DALLAS - More changes are in the works for General Motors, as it faces a June 1st deadline to avoid bankruptcy. The corporation will ask the government to take more than half of its stock in exchange for half of GM's government debt. GM's restructuring plan reduced its automotive companies in half. Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick are now the "four core brands." This will be the final year for Hummers, Saabs and Saturns. It's also the end of the road for Pontiac.
General Motors has been cranking out Pontiacs for more than 80 years. For many people, it's not easy saying goodbye to the company that made classics, like the GTO.
Pontiac Owner, Benjamin Towb, says he remembers the muscle car style from the 70's.
"That style back then, the big car, chrome bumpers, two door, the coups," Towb said.
Pontiac was the first brand he ever owned. He still drives one today. Towb says the news is bittersweet.
"We've got to move forward and sometimes you have to let things go in order to move forward," Towb said.
Despite some promising models, Pontiacs haven't been selling like they use to. In fact, sales are down 20% from last year at both the Dallas and Plano Ewing dealerships. GM plans to hault production by the end of the 2010 calendar year.
GM's president and CEO, Fritz Henderson, says the restructuring move will ultimately slash 21,000 factory jobs by next year.
"You either have a strategy that can win with a brand, given the level of competition we have, or you basically have to stop," Henderson said.
Andre Moore is the General Sales Manager the Dallas "Ewing Buick Pontiac GMC" location. He's been selling Pontiacs for three years.
"From a consumer stand point, it's going to minimize their options, so in that way it may be a detriment to the consumer because they don't have as much to look at," Moore said.
In the short term, not all consumers are worried.
"I think economically it might be a good time to buy a car," said a car shopper in Detroit.
Moore says current and future Pontiac owners shouldn't be concerned about warranties or repairs. He says GM will back them.
"It's a tough thing for me, to see that the Pontiac is gonna be not on the brand, out here on the lot anymore. It's going to be tough," Towb said.
Towb says he's looking on the bright side. He's now the proud owner of a collectors item.
It's the End of the Road for Pontiac
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