Buying a Pontiac

My boyfriend believes that after the market falls on Pontiac sales, that is would be a good idea to buy one. He thinks it will be a good deal. I think that the market will continue to drop and I will never be able to resale the car for a descent amount. Who is right?

Depending upon your point of view, you’re both right. If Pontiac is going away there will be fire sale prices toward the end, and your boyfriend could probably get a pretty good deal on a new car.

He’ll have to keep it forever, however, because resale value will fall like a stone.

If he’s willing to drive the car until it’s dead he may come out ahead. If he plans to sell or trade the car in a few years he’ll probably lose a lot of money.

I hope he really likes the car he’s planning to buy, and not buying something just because he thinks it’s cheap.

You both are right. These are 2 different questions.

If you can, now is a good time to buy any kind of car. Are you in the habit of swapping cars every few years? If so, then I would worry about resale. I drive cars into the ground, and never expect to sell one. As such, a car’s resale value is irrelevant to me. Which do you plan on? If you want to try for a super-good deal based on Pontiac going down, go for a Vibe - it is a Toyota Matrix in slightly different skin.

If GM stays afloat, a person should be fine with most Pontiac models. Most of the Pontiacs are rebadged models of other GM cars. The engines and drivetrains exchange with other GM products. When Chrysler dropped the DeSoto line back in 1961, the engine and transmission as well as most other parts interchanged with either the Chrysler or the Dodge. The 1959 and 1960 Edsel carried the senior Ford parts. At the time, both the DeSoto and the Edsel could be had at bargain basement prices and were good buys.

On the other hand, a 1954 Pontiac was probably not a good buy even though the Pontiac line was maintained until the present. The Pontiac offered a flat head 6 and a flat head 8. The next year, both engines were dropped in favor a newly developed V-8. The Pontiac 6 was a particularly difficult car to to find parts for, since it wasn’t very popular at the time. One might as well have owned an orphan make.

I believe GM will survive in a much smaller form. As of yesterday, Pontiac has been dropped and the Hummer, Saab, and Saturn divisions are up for sale to the highest bidder or will be shut down.

Agree that there will be some great deals, since GM will close nearly half of their dealerships and all those Pontiacs have to go somewhere! But you should keep them forever, or at least til they’re worn out.

The big problem will be parts for slow selling models, especially body parts. The Pontiac Solstice sports car will be a true orphan, like the previous one, the unlamented Fiero, but the Vibe, which sold in good volume will be easier, especially since mechanically it is pure Matrix. In Canada, Pontiac sells their badged version of the Cobalt as the G5; you could fit a Cobalt grill in the opening since the differences are minimal.

Last month a poster tried to find a grill for an Oldsmobile minivan, a real slow selling dog! This is the kind purchase you want to avoid. A Pontiac G6 sold in large enough quantities and was wrecked in large enough quantities to be able to find replacement grills in the future.

I could see Saturn maybe being bought, but I doubt Hummer or Saab will be

Agree; Saturn will become a dealer chain selling some badged GM and imported cars from China and India. The Obama administration wants the Hummer DEAD!

As for Saab, even the Swedish government dosen’t not want to put any money into it. Maybe Tata will rescue it out of bankruptcy!

The mundane models will plunge in price as the brand is finished… But the neat little two-seater, Solaris I think they call it, might make a good investment vehicle if you can find one…They are quite rare, which is what future collectors are looking for…

Solstice is correct.

The apparent resale value will plummet, but not necessarily the real one. If you buy one for about 75% of invoice or less, resale value after the first year may be more than you paid. We bought a new Olds Silhouette in 2003 for roughly 67% of MSRP. The resale value was higher than what we paid for 2 years, despite the demise of Oldsmobile. I’ve never owned a car with a better depreciation record than that Olds.

Now, who’s right? Who knows? There are reasonable arguments on both sides. I think that if you can get the car for at least one-third off invoice, it’s worth buying. The only car without siblings in the Solstice. The G8 is a Holden (GM Australia), so there should be parts for it. The G6 is a Malibu, the G5 is a Cobalt coupe, the Torrent is a Equinox, and the G3 is an Aveo. The Vibe is a Matrix, but I think it is going to be rebadged as a Chevrolet, as may be the G8. I can’t imagine GM walking away from the Vibe.

Good post, jt! If we are planning to save money in the long run, a steeply discounted new Pontiac would be a good deal if you keep it long enough and select one that sold in sufficient volume as a Pontiac or Chevrolet, so body and trim pars would be available.

If you sell it after 2 years with good resale, you still have to buy another car, and start the process all over again. And we all know that trading cars every 2 years in general is a very expensive way to drive.

Agree the Solstice will be a real orphan; the Obama administration will essentially be running GM for a few years and such frivolous cars will have no place in the Green US future.

I agree with you as a collector car, but not a daily driver, as what OP’s post is about.

In the 70s, when Malcolm Bricklin brought out his famous Bricklin sportscar, a colleague of mine immediately ordered one. I was puzzled, but not after he explained that the Bricklin would not succeed, the company would fail, and it would become a collector’s car.

GM in transition can’t get past thinking any more than 6 months ahead. A plug in Solstice with promised but never delivered Volt running gear would have a future.
They would sell like hot cakes but for not the $30 or 40k the Volt platform is looking at. But CEOs just can’t wrap their mind around anything that doesn’t pay a dividend the next quarter. At this point, I wouldn’t touch a GM or Chrysler car unless the technology was ahead of the competition instead of borrowed or stolen.
Their trucks…that’s another story.

I believe that you are thinking in terms of the old owners and what they desired. The new owners, the US Government and the UAW, may have different priorities. They might include job stability and a green fleet. I guess we’ll find out.

How would a Solstice have room for the battery packs and the electric drive system if it was converted to “Volt” status?

As it is right now, the Solstice design has perhaps the smallest trunk on the market, and no storage room in the cabin. Aside from the obvious performance deficiencies as compared to a Miata, when a prospective buyer finds that he can carry–at most–one grocery bag in the trunk, and that there is no place for even a cup of coffee or a small water bottle in the cabin, that buyer will likely walk away without even test-driving the car.

It would be relatively easy to improve the performance and the relibility of the Solstice, but a complete body/chassis redesign would be necessary if this car was to be converted to a hybrid.

And only time will tell if it was named after the summer solstice or the winter solstice.

On the Volt platform …means obviously, not the same body style. I guess we didn’t hear, they failed the first bailout qualification try and someone was fired. That’s the attitude I was referring to. My feeling is, they grudgingly turn into the Sears of car makers by selling someone else products while laying off more workers. And I still wouldn’t buy a GM till they prove worthy of my tax dollars.

The local GM dealership has $6500 off a G8 GT, sticker price is $33,660. $27,160 and you could probably negotiate down as well. Sticker for a Vibe GT is $21k, but they only took off $2500 for price of $18,925

The Vibe is easily the most popular Pontiac. And many people recognize it’s similarity to the Matrix. There will be parts for the Vibe no matter what happens to GM. I think the prices will come down a lot more as the summer wears on. Unless GM takes back the unsold cars and moves them to Chevy dealers, the prices should be amazing as dealer stock dwindles.

Resale is probably not going to be good. But I tend to drive the vehicles a long time and never worry about resale value. My 2000 Pontiac has 96k and is approaching 10 years old. I don’t expect to get a lot in a trade in. But I don’t care.

As for getting parts, you’ll be able to get parts for many many years (at least 20 years). In the 80s I owned a 1972 Olds Delta 88. Parts were readily available (partly due to many aftermarket manufacturers).

I say if the price is very good, buy it.