April Update

We’ve made some behind the scenes updates, in an effort to help keep things sustainable.

First, we closed the forums. They weren’t being used, and would have required lots of upkeep. We’re going to focus efforts on asking people to sign up for the Petition & Support List, and putting it to use. We’ll rely on comments in articles for feedback, as that has already shown to be effective.

Second, we moved the site to a new server and migrated everything over. We’ve got our mailserver all set up, and we’re gearing up for a big push and our first call to arms.

On that note, our first call to arms is going to be to ask people to get more signups. Our humble little list is large, but not large enough to make waves. Our goal is an army of 100,000 loyal Pontiac users willing to hit the print button, slap a stamp on something, and flood GM’s inboxes. We’re not there yet. We’re going to nag you a bit to help get us there, and in turn, test everything out in the process.

We know this is slow going. Sadly, we feared that we were in for a long wait for the government to get out of the GM picture. We’re still playing that waiting game, and knowing that GM will have control over its own destiny next year is a good timetable to grow our rolls and start dropping hints with Detroit.

Holden Uses Pontiac G8 Steering Wheel to Hide Chevy SS Details

We found this one while randomly looking up other stuff on the web.

vf-commodore-interior-spy-shot-full

What you see here is a Chevy SS test mule, as it’s a left-hand drive Commodore VF. Careful onlookers will notice that the steering wheel is pulled from a Pontiac G8, rather than using a Holden steering wheel. An ironic tip of the hat from a Holden engineer to what could have been, and what should be today.

The Chevy SS will use a standard Zeta (or “Zeta II” depending on who you ask) steering wheel. It’s likely that this will be a departure from the standardized GM steering wheel, but it’s not clear if it will more resemble the global standard wheel of today, or the newer (and widely panned by critics) steering wheel first featured on the Epsilon II 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

The Chevy SS and Commodore VF will be jointly unveiled on February 10. The news is bitter-sweet, as Holden has already confirmed that the Zeta platform will be phased out after 2016, forcing the Commodore (or its replacement) over to either the Alpha or Epsilon platforms.

Treasury Announces Plan to Sell All GM Stock

Today is a great day in the movement for bringing Pontiac back. Today, the Treasury Department announced its plan to sell all of its controlling stake of General Motors.

The government’s share operates in a voting block with the UAW and its Canadian counterpart, giving the government effectively, a controlling stake in GM. It also means that the same auto czars that forced GM to drop Pontiac, will be out of the picture.

Now for the bad news, the sale of GM stock will take through to next year. The plan is to sell off the final round of shares in February of 2014. And, Treasury has said that they intend to maintain their constraints on GM until they lose their voting-block majority.

What this means for us? We have a set date when GM will finally cease to be Government Motors.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that GM will suddenly be warm to reviving Pontiac. In five years, we’ve watched GM strip all reverences to Pontiac from every Buick-GMC center. It’s going to be a tough battle to convince leadership at GM to find an opening for the brand.

What can you do? We don’t feel comfortable with the number of people on our Petition & Support List. Ask your friends to sign up. Please don’t send along fake signups… that doesn’t help, it just add to the burden that we have to filter through.

Petition & Support List Fixed

Our Petition & Support List was taken offline due to a server move. While we have 90+% of all emails sent in, we suspect a few were lost during the transition.

We realize it’s a pain, but we’re asking people to sign back up. Don’t worry, you won’t get duplicate emails if you already signed up (we promise).

We’ll be putting that list to work really soon, and we can’t apologize enough about making folks sign back up again. We’re airing on the side of caution to ensure that we don’t leave anyone out.

On the plus side, we’ve streamlined the form and made it easier to sign up for updates. And remember, the Petition & Support List will never be given out to anyone. We hate spam, a lot.

Petition & Support List

GM Announces Holden, and Holden Engineers are Safe through 2022

General Motors has announced that they have struck a deal with the Australian government to continue Holden as-is through the year 2022.

Holden, as you may know, created most of Pontiac’s RWD-based lineup in the 21st Century. They were responsible for the Pontiac GTO and Pontiac G8, and manufactured all of both models in Australia as a captive import. Holden is also credited for developing the Zeta platform jointly shared between six GM models worldwide (Caprice (PPV), Commodore, Statesman, Ute, Camaro, and G8).

The brand was not under threat, Holden rivals Ford (Australia) as one of the two top-selling brands with domestic roots. Australian consumers have been looking for more eco-friendly options, facing higher gas prices, but still admire larger, higher-performance sedans. However, what was at-stake was Holden’s independence from other divisions of General Motors. GM asked the Australian government for deep tax breaks and incentives, under the threat of converting Holden into a brand in retail image only. GM had proposed not only dropping GM engineering resources, but also dropping manufacturing in the country.

This is important for bringing back Pontiac, as Holden could easily leverage the Pontiac brand to offer premium captive imports in the future, should economic conditions continue to improve. Holden manufactures Liquid Petrolium Gas (Propane)-based variants of the Commodore, in both LPG only, and Gas/LPG combinations. This enables the Austrialian version of the Pontiac G8 to deliver over 350 horsepower, and refuel for less than $2.50 per gallon.

For example, an LPG-based Pontiac G8 captive import could conceivably receive AT-PZEV certification in California, and be granted HOV lane access. This is especially possible with recent adaptations of Holden’s Zeta platform to support the 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec engine, capable of delivering between 270 and 300 horsepower. Such an engine is already slated for use in future Chevrolet Camaros, and the Pontiac G8 is already DOT and NHTSA certified.

It’s really hard to understate this news. Ford recently all but announced that it was discontinuing the lone RWD sedan in its family, the Ford Falcon, at the end of its current generation in 2015-2016. GM clearly sees the potential of Holden as an independent platform, focused on doing what it does best; contributing DNA that other GM divisions have faced attrition with, due to small-car priorities abroad.

We’ll be resuming the rollout of our Pontiac Green Cars Initiative, offering GM the consumer support behind the notion of a niche, eco-friendly Pontiac, positioned between Chevrolet and Buick. Pontiac could easily deliver these captive imports today, with MSRPs that would sell cars to a market that is largely untapped in America today; those looking for LPG/CNG cars in bi-fuel format. And, such offerings would not cannibalize sales between GM’s other brands, and could be sold in Buick/GMC dealers that previously sold Pontiac models.

In short, we’re back folks! We couldn’t think of greater news than Holden Engineering’s retention to kick off a comeback of our own…

No, We Didn’t Vanish

Our apologizes for the downtime that occurred right before New Year’s Eve. For about 36 hours, we were offline, and the domain name had expired. To make a long story short, a security lock on our credit card made the domain’s renewal fall through. Okay, that wasn’t a long story at all.

To make up for that, we’ll tease a bit of what we’re working on in the new year. Our next step is to roll out discussion forums, so you can better interact with us, each other, and help attract others to join the cause.

We expect that to be available around the end of the month. Hopefully. No promises.

Busy Week, Don’t Get Too Excited Though…

First off, we’re very humbled by the number of big-name car sites that have linked to BringPontiacBack.org over the past week. There are plenty of other people behind the scenes that don’t get to write blog posts here, that are helping to make this all happen. We all want to say thanks.

This attention has not only reminded people that Pontiac still matters across America, but it also has flocked Pontiac supporters to a central place. More people have signed up on our Petition & Support List in the past few days, than all previous days combined.

We know people want stuff to do, and we’re working on bringing more ways to discuss and interact. But, keep in mind; this is a marathon, not a sprint. This cause is going to have to last years, and through many periods of dull nothingness. GM is still far from a fully-public company, and the voting blocks are still in control of people who don’t like sport cars, and certainly don’t like Pontiac. (Those are the same people that ordered GM to dump Pontiac in the first place, by the way).

So, once again, thanks, we hope the activity continues, and we’ll do our part and keep the community-building and insights coming.

Google: Pontiac Still More Popular Than Buick

The numbers don’t lie. Well over a year after Pontiac began its phaseout, it still outranks Buick in Google Search popularity… adding fire to the assertion that the brand has staying power, and should be re-evaluated once the economy (and GM) are viable once again.


Source: Google Trends

Now, Pontiac does benefit here from the advent of the city named after the iconic car company; Pontiac, Michigan. However, it is highly unlikely that this accounts for the broad difference. Both Buick and Pontiac are international brands, searched for every day (and every hour) on Google throughout North America.

What would account for the 2:1 popularity of Pontiac over Buick, is passion for the brand and its iconic cars… new cars that consumers still want to buy. General Motors must remain aware of the persistence in two-fold popularity for Pontiac over even Buick.

In conclusion, this is significant for two reasons. One, Buick has far from faltered. Buick has seen massive gains in sales year-over-year since Pontiac was phased out. And, two, Pontiac’s popularity has also persisted during this time. We’ve been running these Google Trend analyses since shortly before Pontiac’s initial phaseout. Not once has Pontiac fallen below Buick in terms of popularity.