With all the talk about fuel-efficient, alternative energy “green” cars, you
might be surprised to learn which GM brand consumers would like to see emerge
at the other end of the bankruptcy / bail-out tunnel.
According to a new worldwide survey conducted by CarGurus, an online
automotive community, Pontiac is the GM brand more consumers would like to see
in their future.
Of the four brands under consideration for the chopping block nearly 44% of
1,700 respondents said that Pontiac would be their choice for a reprieve. Only
27% named Hummer, 20% chose Saab and a mere 9% named Saturn. Since filing for
bankruptcy protection on June 1, GM has announced tentative deals to sell all
three of these less popular brands.
Despite the survey results indicating a preference for the Pontiac brand, GM
has indicated that Pontiac is considered the least likely to find “life after
One theory for the popularity of the Pontiac brand is its close association
with the muscle-car craze. Muscle-car mania was spawned in 1964 with the
introduction of the legendary Pontiac GTO, the car immortalized by the
surf music classic “Little GTO” by Jan and Dean, and Pontiac has
remained the standard-bearer for the muscle car over the past half century.
CarGurus’ CEO, Langley Steinert, also cited the Pontiac G6, recently ranked
20th bestselling car in the United States as one reason he was “not
surprised to see consumers vote to save this historic brand.”
What did surprise him was respondents’ preference for the Hummer brand (a
high profile target for “green” advocates) over Saab and Saturn brands, which
are generally considered to be more environmentally-friendly choices.
Steinert also pointed to the disparity between brand loyalty expressed in the
survey and raw numbers. Hummer’s top seller, the H3, ranked a lowly 153 in
overall domestic sales while the compact Saturn Vue is ranked among the top 50
best selling cars in the county.