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Buick's "Baby Enclave  (Source: Autoblog)

Saturn Vue
GM to rebadge the Saturn Vue in order to give Buick a smaller crossover

General Motors is still trying to get back on its feet after emerging from bankruptcy, but that isn't stopping the company from developing new fuel efficient vehicles. With only the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC brands left, GM is looking to bolster its vehicle lineup.

Although GM's Fritz Henderson said that he is "not a fan of rebadging", it looks like his company is doing just that with a "new" crossover for Buick. GM announced today that Buick will get a smaller crossover vehicle which will slot in under the larger Enclave. The vehicle will be based on the Saturn Vue and from the looks of the teaser picture released by GM, rebadging is alive and well.

"Some customers who have been drawn to the Enclave were looking for something a little smaller, but they didn't want to give up craftsmanship or a quiet ride to get there," said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "We believe this new Buick will excite those customers, and will continue to broaden the appeal of the brand."

Buick's unnamed new crossover will be available with the same engines as the the Vue and will also be available in a plug-in hybrid version. The 2-mode hybrid version of the crossover will use a 3.6-liter V6 engine, dual electric motors, and a lithium-ion battery pack manufactured by Compact Power which will be mounted under the cargo floor. The vehicle's battery pack can be recharged by the internal combustion engine or via a household outlet (like the more advanced Chevrolet Volt).

GM says that the lithium-ion battery pack can be fully charged in four to five hours. According to GM, the plug-in variant will be able to travel 10 miles on battery power alone.



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RE: Rebadging
By Keeir on 8/6/2009 3:02:24 PM , Rating: 3
Yet again

::Blink::

I agree, the M3 is a very large compact. But I would chaulk up your difference in feeling to do more with interior design. A 2004 CTS is almost 10% larger interior volume than the 1999 M3. Kinda of how my A4 compact feels alot larger than Cobalts/Focus rentals, even though the interior volume is very similar (my A4 is actually smaller).

I disagree. I think there is room in the Caddy line for a Detla (GM compact) sized car. Maybe that Converj concept or a sporty coupe/convertible/roadster type.


RE: Rebadging
By lightfoot on 8/6/2009 3:12:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...or a sporty coupe/convertible/roadster type.

You mean like the Cadillac XLR?


RE: Rebadging
By Keeir on 8/6/2009 4:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
XLRs are great, but aren't they like 100,000 a pop?

I guess I was thinking an "affordable" car around 50-60k in that category...

BMW still has room for a 3 series convertible, even though they have the M6 convertible.

Caddy needs to absorb some of the Saab market.... Its in a better position than Buick or Chevy to do so I think


RE: Rebadging
By Spuke on 8/7/2009 2:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
BMW still has room for a 3 series convertible
BMW has THREE 3 series convertibles: M3, 328i and 335i. That's in the US anyways.


RE: Rebadging
By bhieb on 8/6/2009 5:16:46 PM , Rating: 3
What an odd turn this has taken, normally we are all bashing GM for too many cars/brands, and here we are debating the need to add more. BMW/Benz have smaller cheaper compacts because they don't have a Chevy/Buick division to sell them (although BMW does have the mini but that is pretty niche), sub 30K cars don't belong on a Caddy lot IMHO.

My 2 cents. GM needs 3 brands. Buick for cars and consumer SUV's, GMC for all trucks, and Caddy for luxury. Chevy is an iconic name no doubt, but it does carry a less than stellar image with non Chevy lovers (a stigma that Cadillac and Buick don't have as bad). Don't know where that leaves the vette and Camaro though. Maybe keep Chevy after all but rebrand it as a performance divsion??? Just seems weird to have 2 luxury divisions (Buick and Cadillac), but as others have said they can hardly drop Buick because of the overseas sales.


RE: Rebadging
By Keeir on 8/6/2009 7:31:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What an odd turn this has taken, normally we are all bashing GM for too many cars/brands


Well, thats before they dumped Pontiac, Saab, Hummer, and cut down the other brands.

I guess I come with a NA perspective that anything "Buick" is not really suitable for a sub-40 year old.

So for me... Between a Cobalt and CTS... I get nothing from GM in either sporty or luxury movements (Size yes, can go to the Malibu). In the Import Section I have the Acura TSX, the Lexus IS, the Audi A3, Audi A4, BMW 1 series, BMW 3 Series, Volvo S40, Mercedes C Class, etc. (These all are blockbuster sellers as well. We are talking about 250,000+ a year combined segment) Even "domestically" I have the Lincoln MKZ.

Maybe GM can re-invent Buick for NA, but considering the best sales success is a semi-luxury CUV... its got a long way to go (2010 LaCross looks promising, but I would still pick any car on my above list over it)


RE: Rebadging
By Spuke on 8/6/2009 7:22:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But I would chaulk up your difference in feeling to do more with interior design.
Nope. Although the CTS is longer than a 3 series sedan, head room, leg room, and shoulder room are nearly identical.


RE: Rebadging
By Keeir on 8/6/2009 7:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nope. Although the CTS is longer than a 3 series sedan, head room, leg room, and shoulder room are nearly identical.


Thats exactly what I am talking about.

The CTS volume indicator score is higher than a M3, US classifys the CTS as a Midsize, and the BMW a compact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_size_class

The 2004 CTS (depends slightly on the source) is around 114. The 1999 M3, I can't find any data for, but the recent model ones are around 108. I assumed for the 10% number it was around 100 (as the 1999 M3 is smaller than current models, was a coupe and is actually EPA classified as a "Subcompact" meaning should be 99).

BMW acchieves the better scoring by better placement of cabin and travel of seats etc. (Believe it or not, the differnece is only slightly smaller than Corolla-->Camry for current years and should be larger than Corolla-->Camry for the 1999-2004 he is comparing). Better interior design.


RE: Rebadging
By Spuke on 8/7/2009 2:36:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Thats exactly what I am talking about.
I see your point now I think. And find it retarded that the BMW is classified as a compact when there's nothing compact about it, if you go by interior space.


RE: Rebadging
By Keeir on 8/7/2009 7:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And find it retarded that the BMW is classified as a compact when there's nothing compact about it, if you go by interior space.


Spuke. The classifications are based on measurements and a formula. They are the reality so to speak. Interior measurement differences of ~1 inch are what seperates subcompact, compact, midsize, and full size. Also remember, we are dealing with Volume, the cube of the Length. A difference of 1.03 time on each measurement, leads to a volume change of 1.09.

For example, check out the Honda Fit --> Honda Civic

FH: 40.4 --> 39.4
FS: 52.7 --> 53.7
FHip: 51.5 --> 51.6
FL: 41.3 --> 42.2

Pretty close, total difference between the two is only 1 inch on all 4. Yet I think most would consider the Civic a bigger car than the Fit. Significantly bigger.


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