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Old 04-16-2009, 06:26 PM   #1
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Pontiac and GMC Going Bye-Bye?

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...transportation



April 16 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., facing a June 1 U.S.-backed bankruptcy, may drop its Pontiac and GMC brands as part of broader cost-cutting moves, people familiar with the discussions said.

GM’s Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick brands are likely safe, said the people, who asked not to be named because decisions aren’t final. GMC and Pontiac are being studied as part of talks with an Obama administration task force assessing whether GM can be restructured without bankruptcy, the people said.

Shedding Pontiac or GMC would mean a deeper bite into GM’s portfolio of eight U.S. brands than in its Feb. 17 blueprint for keeping $13.4 billion in federal loans. GM said then it would keep Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC and retain Pontiac as a niche line while selling or closing Hummer, Saab and Saturn.

GMC has a better chance of surviving than Pontiac, one of the people said. GMC sells only light trucks such as the Sierra pickup, while Pontiac’s offerings include the descendants of the brand’s high-performance models from the 1960s and 1970s.

Among the decisions yet to be reached is what would happen to Pontiac or GMC should Detroit-based GM opt not to keep them, the people said.

Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson plans a briefing on GM’s restructuring tomorrow as the company races against the June time limit set by President Barack Obama to find more savings from unions, creditors and operations. Chrysler LLC, which borrowed $4 billion, was given a May 1 deadline to reorganize and merge with Italy’s Fiat SpA.

‘Aggressively Restructure’

“We are continuing to assess our global operations, brand portfolio and nameplates, and will take further actions to more aggressively restructure our business,” Renee Rashid-Merem, a GM spokeswoman, said yesterday. “It’s premature to comment on what those actions could entail.”

A Treasury spokeswoman, Jenni Engebretsen, had no comment.

The reassessment of GM’s earlier decision to keep Pontiac and the future of all of the brands are among topics in meetings this week between executives of the biggest U.S. automaker and a Treasury team led by adviser Harry J. Wilson, the people said.

The number of brands is also part of a discussion on how to speed up the winnowing of GM’s 6,200 dealer locations to 4,100 sites, said one person.

GM gained 5 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $1.94 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have tumbled 90 percent in the past year on concern that the company may collapse after $82 billion in losses since 2004.

GM’s 8.375 percent bonds due in July 2033 rose 0.06 cent to 8.63 cents on the dollar, yielding 95 percent, according to Trace, the bond-pricing service of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Bankruptcy Preparation

GM has stepped up planning for both a new business model and a potential bankruptcy since March 29, when Obama asked Rick Wagoner to leave as CEO and said he would back a “quick-rinse” bankruptcy to cut debt and other costs.

Henderson has said that while GM would prefer restructuring without a bankruptcy, Obama’s new demand makes a filing more probable. A GM bankruptcy probably would spur creation of a new company that keeps only the best brands and other assets, people familiar with those plans have said.

To avoid bankruptcy, Henderson needs agreements from unions and debt holders for savings beyond GM’s February proposal for slashing $47 billion in unsecured claims by 59 percent. He said last month that GM also may need to eliminate more jobs than the 47,000 set for this year and shut more factories than planned.

The review of Pontiac and GMC clouds the future for brands dating to the earliest years of GM, which turned 100 in September.

Coupes, Pickups

The Pontiac division was created by GM in 1926, and U.S. sales peaked at 896,980 in 1978, according to trade publication Automotive News. GM sold a record 9.55 million autos worldwide that year, which came at the end of an era when Pontiac won notice for sports coupes such as the Firebird. Pontiac’s domestic deliveries fell 25 percent to 267,348 in 2008.

GMC’s truck-building history dates to 1902, when brothers Max and Morris Grabowsky sold their first commercial model to a Detroit dry cleaner, according to GM’s Web site. Their Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. was absorbed by GM in 1912, along with two other Detroit-based commercial-vehicle makers, GM said.

By 1915, GMC produced the first light-duty vehicle with the basic configuration of a modern pickup, according to the automaker. GMC’s U.S. sales fell 26 percent last year to 376,996, making it GM’s second-largest brand after Chevrolet.

Chevrolet and Cadillac are GM’s strongest brands and Buick is popular in China, said the people familiar with the automaker’s discussions.

GM said yesterday it has “multiple bidders” for its Saturn dealer network, including a group led by Oklahoma City private-equity firm Black Oak Partners LLC. Potential buyers for Hummer also have signaled interest, Henderson said in March.

About a half-dozen serious parties have expressed interest in Trollhaettan, Sweden-based Saab, a person familiar with the negotiations said. Saab filed for protection from creditors on Feb. 20 after GM said it will cut ties by the end of the year.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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Finally someone has seen the light! I knew I liked that Fritz guy.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #3
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LaNeve just said it's not true.

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f...-untrue-78048/

Buick's safe as far as we know. GMC has a better chance of surviving than Pontiac.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:41 AM   #4
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Saturn is going away (many sources claim that [citation needed]), I'd bet on Hummer, GMC and Cadillac also being dropped. GM dealerships close (from 420 to 375) due to dropping sales -- and these sales drop due to clients being unsure about GM future :(

Let's hope GM lives through this crisis. Bruised and with half the brands, but alive. It has to change, dammit.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:15 AM   #5
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Yeah, GMC makes most of GM's money, so it won't be dropped. Chevy and Cadillac are also safe.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:44 AM   #6
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Chevy, Cad, GMC and buick are safe.....Hummer Saab and Saturn I didn't think are...Not 100% sure about pontiac....
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:49 AM   #7
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Finally someone has seen the light! I knew I liked that Fritz guy.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomash View Post
Saturn is going away (many sources claim that [citation needed]), I'd bet on Hummer, GMC and Cadillac also being dropped. GM dealerships close (from 420 to 375) due to dropping sales -- and these sales drop due to clients being unsure about GM future :(

Let's hope GM lives through this crisis. Bruised and with half the brands, but alive. It has to change, dammit.
Dude, no way is Cadillac going away. That's funny right there.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:15 AM   #9
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Saturn is going away (many sources claim that [citation needed]), I'd bet on Hummer, GMC and Cadillac also being dropped. GM dealerships close (from 420 to 375) due to dropping sales -- and these sales drop due to clients being unsure about GM future :(
Cadillac ain't going nowhere...

Quote:
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Let's hope GM lives through this crisis. Bruised and with half the brands, but alive. It has to change, dammit.
Half the brands?They all looked the same to me I agree with you there, it has to change. Badging cars back and forth isn't working anymore
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:17 AM   #10
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I'd definitely hate to see Pontiac go. :-/
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:37 AM   #11
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Yeah, GMC makes most of GM's money, so it won't be dropped.
Hmm wonder why? Oh wait - what's with this company called Chevrolet paying for half of all our our expenses?
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