Buick’s average buyer getting younger

Buick has a long way to go before they will bring in the 30 something crowd. Buick is happy that their average buyer has dropped to 61 yrs of age and that is questionable math. They will never get the Pontiac buyers in the door! They rushed to kill Pontiac which was well positioned to capture the 20 and 30 something generation but instead invested heavily in a brand most car buyers won’t even shop in the U.S.??? Another gift to Ford, Nissan, Mazda and Dodge from the General.

From theTruthAboutCars.com:

Now, 48 is still technically in the fat part of the US population pyramid, and far be it from me to question the youthfulness of folks who reach this age… but the two major premises in the LAT’s headline simply aren’t that true. For one thing, JD Power weighs in on the Buick-buyer-age controversy, telling the LAT that the average three years ago was 64, and that it has since fallen to 61. That contrasts with IIHS’ recent average Buick-buyer age of 65, up from a claimed average of 63 a year ago. Moreover, as the graph after the jump proves, Buick’s sales “surge” is barely perceptible in any context wider than the first quarter of this year.

From the full article here.

Photo from fOTOGLIF


End of the line for Pontiac

For anyone who grew up driving with their family in a Catalina or lusting after a TransAm, the end of the road for Pontiac is a sad affair. Let’s hope the New GM is making the right call here!

From the Detroit News:

The ride is over for the brand that put rolling excitement on the road for generations of Americans.

General Motors Co. built the last Pontiac for the U.S. market Wednesday: a white, G6 sedan that rolled off the assembly line in Orion Township around 12:45 p.m. You can bet the major used auto parts providers will be shoring up their Pontiac inventory over the next several weeks.

There was no cake or commemorative banner or senior GM official on hand, and no media were allowed: just a group of “final process” workers to oversee the last 100 G6 models assembled.

“We’re focused on a quality build-out for the customer,” said GM spokesman Kevin Nadrowski.

Many workers stopped to pose for photos with the last cars as they moved down the assembly line.

To read the entire article, click here.


Toyota executive says U.S. auto sales can rebound next year

According to CNBC, Toyota Motor’s North American President Yoshi Inaba said that U.S. auto sales could rebound to a $12- to 13-million annual sales rate within a year. Toyota is also reviewing its options regarding an auto plant in California that was part of a joint venture with Pontiac that was terminated by GM, along with a planned plant in Mississippi that has been put on hold due to market conditions.


Pontiac will be a “focused niche brand”


The GM restructuring plan will kill off Saturn and demote Pontiac.

And on Tuesday, when General Motors asked the federal government for more bailout money, it also announced a reorganization plan that included demoting Pontiac to a “focused niche brand,” signaling that its lineup of vehicles would shrink and that it would no longer be a separate division.

To industry analysts and Pontiac’s longtime fans, the downgrade provides a case study of the product missteps that helped put G.M. in its precarious state, and a reminder of the dangers in straying from a successful formula.

“When you deviate too far from it, that’s when you run into trouble as a brand and a company,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director at Kelley Blue Book, whose 1968 Firebird made him feel “as cool as I could be.”

More than any other G.M. brand, Pontiac stood for performance, speed and sex appeal. Its crosstown rivals followed with similar muscle cars, giving Detroit bragging rights over the cars that Japanese automakers were selling based on quality and reliability.

Though still G.M.’s third-best-selling division, behind Chevrolet and GMC, Pontiac’s sales peaked in 1984, when it sold almost 850,000 vehicles, roughly four times as many as it sold last year.

G.M.’s chief executive, Rick Wagoner, said the company’s decision to concentrate primarily on Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC left the company with a “comprehensive portfolio.”

By many accounts, Pontiac started to falter when G.M. pursued a cost-saving strategy of providing the same cars to different divisions.

No kidding. It’s stunning that GM needs an economic catastrophe to admit to obvious truths.

This is the best thing for GM, and for Pontiac. Now, they can focus on cool cars, and maybe even recapture some of the muscle car glory of the brand’s past.


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