In November 1961, Knudsen moved to Chevrolet. Pete Estes now became general manager of Pontiac and DeLorean was promoted to Pontiac chief engineer. Both continued Knudsen's work of making Pontiac a performance-car brand. Pontiac capitalized on the emerging trend toward sportier bucket-seat coupes in 1962 by introducing the Grand Prix, taking the place of the Ventura, which now became a trim option on the Catalina. Although GM officially ended factory support for all racing activities across all of its brands in January 1963, Pontiac continued making larger engines with more power available across all model lines.
On December 2, 2008, General Motors announced that it was considering eliminating numerous brands, including Pontiac, in order to appease Congress in hope of receiving a $25 billion loan. On February 17, 2009, GM proposed the sale or elimination of its Saturn division, the sale of Saab, and either the sale or elimination of Hummer, depending on whether a buyer could be found quickly. GM clarified that Pontiac would have begun to focus on \"niche\" models aimed at the \"youthful and sporty\" segment, but did not provide specifics. Pontiac was to trim its number of models to four, although there was talk of retaining only one model. By April 2009 several automotive websites and business publications were reporting that GM was doing a study suggesting it might eliminate the brand altogether, along with sister truck brand GMC. On April 23 a report was published stating the company would be dropping the Pontiac brand while preserving the GMC truck line, and the Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick brands. The decision to dissolve Pontiac was made primarily due to the increasing threat of a bankruptcy filing if the June 1 deadline could not be met. On April 27, 2009, GM announced that Pontiac would be dropped and that all of its remaining models would be phased out by the end of 2010. Though both production and franchise agreements ended in 2010, Pontiac remains a registered and active trademark of GM for licensing purposes.
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