Is there life in the Pontiac Aztek yet?

“It's had a couple of strong months lately. February and March were good and sales were about 3,000 units each month. If we can sell 3,000 a month or about 30,000 a year, we'll make money on it and keep it,” says Ron Zarrella, head of GM's North American automotive operations.

“There's still a lot of youth interest in Aztek. Put it on a high school or college campus and kids crawl all over it,” he adds.

Aztek hasn't enjoyed the best of times since it was introduced as an '01 model aimed at attracting more youth into the GM fold.

The rear end treatment has been the big hang-up, mostly the unsightly crease in the huge glass hatchback lid covered with an equally huge rubber strip so you don't see it. But, oddly, Mr. Zarrella says styling isn't the primary reason folks outside the GM family have held off buying an Aztek. He says GM “blew it” with the price (about $25,000) as it was too high for youth to afford. However, the price is coming down due to some lease programs.

A minor design change is coming this fall and a major redesign is scheduled for the next generation. No word on when that will be.