How the Pontiac Aztek became the Pontiac Aztek – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

Posted by Charlville
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How the Pontiac Aztek became the Pontiac Aztek

This story won’t mention Walter White. Nor will it give glory to the pile-on that has declared the Pontiac Aztek the ugliest vehicle ever built. And it certainly won’t try to change anybody’s love/hatred of the Aztek; taste is subjective, after all. It will, however, attempt to explain how the Aztek came to stand out in the automotive marketplace and in subsequent automotive culture, for better or worse.

By the mid-1990s, GM had fallen into a torpor. The Roger Smith era, which ended with his retirement in 1990, left the company inflexible and ill-prepared to handle an increasingly dynamic automotive marketplace. Smith’s successor, Robert Stempel, rose through the ranks of GM from its engineering team and seemed to understand the product side of the business, but not the business side of the business, which left the company in the hands of John G. Smale and Jack Smith, both accomplished businessmen who came from Procter & Gamble and from GM’s planning and operations side, respectively.

How the Pontiac Aztek became the Pontiac Aztek

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