Pontiac Aztek's way-out look, especially that angular rear end, is becoming the butt of a lot of jokes in the Motor City.

DaimlerChrysler took a shot at the Aztek sports recreation vehicle during DC's unveiling of three concept vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

An actor, dressed as a policeman, told the media crowd to stay clear of a runway, which the concept cars would be traveling down.

“The penalty for failing to yield to an outstanding vehicle is 90 days in an Aztek,” he said.


Meanwhile, analyst Gary Lapidus took his shot during a panel discussion at the Automotive News World Congress.

When the moderator told Mr. Lapidus that his alloted speaking time was up, fellow panelist William Lovejoy, GM vice president of sales and marketing, joked, “You're getting the hook.”

Mr. Lapidus replied, “I'll get you later, Bill. All I have to do is say one word: Aztek.”


Is the Aztek that bad?

GM CEO Richard Wagner says, “I like it myself. It's my company car. We have two teenagers. One is an avid (Aztek) fan. The other is not. What do I like about it? It's creative. Very clever…We asked the design team to get right on the edge. People asked me if I'm mad at them. How could I be mad? They did exactly what we told them to do.”

Aztek sales are weak, averaging just over 2,000 units a month. GM initially had hopes of selling 50,000-70,000 a year. Inventory levels are at about 225 days' supply. The automaker temporarily stopped production for what's termed an “inventory adjustment.”

Meanwhile, GM is rushing the Aztek back to the drawing board for emergency cosmetic surgery.