Pontiac was established in 1926 as a part of General Motors’ (GM) “companion make program”. The “companion make program” was designed to ensure that General Motors offered consumers of varying budgets a “GM” automobile. The Pontiac was designed to be the midpoint between the GM “Chevrolet” and the GM “Oakland”. In 1933, Pontiac sales and popularity overtook its parent automobile the GM “Oakland” thereby forcing GM to discontinue the “Oakland” Brand. Pontiac was sold all over the U.S, Canada and Mexico but developed its largest market in Canada because of its popularity and affordable pricing.
For an extended period of time—pre-war through the early 1950s—the Pontiac line of cars was known as a quiet, solid car, and not especially powerful. The Hydra-matic transmission was introduced in 1948 and helped Pontiac sales grow immensely. Pontiac cars were marketed as the performance division of General Motors for several years. Due to financial problems and restructuring, General Motors announced the discontinuance of its Pontiac brand at the end of 2010. The last Pontiacs were built in late 2009.