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My favorite brand was Pontiac. I was sad to see it go and didn't think it was a necessary cut. I see it as almost a side issue regarding keeping Buick, not really an either-or situation. Cutting Pontiac really didn't accomplish anything. Sharing dealerships with Buick and GMC, Pontiac would have been kept around with a small number of models.

But at the time, if they wanted fewer divisions, the move made sense. Pontiac had a couple of unique cars, but for the most part was selling rebodied Chevys. It made sense to have Chevrolet as your entry-level brand with appropriate pricing. Buick should have been near-luxury, with prices higher than Chevy. Cadillac was the premium brand, with it's own pricing tier.

What went wrong was the failure at Cadillac to move significantly upward in price. JdN's strategy was to significantly increase Cadillac's pricing, but I think he did it too quickly and sales took a dive. Maybe they shouldn't have backed off, but with the collapse in sales, Cadillac's prices came back down. But that put them into what should have been Buick's price range. At the same time, Chevy was encroaching into Buick's range with higher prices for it's models. So in price, Buick was being squeezed by both brands. And at Buick, like everywhere else, sedan sales were collapsing and they were late into the SUV/CUV game.

Keeping Buick made sense, but they didn't have the product to support it, particularly at Buick and Cadillac.

As for the article, how much of Buick's 50% drop is due to parts shortages reducing production? As for "too many dealership," I think those dealerships are moving a lot of GMC product, which is their primary business. And while the GMC Terrain may conflict somewhat with Buick sales, I doubt that there's a lot of cross-shopping there.
 

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At the time, Buick was a popular brand in China. It wasn't as "needed" in the US market but killing Buick in the US would have harmed Buick's reputation in China.

My only desire in saving Pontiac was to save Holden. Holden was a REAL division that engineered and built it's own line of (excellent) cars.

Although, a couple years later GM proved they didn't need Pontiac for that, as they imported a (paltry) number of Holdens under the Chevy banner.
 

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Would help to have actual product to sell. Also, Buick was supposed to fill the role of soft luxury or near luxury to combat the likes of Acura and Lexus which would allow Cadillac to concentrate on being the best it could be instead of chasing the bottom of the market. But, Buick was never really given the product to really compete like GM was afraid they would step on Caddy's shoes.
 

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I loved Bonnevilles, Grand Prixs, etc. as much as anyone, but GM only succeeds with pickups and crossovers these days, so Pontiac would serve no purpose anymore. I also loved LeSabres, Roadmasters, Park Avenues, Rivieras, Regals, etc. as much as anyone, but Buick should have been dropped in North America with the bankruptcy.
 

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At the time, Buick was a popular brand in China. It wasn't as "needed" in the US market but killing Buick in the US would have harmed Buick's reputation in China.
Chang Kai-shek. Zhou Enlai. Emperor Pu Yi.

Explaining China’s cultural connection to Buick:

 

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My only desire in saving Pontiac was to save Holden. Holden was a REAL division that engineered and built it's own line of (excellent) cars.
According to Holden designer Mark Sheridan, there were as many as 15 vehicles, including all derivatives, envisioned on Zeta. Another was a small sport sedan previewed by Holden’s Torana concept unveiled in 2004.

Remember the 2008 Zeta-platform GMC Denali?
Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Automotive side marker light Car


Among many others:
Automotive parking light Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Vehicle Hood
 

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There is no need for Buick, because Cadillac should have been in that space in the first place. It was going to take generations to get people to think of Cadillac in the same vein as MB or BMW. It would have been more profitable with its DTSs and STSs to stay in the near luxury and luxury market. The stand alone dealers would have more product or have a juggernaut dealership with GMC and Cadillac. Its amazing how these smart people with degrees flush away money and brand equity. Keep your degrees and give me someone with common sense.

The generation that had a connection with Buick is about gone, so I would not be surprised if Ms. Barra announces the draw down of Buick, at least in the US market.
 

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I believe that Buick is a much more valuable brand than the dead Pontiac. And more profitable with all those big Enclaves and Avenir sub-brand. In reality, Pontiac was a only synthetic brand that was introduced as a companion to Oakland.
 

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Buick has a second chance with EVs. If I ran GM, the older Cadillac SUV models should have been Buicks (XT4, XT5)and the newer models from Cadillac seem a little more fitting for Cadillac.
 

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It is still "What is Cadillac?" Is Cadillac a European Competitor, or is Cadillac the Upper Echelon GM Brand?

GM knew what would happen by Dumping Oldsmobile in the early millennium. GM's thoughts at the time were Buick would attract most of the Lost Customer Base. But it didn't.

1999-2002 200,000 fewer Oldsmobiles were sold. That same period 12000 fewer Buicks were sold.

Where did GM's own Customer Base go to? Ironically, to the exact Brands that GM tried to position Oldsmobile after, The European Brands. Anyone recall the Aurora, Intrigue, Alero? Kind of Luxury Sport. Buick was too Luxury without Sport orientated, Pontiac was too Sport and Cadillac at the time was well, lost.

GM was also in their big SUV Push, Closing Arlington to build Tahoe/Yukons.

GM's Multi Tiered Branding worked, and would still work today, when it was Multi Tiered.

Entry
Sport
Sport Luxury
Luxury
Crown Luxury

It lost it's way when it began chasing other Maker's Markets.
 

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I believe that Buick is a much more valuable brand than the dead Pontiac. And more profitable with all those big Enclaves and Avenir sub-brand. In reality, Pontiac was a only synthetic brand that was introduced as a companion to Oakland.
Didn't Pontiac start as an Oakland model, then become the brand?

I wouldn't brush off their history so casually. It had a rather good 70 or so years and was once one of the top selling brands in the US. It was a cultural icon all by itself and was around long after most people knew what an Oakland was.
 

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The generation that had a connection with Buick is about gone, so I would not be surprised if Ms. Barra announces the draw down of Buick, at least in the US market.

Could be. But why? No brand is really more than one great model from resurrection. Maybe Buick has some EV on the way that will help.

Like with Pontiac, Buick is brand that shares floor space with GMC. Why shut it down? Pare down what is offered if necessary.

It seems like Buick was having a lot of success with the Enclave, Encore, and Envision. All pretty attractive vehicles. How much of the 50% volume drop is due to production constraints and allocation of existing resources to more profitable vehicles?
 
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Didn't Pontiac start as an Oakland model, then become the brand?

I wouldn't brush off their history so casually. It had a rather good 70 or years and was around long after most people knew what an Oakland was.
History is nice, but it's no reason to carry on a losing business.
 

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History is nice, but it's no reason to carry on a losing business.
I'm not suggesting that. Pontiac is dead and buried. But to toss off a great history as a "synthetic brand" (whatever that means) created only as a companion (replacement actually) to a long-forgotten 1920s brand seemed wrong.
 
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