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Old 3rd November 2010, 07:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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End of the road: The iconic Smokey And The Bandit Pontiac cars go out of business

End of the road: The iconic Smokey And The Bandit Pontiac cars go out of business

By DAILY MAIL REPORTERS
Last updated at 3:52 PM on 1st November 2010


Once it was the iconic 'muscle' car of the movies with its powerful engines and scowling grills.

But today the Pontiac that drag-raced down boulevards, parked at drive-ins and roared across film screens in the 1960s, is no more.

The brand went out of business after 84 years. At the height of it popularity, one million models were sold in 1968.


Smoking: The Pontiac Trans Am Burt Reynolds drove in the film Smokey And The Bandit 3. The classic car brand has gone out of business after 84 years


The car's the star: Kitt, the computer car in the 1980s TV series Knight Rider was a Pontiac model and a bigger name than his co-star David Hasselhoff

In the film Smokey And The Bandit, Burt Reynolds and Sally Field fled the law in a Pontiac 'Tiger Gold' Firebird Trans Am.

Kitt, the computer car in the Hollywood TV series Knight Rider was a Pontiac model and a bigger name than his co-star David Hasselhoff.

But by the late 1980s, Pontiacs were taking off their muscle shirts, putting on suits and trying to act like other cars.


Wedding car: A 1953 Pontiac convertible. Now the brand has gone out of business after 84 years


Iconic: The Pontiac which sold a million models in 1968 and appeared in countless movies


Speed: The powerful Pontiac Riley which was built for sports car racing


Road to nowhere: By 2008, General Motors announced Pontiac sales were down to 267,000

A HISTORY OF PONTIAC



1893: Founder Edward Murphy establishes the Pontiac Buggy Company in Pontiac, Michigan.

1907: Murphy produces cars under the name Oakland Motor Car Company.

1926: After General Motors buys a stake in the company, Pontiac debuts a five-passenger, six-cylinder car at the New York Auto Show. GM sells 76,742 that year, priced $825.

1935: Pontiac adds chrome trim on bonnets and boots - the 'silver streak'.

1941: Market share jumps to 7.6 per cent and production skyrockets to 330,061 units.

1964: Huge engine in a small car... the Pontiac GTO 'muscle car' is born.

1967: The Firebird is unveiled, followed by the Trans Am, made popular in film.

1972: 16 millionth car rolls off production line in November.

2006: Much-lauded fuel-efficient Vibe is introduced but cannot save the company.

2010: GM ceases Pontiac production.
The brand lost its edge and paid the price.

The last one was built in May - a victim of changing tastes and General Motors' decision to kill it when the company collapsed into bankruptcy.

By 2008, the last full year before GM announced Pontiac's shutdown, sales were 267,000.

Launched in 1926, Pontiac made cars for the working class until a sales slump in the 1950s nearly killed it.

GM revived the brand by linking it to car racing.

Models like the GTO, Trans Am and Catalina 2+2 were packed with horsepower.

But this year, sales are less than one per cent of the 2.2 million cars and trucks GM is expected to sell.

Bill Hoglund, a retired GM executive who led Pontiac during its 'We Build Excitement' ad campaigns in the 1980s, blames the car's demise on company reorganisation.

He said: 'There was no passion for the product.'

Although the changes were necessary to fend off competition from Japanese carmakers with lower costs, Pontiacs looked and drove like other GM cars.

About two dozen unsold Pontiacs now linger at dealerships around the country, including a maroon G5 coupe that sits awkwardly between used cars and new models next to a showroom near Little Rock, Arkansas.

Sales Manager Alex Valencia has knocked almost $7,000 off the sticker price, down to $16,585. It still hasn't sold.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-business.html

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Old 4th November 2010, 02:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: End of the road: The iconic Smokey And The Bandit Pontiac cars go out of business

I remember when i was young, i really wanted a firebird! haha.

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