Maybe it was the twisted economics of shipping a Michigan engine to Australia to stick in a car shipped back to North America. Maybe it was lackluster styling. Or maybe angry retro-minded muscle car fans thought a sacred name was being cynically ripped off to stick on an imported imposter.
In any case, the latest incarnation of the Pontiac GTO gets the heave-ho this fall after just three model years.
General Motors blamed new federal regulations that would require a costly redesign. But lackluster sales didn't help. Pontiac had hoped to sell about 18,000 GTOs a year but sold just 13,569 in 2004 and 11,590 last year.
The GTO's demise means the Australian auto industry is now 0 for 3 in the U.S. market. GTO joins the failed Mitsubishi Diamante and Mercury Capri.