Time flies, and it’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since General Motors announced it would phase out the Pontiac brand. GM delivered the news to media on April 27, 2009.
Pontiac’s death came amid the global financial crisis as GM’s future quickly became uncertain. The automaker approached the federal government for a multi-billion dollar loan to keep its operations afloat. In the process, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Hummer all left the GM family in time. GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy about a month later.
The Pontiac brand was born from Oakland in the early 20th century. Pontiac quickly became a success and led to GM dropping the Oakland division in the early 1930s. Of course, that’s not what enthusiasts remember Pontiac for. It was the 1960s that led to Pontiac’s fame with the GTO, arguably the first “muscle car” that would kick off an automotive revolution.
We also fondly recall the Firebird, Trans Am, Solstice and the G8.
It’s easy to argue that Pontiac lost its way long before GM axed the brand. The division turned to platform sharing, uninspired cars and a lack of performance that seemed to belittle the “Excitement Division.” But, we’ll always remember the cars Pontiac graced the world with.