By Colin Bird on March 11, 2011
Has it been nearly two years since General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection? Yes indeed. The automaker filed Chapter 11 in June 2009, and with that, the fates of Hummer, Saturn and Pontiac were sealed.
The most important of those shuttered brands was arguably Pontiac because of its size. In 2008, Pontiac was the 12th most popular brand in America, slotting between Kia and Mazda. So where is the Pontiac diaspora migrating? They’re mainly going to other GM brands, according to a recent study by RL Polk & Co.
In 2010, of the 57,641 former Pontiac owners looking for a new ride, nearly 53.3% of them purchased another remaining GM brand. Historically, nearly 60% of Pontiac owners have remained loyal to GM, so the figure is slightly down.
Of those buyers, nearly 33.5% went to Chevrolet, followed by GMC (11.7%), Ford (10.5%), Toyota (7.7%) and Honda (7.5%). Those figures make sense to us. Considering that Pontiac was an affordable mainstream brand, those buyers flocked to other big mainstream brands.
Overall, nearly 69% of Pontiac owners stuck with a Detroit Three brand, mainly with GM. If you think the results of this study were certain to tip to GM’s favor, that wasn’t a foregone conclusion. Since 2004, nearly 80% of Oldsmobile owners – another defunct GM brand – have moved into non-GM rides, according to Automotive News. A similar exodus was predicted for Pontiac owners.
GM offered incentives, such as free oil changes and tire rotations, and promoted GM rides on Pontiac.com. There were also additional bonus-cash offerings for Saturn and Pontiac owners in 2010, according to Automotive News.