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Lutz: New Invicta, Caddys, Chevys on the Way

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2008 Buick Invicta concept

2008 Buick Invicta concept

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This morning's announcements from GM were met with a big public-relations offensive which included a special bloggers-only conference call with vice chairman Bob Lutz. TheCarConnection.com and Gaywheels.com were invited to be on this very limited call, the highlights of which appear below in brief notes:
  • Lutz says GM is fundamentally altering its product portfolio in the U.S. and it will resemble more closely those in Europe and Asia--with much more fuel-efficient vehicles.

  • In regards to struggling Saturn, "Our worry with Saturn is that the franchise is not generating enough volume," Lutz said. "We had planned to short-cycle the Aura" and replace it with the mid-size Opel Insignia, he said. By holding on to the current Aura for a few more years, GM can conserve cash.

  • Conversely, he says the Buick Invicta is one of "nicest things we've ever done." The car may not carry that name in production.

  • "I hope fuel doesn't get more expensive," but Lutz says the introductions of vehicles like the new Cadillac SRX and Chevrolet Equinox will draw its lineup slightly down in size and dramatically higher in fuel economy.

  • The new Chevrolet Cruze is expected to have 40+ mpg fuel economy in a package that's larger than today's Cobalt, Lutz says.

  • He hints that GMC will get a crossover, substantially smaller than the Acadia, equipped with four-cylinder engines. GMC is expected to get a version of the new Chevrolet Equinox; it's "so different" you would never guess they were similar under the skin. (The GMC version is expected to be called the Terrain.)

  • "As U.S. fuel costs approach fuel costs of the rest of the world...the vehicle park of the U.S. will come to resemble the vehicle park of the rest of the world."

  • As for Pontiac, it's a vital part of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC group, he explains. Buick will be positioned at the premium end, with GMC selling trucks and crossovers. Pontiac will be low-end passenger cars. Offer "excitingly styled, fun to drive cars that are affordable," and largely based on Chevrolets.
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Comments (10)
  1. GM PLEASE build the car pictured!!! I would love to be able to drive something with more style than MB C series, BMW 3 Series and the new TL.
     
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  2. That Invicta is sharp looking.
    I'm curious about this mention of "Buick-Pontiac-GMC group".
    Is there a hidden message in that related to dealer consolidation ?
     
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  3. Awful name, nice looking car, but is the plan just more of the same?
     
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  4. Jack, Buick-Pontiac-GMC have been combined for a number of years now. In reality they are no longer 3 seperate divisions, but one division of GM these days.
     
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  5. Oh I hope they put the Park Avenue name on the Invicta!
     
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  6. Well ... if anything .. GM still has the know how , to impress with , artistically shaped sheet metals.
    Shame the foreign partners [ they are hooked up with]: want all the *CREDIT*, for what they could not have possible, ""ACCOMPLISHED" , from there own militaristic, ""GERIATRIC-GENERIC "" !! , MINDSETS{ Foreign partners-that is!!}.
    With the market the way it is!, More show for window shoppers,than something they will actually bring to market.
    almost all INNOVATION, as pertaining to Auto "'ORIGINATED IN NORTH AMERICA, so drive all out of Businesses: keep a ""TOKEN ** [ Window Dressing **American ]: mainly for saleability purposes.
    Europeans unto themself, are the least likely to be inventive [excluding the FRENCH-Europe's- only true talents] ; In any mechanical Engineering FIELDS{all of the associated included}..
    Nice pictures though. maybe they {GM} can wiggle a fortune out of the DESKTOP Downloads, at the rate things are going for GM and the others, this may be there sole revenue source!{desktop down loads} ... ??? ..
     
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  7. Ahh it's a Beautiful Mind.
    They have lot's of names they could resurrect for the Invicta..Limited..and their all set for the buick hybrid..they can call it the Electra !
     
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  8. Hey, Lutz:
    It's the MPG, stupid!!!!
    and PLEASE Shut Buick down. The last people willing to buy its lamest of the lame cars are dying off fast....
     
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  9. Please explain why GMC is STILL ALIVE.
    At least Buick, Saab, and Hummer have distinctive products.
    I'd like someone to NAME ONE UNIQUE MODEL in the GMC LINEUP.
     
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  10. Lutz is surprised that Saturn is not generating the volume they want? The reason is that the Astra is about $2000 more than the other products it's competing with, same for the Aura.
     
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