Chevrolet Traverse Crossover Set to Cannibalize Saturn, GMC

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chevrolet traverse crossover set to cannibalize saturn gmc

While GM CEO Rick Wagoner is telling the world that his administration has created "stronger brands" [look for the GM Death Watch on Wagoner's "turnaround report" later today], his marketing maven has announced that The General's fourth Lambda-based crossover will go on sale this fall. While Mark LaNeve didn't announce a price or exact specification for the Chevrolet Traverse, the Freep reports that he set a sales target: 80k to 100k units per year. If Chevy has enough parts for the job, that goal is bound to eat into the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia's share of the crossover pie. Combined, the two brand's vehicles Lambda danced their way to to 107,513 sales in '07. If you add their sister-under-the-skin, the short-supply Buick Enclave, the total ratchets-up to 136,799. So LaNeve is hoping for total Lambda crossover sales of 216,799 to 236,799 units across four GM brands in a down market. At least– as those Saturn, GMC and Buick numbers only represent part-year sales. What are the odds?

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  • Jonathon Jonathon on Jan 18, 2008

    jaje: What reason do you have to believe that the Buick Enclave probably only has about $500 in higher quality parts than the Chevy Traverse? I should add that I haven't seen the Enclave up close, so I don't know how nice it actually is.

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Jan 18, 2008

    What would happen if GM were split into two completely different companies? Chevy Cadillac Hummer on one end.... Buick Pontiac GMC Saturn Saab Moe Larry Curly Shemp and Joe on the other... .............................................. Or maybe make it into three American companies... Chevy - Cadillac - Hummer Buick - Pontiac - GMC Saturn - Saab - maybe a joint venture with Opel .............................................. Of course this wouldn't be practical given their financial situation. But GM obviously needs to have it's divisions reduced in the US one way or another. The recent debacle in the minivan market was a prime example of the impediments they will continue to face if badge engineering remains the company standard.

  • Geotpf Geotpf on Jan 18, 2008

    It's interesting, if you compare GM's sales over the years, how the different brands have different sales patterns: Buick's sales of 185k in 2007 was less than half of it's recent peak of 445k in 1999. Pontiac's sales of 358k in 2007 was barely more than half of it's recent peak of 616k, also in 1999. Oldsmobile's sold zero in 2007, compared it's recent peak, again in 1999, of 352k. Hummer's down a bunch last year, but that's to be expected and it's not a core brand. Saab was down, too, although it sells even less and it's sales are within historical averages. Chevy sold 2,265k in 2007, down about 15-20% from it's 2001 high of 2,689k. GMC is treading water. Cadillac is actually up from the late 1990's/early 2000's. Saturn is also treading water, although only because they keep giving it new models (that is, they went from basically one vehicle (available in coupe, station wagon, and sedan forms, but one basic vehicle) to six without increasing sales)). What does this all mean? It means the various brands all want any new vehicle to prevent falling further behind. Without the Enclave, Buick would be nothing at this point. Saturn is only being propped up because they keep giving it new shiny stuff (which then doesn't sell worth a damn). GMC wanted something to replace the aging Envoy. Of course, Chevy can't be neglected; it's GM's main brand. So, everybody gets a version of this! Yeah! (Except Pontiac, although it looks like Pontiac will no longer get any new SUVs or vans-cars only. Pontiac is CAR, remember?)

  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on Jan 19, 2008

    I've been wondering: if Buick and GMC form a single sales channel, why is there a Buick AND a GMC version in the same $30K-$40K price range? That's badge engineering WITHIN the same channel? Apparently, GM wants to have an abundance of models, in this case a boxy and a rounded version of the same vehicle. Maybe somebody can post why spreading yourself thin like that is good.