The main problem was advertising, finding a celebrity to indentify the car with and a more powerful engine. The perfect example for adverstising is the Nissan Maxima. How many Maxima commercials have you seen? Hundreds! How many Bonneville commercials? Zip! I've tested the new Nissan Maxima (a front wheel drive) and it definitely is not superior to the new Bonneville. Why have they sold? Commercials. Have you seen the new Cadillac commercials with the voice of Gary Senese? Tha'ts one of the reasons for Cadillac'* success. Not to mention, that the CTS came out in the movie Matrix 2.
I remember that in the early 90'* Pontiac had a commercial with Silvester Stallone. Anyone remember? It was perfect. It had the Batman look and feel. Tha'ts what Pontiac should've done. They should've had it featured in a top movie (Batman Begins) and customized it. How about the young Bruce Wayne driving a bold black Bonnevile GXP with a supercharged V8, Nitrous and 20" inch chrome rims? It would definitely be "Luxury with an Attitude" and not to mention a heart-pumping, ***-kicking 500HP! Now I've only seen a Bonneville GXP on the TV Series Alias. Look what the movie XXX did for the new GTO.
Also, they needed to design a new more powerful engine with a catchy name or feature. What about that new V8 they put in the new Grand Prix GXP? The new Dodge Charger with the Hemi engine is the new Bonnevile. It looks awesome and they did a cool commercial too. Although, it'* RWD and I'm not too cazy about a RWD for an all year daily car even with Traction Control.
Personally, whenever I get a chance I'll try to look for nice '99 SSEi. It'll be a classic like the '87 Buick Grand National.