My grandma (nicknamed Iggy) was from Pontiac, Michigan. Her father worked for GM. So did my great uncles, after they got back from the Pacific. So, for a while in the Depression, did my grandfather.
But I have no nostalgia about the death of the line of cars that they built. The Pontiac is no longer a great car. The Pontiac Sunfire ("Built for Drivers") is a low-grade piece of trash that looks five years older than any Honda and tries to make up in bells and whistles what it lacks in quality and value. Within a few months, the cheap plastic scuffs and looks crummy. In a couple of years, the motor is worn. It is dead after five years.
It is the kind of crap pitched at twenty-somethings who have never driven a decent car. These yokels were so dense that the Sunfire is not offered with a standard transmission (though you still have to pay the "oiption" fee for an automatic, as though you have a choice). And no car "built for drivers" has an automatic transmission.
So Pontiac is dead as a brand name. Ford is wise to be losing the Mercury brand (which were just re-branded Fords anyway). Now Detroit must design its way out of the mess it's in or face the consequences.
As for Chrysler, the PT Cruiser says it all. Thank God they make Jeeps.