As of yesterday, the Pontiac brand of cars is officially dead. That's because on Oct. 31, Pontiac dealership agreements expired and all existing unsold Pontiacs officially became used cars in GM's eyes, according to the Detroit News.
If you're a Pontiac owner, don't panic. GM dealers will continue honoring warranties and offering maintenance services on existing Pontiac vehicles. If you're in the market for one of the last new/used Pontiacs still sitting on dealers' lots, you can expect a pretty good deal; orphan cars usually come cheaper than similar cars from brands that are still alive.
While I didn't weep much for Mercury, which Ford announced it is phasing out earlier this year, I do have to admit to a bit of sadness about the passing of Pontiac.
When I saw my first GTO in person, I could barely believe it was a Pontiac. Having grown up around '80s Pontiacs like the dowdy 6000 and my friend's boxy Parisienne station wagon, it was hard to believe that 1970 GTO was a product of the same brand. Sure, Pontiac still had the Firebird, but that rebadged Camaro was only a sliver of the great performance-car brand that once was.
That 1970 GTO is still one of my favorite muscle cars of all time -- for those unfamiliar with the car, witness its greatness in the opening scene of "Dazed and Confused" -- but I think GM made the right decision. As a company that was in imminent danger of liquidation just a little over a year ago, it didn't have the luxury of spending millions maintaining a brand that had long since lost all cache thanks to cars like the rebadged Daewoo hatchback sold as the Pontiac LeMans in the '80s.
In a way, it's almost better the brand is being put to rest; those great old Pontiacs of yore that will exist forever in gearhead Valhalla -- the '60s and '70s GTOs, the '50s Bonnevilles, the '60s 2+2s and others -- will no longer be tarnished by modern-day siblings that often failed to live up to that storied name.
As for Pontiac owners, I don't think this is going to do any favors for your resale value. The sad thing is, in its latter years, anyone who bought a Pontiac couldn't have been doing so on the assumption they would get a good deal if they sold it -- the brand was that diminished.
What do you think? Will you miss Pontiac? Any Pontiac models that were close to your heart?