Pontiac should be alive today.
I was reading an article at barnfinds.com about an Olds H-Body of all things. Apparently, there are people who believe an over use of body cladding killed Pontiac. At first, I laughed it off then I became indignant. Body cladding didn’t kill Pontiac but Rick Wagoner certainly did. Below is my opening and closing statement in the trial of Rick Wagoner for the vehicular homicide of the Pontiac Motor Division.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is the complete incompetence of former chairman and CEO of General Motors, George Richard Wagoner Jr. That lead to the untimely death of Pontiac. In 1992 Wagoner was named GM’s Chief Financial Officer, in 1994 he was named executive vice president and president of North American Operations. June of 2000 he’s president and chief executive officer. May of 2003 Wagoner is elected chairman. Under his leadership GM lost $85B. Wagoner’s greatest sin was his lack of vision, backbone to make the tough decisions, believing GM could get by with a slow incremental approach. Wagoner long before 2009 should have sought a reorganization that would have made Buick/GMC/Pontiac one legal brand structure. The brands were mostly housed together in much of the USA. He could have left Buick as a separate brand in China. By the 2009 bankruptcy it was too late. The government would make GM lean using an axe instead of Wagoner using the scalpel of a fine surgeon. Now a proud heritage of domestic automobile performance is gone. It's death announced April 27th 2009.
John is a GenX car enthusiast who grew up driving classic muscle cars. He enjoys the new modern muscle cars that can out perform the classics in every way. In the sportscar world his banners are Viper and Corvette. John has a guilty pleasure. The disco era street machine. Those unloved, underpowered cars festooned with scoops, spoilers and stripes.