From John Gunnell’s book “75 Years of Pontiac Oakland“:
“An economy wave swept the automotive industry in 1970, six-cylinder engines, two-door Sedans and compact cars saw renewed popularity. Pontiac was not well prepared to compete in the changing market. The division was still deeply entrenched in a high-performance theme and came forth with a line that emphasized big V-8’s, luxury styling, and large-bodied cars. Production wise, (691,303 vehicles), Pontiac made its worse showing since 1958 by placing sixth in industry.”
“One major reason for Pontiac’s failure was the sudden decline of the muscle car field, a situation brought on by insurance regulations, and governmental pressures. Deliveries of GTO’s and Firebirds fell 32,150 and 38,300 units respectively.”
One other note – by this time, John Z. DeLorean had moved on to become general manager of Chevrolet, James McDonald became the new PMD general manager.