Pontiac was a car brand of the US automotive group General Motors. Following the bankruptcy of General Motors in 2009 and the associated restructuring of the Group's model program, the traditional "Pontiac" brand was abandoned at the end of 2010.
The name "Pontiac" was first used by the existing since 1906 Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works. This name goes back to Chief Pontiac, a leader of the Ottawa Indians, who was leader in the 18th century in the fight against the then British colonial rule. The Oakland Motor Company of 1907 and the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works Company merged in November 1908 to Oakland Motor Car Company. In January 1909, General Motors acquired half of the company's shares and then in the summer, after the death of Edward P. Murphy, the founder of Oakland, the remaining shares. The vehicles were from 1908 to 1926 under the Oakland brand manufactured. The first Pontiac brand vehicle was launched in 1926 by General Motors as a cheaper version of the Oakland Motor Car. Pontiac was next to LaSalle, Marquette and Viking one of four new brands of GM, with the gaps in the model program should be closed. The other brands were abandoned, while Pontiac completely replaced the Oakland brand from 1931.
For the next 25 years, In the mid-50s Pontiac came under pressure when Chevrolet offered more luxurious cars and also for the first time a V8 engine. An evasion to the top was not possible, there already sat the group brands Oldsmobile and Buick.Pontiac was then positioned as the sports brand of General Motors. The models Bonneville (1957), Le mans (1961), Grand Prix (1962), GTO (1964) and Firebird (1967) already showed by their naming the athletic claim.
In the 60s, this concept was very successful. In particular, the GTO has become a true trendsetter. In the 70s, the general conditions worsened. Stricter emissions regulations led to a decline in engine performance, which suffered especially Pontiac as a sporty brand. The oil crisis of 1973/74 led to a slump in demand for high-capacity cars. Pontiac responded with the introduction of smaller models: Ventura 1971, Astre 1974, finally the T1000 in 1981, the smallest Pontiac, which had been built until then. With these cars, the brand identity was lost because they were all just slightly modified Chevrolet models. The T1000 was even based on the German Opel Cadet City.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Pontiac, despite various attempts, failed to build on the successes of the 60s. The streamlined rationalization of the General Motors Group meant that the range of models offered by all Group brands was highly standardized. Most Pontiac models of this era were only equipment variants of models that could be bought in very similar form as Chevrolet, Oldsmobile or Buick. One of the few exceptions was the mid-engine sports car Pontiac Fiero (1983 to 1988), but this suffered under the unsuitable for a sports car four-cylinder engine and was not a success.
GM, as the parent company, discontinued production of Pontiac vehicles at the end of 2009 as part of its restructuring and announced the complete closure of the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010; now GM will focus on its core brands GMC, Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet. On 25 November 2009, as the last model in the US, a white Pontiac G6 made, which went into regular trading; only the production of the Pontiac G3 in South Korea ran until the end of 2009.
Pontiac Models Timeline (1926-2010)
First small model of Pontiac based on the Chevrolet Vega .
Based on the Chevrolet Chevette or Opel Kadett C .
Modification of the Suzuki Swift .
Revised Opel Kadett E .
Final stage on the T200 and T250 platforms , see Daewoo Kalos and Chevrolet Aveo .
Based on the Chevrolet Aveo by GM Daewoo .
Sister model of the Chevrolet Citation .
Sister model of the Chevrolet Cavalier , like this based on the Opel Ascona C emerged.
The Sunburst was derived from Isuzu Gemini and later also offered as Geo Spectrum.
The Sunfire replaced from 1995 the Sunbird. Body versions: notchback, coupe and convertible.
A compact crossover model.
In Canada, the G5 Pontiac Pursuit and in Mexico Pontiac G4 . He was the successor to the Sunfire. However, no open variant was offered by the G5.
For the first time in a long while, a slightly smaller car was offered from 1960 onwards. Initially with a 3.2-liter four-cylinder engine, later with 6 and 8 cylinders.
Initially, the LeMans was the luxury version of Tempest. After discontinuing this model in 1970, the whole series bore this name.
Pontiac Grand Prix
It was introduced in 1962 as a so-called "personal luxury car" and was available only as a coupe. In 1988 came the fifth generation on the market, with which the Grand Prix of the middle class is assigned. In addition, now came a four-door notchback sedan as additional body.
Pontiac Grand Am
The first two generations of the model were sporty versions of the then mid-range Le Mans. By contrast, the vehicles offered from 1985 to 2004 (by American standards) belonged to the lower middle class, which acted as successors to the Phoenix.
The first Sunbird was a parallel model to the Chevrolet Monza, of which he differed only in details, also the Buick Skyhawk and the Oldsmobile Starfire were identical. All of these models were based on General Motors H platform.
Successor of the LeMans, where the conversion to front-wheel drive took place. Besides the coupe, there was a sedan and a station wagon. His sister model was the Chevrolet Celebrity .
The G6 was a mid-size car, which was introduced in the fall of 2004 on the North American car market. He replaced the Grand Am and was in addition to sedan and coupe even available as a convertible. In November 2009, the total production of the brand Pontiac was completed after 103 years with a G6.
Pontiac Silver Streak
Pontiac Star Chief
Pontiac Super Chief
The Bonneville was a model built for almost 50 years. Specifically, Bonneville referred to a small-volume, high-performance convertible (1957), a full-size model from Pontiac that topped the model range in most years (1958-1981) and a smaller mid-range rear-wheel drive as a successor to the Pontiac Le Mans (1981 to 1986) and a large sedan with front-wheel drive (1987 to 2005).
The Catalina was Pontiac's classic big car for over two decades.
Pontiac Grand Safari
great luxurious combination
Pontiac Grand Ville
Top model of the full-size series, classified above the Bonneville. Abandoned in 1976 in favor of the Bonneville Brougham.
Originally the Parisienne was a Pontiac model sold exclusively in Canada. There Pontiac marketed since the late fifties, not the models offered in the US, but vehicles that Chevrolet technology and Pontiac bodies linked together, the technical relationship between the full size cars of the two brands was always tight. These hybrid models also usually had their own names, for example Pontiac Laurentian (the Canadian counterpart to the Catalina) or Pontiac Parisienne (counterpart to the Bonneville).
In 1986, Pontiac took the large, rear-wheel drive models of the Parisienne series from the program, but offered the station wagon still unchanged under the name Safari. The Safari was the parallel model of Chevrolet Caprice station wagon, Buick Electra Estate Wagon and Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. The station wagon was available in a single model version with five-liter V8 and four-speed automatic until summer 1989. In three years, 23,478 pieces were made in the Canadian Oshawa plant.
Last upper class model of Pontiac, of which actually a combination and even a sporty designed truck were planned.Due to the financial crisis came this otherwise quite old virtues reminding model too late and it had to be set after almost two years again.
Sport Utility Vehicle
An unusually designed SUV should also establish Pontiac in this class. However, this did not succeed, which therefore expired in 2005, the production of the Aztek.
Successor of the Aztek. The Torrent was powered by a 3.4L 3400V Vortec V6 engine, which is also used in the Chevrolet Equinox. The engine has four valves per cylinder, produces 138 kW (188 hp) and is made entirely of aluminum. Optionally, the torrent was available with four-wheel drive, standard equipment but was front-wheel drive.
Pontiac Trans Sport
The Pontiac Trans Sport and its sister models Chevrolet Lumina APV and Oldsmobile Silhouette were a trio of Vans of the US automotive group General Motors, which came in 1990 on the market. Also in Europe one tried, to have success, which failed however because of bad body stiffness and quality problems.
Successor of the Trans Sport. Montana initially described an option package with a special fairing and wheel equipment. Only with the 2005 introduced generation was it a completely new vehicle.
A muscle car and thus a trendsetter. From 1964 to 1971, the GTO was a separate model, which was derived from Le Mans . It was available only as a two-door hardtop, Convertible (convertible) and pillared Coupe (with B-pillar) and large-volume V8 engines. 1964, 1972 and 1973, a trim level of the Le Mans (Tempest, A-platform) and 1974 sports version of the Pontiac Ventura (X-platform).
For over 30 years, the Firebird was a successful sports car, which was offered as a coupe and convertible and was the sister model of the Chevrolet Camaro (F platform). Between 1982 and 1986 played the third generation (see photo) a parade role as a talking car called KITT in the television series Knight Rider . In August 2002, the production of the Firebird was discontinued due to the recent decline in sales.
A by American standards small sports car with mid-engine . The built models include the 2M4 (stands for 2 seats, mid-engine, 4 cylinders), 2M6, SE, GT, Formula. There was a notchback and a hatchback variant, the latter was introduced in 1986. All models had folding headlights.
Pontiac GTO (2003)
The new GTO was built in Australia and is a sister model of the Holden Monaro . The reinterpretation of the former classic could not build on old successes.
A relatively small sports car with front engine. The sister models were the Saturn Sky and the Opel GT . In contrast to these, the Solstice also had a coupe, which was built for only half a year.