A not so new Pontiac model will be making its way to the market in Spring 2009, and if you think you've seen the car before, you're right.
Currently being sold in Canada as the Pontiac G3 Wave, GM has kept the car away from the US market, but is changing their strategy in a bid to bolster the Pontiac brand with an economical car. A close inspection of the vehicle will reveal one more thing: it is already being sold in the US as the Chevrolet Aveo, proving once again that badge engineering is alive and well with General Motors.
Sound confusing? Well, it is. Oftentimes, an automaker will sell a car in one market, but keep it out of another market even when the two markets are nearly identical as they are with Canada and the US. Automakers will sometimes appease dealers in one market by offering a special model, but when news travels to the adjoining market of that car's availability, neighboring dealers will press for the car's introduction too.
Called the Pontiac G3 Wave in Canada, the car will drop the Wave designation when it hits US showrooms this Spring. The model nomenclature fits in with Pontiac strategy which already includes the G5, G6, and G8 models.
The Pontiac G3/Chevrolet Aveo is built in South Korea by GM Daewoo, the company's Korean subsidiary. The Pontiac variant will be a five-door hatchback, although Chevrolet sells both a hatchback and a sedan version of the car.
Powered by a 1.6L I4 engine, transmission choices include a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Unlike some entry level cars, the Aveo comes standard equipped with air conditioning, side impact airbags for front passengers, an audio jack, and GM's OnStar navigation system for one year.
On the exterior, the usual Pontiac badges and grill will be evident with a couple of nice touches standard: fog lamps and hatchback spoiler.
Fuel economy for the car should be 34 mpg, providing Pontiac one more fuel efficient model for the brand's fleet. Retail prices haven't been set yet, but with the Aveo hatchback retailing for as low as $11,000, similar prices should be available for the G3.
Will customers consider the G3? In these days of elevated gas prices and tight credit, the G3 could be an affordable, fuel efficient commuter car, just the right vehicle for the moment.
Copyright 2008-2012 - Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful writing and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several websites and is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport, a retailer of quality Lamdo doors and ground effects .