Read my lips: the Pontiac G8 is dead, again

July 17th, 2009

Read my lips: the Pontiac G8 is dead, again

Posted by: David Bailey

2009 Pontiac G8 GXPGeneral Motors Co promised it would make decisions much faster following its failure and rebirth in bankruptcy and its on-again, off-again revival of the Pontiac G8 is dead again after just three days.

The sporty G8 — flagship of the soon-to-be discontinued Pontiac brand — has been a favorite of car enthusiasts including GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who said on Monday the automaker was studying whether to bring back the car as a Chevrolet Caprice.

His remarks on the G8 ran opposite those of Chief Executive Fritz Henderson, who had said previously he was “not a fan of rebadging,” and of Lutz’s successor as product chief, Tom Stevens, who had said a G8 revival was not possible.

Lutz said on Thursday that he was disappointed, but GM could not make a business case for bringing back the Australia-assembled and designed G8.

“I’d mentioned it, and said we were studying it, giving it a serious look, because a car like the G8 was just too good to waste,” Lutz said in a posting on GM’s website. “That’s all still true.”

“But I have to say that, with my new ‘marketing’ hat on, upon further review and careful study, we simply cannot make a business case for such a program,” Lutz said. “Not in today’s market, in this economy, and with fuel regulations what they are and will be.”

The decision does not indicate a pull back from performance or rear-wheel drive cars and GM plans to tap the Australian team that developed the G8 again in the future, he said.

Lutz, GM’s former product chief, has a long record of courting controversy in defense of the auto industry.

In 2006, he compared federal fuel economy standards to trying to address obesity by having the government force clothing manufacturers to sell only small sizes.

Last year, Lutz called global warming a “total crock of s—.”

GM said it was ready for controversy when it brought back Lutz from an earlier announced retirement to head its marketing and communications efforts as it emerges under from bankruptcy under majority government ownership.

It has not taken long to test that theory.

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