GM may have to discontinue Pontiac line

April 24, 2009 7:22:26 PM PDT
The struggling auto industry's efforts to stay alive may mean an end to General Motors' Pontiac line. The Wall Street Journal reports that GM will announce Monday it is sending the Pontiac brand to the scrapheap.

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The Pontiac GMC. dealership in Newark closed a few months ago. It's a sign that business has not been booming for some time. On Friday the Obama Administration pushed GM to downsize the company even more, saying it had too many name plates. The company originally hoped to keep one or two Pontiac models in production, but the feds are fighting that idea.

If all Pontiac manufacturing ends, it could impact the Fremont-based, NUMMI plant, which is the only car plant left in the state. The plant is a joint venture between GM and Toyota. Pontiac Vibes are assembled there.

"There's a huge impact and things are not great for NUMMI, they're having to reduce production considerably. So this is just another piece that has to be considered and we've been concerned as to whether they could end up closing," said Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman.

"We're concerned. We just don't want the Vibe to go away, but we haven't been told about the Vibe going away. It's news to us just like, I guess, to everybody that's hearing about GM. Actually, it's a shock to us that General Motors is in so much trouble," said Victor Quesada, a UAW International representative.

Recently NUMMI forced more than 4,000 union workers to go down to a four-day work week because of low sales and demand. Union reps will meet with NUMMI leaders next week to discuss if there will be an impact on the plant, and if so, when.

GM has a June 1st deadline to prove to the Obama Administration that it has restructured itself. The company has already received $17.4 billion from the feds since December.

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