You're clearly not from the Motor City. Badges have little meaning - nearly no meaning, really - as it's the *platforms* that are designed by the automakers, with the badges shared among them.
Pontiac was put to pasture because its offerings were redundant to those from Chevy, Buick and Saturn. Even then, Saturn got the axe for the same reason. The end result was a healthier portfolio of platforms upon which various GM makes could be engineered, tuned and packaged.
This, however, is the insight few folks realize: The automakers each have a cache of core engineers with talent and capabilities that vary wildly. The executives move their most talented engineers to the platforms that need success most, and their lesser engineers to the platforms that need it least. So, Ford F-150 and Chrysler minivan engineers are the best of their respective companies for a time, and fleet car platforms get the chaff. When the fleet car platforms suffer to the degree they need triage (Chrysler 200, Dodge Durango, Ford Focus), the best engineers are shifted here to perform some one-off miracles.
From here, it sounds like the trim engineers assigned to the aging GMs you had were running in "maintenance" or "cost reduction" mode. Shame for them to lose you, as it's clear to me the star teams were on call for the recent launch of the Cruze and Sonic.
Hard as it was for GM to eliminate and consolidate (trust me, I know, I lived off Pontiac's teat for the last decade), it was the right thing to do.
The new farts know what the old farts don't: Follow the star engineers' platforms for great reliability success!