We bought a new van last Friday. Well, leased, not bought. We leased a 2000 Pontiac Montana for three years, and then returned that and leased a 2003 Montana for four years, and that lease is coming due soon, but we’re already over on the kilometers, so we went in early, chose our options, and signed on the dotted line. I like the van, and Gail loves it, so we had no problem getting another one. Since Gail works for EDS (which used to be owned by GM), she gets an employee discount, which we wouldn’t get anywhere else, so we didn’t even have to do any research. Every car we have ever had has been a GM product, and all but two have been Pontiacs: 1988 Cavalier Z24, 1996 Grand Prix, 1997 Saturn, 2000/2003/2007 Montanas, and 2004 Sunfire.
Interesting note: when looking for the link above, I originally went to pontiac.com, and found that in the US, the Montana is no longer available. They only have the Torrent (also available in Canada), which is more of an SUV, but no minivan. Too bad for Americans. Of course, they get the G6 convertible which is not available in Canada.
When we got the 2003 van four years ago, we had big-time issues with the local Pontiac dealer — the sales guy was fine, but the leasing manager took a phone call from another customer while we were sitting in her office, and discussed his financial details (complete with down payment and monthly payment amounts) with him. When we asked if she had ever had customers in her office when talking to us on the phone, she didn’t seem to understand why that would be a problem, but then said something to the effect of “No, I wouldn’t do that to you guys“, like the customer she was just talking to was somehow less important. We had other problems with her, and I ended up writing a letter to the president of the dealership, explaining the problems we had and telling him that we wouldn’t be back. Well, I caved there since it’s the closest Pontiac dealer, and it’s just too inconvenient to go somewhere else (though not entirely – I bought the Sunfire two years ago at a dealership in Waterloo). But when I set up an appointment, they said that we’d be meeting with the same person as last time. I said “No we won’t”, and explained that we had had issues with her the last time. We arranged to meet with someone else, and I guess they went through our file and found my letter, and just fell over themselves telling us that they would do whatever it took to make us happy “this time”. You know how it is — the squeaky wheel gets the grease.