Reuss Wants America to Have a Wagon
Should General Motors new product boss Mark Reuss have his way, there may come a day when a new affordable wagon could be driven off the lot onto the highways and driveways of America.
Reuss was asked at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show what type of vehicle that was missing from GM’s current lineup should be given life. In response, he noted that no automaker in the United States currently offers an affordable wagon for the masses, one described as “mainstream, fun, good-looking, hot-looking, [and] fun-to-drive.” Reuss acknowledged that there were some wagons already for sale, such as the soon-to-be discontinued Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon and offerings from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, though all of them were too expensive for the space he wishes to fill.
Currently, crossovers hold dominion over the space once occupied by SUVs, minivans and wagons. To bring crossover owners into the wagon train, Reuss said his dream wagon would have to be compelling and be “really fun to drive” for it to be a hit with that market. He would also need to convince his new boss, CEO Mary Barra, to sign-off on a made-for-America wagon, which could be underpinned by the architecture found in the Cadillac ATS and next-gen Chevrolet Camaro.
I just hope they make a 2-door model so it'll be easier for a body shop to convert into an El Camino.
If they: 1) Made it America 2) Maintained a somewhat sporting option (with manual trans) 3) Kept the price in the mid $25k range I'd be in serious contention for a Cruze wagon. When I return from my assignment here in Saudi Arabia, I want to get back to my rescue dog hauling volunteer work. I know I am in the minority when you look at American consumer demand, but I simply don't want a CUV/SUV for what I do. Granted, I love me some Jeep Wrangler, but there isn't a ton of cargo space (even with the rear seat removed) and most of the dog runs I do are several hours in length, so fuel economy does enter my decision criteria. Plus, I want to buy a small Trailmaster camper which would be perfectly towed by even a Cruze wagon. As I said, I'm a minority consumer. There probably really isn't much of a business case for GM to bring something like the Cruze Wagon to the the market, but I can always hope...
Ok, let's look at making an acutal case for the car instead of just badgering back and forth: 1) the Dodge Magnum, aside from being named after a condom and being made in an era where Mopar interiors felt like they were made of recycled condoms sold about 40,000 units per year before Chrysler killed it. Admitted, that's not Camry numbers, but it's more units per year than Audi sells A4's, their bread-and-butter model. Ralph Giles said the car was killed becuase an exec didn't like it, not becuase it didn't sell. Don't use the magnum as a reason to not consider a wagon. 2) Volvo dealers have been screaming for a wagon since Volvo stopped making them. Why would they do that unless there's a demand out there? 3) Marketing demographics - When was the last time you saw a car ad focused at a young father? I honestly can't remember beyond the "daddy likes" angle on the Sienna, and I'm a young father. We are an ignored demographic - there is room for us. I realize VW and Caddy don't sell a lot of wagons, but they do sell them, and I see more late 20's-early 40's guys driving them than anything else. I believe the automakers know this, and know that we have money and don't see a lot on the market that works for us and isn't an SUV or minivan, both of which are distasteful. 4) the most popular wagon-y things out there right now are the CUV's. Maybe it's me, but they're all just so cute that they make me want to throw up. Maybe it's not me, because I see more women behind the wheels of these things than men. Not every guy wants twin tail pipes and a burble of a V8, but the idea that they drive a car that can come that way has more appeal than a Buick Encore which likely comes with curly toed shoes to make your Keebler deliveries. 5) The current 'hot' is soft roaders. it's a theme that works. Boy-rally racers in WRX's grow up, but have nothing to grow up into. Look at the Audi allroad. good idea, crapstastic execution. Give me something a little high on good tires. real power (300 would be nice) at a $30k-$35k price point. I'm talking a dirt road barnstormer in a car ad with a canoe on the roof and baby seat in the back. GMV variant? why the hell not? 6) How about a street variant more in line with the old Magnum? good suspension and a decent heady V6 with some sport seats and shifter paddles. Make an ad with one in white, a dad in a blue vest with the tag line that it'll do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. It'll sell. 7) women predominantly hate wagons as a rule. I don't understand it, but I understand that it's there. For single guys, this is a deal breaker as a wagon likely isn't going to drop panties like a 328 coupe will. For a married guy, this is gold. He knows his wife can't protest the 'practical' car, but also knows it irritates her a little. gold.
I'm sure he's talking about the Cruze wagon, but a Buick Regal wagon based on the Opel Insignia wagon would be amazing. I saw an Insignia wagon in France and walked around it admiringly taking pictures for several minutes -- it was absolutely gorgeous...no kidding, they made a dead-sexy wagon.