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GM cuts Pontiac


Holden is set to lose one of its biggest export models after General Motors dumps the Pontiac brand

General Motors has announced it will focus on four core brands in the US - the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

It will phase out the Pontiac (including Pontiac G8), a version of the Commodore produced by Holden, by 2010.

GM will also shut down some American car assembly plants in the US as part of its Viability Plan.

It will mean the loss of nearly AU$1 billion in exports for Holden, which had invested $77 million to gear up for the shipments.

GM also plans to offload its Saab, Saturn and Hummer brands, all as a result of pressure from the Obama administration to trim GM's operations.

GM says it anticipates reducing its US dealer count from 6246 in 2008 to 3605 by the end of 2010, a reduction of 42 percent.

Holden spokesman Scott Whiffin said there would not be any impact on jobs in Australia.

"G8s are assembled at our plant at Elizabeth where we have been modifying our production volumes and we will continue to do so," he said.

"Notwithstanding the fact that this has only just been announced, we don't envisage there will be any job losses at Elizabeth as a result of this decision."

Holden has already announced a decision to axe its afternoon shift from early next month with plans to run two teams on a single day shift, each working one week on and one week off.

The move will cut wages for local workers but retain the 3000 jobs at the Elizabeth manufacturing facility in Adelaide.

The company said it would also push ahead with plans to build a new small car in Adelaide from 2010.

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