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by George Skentzos

The fate of the Commodore-based Pontiac G8 seems to be a rather touchy subject for General Motors CEO, Fritz Henderson, who is still reluctant to elaborate on the reasoning behind the car’s impending withdrawal from US sale.

Mr Henderson participated in yet another web chat yesterday on the company’s FastLane Blog – this time exclusively with members of the motoring media – and again did not provide a completely convincing rationale for scrapping the model along with Pontiac.

While other questions even attracted a friendly personal greeting from Mr Henderson, in regards to the Pontiac G8 he could not have been more blunt or evasive – even ignoring the majority of the question.

From Greg Migliore–AutoWeek
Does the Pontiac G8 have any kind of future within General Motors as a re-badged model? What kinds of changes would need to be made to the car for it to be sold under another brand?

Fritz Henderson: I am not a fan of rebadging.

This response is in stark contrast to the tone carried by Mr Henderson previously throughout the session.

Fritz Henderson: Bernard, welcome and good to hear from you. got any good cartoons of me? re channelling resources, 100 per cent of our product, technology and marketing spend will now be focussed behind the four core brands and 34 nameplates. Each one needs to be a hit and that is our challenge/commitment.
my best to james!

It is certainly disappointing that Mr Henderson would not provide a valid response, however it is likely the G8’s fate had been sealed even before Pontiac’s demise.

Earlier reports predating any pending closure of Pontiac were already predicting that the G8 would not carry over to the next-generation model, citing limited corporate resources and fear of rising fuel-economy standards as the main motives.

With Pontiac to be phased out by 2010, this would seemingly provide a convenient opportunity for GM to cull the less-than-frugal sedan as the company shifts toward a greener image.




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