Miss Pontiac? Blame Obama


I like the Blame Obama jokes. Politics aside, I love to hear about minuscule problems blamed on our president.

Tired of Nigerian e-mail scams? Blame Obama.

Burn your toast this morning? Blame Obama.

Hate the fact that you can no longer buy a new Pontiac G8 GXP, or any other new Pontiac? Blame Obama.

That last one might actually have some truth to it, if the president’s name is synonymous with the federal government and if former GM exec Bob Lutz is to be believed.

Car and Driver posted an article yesterday that said,

Lutz, speaking at a small event at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles over the weekend, said the “Feds” wanted to gut Pontiac and most of GM’s other divisions while in discussions for a takeover by the U.S. Treasury. While Lutz didn’t name a specific person in the Obama administration, we can assume “car czar” Steve Rattner—later charged with civil fraud while managing New York State’s pension fund, eventually settling and paying a $10-million fine—helped pull the trigger.

The shame in all of this is that Pontiac, finally, had made some serious progress and was on its way back before hitting the end of the line. The G8 was a beautifully refined yet raw sports sedan, and the G6 was on the verge of a redesign that eventually became the Cadillac ATS.

All the government saw, though, was a branch of General Motors that hadn’t made any money in about a decade. In order to get the bailout, Pontiac had to go.

Nothing can be done now, and all we can do is know that there had to be sacrifices in order for GM to survive. Whether it was Buick or GMC or Cadillac or Pontiac doesn’t matter. I would have rather seen Buick go and Pontiac thrive, but at least I can take some solace in knowing some of those great G8 cars still exist on the used market.

Instead of Pontiac, which brand do you think GM should have cut: Buick, Cadillac or GMC? 

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus


Used Pontiac G8
Used Pontiac G6
Used Cadillac ATS


  1. Since I grew up in Pontiac and my first really well-paying jobs were assembling Pontiacs and Pontiac engines, I can say I probably know Pontiac pretty well.

    The G8 was little more than a rehashed Holden from Australia. Remember, GM is the cookie cutter company and pretty much everything is just recycled designs from Germany, Australia and Japan. With the G8 the only gem in the lineup, the bulk of Pontiac’s production was overpriced versions of Chevy, Saturn and Buick models, with little to recommend them or their prices. More often than not they represented poor values when compared with their counterparts.

    Pulling the plug on Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Saab (and Oldsmobile a few years before the bankruptcy) did a lot to remove much of GM’s flab and duplication. Now all GM needs to do is get rid of GMC (another cookie cutter brand) and Buick (before all the old men who buy them die off) and they might be able to survive the next recession. On second thought, with rows of look-alike Chevy’s, Buicks and Caddy’s, they are probably in trouble.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.