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FIREBIRD LANDS AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

 DETROIT, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Perched atop a turntable at the North American International Auto Show is the epitome of Pontiac sports car driving excitement for the '90s -- the newly styled and engineered 1993 Pontiac Firebird.
 "Firebird has always been the epitome of Pontiac sports car driving excitement," said Pontiac General Manager John G. Middlebrook. "Just like the 2 million units before it, the fourth-generation Firebird will carry on the tradition of cars designed to put fun and excitement in the driving experience."
 Firebird Has 90 Percent New Content
 So newly designed and engineered are the three models -- Firebird, Formula and Trans Am -- that 90 percent of the content is new, including two new engines, standard anti-lock brakes and dual airbags, a fortified structure and dent, ding and rust resistant composite body panels.
 Firebird Pricing
 According to Middlebrook, Pontiac's affordable pricing includes Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) of $13,995 for Firebird, $17,995 for Formula and $21,395 for Trans Am.
 Trans Am Has Only Four Options
 So fully contented is the top-of-the-line Trans Am that there are just four basic options -- automatic transmission, leather seats, compact disc player, and removable hatch roofs.
 "Pontiacs are bold, purposeful, athletic and personal," said Middlebrook. "Nowhere are those images more apparent than in the new Firebird's aggressive exteriors, driver-oriented interior, responsive powertrains and precise handling suspension systems."
 Production of the new Firebird began in November at the General Motors Ste. Therese, Quebec, assembly plant with the first saleable models scheduled for dealer showrooms in early 1993.
 Grand Prix Show Car
 Joining Pontiac's Firebirds at the Motor City's international automotive showcase is a Grand Prix Show Car and a wide array of exciting regular production vehicles featuring greater values and expanded customer care initiatives.
 Grand Prix Show Car Details
 The 1993 Grand Prix Show Car -- a close-to-production midsize model -- is highlighted by a new aero appearance package, a suede-finished, natural grain leather interior and a spoiler sunroof all in a two-door hardtop package.
 The Show Car's exterior treatment -- bathed in Mountain Mist Pearl paint -- includes clean and sleek fascias, aero skirting, wheel flares and bodyside moldings.
 Hood louvers, rounded grille, fog lamps and oval-shaped dual exhausts complete the exterior treatment of the two-door hardtop -- an appearance that was made possible by frameless, free-standing front window glass.
 The Show Car also features Pontiac open-air excitement with a wide -- nearly rail to rail -- power sunroof that lifts up and back into a spoiler configuration.
 Inside, the interior consists of immersion-dyed, full natural grain Italian leather. The suede finish has been achieved by a heat embossing process to enlarge the texture of the leather.
 The Grand Prix is powered by the 200-horsepower Twin Dual Cam V6 engine mounted to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission and guided by 17-inch Goodyear custom tires and five-spoke aluminum wheels trimmed in argent.
 Other Auto Show Offerings
 Filling out the Pontiac stand at the Auto Show is a wide array of successful 1993 production vehicles, featuring greater values backed by expanded customer care initiatives. Among the product improvements are features that will be introduced in coming months on Bonneville, Grand Am and Trans Sport.
 Bright Red SSE SSEi/Bright Blue Grand Am
 A new Pontiac offering will be a Bright Red exterior on SSE and SSEi models. The new color was introduced at the 1992 North American International Auto Show. The Grand Am SE will offer both a new color and new content -- a rear decklid spoiler, Bright Blue Metallic exterior and 16-inch aluminum wheels.
 Trans Sport Power Sliding Door
 A Polo Green Trans Sport will feature a beige aero appearance. An optional power sliding door that automatically opens or closes at the touch of a button will be available on all models. The door can be activated by pushing buttons on the overhead console, B-Pillar or remote keyless entry pod, or by lifting inside or outside door handles.
 To protect occupants, a number of safeguards have been incorporated into the power door's design, including an override switch that reverts the door to a manual system. The door also will stop and reverse its direction of travel if there is an obstruction in its path.
 Value Pricing
 Value can be found on midsize Grand Prix base models. They hold their 1992 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) while adding standard automatic door locks on all models. The value carries over to Sunbird models where prices have been dropped $228 on the LE Coupe, $338 on the LE Sedan and are held at 1992 levels for the remainder of the lineup.
 Pontiac's Sales Successes
 "1992 was a very good year for Pontiac. Calendar year total vehicle sales were up 7.5 percent over 1991," said Middlebrook. "That improvement has resulted in Pontiac's share of the U.S. passenger car market, rising to 6.4 percent in 1992 vs. 6.0 percent in 1991."
 Successful Launches
 The spectacular launch of the new-for-'92 Bonneville and Grand Am is illustrated in their remarkable sales success.
 Grand Am/Bonneville/Trans Sport Sales
 Pontiac's sales-volume leader, Grand Am, is the No. 1 selling compact coupe in the industry with 1992 calendar-year sales up 47.2 percent over 1991. With only one reporting day left in 1992, calendar-year sales of Bonneville are projected to be ahead of last year's deliveries by 35.3 percent. Trans Sport sales are expected to increase 26.4 percent for the same time period.
 Expanded Customer Care Initiatives
 Owners of 1993 Pontiacs also will benefit from expanded customer care initiatives. Pontiac's Roadside Assistance Program now covers non- warranty services like charging a dead battery at no cost. Courtesy transportation is also available for all 1993 model warranty visits -- a one-way shuttle service for repairs completed the same day or a free loaner if a vehicle needs to be kept overnight or longer.
 -0- 1/6/93
 /CONTACT: Reg Harris, 313-857-1572 or (home) 313-948-9548, or Rick Asher, 313-857-1547, both of Pontiac Division/
 (GM)


CO: Pontiac Division; General Motors Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT

SM -- DE042 -- 2416 01/06/93 17:56 EST
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Date:Jan 6, 1993
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