"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Passion of Pontiac

With a tough economy, we have witnessed many products go by the way side. This month, Pontiac will strengthen that statistic. The last Pontiac was built in May of 2010, and there are only two dozen unsold Pontiacs lingering at dealerships around the country. One of them is a G5 coupe near Little Rock, Arkansas, which has sat on Greg Orr’s lot for more than 700 days. I wouldn’t label the G5 in “high demand.”

It’s hard to believe that one of America’s famous car lines will no longer cruise the road. Pontiac has been a stable company with an 84 year history, but Pontiac has also faced many problems. When Pontiac began in 1926, it built cars for working class Americans. This strategy was profitable until 1950, but in the 1950’s, Pontiac sales dropped off a cliff. GM revived Pontiac by connecting its “image” to auto racing. Pontiac became known for muscle cars that drag-raced after Friday night football games and roared across movie screens! Remember the Firebird Trans Am that raced through the 1970’s famous movie, “Smokey and the Bandit”? This repertoire for racing boosted sales to $1,000,000 in 1968. Today, in 2010, sales haven’t even reached $250,000! That’s less than 1% of the 2.2 million cars and trucks GM has sold.

You might ask, “What happened? How did this muscle car money maker minimize to muck?” I think Bill Hoglund, a retired GM Executive who led Pontiac during its “hay day”, said it best, “There has been no passion for the product. The product had to fit what was going on in the corporate system.” When the car industry made the switch from power to practicality, Pontiac decayed in the dust. Sure, Pontiac tried to keep up by changing its personality, but in doing so, it also changed its passion!

I’m afraid that many Christians follow in the steps of Pontiac. When we “miss the mark”, it’s not because we have forgotten Christ, it’s because we convince ourselves that we need to look like everyone else, and in doing so, we lose our passion! I’m so glad that Paul reminded us how to keep that from happening! “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2) Like Pontiac, when we decide that our Godly “image” is no longer effective, that’s when we make our biggest mistake! That’s when we lose our passion!

God has given us the promise of Jesus, and with that promise, we should be passionate people! But when we lose our passion, that’s when we lose our promise! So take a lesson from Pontiac. Protect your Passion!