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Buick, Pontiac to stay, GM says
Friday, March 25, 2005​

Mark LaNeve, General Motors North America vice president, moved quickly to reassure dealers that GM is not planning to drop any brands.

News reports earlier this week quoted GM Vice President Bob Lutz as saying that some of GM's "troubled" brands - specifically Buick or Pontiac - might have to be phased out.

"The statements were taken out of context. I've been told that that's not what he said at all," said Mike Delehanty, president of Delehanty Pontiac in Flushing.

"What's really important is that GM's made significant investment in all its brands, including Buick and Pontiac.

"Mark LaNeve assured all of us that GM isn't considering eliminating any of its brands."

In a Thursday letter to GM dealers (including Saab and Saturn dealers), LaNeve said "Please be assured that the reporting of this is a mis-representation and incorrect paraphrasing of the actual comments made.

"Let me be clear, we are not, I repeat NOT, discussing the elimination of any of our brands. To the contrary, we are investing more heavily than ever in new product and marketing programs to build all of our brands, drive sales and improve the value of our franchise," LaNeve said in his letter.

"Bob Lutz in particular has been a huge champion for re-igniting the Pontiac and Buick brands with world class products."

Some analysts have suggested that GM has too many product lines, and that another car line might have to join Oldsmobile in the list of "former" brands.

But Rick Mansour, general manager at Patsy Lou Buick GMC in Flint Township, said he doesn't believe GM would drop the brands when it has invested billions in new models for them.

"I'm more encouraged with Buick than I've ever been before," Mansour said. "It's the LaCrosse, the Lucerne, the Rainier, the Terraza - they are investing a lot of money."

He said the age of the average Buick buyer has dropped, showing that younger people are taking to the brand.

Delehanty said Pontiac also is on the rise.

"Pontiac has a lot of new products coming out ... the (2006) Solstice is going to be a hot little two-seater."

And, he said, it is unfair for analysts to say that the all-new Pontiac G6 sedan has not lived up to expectations, since the launch is only part-way through. In 2004, Pontiac was GM's second-best selling car line, behind Chevrolet. Buick and Pontiac both outsold Cadillac, and were far ahead of Saturn and Saab.

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I agree, we (GM employees) just got a letter sent through Dealerworld that says pretty much the same thing. I believe the journalist who spread this rumor wrote what he wanted to hear and NOT what he heard! If you believe the rumor then it begs the question, why did Bob spend so much to come out with so many new cars for these brands? I don't believe it now and I will not change my mind until I either A:get an email from GM saying this or B:hear Bob Lutz personally say this......... just my 2cents.....

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Groucho said:
I work with Lutz's daughter here...she says that he absolutely despises the automotive press...and with apparent good reason.
What? Bob Lutz doesn't like guys like David E Davis, Patrick Bedard, Brock Yates, Csaba Csere (Cubby Cheddar, Roto Rooter or whatever the heck his name is) and all those other guys who aren't smart enough to get real jobs?!?!?

My favorite these days is Robert Cumberford, the seeing eye dog "design critic" at Automobile. In his design analysis of the Buick LaCrosse, he craps all over it. Then, in the same issue, he gushes about the BMW 3 Series. However, many of the features he bashes on the Buick are in the 3 Series design -- yet they're perfectly fine on that car. And he just LOVED the 5 Series (gak). Gee, is the guy biased toward imports?

In any event, the article which set this whole thing off had Lutz' comments in quotation marks. That means those were words out of his mouth. If he said this stuff, it's his bad. If he didn't and was misquoted -- he deserves an apology. The only way to prove it is to find an unedited tape of the press conference.

Remember when NBC rigged some GM cars to blow up on impact? Harry Pierce, their Chief Legal Counsel, really kicked some ass when that baloney came out. Hopefully, someone will get fired up and do the same if there are grounds for it.

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237 Posts
I'm with Bob on another one here.

The media has such a profound foreign bias that it's completely transparent and vomit-inducing! Seriously, not all American cars are great, but listening to them you'd think that most are crap and the U.S. industry desrves to go under. It seems that unless a U.S car strikes some nostalgic chord with a memory from the journalist's misspent youth it has no chance . . .

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316 Posts
Not to offend anyone but we live in a country with liberal media who are all hollering HURRAY for me and FU#@ YOU. They wont take a solid stance on anything and will say what ever it takes to get the most $. they are all rideing the fence on just about every issue and spend to much time worrying about being politicaly correct. All I can say is F them, F being PC and F anyone who cant appreciate something for what it is. I lived Europe for 12 years every other car campany has just as much junk as GM does. BMW, MB, VW and AUTI being no exeption to that.

I would also like to say sorry for the bad spelling
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