Just when we thought we’d heard the final nail being hammered into the Pontiac G8 coffin by General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson along comes his product chief and throws another possible lifeline to the US version of the Holden Commodore.
Speaking in an interview with US automotive journal Automotive News, General Motors’ vice chairman of global product planning, Tom Stephens, has said the Pontiac G8 sedan might survive under another GM brand.
Mr Stephens stepped into former GM product boss Bob Lutz’s rather oversized shoes and now has the task of whipping the company’s somewhat reduced inventory of brands into shape.
As they are saying the US, Pontiac is toast at the end of the 2010 model year, when it will be closed down, or possibly sold off.
While some Australian media have been putting forward the idea of the US version of the Commodore being badged as a Chevrolet and sold to police forces, Mr Stephens doesn’t seem to strong on that idea.
“I know there’s still discussions on it,” said Mr Stephens. “But Chevrolet already has several sedans. How many sedans do you need to cover the waterfront?”
As Automotive News put it, “The G8, engineered and assembled by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia, has been a bright spot for Pontiac.
“With little advertising support, the sporty, rear-drive sedan, which starts at US$29,000, has sold well. Some versions have the same V-8 engine as the Chevrolet Corvette.”
Automotive News says some enthusiasts are lobbying GM to turn the G8 into a Chevrolet Impala SS. The current front-drive Impala SS is being phased out at the end of the 2009 model year.
The reports also suggest the G8 also could morph into a performance sedan for Buick, one of the GM brands that will survive, which has not had a rear-drive performance car since the mid-1980s.
Its also been reported that GM Holden in Australia has put a business case to Cadillac in the US for rear-drive models based on short- and long-wheelbase versions of the VE Commodore.