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Gone for Now
Pontiac to drop GTO after '06 model year

By JAMIE LAREAU | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 02/21/06, 1:04 pm et​

DETROIT -- General Motors has told Pontiac dealers that it will discontinue the GTO coupe at the end of this model year. GM will make the last deliveries of the vehicle to dealers by the end of September, sources close to Pontiac say.

GM will produce 10,000 to 12,000 more GTOs before dropping the nameplate, one source close to the situation says. Last year, Pontiac sold 11,590 GTOs compared to 2004 when it sold 13,569. That's a 14.6 percent drop.

When Pontiac launched the GTO in 2003, it projected 18,000 annual sales. The vehicle was criticized for bland styling, and some fans of the original GTO complained that it lacked nostalgic styling cues.

A Pontiac spokesman confirms the GTO will be discontinued after the 2006 model year.

“There are some changes in the federal regulatory standards. One is an airbag deployment standard that would require some very expensive re-engineering of the car,” says Jim Hopson, Pontiac spokesman. “Since the architecture of this car is being phased out around the world it’s not economically feasible to continue this car.”

Pontiac will continue to build the GTO through the end of May, Hopson says. The last “boatload will hit the ground in June”, he adds.

The GTO first came to dealerships in December 2003 as a 2004 model, Hopson says.

The GTO is built on a rear-wheel drive architecture from GM's Holden division in Australia. The present model is going out of production as GM constructs the new Zeta RWD architecture, says the source.

There is no replacement coupe planned at this time and because of the strong Australian and weak U.S. dollar, the GTO had to be priced thousands over where GM originally wanted it -- in the mid-twenties, the source says. "It never did as much volume as we had hoped," the source says.

Pontiac is considering a replacement in the lineup for a RWD performance vehicle, but does not have anything to announce yet, Hopson says.

The GTO suggested retail price starts at $31,990, including shipping. One GM source says, "the 2005 and 2006 were pretty well sold out, and sales were especially strong in areas of GM weakness, like Southern California. It's a shame it has to go -- for now."
 

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They won't bring back the GTO because no one is going to let them put a V6 into a GTO, which is what they would have to do to make it a viable business proposition. There is a video of I think Bob Lutz walking around the Camaro concept and he explains that to make it a profitable car they would have to sell over 100,000 a year, so a V6 would be starting around $20k with a V8 in the mid to low 30s. Thats about as straight from the horses mouth as it gets. The GTO of this generation was a product of luck. They happened to have a car already in production and they happened to have a hole in their market for a high performance car (no camaro or firebird). IF there is a Pontiac version of the new Camaro, which there probably will be because we know GM loves to rebadge, it will be a Firebird and it will come with a V6 with a V8 option in the mid 30s.
 

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Only GM North America could figure out how NOT to sell a great car like this.

The GTO name immediately got people relating it back to the old days -- which wasn't fair. The old cars were good for their time -- but it was definitely time to move on -- and forward. This whole retro thing came out of nowhere -- and bit the GTO on the bum because it was -- horror of horrors, a clean and modern design. Hood scoops? Dang, too bad drum brakes and 70 series bias ply tires weren't options, too.

Look at the opportunity GM pissed away. By selling Holden Monaros through Pontiac dealers -- all the retro BS would have been avoided. They would have had a hot and valuable new brand -- and could have looked at bringing other hot Aussie cars over here under the same premise.

Instead, they turned this whole thing into one big flop in the public's eyes. What a shame.

Thanks for the heads up on this article. I'm talking to the wife tonight about buying another one and sticking it into long-term storage so there will be at least one new available when my '04 wears out.
 

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honestly, with all the problems i've had with my gto and waiting for parts for over 4 months b/c it was "backordered" and basically visited every country in asia before hitting US soil, im glad they're stopping.

they need to make muscle cars on our soil. AND they need to take responsibility for poor engineering. I mean why should i have to replace my tires every 10k miles b/c it rubs the strut......
 

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End of Days

The fact GM is discontinuing the GTO only adds to the myriad reasons I'm happy to have one. Unlike Mustangs, etc, I'll never see myself coming and going. In the end, the scarcity will only increase the panache and value. I've never understood why the auto magazine 'experts' shortchanged the vehicle but that hasn't affected what I know to be true about my '05. It looks like an adult's machine, it is a blast to drive, and it will run with the big dogs.
 

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b_a_betterperson said:
Only GM North America could figure out how NOT to sell a great car like this.

The GTO name immediately got people relating it back to the old days -- which wasn't fair. The old cars were good for their time -- but it was definitely time to move on -- and forward. This whole retro thing came out of nowhere -- and bit the GTO on the bum because it was -- horror of horrors, a clean and modern design. Hood scoops? Dang, too bad drum brakes and 70 series bias ply tires weren't options, too.

Look at the opportunity GM pissed away. By selling Holden Monaros through Pontiac dealers -- all the retro BS would have been avoided. They would have had a hot and valuable new brand -- and could have looked at bringing other hot Aussie cars over here under the same premise.

Instead, they turned this whole thing into one big flop in the public's eyes. What a shame.
I couldn't agree more!!!!!!! Bringing this $60K vehicle to the US and badging it as a Pontiac is like Sears taking a Sony TV and putting Silvertone on it... UNBELIEVABLE !!!!!!!!!! There isn't another GM badged vehicle in this country that I'd even take a look at!
 

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tkd0706 said:
They won't bring back the GTO because no one is going to let them put a V6 into a GTO, which is what they would have to do to make it a viable business proposition. There is a video of I think Bob Lutz walking around the Camaro concept and he explains that to make it a profitable car they would have to sell over 100,000 a year, so a V6 would be starting around $20k with a V8 in the mid to low 30s. Thats about as straight from the horses mouth as it gets. The GTO of this generation was a product of luck. They happened to have a car already in production and they happened to have a hole in their market for a high performance car (no camaro or firebird). IF there is a Pontiac version of the new Camaro, which there probably will be because we know GM loves to rebadge, it will be a Firebird and it will come with a V6 with a V8 option in the mid 30s.
The trick to the GTO working would be to bring the LeMans badge back as the V6 and maybe a lower HP V8 version of the car and make the GTO a high performance V8 only. Then the V6 and lower HP V8 LeMans could make up the needed sales to make it profitable leaving the GTO for the enthusiasts. The same way they use to do it.:D
 

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slowride said:
I agree. A sister to the Camaro would not be another GTO, it would far more likely be a Firebird/Trans Am.
I disagree. Why produce two cars that service the same exact niche? A new GTO would go after people with families that want to seat 4 comfortably, while the Camaro would go after performance and value minded folks that don't need seating for four. It would be Camaro vs Mustang and GTO vs Charger. Seems to me that the GTO provides more opportunities for GM than a Firebird.
 

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:( :(
 

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Sad, really sad. But i must say that after i saw the first one i knew it was down hill if they didnt do some major restyling.

They say the airbag mods would hurt finacially, but if these cars were selling like hotcakes new airbag mods wouldnt even hurt them.

Although a great performing car, this was never deserving of the GTO name.
 

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73LS4 said:
I couldn't agree more!!!!!!! Bringing this $60K vehicle to the US and badging it as a Pontiac is like Sears taking a Sony TV and putting Silvertone on it... UNBELIEVABLE !!!!!!!!!! There isn't another GM badged vehicle in this country that I'd even take a look at!
Another convert to the Groucho way of thinking. :cheers
 

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Chief D said:
:willy:
I just don't know what to say.
At least I got mine before they lowered the curtain...again.
:seeya:
I couldn't have said it better myself.
 
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