A Pontiac is not a BMW

OPINION
 

Bob Lutz is right as rain in wanting to pump some "sophisticated" performance and handling into the Pontiac brand, which once stood for performance.

But GM's new product czar is shooting a tad too high in planning to benchmark Pontiac against BMW. The two brands offer little basis for meaningful comparison: BMW is a premium import, Pontiac a bread-and-spread, mass-market people hauler.

BMW is an upscale, aspirational brand that yields a price premium across the model lineup. And that price premium allows it to build a level of engineering and sophisticated performance into every vehicle that Pontiac cannot hope to achieve within GM's cost structure. It's good to shoot high. The trick is to avoid overreaching.

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