One of General Motors’ better efforts in the early 21st Century was the Pontiac Vibe. GM had began declining in the 1980s, and sought to learn manufacturing techniques from Toyota, who sought to build cars in North America.
New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) was established in California, occupying the former Fremont Assembly plant, where GM and Toyota assembled Corollas and GM-badged Corolla clones, among other vehicles.
The Pontiac Vibe, introduced for 2003, was assembled at NUMMI alongside the Toyota Matrix, with which it shared the available engines.
Exterior detail is quite nice, with a roof rack, sunroof, foglights, side cladding, headlight, and taillight details molded in, along with actual side mirrors. A minor nitpick is that the front edge of the hood appears to be too low compared to the 1:1 car.
Interior detail is quite good, with textured seats, a centre console and armrest, a shifter, some dashboard detail, and a correct steering wheel. Unfortunately, it’s all black, and the tinted windows are rather dark, so the interior is hard to view.
This is the debut release of the Matchbox Vibe, in silver in the mainline for 2003. As it turned it, this would also be the last appearance of the Vibe in the mainline - it had several cartoon 5-pack releases, along with one in the 2004 Superfast line and one in the 2004 Showcase line, the last Premiere-style series with rubber tires. 2003 was the only year where every model had its’ number in the lineup directly on the car - the Vibe was MB51 in 2003.
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