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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 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
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)

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