Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Farewell to Pontiac

This week GM announced plans to pull the plug on the Pontiac brand. This was tough news for me to take for sentimental reasons as the Pontiac Sunbird was the first car I ever bought at a dealership, with a car loan ($164.22 a month). Made me feel like such a grownup. It was 1992, and the dealership was Wade Raulerson in Gainesville, Florida. The 1992 Sunbird is pictured to the right -- white like mine. And yes, a four-door. How many 22-year olds buy a four-door? I traded that car in for an SUV days before my first son was born. We needed something bigger, you know. Well, he'll be a teenager next month, and I still have that SUV, which is a link to the Sunbird, so you're starting to catch on to the sentimentality.

Anyway, it is a reminder that no company or brand has the right to exist. We all have to make our way and prove our worth and value. And while I loved my Sunbird, I got rid of it before the head gasket blew (as that model was prone), and I have to remind myself this was the same brand that rolled out the Fiero (it was supposed to be a cheaper Corvette and ended up being a more expensive Citation) and the Aztec (a recent winner in an "ugliest car ever" contest).

Also, Pontiac has created some iconic advertising. Advertising Age has a slide show containing some of the ads -- fun to look at, and yes, I remember some of them -- you will, too.

So, I guess the lesson here is to stay vigilant about your business, but more importantly, stay relevant. Because for some reason, I never bought another Pontiac after that Sunbird, and I guess there were too many others like me.

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