Henderson to Lutz -- No Reprieve for Pontiac G8

By Editors on July 20, 2009 11:44 AM
In a fairly quick and definitive reaffirmation of why it's better to be the chief executive officer than the chief marketing officer, GM's CEO Fritz Henderson let it be known to his new CMO, Bob Lutz, and the rest of the hopeful enthusiast crowd that the Pontiac G8 will not be enjoying any miracle comeback as a Chevrolet Caprice. Even before Lutz made his recent and widely-quoted statement about the G8 being too good a platform for GM to waste, Henderson had gone on record as saying he was no fan of badge engineering, regardless of the upside it may present. While again reiterating the merits of the outgoing Australian-built Pontiac sport sedan, Lutz was forced to admit in an entry at GM's FastLane blog headed "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" that "with my new 'marketing' hat on, 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. I know that we'll get a lot of complaints from G8 lovers, because I'm one of them. And the product guy in me is complaining as loudly as anyone. But the marketing guy says there's no case. With budgets being what they are for the time being, the resources must be allocated elsewhere." A pity, because he's right about the car's merits as a potential "halo vehicle" and the decision to drop the ax still leaves GM in need of a suitable rear-drive four-door sedan if it seriously hopes to challenge Ford and Chrysler for a slice of the profitable police cruiser business.
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