We love the idea of the 2010 Pontiac G8 El Camino, this much goes without saying, but there's been a lot of hemming and hawing about the long term viability of the product from a business perspective. Motor City Blog Man Todd Lassa has a theory on the General's strategy and it kind of makes sense to us. Remember when we all went a little batty at the prospect of a G8 Wagon and then it got canned — kind of? Well Todd got to thinking about the wagon and the El Camino, and mixed in a little marketing strategy from GM's cross town rivals at Ford and came up with an idea:
What if the G8 El Camino was simply a Pontiac G8 variant, like Mustangs Bullitt and the California Special? Albeit on a more complex, but still platform produced scale. GM let everybody who wants one get a copy during a couple years of production, then phase it out when demand falls only to introduce a new variant — the G8 wagon. We see this as a brilliant theory, but we have some ideas to add here.
We can see the market for truck-cars going one of two ways, the direction Lassa points at — a complete niche for enthusiast buyers, or, breaking out like gangbusters. Why would we say that? Because of the economy. It's no secret the housing market is taking a dirt nap, some markets have seen a decline in home values as high as 20% in the last year. GM knows housing sales are the biggest indicator of light truck sales trends, and the sharp decline in that segment across the board in the last two quarters backs that up. The midsize trucks currently in place are as large as full size trucks two decades ago, and their fuel economy credentials are slipping badly. With gas prices on the rise, and environmental consciousness coming into vogue, there's a possibility, though admittedly small, that GM may actually be first to market with a hot new segment, efficient trucks.
Certainly the current iteration with it's 361 HP V8 is not fuel sipper, but we're betting the V6 already for sale in Australia would be an easy option to incorporate if demand was there. Heck, the Solstice sourced Ecotec 4 cylinder would probably fit nicely in that car. So say what you will about GM's Pontiac G8 sport truck, you may feel that it's folly, but people have to haul stuff regardless of the price of gas, and GM knows this too. So in the end, GM can show it's enthusiasts the love as well as take the option to capitalize on a market should the opportunity arise. [Trends of the Motor Variety]