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GM kills plan for new Buick crossover
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08:22, August 20, 2009

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U.S. automaker General Motors Co. has spiked plans to build a new Buick crossover and its plug-in version after the vehicle drew negative feedback, a GM official said on Wednesday.

In a company blog updated on Wednesday, GM's Vice Chairman Tom Stephens wrote: "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."

The move illustrates the speed and flexibility with which GM is adjusting its vehicle portfolio. Company President and CEO Fritz Henderson has said that GM, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 10, needs to develop a competitive line of profitable models.

Stephens said a decision to kill a future vehicle normally would have been a drawn-out process.

"What gives me pause is how quickly we made a decision and carried it out," Stephens wrote. "In the past this would have been a several-month process..."

A replacement vehicle has not been named but the hybrid technology will be applied to another vehicle, Stephens wrote.

The Buick crossover was supposed to launch in late 2010 with a direct-injected gasoline engine, followed in 2011 by the plug-in hybrid model.

GM has said it will deliver nearly 70 plug-in vehicles to the U.S. Energy Department for testing in early 2011. They'll go on sale to retail customers later that year.


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