Which GM Brand Should Be Saved?

Consumer Survey Picks Pontiac -- the One Least Likely to Survive

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- General Motors Corp. is looking to sell three brands and kill off one, Pontiac. And which brand was overwhelmingly named by consumers in a recent survey as the one they'd like to live on? Pontiac.

1963 Pontiac ad

Consumers' fondness for Pontiac likely has something to do with its starting the muscle-car craze.

In a new worldwide survey from online auto community CarGurus, consumers were asked which of the four brands they would most like to see survive. Of the nearly 1,700 respondents, 44% named Pontiac, 27% said Hummer, 20% picked Saab and only 9% named Saturn.

Langley Steinert, CEO of CarGurus, cited Pontiac's "trailblazing heritage" -- including the 1964 GTO, which started the muscle-car craze -- as reasons for consumers' apparent fondness for the brand. Pontiac's "current G6 is the 20th-best-selling car in the U.S.," he said, "so I'm not surprised to see consumers vote to save this historic brand."

That's not to say there weren't a few of the findings that took him aback -- such as the popularity of the gas-guzzling Hummer. "What did surprise me was the relative popularity of the Hummer brand over that of Saab and Saturn," Mr. Steinert said. The Saturn Vue, he said, is a top-50-best-selling car in this country, while Hummer's best-selling model, the H3, ranks in the No. 153 slot. "I would have expected Saturn to be the other brand consumers wanted to see survive GM's reorganization," he said.

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