Drumroll Please: Pontiac Names G8 Sport Truck


At least they didn't call it El Camino Junior.

After months of excitement that a new car/truck was coming from Pontiac in the form of a Chevy El Camino-type machine — and a flurry of speculation that the car/truck might even revive the El Camino name — Pontiac has picked a moniker: G8 ST.

G8 refers to the fact that the sport truck is based on the G8 car’s platform, while ST indicates that it's a sport truck.

G8 ST won out over names from Pontiac’s past, such as Ventura and LeMans. Some names from the past, however, such as GTO and Firebird, weren't submitted.

"There were some variations using the word ‘fire,’ but none with ‘bird,’" Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson said.

"What about Aztek?"

"Not a lot of votes," Hopson laughed.

It also won out over some Native American names, like Apache and Comanche, that were popular submissions.

And, of course, it won out over names previously taken, like Diablo.

Many, however, expected more.

"Since they had a national contest to name the truck, I thought they'd come up with something really catchy,” Auto Trends analyst Joe Phillippi said. “But to some extent, I'd have to say there doesn't seem to be too much originality behind the name."

Eric Merkle, an analyst with Crowe Chizek and Company, echoed that sentiment.

"G8 ST is straightforward, though not very imaginative," Merkle said. "It's a little surprising since bloggers at the New York auto show handed out campaign buttons to vote for ‘El Camino.’ But that's a name better left for Chevrolet, while G8 ST is in keeping with Pontiac's switch to alpha numeric designations like G5, G6 and G8."

Pontiac says it sifted through more than 18,000 names submitted by nearly 90,000 people in its Tame the Name contest over the past several months.

"Frankly, we were blown away by both the volume and quality of the names submitted," said Craig Bierley, Buick-Pontiac-GMC product marketing director for cars and crossovers. Bierley said G8 ST was "one of the most popular suggestions," and that it was in keeping with a trend toward “simple, easy-to-remember names."

"They could have kept it simple by calling it BBT for Big Boy Toy," Phillippi said, though he said he understands why G8 ST was chosen. "G8 refers to being a member of the car family; ST avoids using the term ‘truck’ that today has negative connotations."

“El Camino” was a sentimental favorite for the return of a car/truck, and was one of the more popular names submitted.

"We actually thought very long about El Camino,” Bierley said. “In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honor the El Camino's unique place as part of Chevy's heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac."

The G8 ST will go on sale late in 2009 as a 2010 model, powered by a 361-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with active fuel management that shuts off four cylinders when they’re not needed.

Why the Sport Truck is Back (KickingTires)

By Jim Mateja | August 14, 2008 | Comments (19)
Tags: Pontiac


Juan Carlos

marketing scheme to create a buzz. "G8 ST" is something a marketing intern comes up during their lunch break. GM person here, but seriously.


Yeah 'ST' is pretty weak considering all the hoopla GM made about the naming of this vehicle. The usual marketing BS and PR I expect from the big 3 now, sad but true.

"Months of excitement". Come on give me a break.

Colin B.

Well then who gets the prize? My name suggestion was BRUT...yeah, I think I could do marketing ;)


Wasn't the name of this truck the G8 ST before the competition? So they didn't pick any of the suggested names and kept the original. Did anyone even win the truck? That was a bunch of wasted hoop-la!!!


"Pontiac says it sifted through more than 18,000 names submitted by nearly 90,000 people..."

And they come up with "G8 ST." No wonder GM is losing money.


a bad name for a "truck" that has limited market appeal


Hmmmm. This really gives the truck a real brand identity... (sarcasm)
So the V8 can be called the G8 ST V8 or perhaps the G8 ST GT or G8 ST GXP.
Really stands out in a crowd. Sometimes these marketing folks just blow me away...

What does ST stand for? Something Terrible, Stinky Turd...I don't know - make up your own.

Way too many cooks...

Someone help me out, I'm having trouble keeping up with GM's incompetence. Are they still pretending Pontiac is their excitement division? They're sending a lot of mixed signals: they keep unveiling performance vehicles while simultaneously slapping the Pontiac badge on every rental car they can make. Does GM even know anymore?


I get it. They really couldn't think of a name so they called it Some Thing.

Troy S.

ST = Same Trend...... as in the (S)ame (T)rend in making half-assed decisions.

On the other hand, negative publicity is better than no publicity. GM needs all the help it can get.


I submitted "G8 Nemesis", I thought it sounded cool!!


Shitty Truck?


i wonder if they'll be sending the HSV Maloo ute its the fastest ute in the world, faster than the V10 Dodge Ram SRT10, not the most work practicle ute, but bloody fast.


Such origionality - GM sucks!

Keith O

Pontiac G8 ST. How very disappointing. Pontiac could have had something evocative, powerful, distinctive, MEMORABLE. Instead, they decided to continue the trend of boring, meaningless alphanumeric names that do absolutely NOTHING to revive the Pontiac image. Sad. Very sad.


How could G8 ST have been one of the most popoular entries when it said on the entry form that you couldn't use numbers. I guess it was all just a marketing farce. It kinda pisses me off. Same 'ol GM.


a v8 that cuts back to 4 cyl when not needed bbbbssss i'd have that taken out of the program if I want a 4 cyl I'd buy one.

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App