Pontiac owners have mostly stayed with General Motors even after the division was shut down for good a year ago. Edmunds conducted a study and found that 39.9% of Pontiac owners who traded in their Pontiac for a new vehicle this year chose another GM vehicle. In fact, GM was able to improve its retention of former Pontiac owners.
Last year, there was much controversy when GM decided to end Pontiac. It was rumored that a disproportionate number of disenfranchised Pontiac buyers would buy a non-GM car. Its rate of retention is 8 percentage points higher than in 2010. It’s actually the highest retention rate since 2007, when the rate was also at 39.9%.
About 28.1% of former Pontiac owners chose a Chevrolet vehicle. According to Edmunds.com, Chevy sales to former Pontiac owners were very strong in January and February of 2011 when GM used strategic incentive programs to hang on to Pontiac customers. GM believed that it will be able to retain these customers by targeting their incentives and other programs at this group.
It seems to be working so far. But outside of GM, it is Ford that has gained the most from Pontiac’s departure. Around 9.4% of former Pontiac owners bought a Ford in 2011. However, this rate is lower than the 12.4% recorded in 2010. Meanwhile, 7.4% of former Pontiac customers moved to American Honda Motor Co. Inc. The same number of these customers – at 7.4% -- moved to Toyota Motor Sales USA. [source: Autoobserver]