Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Twitter Killed the Buick Vue

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
wild ass rumor of the day twitter killed the buick vue

Jalopnik reports that, rather than crying “perception gap” to negative tweets about Buick’s quick-n-dirty Saturn Vue rebadge, GM has killed plans for the plugin crossover. GM spokesfolk say “the overwhelmingly negative response to this vehicle coming out of this event” caused GM to pull the plug. Which is funny because a good hard look at their bloated 2012 CUV lineup would have told them that killing the “Vuick” was a good idea, too. So now GM has a plug-in CUV developed with nowhere to put it. And the Twitterati have another reason to believe they are somehow relevant. In other words, all’s right with the world. Hit the jump for GM’s official word via spokesman Tom Stephens.

Last week, we had a new and future product showcase at which employees, potential customers, dealers, media, analysts and others toured our Design facilities and test-drove vehicles at the Milford Proving Ground. The main reason we did it was to get people talking about us—and to us. And, this is the important part, when they talked, we listened.

And we got some great positive feedback . . . the future Cadillacs drew great praise, our GMC concept was very well received, and the lineup of fuel efficient Chevys—Spark, Aveo and Cruze—impressed many of our guests. Three future Buicks we showed also drew a lot of interest and compliments.

However, not all the feedback was positive.

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.

You may recall that this was the Buick compact crossover I announced in Traverse City a few weeks ago, with a plug-in hybrid version to accompany it—this is not the smaller Buick crossover we showed that was playfully referred to as “the baby Enclave.” That vehicle did very well and remains in the lineup.

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.

So there’s the proof, in my eyes, that the new GM is listening, and moving quickly.

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2 of 24 comments
  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 20, 2009
    "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." What the heck? How is it that the geniuses in charge with the monster paychecks failed to notice what apparently every outsider who got to see the Buick Vue called right off the bat? There is nothing new about GM putting a lot of time and money into a project only to suddenly cancel it. What a wasteful corporate culture. The question isn't why was the Buick Vue canceled. The question is why it got that far in the first place.
  • Jacad Jacad on Aug 20, 2009

    I agree that killing Buick in the U.S would run the risk of killing it in China. That market in the future will be their only hope. The question is why didn't all the boy genius MBA's realize they could roll Buick into Cadillac and sell them in the showroom as the mid-price entry point branded as Buick. The same as Lasalle used to be? The answer is they were all too busy looking to protect their Good-Ole-Boy network and power and inventing scapegoats for the reason they bankrupted what was the world's largest auto company. Once upon a time. They blame the Unions, dealers, the press, taxes, and the weather. Never do you hear that the people running the company were idiots. They are all still there doing the same old dance! More arrogant than ever and now "blessed" by the Government supplying a bottomless checkbook and running interference.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.