Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

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Thread: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

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    GMI Australia Correspondent Premium Member mikmak's Avatar
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    Question Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    The GTO got crapped on because it used an old Pontiac name with a legendary history. Does anyone think that it would have done better with a name free from heritage? Would the G8 have done better or worse if it had have used the Bonneville or Grand Prix nameplates?

    Just interested to see what people thought.
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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    I think so. Continuing some sort of name recognition from either Grand Prix or Bonneville probably would have made a difference in G8 sales, although I'm not sure which would have been better to draw name equity from. It seems as if it would have made more sense to continue the Grand Prix name (since it lasted up to the G8's introduction), on the other hand, Bonneville was more of a full-size at the end of its run.

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    I think many here would say "Yes, it would have sold better as a Grand Prix or Bonneville." If this was 1999, I would say yes. My answer now is: I really don't think so. This is my reasoning: Over this decade both the Bonneville and Grand Prix monikers had been severely damaged as they were looked upon as fleet queens with ridiculously shoddy interiors and rather bland exteriors. I know there are Pontiac faithful who would have looked past this. But the American buying public in general would not. Simply put, because of Pontiac's recent history as the fleet queen and not the legendary performance king, American buyers would not pay $30k+ for ANY Pontiac, regardless of the model's name... Not in any big number anyway.

    I believe the GTO suffered the same fate. I know there are many who say it "wasn't a real GTO." Honestly, I believe the '04-'06 GTO had more in common with the original '64 GTO than the second generation Goats did. That is, it was a rather blandly styled mid-size coupe with a big ol' powerful engine stuffed under the hood. (The '06 model is my favorite car of this decade, by the way) I know down in Australia everyone knows what the Monaro could do. But here in the States the last gen GTO was a sleeper. I never understood the argument: "It doesn't look like a GTO." Well, the second gen GTO didn't look like the first... Not at all. The second and third gen Firebirds didn't look like the first gen Firebirds either. The same with the Grand Prix, Bonneville, etc.... I mean, it's not like Pontiac did what Dodge had done with the Charger and made it a 4 Door sedan. The Goat was still a mid-size coupe with tons of power ready to be unleashed. No, the GTO name didn't kill the last gen Goats. The fact that it was a Pontiac priced in the low $30k's, and that it was styled a little blandly for American tastes sealed its fate.

    BTW: I am a huge fan of Pontiac... I'm just stating what is currently the perception of the brand in the minds of the American public.
    Last edited by Quixote88; 06-01-2009 at 01:27 AM.

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    The name doesn't really makes that much difference.

    Grand Prix - can't use that name because the last Grand Prix was considerably cheaper.
    Bonneville - plausible, but its not like there's a vast army of people sitting on their wallets waiting for a new Bonnie

    Of course G8 is also dumb, because the car didn't really share much with the other G* models.

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    Bonneville is a much more respected name in the market than Grand Prix. Though Grand Prix name was cheapened by a succession of soggy W-body heaps. The umpteenth example of destroying once-strong brand credibility.

    The G8 would have made a fine Bonneville. A "G8ised" Statesman even more so!

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    I would have liked a G8 with styling cues from the previous Bonneville along with the name. The G8 along with it's meaningless name had bland stark looking BMW styling that just didn't quite ring a bell with me and many consumers. This car was purchased mainly for it's tire shreading V8, excellent drive and decent interior on up level leather equipped models. Few G8 owners I have surveyed bought it for exterior styling. I don't think Pontiac ruined the 00-05 Bonneville or the name. It was a nice looking sporty car at the time and the name had customer recognition unlike G8 which the majority of the buying public had no clue what it was. Buick screwed up the same way with the LeSabre and Park Ave buy making one replacement called Lucerne which again nobody except us car savvy folks knew what it was.

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    The G8 should have been named Bonneville. It is most like the image and role that the Bonneville had, and if it were properly advertised, would have sold well.
    Something on the nature of "It's not your father's Bonny." Or
    "Re-birth of a Legend, a Bonneville for the 21st Century." Or "
    Check it out: Great performance? Check.
    Great ride? Check.
    Acclaimed handling? Check.
    Legendary power? Double Check.
    Get it now, Bonneville, the past and future legend, here now!"
    Last edited by Dr.Show-Me; 06-01-2009 at 09:00 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    GM shouldve learned a big lesson from Honda/Acura. When Acura decided to change its lineup from Legend/Integra/(forget the other one) they took a huge sales hit which lasted quite a few years.

    They have since rebounded, but completely changing brand recognition overnight is a silly thing to do.

    GM had Pontiac follow in Acuras footsteps. G6, G5, G8..........Grand Prix, Grand Am, and Bonneville should never have been retired. The GTO came out when you could also get a hot Grand Prix GTX or the GTP...........

    Anyhow - no sense discussing it anymore. I hope Chevy doesnt decided to rebrand everything again to make things 'fresh'.............
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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    Dumping the names like Bonneville, Grand Prix, etc. and going with the confusing
    alphabet soup monikers was a giant mistake!

    Driving away loyal Pontiac buyers and making no impact or favorable impressions
    with new or import buyers!

    Buick is no better.................

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    I always thought it would have felt more honest for the Monaro to be called
    GTOz
    or GTAu (pronounced "ow" as in ouch)
    &
    imho using more "GT_" labels would've been better than the "G" monikers
    G8 >> GT8
    G6 >> GT6
    altho
    the return of the GrandPrix & Bonneville Names is something I'd like
    don't believe they're appropriate for any recent/current vehicles...
    (broken record)
    ...would kind of like to see them as top-trim-level package designators tho
    along with LeMans, Tempest, etc
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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    I'd like to say yes, that the G8 would do better as a Bonny or a G. Prix, but I'm inclined to say no.

    The reason I think that this is the case is that with few exceptions, such as the Fiero & Firebird, and Aussie GTO, Pontiacs of late have mainly been about looking sporty instead of acting sporty. Sure the G8 looked sporty and agressive in the Pontiac fashion, but it actually had the moves to back up the looks. Only problem is that Pontiac buyers found out a real sporting vehicle actually costs money, and the G8 stickered at far more then they were willing to pay. Certainly far more then the Grand Prix which it effectively replaced.

    Being RWD only did not help either. Of course, we all know that while most real car enthusiasts will prefer RWD, FWD and body cladding works better for the posers.

    Take what I say with a grain of salt, because I actually like Pontiacs! It's just sad that so many of their latest vehicles have been all talk and no action.
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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    I don't think the name was the problem.

    The Grand Prix name has really been attached to a different kind of car and would have required a significant advertising/marketing push to get people to understand that the G8 was a real step up and beyond the GP.

    The Bonneville name could have possibly worked if Pontiac had not gone to a different naming scheme, but I don't think the name resonates the way it once did having been attached too long for cars that, at best, could be described as "sporty".

    Even the base G8 is beyond that -- its a sports sedan.

    Really, the car was/is good enough that if it had the proper marketing/advertising push (and the entire economy hadn't imploded) it probably could have found a solid following. GM couldn't (and can't) afford to do either ... and a different name wouldn't have changed that.

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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    For me, the car simply looked dated and derivative and anonymous, with that tacked on split-nostrils grille the only thing about it that looked even vaguely "Pontiac". Calling it Grand Prix might have helped sales....I don't know. But that would not have helped me to like the looks of the car.
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    Nope - It wasn't the name, ...

    ...by the time the G8 was released Pontiac's name had fallen to far to be saved.



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    Re: Would the G8 have fared better as Bonneville or Grand Prix?

    Absolutely, positively NOT.

    Debate the specific G8 name all you want, but the answer was never, ever strapping it with all the negative stigma of an OLD name. It, again, hasn't sold at Camry numbers (a comparo I like to use often), but it actually has sold pretty well for the market it was in, dealing with both the GM and the Pontiac factor. It offered something at a price, performance, quality, etc. point that was also "special" in a way that nothing else did, really. There's a reason why the Commodore is/was the best selling car line in Australia, and it was nice to get some more of that goodness over here while we could. Definitely not perfect, but still did well and, however depressingly, gave Pontiac a final hurrah like no other product they could have possibly had, especially with the GXP.

    The GTO certainly never, ever could hit the level of sales or even initial interest the G8 has, both because of the known style, price, etc. issues and also because it was a coupe, dealers initially were awful, it was something 150% different from what Pontiac had ever offered in the US, etc....and most of all, it wasn't a car from a design point that could be used by anyone for fun, daily driving, family, luggage, etc. Not many cars, especially not for the price, that have such a stolid platform and packaging, drag strip winning performance that's just as good loafing along around town and on the highway, etc. even just exist.

    Not saying any of this as an owner, but as such, it does give me a little more insight than most of the posters moaning about the name when they never would have bought one anyway. I don't care what the name was but still enjoy G8, the look gets more compliments, questions, stares, and smiling points than anything I've ever been around, it feels like a tank but not heavy at the same time, and the smooth, quiet 6.0L that putters along in 4-cyl mode in most of my driving turns into a gutteral roaring, 2nd gear chirping monster with just a stab of the throttle. So thankful we still have gotten to enjoy them here for a short 2 years, regardless.
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