Pontiac, maker of muscle cars, ends after 84 years

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Monday, November 1, 2010

DETROIT (AP) -- Say goodbye to the Pontiac.

GM decided to kill the 84-year-old brand last year as the company collapsed into bankruptcy. Today is the day GM's agreements with Pontiac dealers expire.

Americans remember the muscle cars that drag-raced along boulevards and parked at drive-ins. In its heydey, Pontiac was known for models like the GTO, Trans Am and Catalina 2+2, packed with horsepower, in colors like "Tiger Gold."

But the brand became the victim of poor corporate strategy and changing driver tastes. Even before GM's bankruptcy, Pontiac sales had fallen from their peak of nearly a million in 1968. By 2008, Pontiac sales were down to about a quarter of a million.

Retired GM exec Bill Hoglund, who led Pontiac in the 1980s, blames a reorganization that cut costs by combining Pontiac's operations with those of other GM brands.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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