The sad tale of Pontiac winding down its existence as a brand continued today with the announcement from GM that the Vibe would cease production by the end of August. The Vibe is produced at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, where its sister car, the Toyota Matrix is produced. Production of the Toyota Matrix continues, so fans of the Vibe still have an option.
The Vibe holds the distinction of being one of the “good” cars sold by “Bad GM”. As such, some held hope the Vibe would be reborn as a Chevy, but it appears that will not be the case. GM did say it will remain in talks with Toyota to discuss future vehicles to be built at NUMMI.
The Vibe sold respectably, but never caught on with enthusiasts. Which is odd, considering from 2003-2006 the GT model came with a 1.8L four rated at 164hp mated to a six-speed manual ONLY. The GT was dropped after 2006 due to slow sales. In 2009 the Vibe was totally redesigned, and the GT returned, this time with a 2.4L four with 158hp, and a choice of a five-speed manual or automatic. Interestingly, amidst all the chaos, Pontiac started selling 2010 Vibes. Go figure.
*Correction: Although the Matrix and Vibe are sister cars, I incorrectly assumed both vehicles rolled off the same assembly line. I humbly apologize to the employees of NUMMI (who build the Corolla, Tacoma and Vibe) as well as to the employees of Toyota who build the Matrix in Cambridge, Ontario.