Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Black
Dillsboro, Indiana, United States
Considering that crossovers are a rapidly growing portion of the US auto market, it's not surprising to hear that General Motors is preparing to build even more of them. The company is investing $63 million to expand its Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant that builds Lambda platform CUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.
According to GM, the expansion will add roughly 263,000 extra square feet of space to the plant. Of that, 181,000 square feet will be for an updated body shop with cutting-edge robots. There will also be 54,000 square feet of additional room in the paint shop and 28,000 square feet of more area for general assembly.
GM isn't saying as much, but there is the possibility that this extra space could allow for additional models produced at the factory. Cadillac reportedly dropped plans to build a three-row SUV on the Lambda platform earlier this year, however, dealers for the luxury brand were recently pitched the possibility of adding large and small CUVs, an ATS convertible or a sedan below the ATS.
Back in September, General Motors promised nine new or refreshed models for its Buick and GMC brands within 12 months, and while we've already seen what the updated 2014 GMC Sierra will look like, we're now getting our first look at what appears to be the facelifted 2014 Buick LaCrosse. Judging by a set of spy shots posted on Autohome showing a Chinese-market model, the updated sedan is getting a pretty big makeover, including a completely redesigned interior and a refreshed exterior.
From the outside, all of the usual midcycle updates have been made to the LaCrosse, including new lights and fascias. The new front end features a larger, reshaped seven-sided grille, LED-trimmed headlights and Buick's signature portholes are now mounted on the side edges of the hood to be more visible. The rear view has similarly small yet refined changes such as the new decklid with a chrome brow that stretches the full width of the car, to a more squared-off rear fascia with exhaust outlets pushed out to the corners. From the single shot we can see, the LaCrosse's new rump looks very similar to the Hyundai Equus.
The second-generation LaCrosse helped reestablish Buick as a near-premium automaker with its interior quality, and the next model could very well up the stakes even more. The new cabin design ditches the wraparound wood trim on the instrument panel and door panels for a smoother, more contemporary look. While it's hard to make out all of the changes, we can instantly see that the center stack is now more upright with fewer buttons, but the biggest news might be the cabin technology the 2014 LaCrosse might offer. Checking out the shot of the center console, we see what looks to be a pad similar to the handwriting recognition technology used by Audi, which would make this a first for GM.
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.