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VE Sportwagon will not make it to US says Bob Lutz

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Despite strong interest within GM, the VE Sportwagon will not make it to America

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in DETROIT 15 January 2008

www.goauto.com.au

HOLDEN will not export the VE Sportwagon to the United States in the foreseeable future as Americans continue to ignore wagons in virtually any size and form – in contrast to the situation in Europe where such vehicles have a healthy share of the market.

This was the bombshell dropped by General Motors' product czar Bob Lutz this week to the Australian media at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"We looked at that, but the amount of change to meet US regulations was going to be quite a lot of money," Mr Lutz said. "And the sad truth is, as much as some of us like 'sportwagons', they just don't sell in the US.

"How often do you see an Audi wagon? How often do you see a BMW wagon? How often do you see a Mercedes wagon? The answer is, almost never.

"They're just not fashionable. I can't explain why."

Mr Lutz revealed that he championed the VE wagon strongly, but was shouted down by the number crunchers who could not make a strong enough business case for the Australian Commodore carryall.

"We have the product idea: We say: 'Hey, how about taking the (Holden) Sportwagon and doing a (US Pontiac) G8 Sportwagon of it," he said.

"Then we turn it over to the marketing guys, who do the volume analysis, and they look at sales of Audi A4 wagons … zero. BMW 3 Series wagons: close to zero. Mercedes C-class wagon and E-class – it's all close to zero. The Jaguar X-Type … it was sales proof!

"But then we say: 'Well, we think this one looks so good, that it can overcome that, and the volume planners say: well … we can only do two to three thousand, which is not worth the investment.

"So, reluctantly, in my particular case, I reluctantly gave up on that one."

The production version of the VE Sportswagon – which made a splash at last October's Australian International Motor Show in Sydney – is due to arrive early in the second quarter of this year.

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I'm sure the cancellation of the Dodge Magnum helped this decision... wagons just don't sell in the US...too many crossovers and SUVs.

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I'm sure the cancellation of the Dodge Magnum helped this decision... wagons just don't sell in the US...too many crossovers and SUVs.

The cancellation of the Magnum gave this car an easy market - they would have sold every one imported quite easily.

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The cancellation of the Magnum gave this car an easy market - they would have sold every one imported quite easily.

I wonder how many they could have sold, though..maybe a few thousand, but beyond that..

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Cost vs sales became a huge factor of course. It probably is costing them a ton of money just to get the G8 over here anyway. So if the G8 takes off in sales maybe down the road the wagon might arrive.

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This is disappointing. I like the looks of the wagon, and I think that initial demand would have been strong, much like the Magnum, but would have tailed off substantially after the car was on the market for a year. Maybe there will be a rear drive wagon based off the Alpha architecture from Cadillac (3 series wagon competitor maybe?).

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Cost vs sales became a huge factor of course. It probably is costing them a ton of money just to get the G8 over here anyway. So if the G8 takes off in sales maybe down the road the wagon might arrive.

The wagon would have helped to recoup those costs, not increase them.

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GM has one more chance left to sell me a new car in the next few years, I hope they don't blow that as well.

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They could only have imported 5-10 thousand, all would have sold easily.

One would have definitely been in my garage. :banghead:

With the news of $4-$5 regualr gas, my choices in 2009 are becoming limited. I really want a GMC Sierra, but the gas costs will kill me for a vehicle that isn't needed as much as it's wanted. I was really, really, really hoping that GM/Pontiac was going to bring over the G8 Sportwagon, but now that dream too is being squashed. I love my AURA, but it is too small for my overall comfort, so where does this leave me in regards to a future purchase?

To GM: I've been a loyal and diehard customer all this time, but I'm just not a happy person with you right now... :angry:

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One would have definitely been in my garage. :banghead:

With the news of $4-$5 regualr gas, my choices in 2009 are becoming limited. I really want a GMC Sierra, but the gas costs will kill me for a vehicle that isn't needed as much as it's wanted. I was really, really, really hoping that GM/Pontiac was going to bring over the G8 Sportwagon, but now that dream too is being squashed. I love my AURA, but it is too small for my overall comfort, so where does this leave me in regards to a future purchase?

To GM: I've been a loyal and diehard customer all this time, but I'm just not a happy person with you right now... :angry:

Tell GM, I did.

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One would have definitely been in my garage. :banghead:

With the news of $4-$5 regualr gas, my choices in 2009 are becoming limited. I really want a GMC Sierra, but the gas costs will kill me for a vehicle that isn't needed as much as it's wanted. I was really, really, really hoping that GM/Pontiac was going to bring over the G8 Sportwagon, but now that dream too is being squashed. I love my AURA, but it is too small for my overall comfort, so where does this leave me in regards to a future purchase?

To GM: I've been a loyal and diehard customer all this time, but I'm just not a happy person with you right now... :angry:

Maybe an Outlook? Is there a two-mode Hybrid GreenLine planned down the road?

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this really shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone. you can also blame the falling dollar for making the case for it even more difficult.

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this really shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone. you can also blame the falling dollar for making the case for it even more difficult.

No matter the reasons, it is a major disappointment.

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10 little, 9 little, 8 little Indians. After this cut, it becomes easier to cut other Zeta models, my money is on the ST, but I could always be wrong. :smilewide: More news coming, I'm most sure. :AH-HA_wink:

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10 little, 9 little, 8 little Indians. After this cut, it becomes easier to cut other Zeta models, my money is on the ST, but I could always be wrong. :smilewide: More news coming, I'm most sure. :AH-HA_wink:

I now officially hate you and everyone at GM who thinks like you.

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I now officially hate you and everyone at GM who thinks like you.

Hate is such a strong word, as a person who follows Buddhist teachings, it's impossible for me to hate. :scratchchin:

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I really don't think cutting the zeta wagon for the US will have much impact at all on the overall zeta lineup.

Remember, WE have CAFE, but GM still sells to Australia, the Middle East and China.

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I really don't think cutting the zeta wagon for the US will have much impact at all on the overall zeta lineup.

Remember, WE have CAFE, but GM still sells to Australia, the Middle East and China.

But I live here. Zetas in other markets just piss me off because I can't buy one.

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A lambda is a whole different planet compared to a Zeta wagon.

So is the GMC Sierra, but he was considering it as well.

His requirements was a GM vehicle that provided more passenger room than the Aura, ample cargo room, but better gas mileage than a GMC Sierra.

He asked where that left him since the G8 wagon was canceled...

Answer: GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook/Buick Enclave

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