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GM Pulls the Plug on New Buick Compact Crossover; Plug-in System to Be Applied to Another Vehicle

GM has cancelled its recently announced compact Buick crossover, which would have offered the plug-in hybrid system originally targeted for the Saturn VUE. (Earlier post.)

In a post on GM’s FastLane blog, Tom Stephens, GM Vice Chairman, who announced the compact two weeks ago, said initial feedback from employees, potential customers, dealers, media, analysts and others on the proposed new compact was consistent and negative.

The Buick crossover we showed received consistent feedback from large parts of all the audiences that it didn’t fit the premium characteristics that customers have come to expect from Buick.

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.

What gives me pause is how quickly we made a decision and carried it out. In the past this would have been a several-month process involving meeting after meeting of the APB, ASB, and various other acronyms, and also many “offline” follow-up discussions before a decision was reached and enacted. This happened in one day.

Comments

Henry Gibson

There is already the Volt.


..HG..

ejj

"...consistent feedback from large parts of all the audiences that it didn’t fit the premium characteristics that customers have come to expect from Buick." This is interesting because GM doesn't normally listen. You can't tell me that they were listening when they barrelled ahead with the Pontiac Aztec. If GM is actually listening to dealers & potential customers now --- look out!

Ken

Sounds like a welcome improvement at the top levels.

The interesting part (to me) is that the cancellation notice actually says it was not a desired or admired product.

In corporations the reason cited for any significant cancellation is usually very bland.

Something like: "doing this allows us to free up resources for the development of something even more exciting and wonderful."

No one loses face and no there is no implication that any prior decision by anyone could have been a mistake.

The guy you hurt today may get you tomorrow.

Will S

We certainly had our share of criticism of this goofy product on GCC.

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