Pontiac G8 May Live On
By Brendan Moore
Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of GM, says that consumers are now aware of the Pontiac G8 and increasing their purchases of the critically acclaimed RWD sports sedan, and that may be a good reason to lift the death sentence on the car.
The problem is that the G8’s home, the Pontiac brand, is being razed, making it an orphan.
So, if the car continues, it will need to be housed within another brand, and will probably also need a new model name. Mr. Lutz is thinking about bringing back the Caprice nameplate for the second life of the G8 in the United States. The car would then live on as a Chevrolet Caprice.
A longer-wheelbase version of the Pontiac G8 platform, which is the Holden Commodore platform from GM’s Australian subsidiary, is used for a Chevrolet Caprice that is sold in the Middle East currently.
The new GM is probably going to live or die from the success or failure of their Chevrolet brand going forward, that much is known. So, that brand is going to get a lot of attention from the marketing people, and perhaps the internal thinking was to give the car a strong brand for its second act.
Right now, the car is basically selling itself on the strength of its own innate goodness. It’s not getting any marketing money, and most people know the Pontiac division has received a death sentence, so that is also a huge minus.
Against all odds, the car is increasing its sales every month.
All good news, certainly, as we love the Pontiac G8 here at 100 Techshake Plaza, and would like to see it stick around, no matter what the badge. But, I am not too excited about the Caprice name for a car like the G8. If the decision is made to continue production of the soon-to-be-former G8, I would imagine that someone at GM could come up with another new name for the car besides Caprice before it gets moved over from the barely-breathing Pontiac.
But, a minor quibble. If the G8 is selling with no marketing, and, an almost-dead brand tied to it’s tail, then I suppose it will sell as a Chevrolet Caprice as well.
But I think GM will sell even more of those new Chevrolet sports sedans if they ditch the Caprice name.
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