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Introduced as a companion make for General Motors' (GM) more expensive line of Oakland automobiles,[3] Pontiac quickly overtook Oakland in popularity and completely replaced its parent brand by 1933. Pontiac, or officially the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors, was an American automobile brand owned, manufactured, and commercialized by GM.


In the hierarchy of GM's five divisions, it was positioned above Chevrolet but below Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac. It was sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Beginning with the 1959 models, marketing efforts were directed toward promoting the lifestyle that automobile ownership provided as opposed to the actual vehicle. It promoted itself as the "performance division" of General Motors and sold automobiles with the slogan "we build excitement" by highlighting its "Wide Track" design.

GM indicated amid the 2008 financial crisis that it will abandon the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010, much as it did with Oldsmobile in 2004 due to financial issues and restructuring efforts. The last vehicles with the Pontiac nameplate were constructed in December 2009, and the last one was put together in January 2010. On October 31, 2010, the franchise agreements for Pontiac dealers came to an end, allowing General Motors to concentrate on its four surviving North American brands: Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC.

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