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Last night, we were IM'ing with a fellow autojourno about GM's brand predicament. And then we IM'd some more with Detroit's Wonk about it. And this is our plan: First, kill Buick. Redo the Enclave as a Saab. Use Saab to replace Buick in the marketplace. Pair up Pontiac and GMC in the dealerships (which, by and large has been going on for years). Pair Saab up with Hummer. Make Opel/Vauxhall split the difference between Holden and Saturn, while spreading more development between the Ponchos and the Holdens.

And oh, whither Pontiac? Give it a brash, 9-3-sized rear-drive wagon, available with at least 275 hp, slotted under the Magnum in price as well as size. Bring back the Catalina Safari nameplate if you want. In fact, Pontiac should have no SUVs or vans in its lineup, nor any front-drivers. Leave the vans to Saturn and Chevrolet. GMC should be solely upmarket trucks and SUVs with serious credentials, while Hummer takes the role of the American Land Rover. Meanwhile, Chevy needs to get to its core mission (aside from the 'Vette) of building attractive, proletarian cars and providing the base versions of GM's truck platforms.

But what Peet's on about is Pontiac. With the throat-slitting of the Goat nigh, the Yack's only got the Solstice to carry it through until the Firebird debuts in 2009. And the more-attractive Sky will take a slice out of their pie, as well. Pontiac can and should be saved. But it's gonna take some serious Kappa-ing and Zeta-izing and maybe some Sigma-liting to do it.

Soul Survivor or just Dust in the Wind? [Autoextremist]

Autoextremist on Trade Policy [Internal]