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SoCalCTS

GM to end production of Buick Rainier

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SoCalCTS    25

GM will end production of Buick Rainier

Division down to handful of models

February 7, 2007

Detroit Press

BY GREG BENSINGER

BLOOMBERG NEWS

General Motors Corp. will end production of the Buick Rainier SUV in the second quarter to trim the division's product line and spend more to develop and sell its remaining models.

The Rainier represents about 2.5% of the daily output at GM's Moraine, Ohio, plant, the only place it's made, spokesman Tom Wickham said Tuesday. It isn't clear yet what effect the change might have on employment, he said.

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GM CEO Rick Wagoner is paring Buick to three or four models, about half as many as in 2005. The world's largest automaker slowed production after U.S. sales fell 8.7% last year. Buick sales slid 15%, and Rainier's sales were down 17%, to 12,691.

"GM is trying to position Buick as a luxury brand, and I think the Rainier just didn't fit that mold," Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, said. "It's not selling well, and it looks more like a down-market SUV than a luxury one."

By turning to new models such as the Enclave crossover SUV, GM hopes to lift Buick sales and help reverse $13 billion in losses in the seven quarters through Sept. 30. It has said about 40% of sales this year will come from new models.

The automaker will increase production of GMC Envoy, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X SUVs made at the plant near Dayton, Wickham said.

Shares of Detroit-based GM rose 72 cents, or 2.2%, to $33.43 in New York Stock Exchange trading. They have gained 43% in the past year.

"There has been no determination on what impact the decision might have" on the workforce, Wickham said. GM employs about 2,700 at the plant, represented by the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communication Workers of America.

GM began notifying plant workers and dealers of its decision Monday, Wickham said.

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turbo200    6

good riddance! GM needs to stop bending to the will of outsiders who think it's best to pump out more and more cars for the sake of inventory. They need to learn they are the ones in charge of the brands. And they need to learn what a brand represents. What they should be shooting for is a collection of ideas and art. Not the crap that's there now. The Rainier is a piss-poor example of what GM product thinking used to be like. Hopefully, this kind of thing will never come close to happening, and every product will have thought and thorough relation to its brand, and what the brand stands for.

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Paolino    99

There was a Buick Rainier?!

Seriously, I've seen 3 since it came out. 3.

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AxelTheRed    0

Now, when they say they're moving Buick upmarket to be a luxury brand, that's fine with me, but they better get Cadillac movin' on up a little faster too, so as to limit any market cannibalization as much as possible.

Besides, I've always wanted to see Caddy give Rolls-Royce and Bentley a run for their money.

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There was a Buick Rainier?!

Seriously, I've seen 3 since it came out. 3.

Other than seeing the Rainier at the Denver Auto Show last year, I can't recall the last time I saw one...or an Ascender..or a 9-X. And this is an area with a very high concentration of SUVs (probably one of the highest of any metro area).

Edited by moltar

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Dsuupr    12

Like the Bravada, the Rainer is one of the better of the division sharing products. Yes, it doesn't fit Buick. Yes it is too close to the Chevy or GMC version. It is a nice product, especially for the money.

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Intrepidation    846

The only decent one of those SUVs is the Saab 9-7x and the Trailblazer SS. Mainly because someone at GM actually bothered to tune teh suspension, and in the Saab's case, put a decent interior in it.

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Satty    338

The Rainier is extremely rare, and it turns out they depreciate like crazy (all of the GMT-360s do) so they're pretty cheap a year or two old. The Ascender is the best used value, if you can find one. They've got a much longer warranty than the rest. The 9-7x barely registers, I saw one yesterday and it took me a second to realize what it was.

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bobo    91

The only reason there was a Rainier was that the orphaned Bravada had to go somewhere. The GMT-360's were somewhat competitive when they were introduced for model year 2002, aside from the quality issues, but they needed an update a couple of years ago, especially to fix the downmarket interiors. Now with the planned update canceled, these things will just linger on in a sad state.

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Chicagoland    2

I see afew here in Chicago area, becasue Buick is still seen as a 'car company' by some. But, there are many new PBG dealers combined, with a few hold out Buick dealers who think the division will be "#3 as soon as..."

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daves87rs    330

The Rainier is extremely rare, and it turns out they depreciate like crazy (all of the GMT-360s do) so they're pretty cheap a year or two old. The Ascender is the best used value, if you can find one. They've got a much longer warranty than the rest. The 9-7x barely registers, I saw one yesterday and it took me a second to realize what it was.

I'll be interested to see how cheap they go.

If they start dropping into Blazer territory (sub-10k), I would consider a used one.

The engine is solid, and I could tow stuff...

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The local Buick dealer has had a small batch of Rainiers that seem to be stuck to the side of the building. There are very few around here, I dont think most people ever knew it existed. Did it get the same ad time as the other Buick models?

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Cananopie    1

In defense of the Rainier it is very common around Western New York, I see them all the time. It's not as glib (at least around here) as others seem to make it. I don't think the Rainier sold under what was expected. It was what it was which was a Bravada reliever so GM didn't lose that share of the market. It wasn't mean to go crazy with sales nor keep Buick afloat

Edited by Cananopie

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