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October 31st, 2010 was the expiration date for the agreement between General Motors and its dealerships. Pontiac is officially closed its door for good as of yesterday after 84 years in business. Pontiac was formed in 1926 with its down in the 1950 that almost killed it, and had its up when GM engineers took the Tempest and put a powerful V8 engine in it. This started a new generation of sports cars called the GTO in 1960.
Since last year as General Motors fell into bankruptcy, it decided to kill the Pontiac brand due to dismal sales. Actually before bankruptcy, Pontiac’s sales had fallen from its pinnacle of about one million units in 1968 for its sports cars. At the pinnacle, Pontiac was making huge sales with its GTO, Trans AM and Catalina models. The Pontiac brand was dubbed as the star the era with its powerful engined cars. To further help boosted Pontiac sales, the 1970 “Smokey and the Bandit” hit movie featured the Firebird Trans Am catapulted it into stardom.
But by late 1980s, Pontiac has lost its edge by producing cars that were made with GM’s less powerful engines. The end result was a Pontiac car that looked and drove like any other GM cars. Since then, the boring rides continued to pour in with each iteration. This alone didn’t kill the Pontiac brand just yet. Gasoline prices went up in the 1970s that led American automakers to design more compact cars with more fuel-efficient engines to compete with Japanese automakers in the U.S.
Pontiac was never the same again even with some success since the last 30 years. Pontiac never got its image back since GM decided to re-badge its Chevrolet cars with the Pontiac brand.
Although the agreement expired, GM dealers will carry on to service the cars and honor its warranties for all the Pontiac cars, but any new Pontiac cars that remain on dealer lots will be considered used cars by GM. So if you were to purchase a brand new Pontiac right now, you will not get the full warranty.
One man’s nightmare is another man’s dream. If you just need a car to drive and don’t care much about a dead car brand, now it is a good time to buy those remaining new Pontiac cars. They could cost about $6,000 to $8,000 less from the original sticker price.