The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

GM's Bob Lutz says Pontiac, Buick are on a Path to Recovery

Another interesting quote from Maximum Bob in today's news.

I know that Pontiac is looking a lot better as a brand these past few years. The Solstice, upcoming G8, and even some of the existing cars like the G6 Convertible are very appealing to me and those I work with who aren't GM fans.

But Buick? Well, Bob has the best idea of GM's plans for that withering brand, but I don't see any kind of recovery coming. Aside from the looks of the Enclave (which has a reskin-twin right on the lots next to it...the Acadia), the brand has very little going for it, and nothing in the future product pipeline that I've heard of that really changes the game for them. Another Epsilon-platform variant will not save Buick. And from what I can tell that's where GM is putting its Buick eggs-in-a-basket. If the Enclave doesn't do stellar sales, then all they have is a Mercury-style Chevy Malibu reskin?

That's not enough.

But who knows, maybe I'll wake up some day and Buick and Mercury will be the biggest brands in the U.S. market, and people will rave over the classy & conservative restyling of mechanical clones of cheaper Fords and Chevies. And Buick's market share and relevance will skyrocket.

Maybe pigs will fly, too.

Personally, I prefer my suggestion of an American-market Daewoo-built Buick. That's a new game plan, not the same old one from 1995.

Lutz: GM brands on mend
2 years after calling Buick and Pontiac damaged, he says there are signs of life
April 7, 2007
General Motors Corp.'s Buick and Pontiac brands are no longer "damaged," according to Vice Chairman Bob Lutz -- but they're still years away from full vitality.

Two years ago, Lutz created a stir at the New York auto show when he called Buick and Pontiac "damaged brands" and warned that GM would have to consider killing one or both if trends did not reverse.

"They're still not where we'd like them to be, but the vital signs have at least turned up," Lutz said in an interview with the Free Press. Reviving them is "going to be a gradual process that will take another five to six years."

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