Last week, we were excited to report that the Pontiac G8 would survive as a Chevrolet. We had nonchalantly asked Bob Lutz in a phone interview what the new GM has to offer the Pontiac G8 shopper, and the newly appointed marketing chief just as nonchalantly told us the car would be made a Chevy.
;Since then, we’ve seen some ominous signs. CEO Fritz Henderson wouldn’t back down from his earlier position against rebadging (apparently, he hasn’t been to a GMC dealer of late), and was quoted on Jalopnik as telling reporters, “Bob Lutz says a lot of things, but he works for me.”
Now, exactly one week after our scoop, Lutz has officially retreated. In a GM blog, he reported, “Upon further review and careful study, we simply cannot make a business case for such a program. Not in today’s market, in this economy, and with fuel regulations what they are and will be.”
We can’t comment as to the business viability of continuing the G8, as we’re not invited to their product planning meetings (and certainly won’t be now). We can only humbly note that several automakers, including Nissan, Hyundai, and Chrysler, have found ways to offer powerful rear-wheel-drive sedans in the same price-range as the Pontiac G8, and we hope one day General Motors will get on board as well. We also hope that what we’re seeing here is indeed decision making based on business and not a relapse of GM’s “can’t do” culture or worse, a corporate power struggle between Lutz and Henderson at the most critical time in in the company’s history.
Let’s just say we have a hunch that we haven’t heard the last of this…