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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Susan Docherty Talks Sporty Buicks, What's Next For GM

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Susan Docherty Talks Sporty Buicks, What's Next For GM

With the reshaping of the top ranks at General Motors still underway, it's reassuring to see some familiar faces rising: Susan Docherty, former head of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC group is now the corporate vice president for sales, service and marketing. Just six days into her new job, she sat down today for a chat on the web to discuss topics ranging from sporty Buicks to sales to GM's emerging new corporate atmosphere.

The much-talked-about Buick Regal just debuted at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show and already the performance-minded among us are looking for a Regal Grand Sport, or better yet, a Grand National. While Docherty didn't go so far as to say they're coming, she did say, "Buick has definitely had a sporty past and we do plan to make sure it is an ingredient included in our future!"

For more on Buick's plans for the Regal, and its higher-performance variants, you can check out our interview from the L.A. Show floor with GM's own Jim Federico.

Longer-term plans for GM are to build market share by developing strong products that beat the competition on features and are priced competitively at every level. Sounds straightforward enough, but how does GM plan to do it? A look at the most recent crop of vehicles out of the four core brands is a good start.

On the sales front, Docherty says the Cadillac SRX, CTS Wagon, Buick LaCrosse, GMC Terrain/Chevrolet Equinox, and Chevy Camaro are all doing well. Moving units is the ultimate road to recovery, after all. Docherty didn't mention any hard numbers, however, saying only that it is "kind of early to comment on anything else" for December sales.

Docherty also stated flat-out that there are currently no plans to get GM back into the minivan business. Instead, crossovers like the Traverse, Acadia, Enclave and Equinox/Terrain can serve the same duty. Despite this clear crossover focus, Docherty did say GM would "continue to keep minivans on [its] radar."

A hint was dropped in response to a question about the plans to produce the "GMC Concept", most likely the GMC Denali Acadia, shown at a media technology preview earlier this year. Docherty strongly indicated that the vehicle would be headed to production in some form, saying "the GMC Concept was well received...stay tuned." If such a vehicle were to come to fruition, it might see its first public appearance as a production-direction concept at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, so keep your eyes peeled. We've already confirmed the Denali Acadia for production with Dayna Hart, however, so if that is the car Docherty's talking about, it could arrive in full production trim in Detroit.

Underlying the whole chat was a theme from Docherty that change is afoot at GM--a sense that perhaps hasn't yet been readily apparent. With the shakeups at the hands of chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre, however, it's beginning to feel a lot more like there are some fundamental shifts occurring in GM's corporate culture.

As Dochery put it, "In my new role I plan to be spending even more time with customers and dealers because this is where I can make the biggest impact, help strengthen our brands, and earn consideration in the hearts and minds of consumers." Whether that will be enough to change the public's perception of GM as a whole or its individual brands will remain to be seen, and shown in monthly sales totals.

link:

http://www.motorauthority.com/blog/1040140_susan-docherty-talks-sporty-buicks-whats-next-for-gm

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Docherty also stated flat-out that there are currently no plans to get GM back into the minivan business. Instead, crossovers like the Traverse, Acadia, Enclave and Equinox/Terrain can serve the same duty. Despite this clear crossover focus, Docherty did say GM would "continue to keep minivans on [its] radar."

Good move GM. Someone like me who would love a GM minivan you'll just leave out in the dark. If I could afford one of your Lamdba-platform vehicles, don't you think I would have gotten one already? Dodge hawks their minivans for $20-$25K; the Lamdbas start at $28-$35 for a bare-bones equipped model. Sure sounds like a winning plan there for a successful turn-around. No minivan means a lot of families won't be looking to GM for affordable people movers that hold 7 people plus their stuff. Better rethink this plan and quickly!!

A hint was dropped in response to a question about the plans to produce the "GMC Concept", most likely the GMC Denali Acadia, shown at a media technology preview earlier this year. Docherty strongly indicated that the vehicle would be headed to production in some form, saying "the GMC Concept was well received...stay tuned." If such a vehicle were to come to fruition, it might see its first public appearance as a production-direction concept at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, so keep your eyes peeled. We've already confirmed the Denali Acadia for production with Dayna Hart, however, so if that is the car Docherty's talking about, it could arrive in full production trim in Detroit.

Somethings telling me that Susan hoodwinked them and let them thinkg it was the Acadia Denali she was talking about. My gut feeling is that she's talking about the little GMC xB-like model shown in the GM commerical this past summer, or possibly another concept resurrected off the shelf (Denali XT). Why would they not realize it is a different concet, especially with the part they wrote and I bolded in the quote? I think she let them think it was the Acadia Denali she was referencing to throw them off asking or figuring out what it really is, but I'm positive that the Acadia Denali is not what Susan was thinking about as she spoke.

Edited by GMTruckGuy74
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Good move GM. Someone like me who would love a GM minivan you'll just leave out in the dark. If I could afford one of your Lamdba-platform vehicles, don't you think I would have gotten one already? Dodge hawks their minivans for $20-$25K; the Lamdbas start at $28-$35 for a bare-bones equipped model. Sure sounds like a winning plan there for a successful turn-around. No minivan means a lot of families won't be looking to GM for affordable people movers that hold 7 people plus their stuff. Better rethink this plan and quickly!!

Well, if they built and sold a minivan to compete with the Caravan in price, it would also have to compete with the Caravan in terms of amenities and refinement...and I'm pretty sure we don't want to see GM go down that road.

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The Orlando MPV can be GM's inexpensive people mover. I still prefer minivans to large crossovers, but they're a dying market already saturated with strong offerings. The new Sienna is a knockout in terms of doing what minivans do.

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I watched that whole webchat. I've never seen so much said without really saying anything, live.

That seems to be her modus operandi.

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The mini van has had a major market decline to the cross over. The only real players are the Caravan and Honda Odessey. A mini van would be nice but how much market would they get in a declining market?

Right now some strong small cross overs like a GMC to compete with the Rav 4 may be a good idea. Something smaller and more truck like the the Rav 4. Could I even say more Jeep like? Just because there is no Hummer does that mean they could still not do a smaller Jeep like vehicle like the H4 was going to be.

The Alpha platform is not just for sedans if they chose to be different.

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The mini van has had a major market decline to the cross over. The only real players are the Caravan and Honda Odessey. A mini van would be nice but how much market would they get in a declining market?

Right now some strong small cross overs like a GMC to compete with the Rav 4 may be a good idea. Something smaller and more truck like the the Rav 4. Could I even say more Jeep like? Just because there is no Hummer does that mean they could still not do a smaller Jeep like vehicle like the H4 was going to be.

The Alpha platform is not just for sedans if they chose to be different.

HX

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The mini van has had a major market decline to the cross over. The only real players are the Caravan and Honda Odessey. A mini van would be nice but how much market would they get in a declining market?

Right now some strong small cross overs like a GMC to compete with the Rav 4 may be a good idea. Something smaller and more truck like the the Rav 4. Could I even say more Jeep like? Just because there is no Hummer does that mean they could still not do a smaller Jeep like vehicle like the H4 was going to be.

The Alpha platform is not just for sedans if they chose to be different.

Are you saying that minivan market is not major enough to justify GM to be a player in it?

Caravan, Entourage, Odyssey, Quest, Routan, Sedona, Sienna, and T&C have collective sales YTD of 383,334 units. Acadia, Enclave and Traverse have collectively sold 167,745 units.

If GM creates a minivan on the Lambda and gets 10% of minivan market (I do not see why it would not gain more) then that is about 38,000 pieces or roughly about Enclave's volume (YTD - 37,701) or roughly 19% of the Lambdas sold including it, were it to go on sale. That is a significant chunk of volume to invest for another Lambda, don't you think so?

That is the GM mentality I constantly disagree with - 2% stick shifts for mid-sizers Forget it, 1% Nav Zip it, 2% Regular Cab with big V8 Not gonna happen, 10% minivan No way. These numbers add up to a significant chunk and then you can see how GM lost its market share over the years.

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Are you saying that minivan market is not major enough to justify GM to be a player in it?

Caravan, Entourage, Odyssey, Quest, Routan, Sedona, Sienna, and T&C have collective sales YTD of 383,334 units. Acadia, Enclave and Traverse have collectively sold 167,745 units.

If GM creates a minivan on the Lambda and gets 10% of minivan market (I do not see why it would not gain more) then that is about 38,000 pieces or roughly about Enclave's volume (YTD - 37,701) or roughly 19% of the Lambdas sold including it, were it to go on sale. That is a significant chunk of volume to invest for another Lambda, don't you think so?

That is the GM mentality I constantly disagree with - 2% stick shifts for mid-sizers Forget it, 1% Nav Zip it, 2% Regular Cab with big V8 Not gonna happen, 10% minivan No way. These numbers add up to a significant chunk and then you can see how GM lost its market share over the years.

Amen to that!

No company the size of GM should be absent in any category.

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Are you saying that minivan market is not major enough to justify GM to be a player in it?

Caravan, Entourage, Odyssey, Quest, Routan, Sedona, Sienna, and T&C have collective sales YTD of 383,334 units. Acadia, Enclave and Traverse have collectively sold 167,745 units.

Thank you. I read a while back that in 2008, minivans outsold mid-large crossovers. Minivans will always be there, I think it is a mistake to just ignore the segment. But GM is addicted to 7-8 passenger SUVs.

Sporty Buicks? That is like a floaty BMW or a sporty Toyota. GM called the Saturn Aura a "sport sedan" and the Astra was supposed to be a sporty import fighter, where is Saturn right now. Yet, they are sending Buick down the same road. Slow learners up there at Ren-Cen.

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Thank you. I read a while back that in 2008, minivans outsold mid-large crossovers. Minivans will always be there, I think it is a mistake to just ignore the segment. But GM is addicted to 7-8 passenger SUVs.

Sporty Buicks? That is like a floaty BMW or a sporty Toyota. GM called the Saturn Aura a "sport sedan" and the Astra was supposed to be a sporty import fighter, where is Saturn right now. Yet, they are sending Buick down the same road. Slow learners up there at Ren-Cen.

Proper handling and well-mannered driving dynamics are a must throughout the company, not just a handful of divisions. The Regal is better-equipped than any Saturn was of the new ones. GM never really knew how to position Saturn; it was supposed to be slotted above Chevrolet to compete with VW and others, yet comparable Chevrolets had nicer finishes and more available options. Coupled with a limited number of dealerships, and Saturn didn't stand a chance.

Truthfully, the VUE was the only one of the bunch that seemed like it fit the market positioning of the brand; even the AURA for all its accolades came to market IMO under-equipped and terribly cheap inside--its interior was only marginally better than the awful G6.

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Somethings telling me that Susan hoodwinked them and let them thinkg it was the Acadia Denali she was talking about. My gut feeling is that she's talking about the little GMC xB-like model shown in the GM commerical this past summer, or possibly another concept resurrected off the shelf (Denali XT). Why would they not realize it is a different concet, especially with the part they wrote and I bolded in the quote? I think she let them think it was the Acadia Denali she was referencing to throw them off asking or figuring out what it really is, but I'm positive that the Acadia Denali is not what Susan was thinking about as she spoke.

Agreed.. We'veknown for a LONG time that the Acadia Denali is coming. She's talking about something else.

Right now some strong small cross overs like a GMC to compete with the Rav 4 may be a good idea. Something smaller and more truck like the the Rav 4. Could I even say more Jeep like? Just because there is no Hummer does that mean they could still not do a smaller Jeep like vehicle like the H4 was going to be.

The Alpha platform is not just for sedans if they chose to be different.

Agreed... I've often wondered why GM doesn't leverage GMC more as a Jeep fighter. All they'd have to really do is develop 2 models. (I also touched on this in my "To GM"plan where I proposed a GMC Alpha line)

Are you saying that minivan market is not major enough to justify GM to be a player in it?

Caravan, Entourage, Odyssey, Quest, Routan, Sedona, Sienna, and T&C have collective sales YTD of 383,334 units. Acadia, Enclave and Traverse have collectively sold 167,745 units.

If GM creates a minivan on the Lambda and gets 10% of minivan market (I do not see why it would not gain more) then that is about 38,000 pieces or roughly about Enclave's volume (YTD - 37,701) or roughly 19% of the Lambdas sold including it, were it to go on sale. That is a significant chunk of volume to invest for another Lambda, don't you think so?

That is the GM mentality I constantly disagree with - 2% stick shifts for mid-sizers Forget it, 1% Nav Zip it, 2% Regular Cab with big V8 Not gonna happen, 10% minivan No way. These numbers add up to a significant chunk and then you can see how GM lost its market share over the years.

Couldn't agree more... Still that classic GM surrender mentality.

You know, I was looking at Fiats plan for Chrysler the other day and thinking to myself; if they leverage these brands right, they'll have a TREMENDOUS portfolio of great products and will be a major force to reckon with. I think that's where we'll really see GM fall short in the future. The way GM is set up right now, they're essentially trying to be a Honda sized niche automaker IMO. They'll basically have duplicate offerings at Chevrolet and Buick/GMC in the three main size classes of cars and crossovers, a couple of sporty cars (a la S2000 and NSX) and then a few trucks. Cadillac will also share the same basic size cars, just with a bit more spiffy mechanicals.

I never understood why GM never utilized it's portfolio of excellent brands to live up to 100% of it's potential (like it used to do) before Ch 11. But after swallowing that, I supported this new idea of 4 DISTINCT brands that would have broad appeal. Looks as if GM is set to let me down again.

(Yes, I know we can't see into the future. I'm basing my opinion on what we ALL know. So don't even start the "Give GM a chance to show you" stuff. IF GM impresses me, they'll get my respect. But thus far, I'm not so sure.)

Sporty Buicks? That is like a floaty BMW or a sporty Toyota. GM called the Saturn Aura a "sport sedan" and the Astra was supposed to be a sporty import fighter, where is Saturn right now. Yet, they are sending Buick down the same road. Slow learners up there at Ren-Cen.

Buick did a FINE job of providing plenty of "sport" from the 40s to the 80s.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Are you saying that minivan market is not major enough to justify GM to be a player in it?

Caravan, Entourage, Odyssey, Quest, Routan, Sedona, Sienna, and T&C have collective sales YTD of 383,334 units. Acadia, Enclave and Traverse have collectively sold 167,745 units.

If GM creates a minivan on the Lambda and gets 10% of minivan market (I do not see why it would not gain more) then that is about 38,000 pieces or roughly about Enclave's volume (YTD - 37,701) or roughly 19% of the Lambdas sold including it, were it to go on sale. That is a significant chunk of volume to invest for another Lambda, don't you think so?

That is the GM mentality I constantly disagree with - 2% stick shifts for mid-sizers Forget it, 1% Nav Zip it, 2% Regular Cab with big V8 Not gonna happen, 10% minivan No way. These numbers add up to a significant chunk and then you can see how GM lost its market share over the years.

Once the price of gas goes up minivans are going to disapear pretty quickly....

If they go that route, then a Mazda5 sized van would be a better idea...

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Are you saying that minivan market is not major enough to justify GM to be a player in it?

Caravan, Entourage, Odyssey, Quest, Routan, Sedona, Sienna, and T&C have collective sales YTD of 383,334 units. Acadia, Enclave and Traverse have collectively sold 167,745 units.

If GM creates a minivan on the Lambda and gets 10% of minivan market (I do not see why it would not gain more) then that is about 38,000 pieces or roughly about Enclave's volume (YTD - 37,701) or roughly 19% of the Lambdas sold including it, were it to go on sale. That is a significant chunk of volume to invest for another Lambda, don't you think so?

That is the GM mentality I constantly disagree with - 2% stick shifts for mid-sizers Forget it, 1% Nav Zip it, 2% Regular Cab with big V8 Not gonna happen, 10% minivan No way. These numbers add up to a significant chunk and then you can see how GM lost its market share over the years.

Oh if it was as easy as just tossing out a few numbers that look like they might work.

The Enclave sells at your number but it also is priced at over $50K. Lower volume higher price. Lambda also is too large and heavy to compete with the Chrysler.

And even with the last Buick minivn not being that bad GM has yet to make a mark in this market in 30 years. What would make it work this time?

This is like sports. If you can play stick and ball sports but not swim you don't jump into the deep end pool unless you know your not going to sink.

As for all you're 2% and 4 % cars. Yes they add up but the development cost on these cars was very high per percent sold. Untill GM finally got it to the point the cost are now shared with the cars overseas. We will not see these cars more often since the cost are now shared with markets where they sell better.

Show me a minivan that has a good shot and will sell in numbers world wide to support a good sale price and I would say do it. But after all the failed attempt even with some good vans would this be any different?

Ford for the most has bailed on the Minivan too. They dressed them up as crossovers and SUV like vehicles.

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Oops, I forgot GM has a minivan nearly ready to use...

BUICK-MPV-Business-concept3.jpg

http://www.chinacartimes.com/2009/09/21/this-is-the-2011-buick-mpv-spyshots/

I wonder if it's sized for Americans, or if it's narrow like the GL8/Terraza/SV6/Montana/Trans Sport/Venture/Uplander/Relay/Silhouette/Sintra.

Same platform as the old Pontiac Trans Sport (U-body IIRC?). I say keep it in China.

Edited by ZL-1
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Oops, I forgot GM has a minivan nearly ready to use...

BUICK-MPV-Business-concept3.jpg

http://www.chinacartimes.com/2009/09/21/this-is-the-2011-buick-mpv-spyshots/

I wonder if it's sized for Americans, or if it's narrow like the GL8/Terraza/SV6/Montana/Trans Sport/Venture/Uplander/Relay/Silhouette/Sintra.

I think that is the one based on the Orlando and Opel? Never been a fan of this one. The side spear just looks odd here.

Edited by hyperv6
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Once the price of gas goes up minivans are going to disapear pretty quickly....

If they go that route, then a Mazda5 sized van would be a better idea...

Chrysler T&C - 17/25

Honda Odyssey - 17/25

Chevrolet Traverse - 17/24

Dave Traverse will follow the same route.

Oh if it was as easy as just tossing out a few numbers that look like they might work.

The Enclave sells at your number but it also is priced at over $50K. Lower volume higher price. Lambda also is too large and heavy to compete with the Chrysler.

Boy o' boy how I knew that can of worms will be opened. Look at the prices at which minivans are selling - Honda crosses $40,000. I was giving hypothetical numbers of GM occupying 10% of minivan market and the volume came apparently came close to Enclave's. Given Chevrolet's reach, I hardly see any reason why not the volume will be close to at least 50,000 as it was shown by the Traverse. If 38,000 is not a number to be justifiable for GM who already has a platform as a base, then it is not justifiable for Hyundai too which sells close to 35,000 vans at much lower transaction price.

Here is a dimensional comparison of Honda Odyssey Touring and Chevrolet Traverse LTZ FWD. Lambda is within shooting distance of the Odyssey when it comes to dimensions and is about 3% heavier than the Odyssey. I do not see it to be too heavy or too big, unless I am missing something. I am sure you know that Odyssey and Acura MDX/ Pilot share the same platform - something which can be done easily by GM - because IT CAN.

Vehicle Chevrolet Traverse Honda Odyssey
Door Count 4 doors 4 doors
Maximum Cargo Volume 116.4 cu.ft. 147.4 cu.ft.
Exterior Length 205.0 " 202.1 "
Exterior Width 78.4 " 77.1 "
Exterior Height 70.4 " 70.0 "
Wheelbase 119 " 118 "
Front Tread 68 " 67 "
Rear Tread 67 " 67 "
Turning Radius 20.2 ' 18.3 '
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 6,411 lbs. 5,952 lbs.
Curb Weight 4,790 lbs. 4,640 lbs.
Front Gross Axle Weight Rating 3,197 lbs. 2,833 lbs.
Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating 3,527 lbs. 3,197 lbs.
Payload N/A1,208 lbs. 
Max Trailer Weight 2,000 lbs. 3,500 lbs.
Max Gross Combination Weight Rating 9,500 lbs. 8,210 lbs.
Drag Coefficient .36 N/A 
Front Legroom 41.3 " 40.8 "
Rear Legroom 36.8 " 40.0 "
Third Row Legroom 33.2 " 41.1 "
Front Headroom 40.4 " 39.2 "
Rear Headroom 39.4 " 39.6 "
Third Row Headroom 37.8 " 38.4 "
Front Hiproom 59.1 " 57.0 "
Rear Hiproom 57.8 " 64.4 "
Third Row Hiproom 48.3 " 48.5 "
Front Shoulder Room 62.0 " 63.5 "
Rear Shoulder Room 61.3 " 63.1 " 
Third Row Shoulder Room 57.6 " 61.2 "
Passenger Volume 154 cu.ft. 168 cu.ft.
Interior Cargo Volume 24.4 cu.ft. 38.4 cu.ft.
Interior Cargo Volume w/Seats Folded 68.8 cu.ft. 91.1 cu.ft.

And even with the last Buick minivn not being that bad GM has yet to make a mark in this market in 30 years. What would make it work this time?

This is like sports. If you can play stick and ball sports but not swim you don't jump into the deep end pool unless you know your not going to sink.

As for all you're 2% and 4 % cars. Yes they add up but the development cost on these cars was very high per percent sold. Untill GM finally got it to the point the cost are now shared with the cars overseas. We will not see these cars more often since the cost are now shared with markets where they sell better.

Show me a minivan that has a good shot and will sell in numbers world wide to support a good sale price and I would say do it. But after all the failed attempt even with some good vans would this be any different?

Ford for the most has bailed on the Minivan too. They dressed them up as crossovers and SUV like vehicles.

GM never put serious efforts in minivans period. The minivans might have been good in terms of dependability, but imagination was lacking compared to Dodge and Japanese. Naysayers mentality is what is ruining GM and if the above thought process still exists in GM then it still needs help.

Here is another option - build it on Chrysler platform just like VW did. Don't tell me GM can't because I know it CAN. GM has Chevrolet aiming worldwide dominance, a minivan can be sold outside US too under Chevrolet.

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Chrysler T&C - 17/25

Honda Odyssey - 17/25

Chevrolet Traverse - 17/24

Dave Traverse will follow the same route.

Boy o' boy how I knew that can of worms will be opened. Look at the prices at which minivans are selling - Honda crosses $40,000. I was giving hypothetical numbers of GM occupying 10% of minivan market and the volume came apparently came close to Enclave's. Given Chevrolet's reach, I hardly see any reason why not the volume will be close to at least 50,000 as it was shown by the Traverse. If 38,000 is not a number to be justifiable for GM who already has a platform as a base, then it is not justifiable for Hyundai too which sells close to 35,000 vans at much lower transaction price.

Here is a dimensional comparison of Honda Odyssey Touring and Chevrolet Traverse LTZ FWD. Lambda is within shooting distance of the Odyssey when it comes to dimensions and is about 3% heavier than the Odyssey. I do not see it to be too heavy or too big, unless I am missing something. I am sure you know that Odyssey and Acura MDX/ Pilot share the same platform - something which can be done easily by GM - because IT CAN.

Vehicle Chevrolet Traverse Honda Odyssey
Door Count 4 doors 4 doors
Maximum Cargo Volume 116.4 cu.ft. 147.4 cu.ft.
Exterior Length 205.0 " 202.1 "
Exterior Width 78.4 " 77.1 "
Exterior Height 70.4 " 70.0 "
Wheelbase 119 " 118 "
Front Tread 68 " 67 "
Rear Tread 67 " 67 "
Turning Radius 20.2 ' 18.3 '
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 6,411 lbs. 5,952 lbs.
Curb Weight 4,790 lbs. 4,640 lbs.
Front Gross Axle Weight Rating 3,197 lbs. 2,833 lbs.
Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating 3,527 lbs. 3,197 lbs.
Payload N/A1,208 lbs. 
Max Trailer Weight 2,000 lbs. 3,500 lbs.
Max Gross Combination Weight Rating 9,500 lbs. 8,210 lbs.
Drag Coefficient .36 N/A 
Front Legroom 41.3 " 40.8 "
Rear Legroom 36.8 " 40.0 "
Third Row Legroom 33.2 " 41.1 "
Front Headroom 40.4 " 39.2 "
Rear Headroom 39.4 " 39.6 "
Third Row Headroom 37.8 " 38.4 "
Front Hiproom 59.1 " 57.0 "
Rear Hiproom 57.8 " 64.4 "
Third Row Hiproom 48.3 " 48.5 "
Front Shoulder Room 62.0 " 63.5 "
Rear Shoulder Room 61.3 " 63.1 " 
Third Row Shoulder Room 57.6 " 61.2 "
Passenger Volume 154 cu.ft. 168 cu.ft.
Interior Cargo Volume 24.4 cu.ft. 38.4 cu.ft.
Interior Cargo Volume w/Seats Folded 68.8 cu.ft. 91.1 cu.ft.

GM never put serious efforts in minivans period. The minivans might have been good in terms of dependability, but imagination was lacking compared to Dodge and Japanese. Naysayers mentality is what is ruining GM and if the above thought process still exists in GM then it still needs help.

Here is another option - build it on Chrysler platform just like VW did. Don't tell me GM can't because I know it CAN. GM has Chevrolet aiming worldwide dominance, a minivan can be sold outside US too under Chevrolet.

The larger truck market will still continue to shrink...if they plan to stay competitive with their trucks in the future (and where their money is still made), I just can't see them bring back minivans, or even spending money on developing them. Not counting Toyota, I don't think think you are going to see a great amount of updating on them. (can't count dodge, as the process has already started for them to be ready in a year or so)

Now, if they can pull a product fro somewhere else and sell it here, I could see....

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GM never put serious efforts in minivans period. The minivans might have been good in terms of dependability, but imagination was lacking compared to Dodge and Japanese. Naysayers mentality is what is ruining GM and if the above thought process still exists in GM then it still needs help.

I have to take exception to that. The Astro/Safari had a big runup, and GM had a minivan that was able to be used for hard work and towing. To the day, the M-bodies are the only minivan I would seriously consider.

Also, the original dustbuster minivans had lots of effort put into them with a radical style and technology. Unfortunately, the public rejected the idea of a minvan where the driver was in the middle of the car (front-back) and had 22 ft of dashboard.

Unfortunately, after the dustbusters, what you say is true... GM never put one bit of effort into the situation, and even left the M-bodies to rot.

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Once the price of gas goes up minivans are going to disapear pretty quickly....

If they go that route, then a Mazda5 sized van would be a better idea...

If gas goes up, it will be the Tahoe, Expedition, Sequoia, etc that go first, then the big crossovers will start to slow down next. The Odyssey and Town and Country get 25 mpg highway, which is better than a 7-8 seater SUV will get.

Not that I am a fan of minivans in anyway, but GM should have one. They have Impala, LaCrosse, Lucerne competing against the Taurus and Avalon in a basically dying full size front drive sedan market. GM has how many full size SUVs, Tahoe/Suburban, Yukon, Escalade, Acadia, Enclave, Traverse all competing against each other, yet no van?

Ford at least has the Transit. GM just does a few platforms then tries to differentiate 5 vehicles off it so it creates overlap. It happened with the W-body and GMT360 platform, and will happen again with Epsilon and Lambda. This is what breeds mediocrity and leads them to be absent in some segments, such as minivan or a small luxury car.

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Boy o' boy how I knew that can of worms will be opened. Look at the prices at which minivans are selling - Honda crosses $40,000. I was giving hypothetical numbers of GM occupying 10% of minivan market and the volume came apparently came close to Enclave's. Given Chevrolet's reach, I hardly see any reason why not the volume will be close to at least 50,000 as it was shown by the Traverse. If 38,000 is not a number to be justifiable for GM who already has a platform as a base, then it is not justifiable for Hyundai too which sells close to 35,000 vans at much lower transaction price.

Here is a dimensional comparison of Honda Odyssey Touring and Chevrolet Traverse LTZ FWD. Lambda is within shooting distance of the Odyssey when it comes to dimensions and is about 3% heavier than the Odyssey. I do not see it to be too heavy or too big, unless I am missing something. I am sure you know that Odyssey and Acura MDX/ Pilot share the same platform - something which can be done easily by GM - because IT CAN.

GM never put serious efforts in minivans period. The minivans might have been good in terms of dependability, but imagination was lacking compared to Dodge and Japanese. Naysayers mentality is what is ruining GM and if the above thought process still exists in GM then it still needs help.

Here is another option - build it on Chrysler platform just like VW did. Don't tell me GM can't because I know it CAN. GM has Chevrolet aiming worldwide dominance, a minivan can be sold outside US too under Chevrolet.

If the Traverse is that close with the FWD version and you already have a Orlando and Nox does Chevy need another family appliance?

The Chrysler line it the real target here if you want to make any head way you need to take them on.

No Serious efforts? GM may have not hit the target with what they did do but they did spend a lot of money and a lot of imagination in the Transport and other plastic bodied vans. In fact they may have used too much imagination.

But GM is not the only one that has failed here. Ford did not even do half as well with the FWD minivan market. Most of the others have only done ok but nothing like Chrysler.

I would rather see GM move to where the market is a little more open and maybe try something different. At least Ford is doing some fresh things like the Flex and other new type vehicles. THey are trying to create the new next niche.

I guess I am of the nature that I just don't see GM making a dent in this market and would rather see them come up with something new and fresh.

At least with the cross over market men and women will consider it vs the minivan market that is mostly female.

The bottom line is Chrysler vans were never the best. They rust, smoke and plastic bits fall off but they own the market. GM could build a better van but I just don't see people leaving the Chysler unless there is a big reason too.

Oh well this is one vehicle I would never buy anyway so no matter if they enter this market or not it will not effect my futre purchase.

The People mover that will make the biggest impact is the future Orlando with the Volt drivetrain. This is just what the the market lacks. A true Plug in Hybrid that really hauls more than batteries. I think this one will pass up the Volt once it comes to market. It has what it takes to be different and the prices should be coming down some by this point with the 2nd gen parts.

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the reason GM does not want to do a proper minivan is because it would steal sales from the lambda. the lambda is not a good minivan chassis. its too rugged and rides too high. What GM needs is an epsilon based minivan, and it needs optional AWD. Crossovers took over from minivans because they were more style, AWD, and offered full cockpit seating.

Where crossovers are deficient (I still laugh my ass off when i see my neighbor try to pack his three kids in the CX9 along with ANY cargo)....

Weight

Seating flexibility

Cargo capacity

ride height is too high

Price.

Moms who go through labor still get the urge for a high capacity, practical, safe, large vehicles that you can haul the fam with, especially on trips.

the modern minivan didn't evolve in the style quotient or the all weather quotient, plus they got a bit heavy and pricey when loaded (honda and toyotas are to blame for that).

vans in the past have actually gotten good mpg. and the mpg argument falls apart anyways because they still get better than most crossovers.

mazda5 sized vans cannot replace the true minivan market. not enough seating or cargo capacity. they may succeed as minivan 'alternatives' / second car...they don't get much better mpg anyways. if orlando sells, its not as a minivan 'replacement'.

gm needs a true minivan.....so does ford. vw does not. both am. companies want to be bread and butter carmakers but are ignoring this loyal and brand building segment.

face it, chevy wants to sell a traverse with a 45k sticker. families don't want to spend that....very few of them, anyways.

Edited by regfootball
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I have to take exception to that. The Astro/Safari had a big runup, and GM had a minivan that was able to be used for hard work and towing. To the day, the M-bodies are the only minivan I would seriously consider.

Also, the original dustbuster minivans had lots of effort put into them with a radical style and technology. Unfortunately, the public rejected the idea of a minvan where the driver was in the middle of the car (front-back) and had 22 ft of dashboard.

Unfortunately, after the dustbusters, what you say is true... GM never put one bit of effort into the situation, and even left the M-bodies to rot.

I agree with the GM Astro/Safari. GM lost too many loyal commercial customers who used these vehicles. They were spectacular workhorses meant to do the dirty work cheap. I should have elaborated my discussion more to latest FWD minivans that GM built.

The FWD minivans of this decade were nothing to write about other than price and durability. Just like many other examples coming from GM as the model grows older it is stretched, elongated, extended on the old body platform ala W-body to a point of no return. And then GM comes up saying oops that did not work considering how much effort we spend in the vehicle. Name one cool innovative feature, other than unique accommodation for physically handicapped people, did GM's FWD minivans offer in this decade? GM lost a lot of that customer base from those handicapped vehicle owners too because guess what the Savana/Express are too big for those customers and Lambdas are too tall for them.

The fact remains as reg said, practicality and storage, flexibility are still unbeatable in minivans like it or not. No vehicle in the portfolio should be either sporty or generic. GM needs a balanced portfolio to be a world player as Camino said. Gas price increase are temporary future as battery technology advances so will its performance. You will soon find minivans capable of Voltech as one of GM's chief designer said back in 2007. It is better now to enter the market create a strong vibe and ride on goodness being gathered by the recent products of GM rather than being late. And given the GM resources it can build a capable minivan.

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