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Despite Pontiac's death, GM sticking with Toyota at joint-venture plant

by Drew Johnson

General Motors revealed today that its Vibe five-door will die alongside the Pontiac nameplate in 2010, but a new report suggests GM will look to source another vehicle from the Vibe's New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in California. The NUMMI plant is jointly run with Toyota and also produces the Toyota Corolla and Matrix.

It was believed that GM's relationship with Toyota and the NUMMI plant would greatly change after the phase out of Pontiac, but Pontiac spokesman Jim Hopson revealed to Automotive News that GM will continue to look to the California plant for at least one new model.

"We're negotiating to see how best to utilize that facility going forward," Hopson told Automotive News. "We're clearly not backing away from our partnership at NUMMI. There's no issue of us backing away from NUMMI."

Although Hopson confirmed GM was in talks with Toyota about producing another vehicle at the NUMMI plant, the vehicle will not simply be a version of the Vibe for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick or GMC. Backing GM CEO Fritz Henderson's words from earlier today, Hopson said the Vibe line is completely dead.

Hopson gave no indication of what future vehicle GM might source from the NUMMI plant. The plant also produces the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck on a separate line, but there is little to support GM's interest in that vehicle at this time. Whatever the case, look for a Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick or GMC to begin rolling out of the NUMMI factory sometime after 2010.

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