sorry if this has already been asked ... does anyone know what the grand total number of Pontiacs produced 1926-2009?
Well what else could we do with Pontiac? I know it's hard for "enthusiasts" to understand, but every brand can't have 3 RWD sportscars. Everyone wants Chevrolet to have Corvette, Camaro, and a RWD flagship. Everyone wants every Cadillac to be RWD. I've even heard people who want Buick to have both an Alpha RWD and a RWD G8-badge job flagship.>>"I know around the 1989-1990 mark Pontiac was the third best selling car brand in the U.S., behind Ford and Chevrolet."<<
Pontiac was #3 from 1962-1970 inclusive.
>>"Pontiac would be a great Subaru fighter."<<
Except Pontiac got rid of the excessive plastic cladding some years ago.
Luckily for subaru.
Seriously, I don't see it as either possible or desirable.
I was trying to be as up to date as possible. I wasn't really sure on their actual rank after 1990. But we know that the Asian brands came on strong in the 1990's to upset the balance and really change the dynamics.>>"I know around the 1989-1990 mark Pontiac was the third best selling car brand in the U.S., behind Ford and Chevrolet."<<
Pontiac was #3 from 1962-1970 inclusive.
I've heard both scenarios over the years. I know when Knudsen and Estes took over the Division in '56, Pontiac was sixth in sales and sinking fast, along with the brand's profits. In house, GM was an incredibly competitive environment, so I could very well see upper management dangling a possible dissolving of the brand as a kick in the butt, so to speak.>>"Amazing that they sold so many cars in the 60's after GM pondered killing them in the 50's..."<<
That wasn't actually on the table as a real scenario. It was dangled as incentive to rejuvinate the marque- sales were not radically in trouble in the early 50s, just not where Corp neccessarily wanted them. From '50-53 inclusive, Pontiac was #5 - killing the Division was not a real probability.
keep in mind that back in the day, like EVERY brand had a RWD performance carWell what else could we do with Pontiac? I know it's hard for "enthusiasts" to understand, but every brand can't have 3 RWD sportscars. Everyone wants Chevrolet to have Corvette, Camaro, and a RWD flagship. Everyone wants every Cadillac to be RWD. I've even heard people who want Buick to have both an Alpha RWD and a RWD G8-badge job flagship.
What does that leave for Pontiac? Nothing. There's no reason for every brand to have RWD at every brand. Some of those products ARE necessitated. Cadillac must be RWD. Buick must not. Chevy can use a RWD flagship. Maybe if Pontiac enthusiasts had realized the 60s were over and accepted a different kind of speed, their brand would be alive.
Sure, but Buick sold at a much higher price than Pontiac... And let's not forget that "GM" itself was formed to support the Buick brand. It's never going anywhere. Also, the years you included, 1957 & '58, were after Knudsen & Estes took over Pontiac. All "talk" of a Pontiac exit was before they were aboard.As a student of Buick, I have not read that Buick's profits were 'sinking fast' and that Buick was considered being dropped. Should be roughly the same on the Corp balance sheet... except Buick was doing more R&D than Pontiac.
My goodness, did we touch a nerve? Relax friend. No one's trying to take a cheap shot here... Gee, what would make the men in management at GM, if that makes you feel better, arrogant? Hmmm, being the kings of the largest and most successful company on earth just may do it. But to spell it out for you more clearly, I've been hearing the stories for the better part of three decades from two uncles who were there. One worked in Mr. Estes' office, and knew him well, from 1959 until 1961, when he started working in a different capacity with John DeLorean until 1966, when he took a high position with Boeing. My other uncle worked R&D (engine design) with GM, starting with Pontiac in 1961, until his retirement in 1997.>>"But I wouldn't put it past the ****y and arrogant GM management, even in those days, to actually consider killing the brand."<<
GM management was certainly NOT "****y & arrogant" in the '50s, sir. Management is not a function of office or title, but of man. Different men, different thinking, different attitude. "GM" here is irrelevant.
>>"I could easily see them believing they would make up for lost Pontiac sales through their other highly successful brands, which would theoretically be even more competitive with the loss of Pontiac Motor Division."<<
IMO you assume FAR too much WRT management thinking 60 years ago (unless you were there?).
I agree it would've been short sighted to have canceled Pontiac in '55. But you have to remember, the ramp up of that great decade after 1957 was after GM had changed the heads of the Pontiac Division in 1956. It was under the direction of Knudsen, Estes and later DeLorean that Pontiac changed their fortune. Had the replacements at the top of Pontiac been others without the vision and know how of these gentlemen, there's no telling if Pontiac would have survived into the 1960's. You're looking at things from 2009 eyes, having seen what came to be post 1957. GM management did not know what was to come from the future of Pontiac. It was the 1959 Catalina, the first "wide track" car, that really changed things for Pontiac. For the first time, they were at the forefront of an automotive movement. There was no telling in '56 that these '59 models would be the real start of Pontiac's greatest era, and the start of a new way of thinking of the automotive culture. No, I do not believe this proves in any way that the management was not "****y & arrogant," not in the least bit. It just means they were very good at both nurturing talent and putting them in position to succeed. Which speaks volumes about their own talent. They had reason to be ****y. At least back in the 50's & 60's their ****iness was justified...Pontiac didn't 'bring anything less' to the table than Olds did, except Olds & Cadillac got their V-8s in '49, Buick in '53 and Chevy / Pontiac in '55. OK; Olds brought out the Fiesta convert for '53, dead after 1 year. Pontiac was solid, dependable transportation.... it wasn't so much the product itself as it was the 'gee-whiz' mid-late '50s pop culture that started looking for more. Pontiac paid off beginning in '57 with design, the Bonneville & FI, plus more & more racing efforts/ victories. It would have been very short-sighted to cancel Pontiac in -say- '55 when '57 was the ramp-up to a decade of #3 sales and a legacy seldom matched before or since. One could easily point to that as proof GM mangement WASN'T "****y & arrogant", no?
The production numbers should not include the Canadian only models. Not that I have anything against the Canadian only models, but I'm just going by what Pontiac themselves would have counted (and not counted) for official "milestone" purposes (ie. 10 millionth, 20 millionth, 30 millionth, etc.)About the production numbers though, do they include Canadian only models? Parisienne? Firefly? 90's Tempest?