General Motors is shutting down the Pontiac brand--and now, it's confirmed the final Pontiac will be built in August 2009.
GM said in a press release today that it would build the last Pontiac Vibe in about two months, bringing the history of the 90-year-old brand to a close. The Vibe is listed by GM as a 2010 model, while all other Pontiacs save for the G6 sedan will be discontinued after the 2009 model year. The G6 will be available to fleets only.
While it's set a termination date for Pontiac, GM hasn't said what it plans to do with the plant that builds the Vibe. The NUMMI plant--short for New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.--is located in Fremont, Calif., on probably one of the more valuable real estate parcels among the General Motors plants to be idled, closed or with uncertain futures.
In a short statement, GM also said that "while no replacement for Vibe production has been determined, GM and Toyota remain in active discussions regarding potential future production at NUMMI." What that means is precisely unclear: GM has been averse to adopting Pontiac vehicles for other brands, though the Vibe is a consistent performer in quality and durability surveys. Recently GM CEO Fritz Henderson made it clear that he was not in favor of moving the critically acclaimed Pontiac G8 to another brand, like Chevrolet or Buick, so reviving the Vibe as a Chevy seems highly unlikely.
GM and Toyota could decide to cooperate on an entirely different type of vehicle. Even though it's put a timestamp on the Pontiac brand, GM has pointedly has left its Toyota joint venture on the table. Will it walk away, or appoint some other brand as the adoptive parent to another Toyota product--say, a Chevrolet/GMC Tacoma? Tell us which Toyota you'd like to see at GM dealers, under which brand, in a comment below. (And don't forget--you can use Facebook Connect to post your comments to your FB profile.)