The Discontinued Brands of General Motors

The Discontinued Brands of General Motors

General Motors is the biggest automaker in the United States. Over the years, GM has chosen to manufacturer fewer passenger vehicles so that it can capitalize on the ever-growing popularity of pickup trucks and SUVs. This move will also create space for the production of more autonomous and electric vehicles. In its quest to increase profitability, the company has decided to close down five plants – this means that it will reduce its employees by 15%. GM has claimed that these changes will help it reach its 2020 goal of saving $6 billion. Over the years, GM has changed its brands like Naomi Campbell changes her wigs. Sadly, not all of these choices have been stellar ones.

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General Motors defined a generation with legendary Pontiac automobiles and muscle cars like Trans Am and the GTO. The 60s and 70s were dominated by cool, high-performance vehicles that were driven by some deafening V8 engines. During its peak, the Pontiac was so popular that it was the best-selling brand in America. The brains behind Pontiac could not secure a bright future for the brand after years of sub-par releases. Pontiac was unceremoniously dropped in April by GM, 2009 - 17 years shy of its 100-year birthday.

10Chevrolet Volt


This plug-in hybrid arrived in the United States mainstream market as part of the pioneering vehicles of its kind in late 2010. The Volt is driven by a battery that is assisted by a gas engine that kicks in when the battery’s power is depleted. In 2014, GM introduced a second generation Volt because of the decreasing sales. This new generation boosted the sales of the Volt because it had a stronger battery that offered more acceleration and more distance on a charge. In 2016, GM recorded its 100,000th sale of the Volt. On February 19, 2019, the last Chevy Volt rolled off the production line.

9Cadillac ATS Sedan

GM has said that the Cadillac ATS Sedan will end with the 2018 version. According to GM, they have decided to dismantle it because of extensive plant upgrades, re-tooling to create space for improved sedans and expansion of the brand. The four-door ATS was liked for its expert handling and spirited drive that even rivaled some of the best BMW sedans. It was also criticized for its cramped back row and poor aesthetics in the interior. Since it was launched in 2012, the ATS has managed to win many hearts, but this didn’t help with its poor sale numbers. Ultimately, it was these poor numbers that led to its demise.

8Chevrolet Cruze


The Cruze was launched in 2008 as a compact sedan for the future. In its early years, the Chevy Cruze emerged as a worthy rival to other mainstay vehicles like the Honda Civic. With 3.5 million units sold by 2015, this sedan had established itself as Chevrolet’s best-selling car. GM also introduced a new generation of the Chevy Cruze in the same year. Interestingly, the new generation was introduced using a press release that was entirely made of emoji. The last Cruz sedan was produced in March 2019, though the hatchback is still in production. So, only half-dead.

7Cadillac XTS

Cadillac introduced the XTS in 2012, and after a bleary seven-year stint, this mid-level pharmaceutical salesman's car will cease production at the end of the 4th quarter in 2019. It shouldn't be that surprising that the XTS is off to a farm up north. Cadillac has been inundated lately with mediocre-looking high-tech mid-sized sedans, and sales of the XTS have been about as exciting to watch as the Canadian Football League.



Once upon a time, there was a company called Olds Motor Vehicle Company; it was launched in 1897, and in 1908, it became part of the General Motors brand. During this time, the company claimed that it had pioneered the mass production of vehicles. The 1940 Hydra-Matic established Oldsmobile as an industry leader by introducing fully automatic transmissions. By 1976, the Oldsmobile's Cutlass series had grown to become a U.S. bestseller, rivaling brands like Ford and Chevrolet. Sadly, in 2004 GM threw the century-old brand out like a used paper towel. After years of mismanagement and dull designs, Oldsmobile was no more.

5Cadillac CT6

The CT6 was introduced as Cadillac's flagship sedan back in 2015. It can be described as a rear-wheel-drive, lightweight luxury model. Cadillac introduced the latest CT6-V model at the beginning of the year and it will be available for sale in 2019. According to GM’s spokespeople, GM will not continue with the production of the CT6; rather they'll let it fizzle out like a candle burning for too long. Bummer.

4Chevrolet Impala


The Impala is a large sedan that was introduced in the 1950s. In the 1960s, it made a huge impact in the automotive industry with its soaring sales. These numbers would eventually dwindle over the decades. The Impala has managed to secure its place as a well-respected brand. The 2014 model stood out as a special vehicle; since then, no other US-made sedan has secured the number one spot in Consumer Report ratings.


The Hummer is one of the most unique vehicles that was ever produced by General Motors. This four-wheel drive beast was first built for the military before it was customized into a civilian vehicle. The GM announced that it would stop producing it in February 2010. Before making this decision, they were negotiating with a Chinese automaker about selling the Hummer brand. The Hummer’s downfall began because of its notoriety of being a massive fuel guzzler. It faced a lot of opposition from environmental groups that complained of its poor gas efficiency, and it was also impractical for street driving. In recent years, Hummer has lost the support of most consumers who are increasingly looking for eco-friendly vehicles.

2Buick LaCrosse


One of GM’s larger-sized sedans, the LaCrosse was first launched in 2004. The sales of this model doubled in 2010 after it was totally redesigned. Sales increased because this vehicle appealed to recession customers who were forced to ignore more expensive brands like Audi and Lexus. The 2020 Buick LaCrosse will be the last model GM produces.


The Saturn brand was scrapped after GM failed to sell it to a Michigan-based company known as the Penske Automotive Group. GM had been pushing the Saturn brand for 24 years before stopping production in October 2009. Saturn autos were mostly made of mid-size and small cars. Over the years, GM has been known for producing successful brands but things went terribly wrong with the Saturn; they could barely make a profit. In mid-2009, things got sticky for GM and the company was forced to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy. All this was happening as the U.S. government was dealing with an economic collapse that had started in the previous year. Eventually, GM was bailed out by the U.S. government but that was not the end of the problem because it was left with loans to pay.