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Pontiac Pushes Forward with G8 'Ute Despite Tough Times


2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck

2010 Pontiac G8 sport truck

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The continued production plans for the kinda-odd, kinda-cool Pontiac Amino pictured to the left is a surprising bit of verve from GM given its cost-slashing, factory-closing spasms of late. Yes, the G8 ST (sport truck) is still planned for 2010, and it shares a platform (with a wheelbase stretched four inches) with the low-buck, high-thrill G8 sedan. That sedan itself is based on a platform from GM's Australian division, Holden.

We scratched our heads recently at Pontiac's mission in GM's portfolio, and in the automotive world in general, especially now that it's confirmed the division's hi-po rear-wheel-drive cars are slowly dying off. The brand has fumbled and bumbled through the past three decades trying to hit its stride. It is occasionally brilliant (GTO, 6000 STE, Firebird Formula), and just as often horribly inept (T1000, Daewoo-based LeMans, anything ever named Grand Am, TransSport, Safari Wagon). Is the G8 ST still a wise investment of precious capital for GM (who could, for instance, use the money to push up the launch of the next Malibu) and, more pointedly, for Pontiac, whose stable of true performance cars (G8, Solstice) is getting rather thin these days?

While GM is in the midst of massive cost-cutting, we wonder why the G8 ST seems such a sacred cow. When profits margins soared and dealers were happy, GM could well afford to launch niche vehicles such as the GMC Cyclone and Typhoon that it knew would never sell in high volumes. While we could be wrong about market demand for a Pontiac revival of the El Camino (hey, the Aussies live and die by the 'Ute), we have the feeling this is going to be another one of GM's weird vehicular experiments along the lines of the GMC Envoy XUV. And as my boss elegantly points out, "history hasn't been kind to car/truck miscegeny."--Colin Mathews

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Comments (8)
  1. Yeah its a good investment... because essentially with the development of the G8 and Camaro this thing is only gravy since they are producing a UTE for the Aussie market. Bring it on, with a 3.6L V6 and 6MT.
     
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  2. One possibility, two words: Bob Lutz?
    (He's fond of it?)
     
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  3. Like I said on another post, make Pontiac an Holden exclusive line. this truck has me scratching my head. In a way I dont get it but back in he 60s and 70s Pontiac used to be the rebal carline from GM and this kind of has the same feel. You have to admit it does look cool.
     
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  4. El Camino anyone?
     
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  5. Production plans made years ago are difficult to overturn today.
    On the other hand, my uncle in South America loves his Ford Pampa (a smaller FWD car/truck). They are indeed popular in many countries for their fuel savings, affordability, and car-like ride and handling. I hope Americans will see the benefit of trading in their F-150 grocery-getters for this.
     
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  6. Thats sums it all up. Pontiac-amino.
     
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  7. As it has already been developed by Holden Pontiac's only cost is advertising. drop in the Aussie $ also means it will be profitable to export it to US. Give it a go, if it succeeds great, if not who is hurt? GM can't keep doing business as normal and this is no Aztec.
     
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  8. THIS WILL NEVER CATCH ON IN THE US, IT HASN'T IN THE PAST, AND WON'T. TRADITIONAL PICK-UP DRIVERS AREN'T GOING TO BE FOUND DRIVING ONE OF THESE, AND THOSE WHO AREN'T TRADITIONAL PICK-UP DRIVERS WILL SWITCH VEHICLE CATEGORIES AND MOVE INTO A SEDAN OR SOMETHING ELSE.
    AMERICA DOESN'T NEED THIS VEHICLE... WE DON'T WANT IT EITHER!
     
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