Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers will get 12 new or special-edition vehicles over the next 20 months — but they won’t get a Pontiac Trans Am.
Pontiac had lobbied for a sibling vehicle to the Chevrolet Camaro, which is scheduled to arrive in February 2009.
General Motors’ plan to make Pontiac a rear-wheel-drive performance car division is likely to be scaled back because of fuel economy regulations, GM leaders told dealers at the make meeting.
One dealer said the business case for the Trans Am didn’t compute.
“It was an economic situation,” said Lynn Thompson, owner of Thompson Motor Sales in Springfield, Mo. “It would cost $200 million to bring out the vehicle.”
Pontiac will remain a car-only brand for the foreseeable future, dealers were told. But because of new legislation requiring vehicles to reach a fleet average of 35 mpg by 2020, Pontiac might not end up as GM’s performance division, dealers said they were told.
“The plan is being tweaked because of the gas situation,” Thompson said. “I hope they don’t give up on performance because they don’t have to. You can use four-cylinder engines to achieve incredible power.”
B-P-G will give dealers six new or special-edition vehicles — such as the special-edition GMC Sierra pickup, called Pro Grade — this year. They will get another six next year, dealers who attended the meeting told Automotive News.
If you want to see a new Trans Am and Firebird let GM and Pontiac know at General Motors Corporation, Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232 or 480-210-701 or http://www.gm.com/utilities/contact_us/contact.jsp?deep=contact.
In its latest issue, Winding Road calls the fact that Pontiac will get its own rear-wheel
drive coupe based on the same Zeta architecture (sorry, “Global RWD platform” is the new official name) used by the upcoming Camaro is a “poorly kept secret”. We weren’t aware the decision to give Pontiac a piece of the pie was so solid, but are pleased to hear the news nonetheless.
When a new rear-wheel drive Pontiac debuts sometime around 2010 as a 2011 model, however, what should it be called? The obvious choice is to reuse the GTO moniker that was controversially slapped on the back of a Holden Monaro coupe and sold in the U.S. from 2003 to 2006. But what’s a Camaro without a Firebird Trans Am twin, we ask? GM still retains the rights to those names, and as the speculative rendering above done by Poblete proves, Burt Reynolds’ most famous ride looks damn good updated for the new millennium! I’ll be honest with everyone, I’ve never been the new Camaro’s #1 fan in terms of design, but I could get behind a Trans Am that looks good, screaming chicken and all.
by John Neff
If you agree let GM and Pontiac know at General Motors Corporation, Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232 or 480-210-701 or http://www.gm.com/utilities/contact_us/contact.jsp?deep=contact .
As appeared in Hot Rod magazine as a possible Firebird Trans Am built on the forthcoming Camaro body. Is it just us or does this Trans Am sketch look better than the Camaro it’s based on?
This rendering is by Kevin Morgan of Canton, Pennsylvania and we say this needs to be built. If you agree let GM and Pontiac know at General Motors Corporation, Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232 or 480-210-701 or http://www.gm.com/utilities/contact_us/contact.jsp?deep=contact .