Scott Koehn of Buxman Motors had to say good-bye to an old friend Thursday afternoon, his dealership removed the signage for Pontiac.
“It kills me to get rid of Pontiac,” Koehn said.
After almost 30 years as a Pontiac dealer in Newton, the Pontiac franchise officially ended at Buxman Motors.
“It is a sad day for me. My own father drove Pontiacs for as long as I can remember and I have owned many of them myself,” Koehn said. “Dad was in retail sales and sold by appointment. Every two years he would get a Pontiac. I would sit with him and look through the catalogues and decide what the new car would be.”
On April 27, 2009, amid financial issues and restructuring efforts, General Motors announced it would discontinue the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010. The last Pontiacs were built in late 2009, with the final dealer franchises expiring October 31, 2010.
Thursday the last vestiges of the Pontiac dealership at Buxman were removed —and despite his asking, Koehn was not allowed to keep any of the signs as a memento.
Buxman Motors has been branded as a” Pontiac Authorized Service Center” and will continue both warranty and normal maintenance work on the brand.
“I had to apply for that,” Koehn said. “We will do warranty and everything on them until there are no more.”
Koehn said he is not sure what loyal followers of Pontiac will be purchasing when it comes time to get a new car, and that the brand had a very loyal following.
General Motors has chosen to focus on four brands in North America: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC. While the company was restructuring, Pontiac simply was unable to survive despite starting to make a comeback as it switched away from front-wheel drive to real wheel drive.
“They were going back to their roots,” Koehn said.
Pontiac was established in 1926 as a companion make for General Motors' Oakland brand. Quickly overtaking its parent in popularity, it replaced the Oakland brand by 1933.
Pontiac was sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico by General Motors. Pontiac was marketed as the performance division of General Motors.
Buxman Motors is now officially a Buick-GMC franchised dealer.