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Alpha ready to go in '08?

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http://www.autoblog.com/2007/07/30/buick-l...inese-infusion/

Buick lineup to get Chinese-infusion

Posted Jul 30th 2007 9:57AM by Damon Lavrinc

Filed under: Sedans/Saloons, China, Buick

Judging by the positive reception the Chinese-marketed Buicks have been receiving here in the States, GM would be ill-advised to continue offering the same warmed-over products that it's been selling over the past decade. According to Automotive News, the General sees the writing on the wall and intends to go global with the new look of Buick, originally shown at the Shanghai Motor Show in the shape of the Riviera concept.

The idea is to make Buick an affordable luxury brand here in the States, and it has plans on offering a number of new vehicles to the U.S. market that will take on the high-end competitors from Japan.

To begin with, the Excelle, a small sedan, is set to be released sometime in 2008, based off the Alpha platform currently under development in Germany, while the next iteration of the LaCrosse will come in 2009 and will be based off of GM's Epsilon 2 underpinnings. The Lucerne will get a full makeover in 2011 and will be built around the RWD Zeta platform, and the Rainier, Rendezvous and Terraza will die off after the current production run, and replaced with the new Enclave.

Buick's move to become more things to more people is the only way the marque will survive, and judging by what's in the pipeline, the automaker actually has a chance at success.

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To begin with, the Excelle, a small sedan, is set to be released sometime in 2008, based off the Alpha platform currently under development in Germany, while the next iteration of the LaCrosse will come in 2009 and will be based off of GM's Epsilon 2 underpinnings. The Lucerne will get a full makeover in 2011 and will be built around the RWD Zeta platform, and the Rainier, Rendezvous and Terraza will die off after the current production run, and replaced with the new Enclave.

I can't imagine the Alpha part being right. The other stuff is correct though.

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I can't imagine the Alpha part being right. The other stuff is correct though.

What was stated about Alpha is incorrect.

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What was stated about Alpha is incorrect.

Yea I was almost 100% sure it had to be. Unless GM has found a way to develop new programs in total secrecy and without outside suppliers. :P Edited by Chris_Doane
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Do you believe in magic?

Alpha is a typo. Reinsert Delta (I think) and its fine.

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Alpha is a typo. Reinsert Delta (I think) and its fine.

The smaller model that is rumoured to be sold in the US.

I wouldn't like to see an Alpha Buick. The Alpha cars belong to Pontiac, Cadillac and PCS's favourite brand, Holden :P

EDIT - I forgot Opel/Vauxhall/Saturn: the Sky/GT will eventually need to be replaced.

Edited by ZL-1
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EDIT - I forgot Opel/Vauxhall/Saturn: the Sky/GT will eventually need to be replaced.

Those aren't going on Alpha.
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Here is a quote from Automotive News:

"Excelle: China's redesigned compact sedan debuts there [not here] in late 2008 or early 2009. The car will be built on GM's new global front-drive vehicle architecture, called Alpha, being developed in Germany."

"GM insiders say the Excelle is being considered for the United States. The car likely would be exported here [from China], a GM source says. The new small Buick sedan is similar in size to the Toyota Corolla."

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Those aren't going on Alpha.

Will they keep them on Kappa, then? I see no reason for Kappa / Kappa II if it serves these roadsters only. Also, having 3 RWD platforms (4 counting the the Corvette/XLR) is insane...

Blasphemer!

:P :P :P :P :P Edited by ZL-1
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Will they keep them on Kappa, then? I see no reason for Kappa / Kappa II if it serves these roadsters only. Also, having 3 RWD platforms (4 counting the the Corvette/XLR) is insane...

:P :P :P :P :P

It's not insane if they pay for themselves... besides, wouldn't Alpha be too big for a compact 2 seater?

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Here is a quote from Automotive News:

"Excelle: China's redesigned compact sedan debuts there [not here] in late 2008 or early 2009. The car will be built on GM's new global front-drive vehicle architecture, called Alpha, being developed in Germany."

"GM insiders say the Excelle is being considered for the United States. The car likely would be exported here [from China], a GM source says. The new small Buick sedan is similar in size to the Toyota Corolla."

Interesting....I thought Alpha was a rumoured RWD platform...so now it's FWD? The Excelle's platform sounds more like a Delta II from the description...

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I agree with the posts that state that the platform name in the article is wrong. I read a version of this story at the Auto Week website this morning. The article states that the Chinese Excelle replacement that GM is considering bringing to the U.S. is front wheel drive. The Alpha platform is supposed to be rear wheel drive according to every other source that I have read so far. I agree with the person who stated that the platform name in the article should have been "Delta II".

I am still concerned about this car cheapening the Buick brand's image over here. I hope GM does not repeat past practices of installing a Buick grill on a Chevy Cobalt and passing it off as a near luxury vehicle. Everything the customer will see and interact with (exterior design, interior design/ergonomics, engine/transmission combo) will need to be totally unique and upscale if this vehicle is to be taken seriously in the near luxury field. GM has done a good job recently of ensuring that some of their different brands' products have their own unique exterior/interior designs and personalities (example: Pontiac G6, Saturn Aura, and 2008 Chevy Malibu all on the Epsilon platform). GM has also recently brought out brand engineered gimmick vehicles (Example: Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5; I'm still hoping the G5 is a stop gap measure for Pontiac). Let's hope GM takes the high road with Delta II and makes the upcoming products (redesigned Chevy Cobalt, redesigned Opel/Saturn Astra, upcoming Buick Skylark) distinct and brand image appropriate.

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It was RWD the last time I looked and unless they changed it in the last week I suspect it still is. :P I hear BLS and G6 will be on this platform, but who knows I guess I could be wrong, there's always a 1st time I guess! :smilewide:

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It's not insane if they pay for themselves...

In principle I agree with you: it isn't insane if they pay for themselves, but it depends on how that happens (on a nominal dollar basis, or considering for the cost of the capital invested). I just find it interesting that GM would have a dedicated platform for such inexpensive, low volume models when everyone else is in this huge race to increase platform/component commonality...

besides, wouldn't Alpha be too big for a compact 2 seater?

I'm not an enginner so don't really know if it's too small. Maybe cutting it or designing a modular platform could be the answer. At the end of the day it does come down to a cost/benefit analysis.
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I'm not an enginner so don't really know if it's too small. Maybe cutting it or designing a modular platform could be the answer. At the end of the day it does come down to a cost/benefit analysis.

True. That is what they are doing with the Camaro from the Zeta. As Zeta is highly modular. And if I remember it correctly Alpha is supposed to be highly modular too. I do not see a problem with Kappas going on a modified Alpha in the next gen.

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No Corolla-sized Buick in the US... PLEASE!

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