Ponce, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
This isn't the first time we've reported positive news about General Motors retaining former Pontiac owners. Get a few more stories like this latest report from Edmund's Auto Observer, and it will mark an ongoing positive trend for GM. Edmunds.com crunched the numbers to see how well the General is hanging on to customers after shutting out the lights at Pontiac, and it found that nearly 40 percent of Pontiac owners stayed with a vehicle from a General Motors brand.
The numbers are a little lower than an earlier R.L. Polk & Company study, but Edmunds says General Motors is keeping more former Pontiac buyers than it has since 2007. Most are turning to vehicles from Chevrolet, especially during January and February of 2011, when GM incentivized Pontiac owners to stay under the umbrella. Those moves seem to have worked, and 28.1 percent of Pontiac owners trading up made the jump into a Bowtie.
Buyers that have gone elsewhere have largely stayed loyal to Domestic automakers, with Ford picking up the most conquests from Pontiac, with 9.4 percent switching. Toyota and Honda picked up 7.4 percent of the pool of former Pontiac drivers. The numbers are defying any predictions that Pontiac buyers would completely exit the General Motors fold, and have climbed up closer to parity with the retention figures of other GM brands from a 2009 low of only 16 percent retention.
General Motors is recalling around 38,000 Pontiac G8 sedans from its 2008 and 2009 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the cars may have a passenger-side airbag flaw that might prevent proper deployment in certain scenarios.
According to NHTSA, the airbag might not adequately protect a fifth percentile woman - that is, a woman around four-foot, 11-inches weighing 108 pounds. The New York Times indicates that the anomaly was found during a crash test conducted by GM's Australian branch, Holden, which was testing the G8's twin (read: Commodore) for head injuries. According to that report, the test in question is specifically tailored to simulate injuries to females, so the results do not apply to men or children.
The issue has been blamed on a seat position sensor that governs airbag deployment rates. NHTSA indicates that when the front passenger seat is moved all the way forward, the faulty sensor may inappropriately trigger a 30-millisecond delay between airbag stages, potentially leading to greater injuries.
As much as our digital lives have cut down on our trips to the post office, there are still times that sending "snail mail" is necessary. With us car lovers in mind and philately in their hearts, the good folks at the United States Postal Service will introduce a new stamp design called "Muscle Cars" starting on February 22.
Designed by artist Tom Fritz, the new collection of stamps consist of five classic muscle cars: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, 1967 Shelby GT-500, 1966 Pontiac GTO and 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda. In addition to just the stamps, the USPS is also commemorating the new series with plenty of collectable memorabilia. Previous car-related stamps include 50s Sporty Cars from 2005 and 50s Fins and Chrome from 2008.