NBC12 Viewpoint: GM Shutting Down Pontiac

By Don Richards, NBC12 Vice President and General Manager

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This is race week here in Richmond and every spring our thoughts turn to cars...fast cars. My first at 17 was a Pontiac GTO...I was in way over my head but I enjoyed every minute of the ride.

That's why the news that General Motors plans to shut down its Pontiac division late next year comes not as a surprise, but a sad ending to a once very exciting brand.

The GM plan also includes discontinuing or selling other brands, cutting another 21,000 jobs and eliminating some dealers in an effort to become lean and stay in business. At the moment it looks like two choices for survival. Bring in the Government as a majority shareholder...or file for bankruptcy protection.

The notion that the government can be both a regulator and an owner should be a huge concern, and it would be in normal times. But taxpayers already have invested $15 billion in GM so we are already a business partner.

The new GM plan envisions a much smaller company returning to profitability. It is up to GM investors to choose the road the company takes. But meanwhile here in Richmond we can enjoy NASCAR while a legacy car company races against the clock to stay in business.

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