DemNation] were among the millions of American auto-buyers who recently purchased a car... but did not buy a GM model. And if we had purchased GM, we would have tended towards Pontiac, because in days gone by we've had Pontiac Firebirds, LeMans, and a 1974 Ventura, as well as other GM models in those body-style catagories. The Ventura was Pontiac's Chevy Nova-sized "small car" for that era, both the 1974 Ventura and Chevy Nova were built like anvils, ever bit as rock-solid as the larger Chevelles and GTOs, but smaller and lighter... and thus potentially faster on the drag strip. Our 1974 Ventura came equipped with a Pontiac factory equipped V-8 "small-block", but Pontiac "small-block" engines in those years were nearly as big as Chevy's full-sized "big-block" engines (think Burt Reynold's Trans-Am 455 cubin inch monster motor from the movie "Smokey & the Bandit"), and while not the best euro-sport handeling machine, the Venturas were... built like anvils, and like other muscle cars of the era, it is no suprise to see them at auto shows, pumping out 300+ hp 35 years later. GM _COULD_ build rock-solid autos 35 years ago, and GM factory workers can still build to any quality that management specifies.
BUT over the past 2 decades, General Motors has INTENTIONALLY made QUALITY & durability a DISTANT PRIORITY in its auto marketing corporate plan.
Chevy has finally bumped its new car warranty coverage up to 100,000 miles "powertrain limited warranty" - but right there in the promo, "LIMITED warranty"- is the FINE-PRINT that could leave customers on the hook for hundreds and thousands of dollars for repairs - EVEN AS THEY ARE MAKING PAYMENTS on their new car loan! (When auto warranties say "POWERTRAIN" coverage - they almost certainly EXCLUDE electrical problems... even when the "powertrain" is 100% dependent on an electrical item!)
Which is EXACTLY why we purchsed one of the cars with a FOUR year BUMPER-TO-BUMPER warranty.. as listed right in GM's own Chevey warranty web-site!!

Simply put, GM management has LESS confidence in the 4th (and even 5th) year quality and durability of their products than other car manufacturers. At a time when auto loans are typically not FIVE years, but now SIX years (from 60 months to 72 months) - that means that GM management wants people to MAKE "new" CAR PAYMENTS, LONG after THEY must bear the burden for any parts failure of their GM product!
Which is exactly why we purchased a made-in-USA import car - because $20,000 is a lot of money, to ask the buyer to be responsible for poor quality or durability of a new car, just 36 months of driving down the road.

GM factory WORKERS _could_ produce that quality, IF GM management RELENTLESSLY IMPROVED the quality and durability of every part, wear item, and system of their cars.
That is a COMMITTMENT that General Motors executives and managers have INTENTIONALLY _NOT_ made over the past 2 decades. And it is the reason that Pontiac and Saturn are being killed off, and American consumers purchase millions of foreign cars every year.
(And, needless to say, GM executives THOUGHT that they were part of the "IN CROWD" of BANKERS and OIL MEN as recently as two years ago, when the stock-market (Dow Jones average) nearly hit 14,000 - GM execs STUPIDLY donating MILLIONS of dollars to corporate lobbyists who SUPPORTED the Bush-Cheney-ENRON-EXXON-GoldmanSachs $4/gallon+ oil prices. When those OUTRAGEOUS gas & oil prices immediately preceeded the financial MARKET MELTDOWNS of 2008, GM executives were left HIGH & DRY by their "Big Finance" friends - who, in the case of CITI-BANK, infamously flew in to Washington to walk away with TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS of NEW BAILOUTS from the (insanely CORRUPT) Obama adminsitration, while the Auto execs were PILLORIED for asking for $15 billion to keep REAL PRODUCTION LINES open.)


GM to pull the plug on Pontiac
The brand credited with originating the muscle car will no longer be part of GM's future, according to a source.
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer
April 24, 2009

NEW YORK ( -- General Motors is preparing to announce that the Pontiac car brand, once marketed as GM's "Excitement division," will be killed off, according to a source familiar with the decision....
In its most recent "viability plan" - which will be updated to reflect this new brand cut - Pontiac was not named as one of GM's four "core brands." Those are Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. But Pontiac was also not to be killed or sold off, as were Saturn, Saab and Hummer.
Instead Pontiac was to continue on as a "niche brand" focusing on just a few models.