GM Cancels Plug-in Buick Based On Vue, Announces Replacement

August 19, 2009
2011 Buick crossover plug-in hybrid

2011 Buick crossover plug-in hybrid

The web has spoken, and GM listened. Or at least that's part of the story behind the cancellation of the Saturn Vue-based 2011 Buick plug-in crossover hybrid previewed during GM's technology event a couple weeks ago.

According to many sources, including Christopher Barger, GM's social media guru, and Vice Chairman Tom Stephens, the social media response - including Twitter - mirrored the in-person response of media types, dealers and customers alike. The gut reaction to the Saturn-based Buick was not good.

"Vue-ick" jokes aside - as irresistible as they are - the look and feel of the Saturn Vue simply didn't fit with the new image Buick is trying to project, nor did it fit with the rejection of badge engineering offered by Fritz Henderson in the days after he took the helm at GM.

As Stephens put it, "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."

That leaves hope alive for those that were glad to see the plug-in hybrid technology coming to market no matter what form it might take, and it also lets Buick fans - if there is such a thing - rest easy knowing they'll be getting not just technology, but in a package that mates with the rest of the new lineup.

[GM Fastlane Blog]

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