Drive Type: REAR
Model: Grand National
Perry, Michigan, United States
NEVER EVER RAN ......!
We've spoken at length previously about the fallacy of poor hatchback sales in the US, and with the runaway success of its Chevrolet Cruze sedan, it's somewhat unsurprising to hear that General Motors is rethinking its decision not to sell an overseas five-door variant in North America as it looks to plug a number of holes in its lineup. GM North American President Mark Reuss admitted during a media luncheon this week that not offering the model "... was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake," says Forbes. With the next-generation model already well-along in development, it's likely that the current Cruze hatch (shown above) won't see US dealers.
Reuss admits not offering the model "was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake"
In what must have been a far-reaching conversation, Reuss hinted at a number of new products for many GM brands, including "a much more beautiful Panamera" range-topper for Buick (which sounds a bit like the line of reasoning the TriShield brand has been pursuing with its Riviera concepts) and a "Ford Transit Connect-fighter" to supplant the recently announced badge-engineered Chevy City Express from Nissan.
When you think of daring concept cars or emotional design-student projects, Buick probably isn't the first brand that comes to mind. It's not for lack of concepts; when General Motors ran down 11 concept-car highlights from Buick's 110-year history, three of them are from the past 15 years, with other experiments in that same timeframe like the Black Hawk, Centieme and Cielo left unmentioned.
But the company still thinks about them even if we don't. It ran a contest for students at Detroit's College for Creative Studies to create a Buick for the year 2030 that would incorporate future materials and transportation needs, and nanotechnology.
Best exterior design went to Sam Kenny for his Neo Classical Buick, Justin Salmon took honors for innovative material use, like having exposed algae on the bodyshell to generate energy, and Namsuk Lee nabbed best overall concept and best interior for his Buick Vision Sedan. You can read more about the design challenge and winners in the press release, and hear students talk about what went into the work in the video below.
We admit it. We have no earthly idea how this whole thing is going to shake out.
Typically, after driving a new car or truck, we come away prepared to hazard a guess as to whether said model has a good chance of being a sales success. We've amassed enough time watching the industry, scrutinizing the competitors, and so on, to make a reasonably educated bet. Yet here we are, days removed from driving the new 2013 Buick Encore, and we still have no bloody idea.