Pontiac: The Demise Felt Around The World

GM's move to shut down Pontiac is hurting more than its dealers.
By Zach Bowman
2009 Pontiac G8 1
2009 Pontiac G8

News that General Motors plans to shut down its “excitement" brand, Pontiac, wasn’t exactly unexpected, but that didn’t stop long-time fans of the home of the Firebird and GTO mourning the loss. There are more people worried about the loss of Pontiac than those nostalgic for the glory days of American Muscle. In a classic case of cutting of its nose to spite its face, GM’s move could end up hurting another one of the company’s brands – Holden.

If you haven’t heard of Holden, you’re not alone. The Australian carmaker has been content to quietly churn out vehicles as a subsidiary of General Motors since 1931. The two manufacturers would occasionally swap models for their respective home markets. In fact, Pontiac’s most recent crack at the beloved GTO was actually a Holden model, the Monaro, and Chevrolet’s 2010 Camaro is an Australian-sourced model, too. 
So what does Pontiac’s death have to do with Holden? One of Pontaic’s biggest successes, the G8, is an Australian-built model. Holden makes good money building VT Commodores on its home turf before crating them up and shipping them to the land of the free. With Pontiac circling the drain, Holden looks to lose a substantial amount of the company’s exports. At the moment, there are plenty of rumors cooking up about Holden making business cases for the Commodore to find a home under GM banners like Cadillac and Chevrolet, but voices from the top of General Motors have made it clear the G8 won’t survive Pontiac’s destruction. 

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