The brand of Pontiac was created in 1899, but was not officially established until 1926 as a companion brand for Oakland, a subsidiary of General Motors. It quickly outpaced its companion, however, and became a companion to Chevrolet when Oakland was discontinued in 1932. For most of its time as a brand, Pontiac was the performance arm of Chevrolet and GM, but was ultimately folded when the 2008 financial crisis caused General Motors' bankruptcy. The Pontiac brand was closed officially at the end of 2010.
Throughout its history, Pontiac had some of the most-recognized performance cars of the American automotive makers. Many are highly prized by collectors, including the Master Six Coupe, the
Bonneville, the GTO, the Firebird Trans-Am, Fiero, and many others.
Throughout its history with General Motors, Pontiac was often the focus of awards and recognition for its safety and power. Vehicles like the 1985 Firebird Trans-Am, which set a production aerodynamic mark of .32 coefficient of drag, and the 1985 Fiera Sport Coupe were high-volume sellers that won acclaim from the automotive press and mainstream media alike.
During the General Motors bankruptcy and reorganization, the Pontiac brand was at first slated to be pared down to a one to four model offering of youth-oriented vehicles. Eventually, though, GM
decided to eliminate the brand, along with several others including Saturn.