Pontiac has been dead since April in 2009. It was a rather unfortunate event, one that left many enthusiasts scratching their heads and even on their knees crying for it to come back. And because of Pontiac’s death, you’d think that the brand loyalists would lose interest in GM, thinking it was a bad move from the get-go. But a recent study conducted by Edmunds.com showed that nearly 40% of Pontiac owners have stayed loyal to the General.
Of those 40% who stayed loyal to the General, they did so by opting for another GM vehicle in 2011, translating into a greater retention rate (by about eight points greater) than 2010.
“Any time a manufacturer shuts down a brand, there’s a concern that its consumers will shift loyalties to another company,” says Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Edmunds.com. “General Motors took a calculated risk that it could retain Pontiac drivers under its umbrella, and the gamble appears to have paid off — with even more success than they enjoyed in previous years when Pontiac was still an option for returning customers.”
However, truth be told that Ford Motor Company has been the most successful brand choice for Pontiac owners seeking an alternative. And I know of one example personally where a Pontiac Grand Am owner changed over to a Ford Fusion. Edmunds estimated that about 9,4% of former Pontiac owners jumped to Ford in 2011, which is down from last year’s reported 12.4%.
Additionally, Honda and Toyota grabbed an estimated 7.4% of Pontiac owners, a lower rate from last year’s report for both brands.
– By: Chris Chin
Source: Inside Line