California Autos Examiner

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vue to a grille: General Motors dumps Saturn Vue-based Buick crossover

GM decides against producing this half-baked product

Jerry Seinfeld once said of relationships that there is no such thing as a clean break. Rather, before a relationship is truly over, you have to rock it like a Coke machine before it finally falls over.

Check out this slideshow for 10 GM models that should have been similarly cancelled before production.

The same could be said of General Motors old ways of doing business. Yes, it is now the "new" GM, but sadly, business as usually was already gaining a foothold. How GM ever thought that taking a Saturn Vue, slapping on new new grille and calling it a day was ever a good idea will mystify many of us. However, GM made the right call in the end and decided to yank the plug (so to speak).

Direct from GM's own Fastlane blog, GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens delivered the news:

We were all struck by the consistency of the criticism of the compact crossover. And what we decided to do in response is a good example of the essence of the new General Motors… acting quickly, and boldly, and listening to feedback from customers, employees, dealers, media and just about anyone else with an opinion.

Last Friday, reaction to the Buick crossover was discussed at the meeting of our Executive Committee, the newly formed group that steers product decisions, and it was decided that if it didn’t belong, it didn’t belong. Buick crossover canceled. Fritz Henderson, Bob Lutz and I and the rest of the committee decided to take swift action to prevent a potential underperformer from reaching the marketplace. And we decided that the important plug-in hybrid technology would be applied to another vehicle, at no delay, that we’ll discuss in the very near future.

It was only last night while I attended a 2010 Buick LaCrosse event that I complained loudly about the Buick Vue. The crossover didn't fit into the Buick lineup with it's styling and interior treatments. How could GM go back to the old days of badge engineering after none other than CEO Fritz Henderson had railed against the idea when Pontiac G8 supporters suggested that the sedan become a Chevy?

GM vows that the plug-in technology slated for the deceased Buick crossover will live on. While the company won't say where it will show up, an easy guess would be the Chevy Equinox or GMC Terrain.

Kudos to GM for making the right decision, however they have made future montages of botched products more difficult. as this one could have been a hall of famer.

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