GM to Ax Saturn, Neuter Pontiac
The biggest consumer news immediately evident in the plan GM just submitted to the U.S. government in hopes of securing additional funding for a restructuring includes the elimination of Saturn as a brand. Dealers will stay open through 2011, but product development overall will cease. That means 2010 and 2011 Saturn models will just be newly minted versions of what’s already available, and they may or may not receive minor updates, like added safety features.
Pontiac will cease to exist as a separate brand inside GM, and instead will exist as a nameplate only, sold through GM’s combination Buick, GMC and Pontiac dealerships, which have been consolidated over the past few years. The company will reduce the number of Pontiac models to just a few “niche” products, presumably performance-oriented cars like the new G8 sedan that they can borrow from existing global platforms. That move would limit development costs.
The future of Saab and Hummer isn’t as clear, but they’ll most likely be sold off or discontinued entirely.