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    William Maley

    A Peek Into The Mind Of GM's North American President

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    November 8, 2013

    Forbes had the chance to talk with General Motors' North American president Mark Reuss this week. Reuss talked about key gaps that he sees in GM's lineup and what could be done to fill them.

    We'll start with the Chevrolet Cruze. Since going on sale in the U.S., a lot of us have been wondering why there isn't a hatchback version. Especially considering the number of compact hatchbacks that are on sale has been growing and that Chevrolet sells a Cruze hatchback in Europe. Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.”

    Even without the hatchback, the Cruze has been doing quite well, with 211,862 models sold so far this year.

    Speaking about the next-generation Cruze, Reuss said “the next-generation will blow you away.” From what we know, the next-generation Cruze will adopt a design profile similar to the Sonic. Maybe the five-door Cruze will come as well.

    Reuss also talked about a "contemporary wagon for mainstream America." Something more affordable than the wagons from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac's own CTS Sports Wagon.

    There are a few other models that were bandied about by Reuss including a compact van to take on the Ford Transit Connect, a “black hole” pickup truck that would be sandwhich between a medium-duty and heavy-duty truck, and a a flagship model for Buick that Reuss says “a much more beautiful Panamera.”

    Source: Forbes

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Well I hope the next Cruze hatch has a more proportionate design than the current model. I think it's a good idea to bring it... Focus hatches have proliferated.

    Chevy still needs a compact coupe, too, and it should be something that is not flash-in-the-pan trendy.

    Impala wagon anyone? I'd love to see a rendering of an Impala wagon... leading to a production version.

    Home-grown reply to Transit Connect is an awesome idea. To Ford, if this pans out: "Rutroh Rastro!" ;)

    I'm spacing out thinking of this "black hole pickup truck"... not sure, based on the text above, what that means.

    And by saying Buick's flagship will be a more beautiful Panamera, he's giving himself PLENTY of leeway/snark. ;)

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    I agree with heavier duty pickups and a small van. I would like to see either a Cruze, Verano, or Regal wagon (but only one of the 3). I like the idea of a Cruze hatchback, but Chevrolet already has the Spark and Sonic 5 doors, and the Sonic is almost as large and roomy as the Focus. I don't think Buick needs a flagship in the U.S. (maybe in China), but the next version Lacrosse needs the larger trunk of the Impala and XTS.

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    I do think Buick needs a flagship, but I don't think it should be a sedan.

    Well, by comparing it to the Panamera, maybe they're thiking at something that is somewhat like a sporty wagon-ish car (i.e. a 5 door)?

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    The Panamera is a hideous looking car, hopefully they don't copy that. Buick could probably benefit from a coupe/convertible. If they build a slightly bigger and nicer LaCrosse as the flagship, then it will just be an XTS.

    Trying to fill every niche sounds of old GM and that is what got them in trouble. They need to focus on making the core products great. The Malibu is a joke of a product and that is the #1 segment in the industry. A lot of the current products can be improved, which is a better use of resources rather than to make niche cars with low sales volume while ignoring key volume segments.

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    They made a mistake on the Malibu... pretty much everyone agrees on that... but they'll have to let that mistake run its course until a replacement comes.

    That doesn't mean throwing more engineers at it that would otherwise be working on the products Mark is talking about here.

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