Print 33 comment(s) - last by Samus.. on Mar 19 at 2:15 AM

Cadillac Converj

Maxmium Bob "Action Figure" made by auto enthusiasts.   (Source: Patrick Arena/The Car Loung)
"It's dead, Jim!" GM passes on the Cadillac Converj

There's been a battle brewing within General Motors about expanding the Volt platform to include vehicles other than the Chevrolet Volt and its near twin, the Opel Ampera. It was hoped that the Cadillac Converj -- which was shown at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show -- would help expand sales of the platform and help offset some of the development costs due to its higher price tag.

The Detroit News received confirmation late last year that the Converj would actually be produced. However, a new report from Automotive News suggests that GM has actually shelved plans to produce the sleek two-door coupe.

"Simply, other priorities and the conviction that the Volt and Ampera will use all available capacity for years to come."

The news comes from none other than "Maximum" Bob Lutz had been proclaiming to the press that the Converj would see the light of day in 2012. Lutz has been a champion of "pet products" within GM over the past few years. Unfortunately for Lutz, many of the vehicles he has championed have also ended up on the chopping block recently (Pontiac Solstice, Pontiac GTO, Pontiac G8, Saturn Sky, etc.). Lutz is also retiring from GM on May 1, so any possible dreams of seeing a production version of the Converj are leaving with him.

"It has always been a concept," added Nick Twork, a spokesman for Cadillac. "It was never announced officially that we were going to do the Converj. We never issued a press release."

The fetching Converj concept car featured a four-seat interior, 21" front wheels (22" in the rear), an all glass roof which incorporated solar panels to help charge accessories (a similar feature is available on the Prius), and LED headlights.

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Good riddance
By haz300 on 3/17/2010 12:20:34 PM , Rating: -1
Good move by them for once. GM didn't need another Volt competing under a different name. Though I will say that Cadillac is much sexier than the Volt.

RE: Good riddance
By Brandon Hill on 3/17/2010 12:32:27 PM , Rating: 5
Not sure I agree. What GM doesn't need is the Ampera which is nothing more than a Volt with a different front bumper. The Converj would be the perfect fit IMHO. You can jack up the price because it's a Cadillac and it looks absolutely nothing like the Volt (which is a good thing).

Badge engineering (Opel Ampera) = bad. Platform sharing (Cadillac Converj) = good.

RE: Good riddance
By kellehair on 3/17/2010 12:46:42 PM , Rating: 5
Agreed. If someone is interested in the tech that drives the Volt and they have money I think they would have been happy to spring for the Caddy version.

RE: Good riddance
By twhittet on 3/17/2010 1:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
No. They should concentrate on making a solid Volt rather than going in 5 different directions. I don't care if they share platforms, it still wastes resources to create, market, and maintain redundant models. Do one thing well FIRST, then branch out, rather than doing the complete opposite and failing on even more models. If the Volt sucks, the Converj would suck, and Cadillac owners would be even more pissed for the amount of $$ they wasted.

RE: Good riddance
By clovell on 3/17/2010 2:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree - GM needs to perfect the Volt first. Considering the costly lesson they just learned about going too far in rebadging platforms for different model lines, is anybody truly surprised about this move?

RE: Good riddance
By kellehair on 3/17/2010 2:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not pretend the Volt and Converj are all that different. GM jokes aside I'm sure they can develop 1 car and a slight variation of that same car at the same time.

RE: Good riddance
By rudy on 3/17/2010 5:11:55 PM , Rating: 5

1 year to make sure the volt does not have terrible problems. Then put out a high end volt in the converj which has leather and all the trimmings jack up the price and make profit.

RE: Good riddance
By Samus on 3/19/2010 2:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
This car would have substantially higher profit margins than the Volt simply because it's a luxury label and will probably have finer touches than a...Chevy. Not producing this car is a pretty poor management decision, but that shouldn't be any surprise coming from GM.

And does anybody here actually think Obama tell's GM what to do? I'm pretty sure he knows he screwed us bailing them out, and at this point, is probably trying to forget 'it' ever happened.

In other news, Ford, a company that accepted NO bailout money, increased sales 42% last month over January, or in other words, they stole all of Toyota's business, because when people get mad at the Japanese, and can't afford European, and want to buy American, they certainly aren't going to buy Crystler, and the reputation GM has from restructuring has put a unneccessary but appearantly bad taste in peoples mouths even though their quality virtually matches Ford these days.

RE: Good riddance
By djc208 on 3/17/2010 1:03:27 PM , Rating: 4
While I agree that killing the Converj was stupid, and would argue that GM should have done the Converj first and then released the Volt.

However I don't think the Opel is a big deal considering it's GM's European version of the Volt. It's not like they compete with each other. You can't get the Opel here or the Chevy there.

Badge engineering is stupid when it competes with your own vehicles. When it's just a different name and face for a different market I think it's a smart move.

Just look at the GTO, GM can badge engineer all the Holden projects they want if that's the kind of vehicle that gets to our shores. I'd love to see the UTE version of that platform come here at some point, but you'd naturally slap a Chevy badge and front end on it.

RE: Good riddance
By theapparition on 3/17/2010 1:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
One of my employees and devout motorhead still laments the death of the Pontiac Sport Trunk (aka Holden Ute).

RE: Good riddance
By Brandon Hill on 3/17/2010 1:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Tell him to get a Tacoma X-Runner ;)

RE: Good riddance
By Camikazi on 3/17/2010 2:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
Nice truck, but Ute is better, like it so much more and wish Pontiac was still around to release their version :(

RE: Good riddance
By Brandon Hill on 3/17/2010 2:27:54 PM , Rating: 4
Chevy could always make it an El Camino ;)

RE: Good riddance
By Camikazi on 3/18/2010 11:16:32 AM , Rating: 2
That would be great, bring back the Camino!

RE: Good riddance
By theapparition on 3/17/2010 1:09:34 PM , Rating: 3
What are you talking about? The Chevy and Volt won't be sold in the same market. The change of bumper is to meet differing government requirements.

I don't see why badge engineering wouldn't make sense in this case since Chevy is virtually unknown in Europe and Opel is unknown in the US.

The Cadillac would however cannabilize salesof the Volt, but I'm not sure that's such a bad thing. The Converj does look much better than the Volt.

RE: Good riddance
By theapparition on 3/17/2010 1:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
meant to say Volt and Ampera

RE: Good riddance
By Brandon Hill on 3/17/2010 1:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. I shouldn't have included the Ampera in the badge engineering discussion seeing as how Opels aren't sold here. i.e. new Buick Regal vs Opel Insignia

But I do detest badge engineering in the same market.

RE: Good riddance
By PorreKaj on 3/17/2010 1:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
Not true, we need the Ampera because Chevy is a crappy name here in EU :)

keep the chevy in the US and all will be fine :)

RE: Good riddance
By Brandon Hill on 3/17/2010 1:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
You see, that's what I don't get. GM has Holden/Vauxhall/Opel which seem to recycle many of the same designs, yet...

Ford seems to be doing fine using a single global nameplate and they are finally getting with the program by making TRUE world cars for everyone seeing as how we will be getting the Focus, Kuga, Grand C-MAX, and the next Mondeo will be our new Fusion.

RE: Good riddance
By Keeir on 3/17/2010 2:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think the difference is that in the case of GM, they choose to purchase existing brands in the other markets and Ford tried to enter the markets.

For example, I believe Ford founded Ford Australia in the 1920s, and GM just purchased Holden.

RE: Good riddance
By Andrwken on 3/17/2010 6:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
You mean like Mazda, Aston Martin, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover?

Yep, all started from scratch.

I don't think either company does anything different in regards to this.

RE: Good riddance
By alanore on 3/17/2010 7:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
Ford were only ever partners with Mazda.

Ford no longer own, Aston Martin, Jaguar or Land Rover, and they are in the process of selling Volvo. Out of the brands they actually own, only volvo was a mass market producer, the rest were prestige brands.

RE: Good riddance
By Andrwken on 3/17/2010 8:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
"On November 18, 2008, Ford announced that it would be selling a 20% stake in Mazda, bringing its stake to 13.4%, and surrendering control of the company."

A controlling interest and a partnership are two different things. Also, the original poster was speaking in a past tense about how two companies went different routes in their moves into global markets. Whether or not they still own these companies is irrelevant at this juncture.

RE: Good riddance
By alanore on 3/17/2010 3:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
It seems that the tide is to have European cars in the US, not the other way around.

Like Fords popular, fiesta, focus, CMAX and Mondeo.

Also the likes of Opels Insignia and Astra.

RE: Good riddance
By PorreKaj on 3/17/2010 3:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Thats another european thingy... when one brand gets to common, it gets bored

However Holden and Vauxhall is right-side driven, where Vaux is fr UK, and Holden Australia, Chevy is more "american" and Opel is for the rest of EU :)

Models like Golf and Focus is god damn everywhere.

RE: Good riddance
By PorreKaj on 3/18/2010 4:33:21 AM , Rating: 2
"it becomes boring"

Anyhow, that is a thing US'ers forget: in EU we have 2 markets. A market for cars with steering wheels in the left, and one for the right ( damn brits ^^ )

One could argue why there is 2 rightwheel driven brands.
might have something to do with the brits not wanting anything from the aussies, and vice versa. ^^

RE: Good riddance
By Murloc on 3/17/2010 5:39:48 PM , Rating: 1
the problem is that american cars are so ugly.
Not that opels are any better...

RE: Good riddance
By piroroadkill on 3/18/2010 7:38:48 AM , Rating: 2
The American cars being ugly thing is mostly because of the 5mph bumper laws, so you end up with domestics being built with massive front overhangs, and imported cars just having fat ass chins grafted on

RE: Good riddance
By Spivonious on 3/17/10, Rating: 0
RE: Good riddance
By Spuke on 3/17/2010 1:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Unless GM can get the Volt under $25k new, a Cadillac version would just not sell.

RE: Good riddance
By Spivonious on 3/18/2010 10:15:17 AM , Rating: 2
Because at $40k, the Volt is solidly in the "luxury car" price range.

RE: Good riddance
By Spuke on 3/18/2010 2:51:11 PM , Rating: 2
And you think that Cadillac, a luxury car division, would only sell the Converj in the same price range as the CTS? I doubt it. The Volt already occupies that space. A Cadillac version would decidedly be more expensive.

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