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Old 11-22-2006, 12:14 PM   #1
KC
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Default GM quits plans for minivans

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Last Update: 4:33 AM ET Nov 22, 2006

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- General Motors Corp. (GM) may be bowing out of the minivan business, The Detroit News reported in its Wednesday editions.

Faced with a steep drop in demand for the family vehicles, GM confirmed Tuesday that it has scrapped plans to build new minivan models that would have debuted as early as 2009 under Chevrolet, Saturn and other nameplates.

While GM declined to comment on future vehicle plans, company insiders told The Detroit News that the company has no immediate plans to build minivans after it closes its last minivan-producing plant. The Doraville, Ga., plant builds the slow-selling Chevrolet Uplander and Buick Terraza minivans. It recently stopped producing the Saturn Relay.

The paper reported that instead, the company will focus on crossover vehicles that blend the characteristics of cars and sport utility vehicles.
"We do believe it is a declining segment," GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told The News on Tuesday. Lutz cautioned that GM has made no official move to pull out of the minivan market.
With the market the way it is now, good move for GM to cut costs. Minivans are starting to be replaced with cross-utes, and GMs minivans have been ugly anyways.

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Old 11-22-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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Minivans still sell pretty well its just that almost no American mini-vans are up to the Japanese competition. As large as GM is and with as many brands as they have and they canít offer one competent minivan? How sad is that. How hard can it be, buy a Sienna and an Odyssey and take them apart. Build the same thing with new sheetmetal, revised interior and a new bell and whistle and there you go. For Ford it makes sense since they are much smaller but GM?
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post
Minivans still sell pretty well its just that almost no American mini-vans are up to the Japanese competition. As large as GM is and with as many brands as they have and they canít offer one competent minivan? How sad is that. How hard can it be, buy a Sienna and an Odyssey and take them apart. Build the same thing with new sheetmetal, revised interior and a new bell and whistle and there you go. For Ford it makes sense since they are much smaller but GM?
Yep. The problem was simply that GM didn't make a good minivan. Before the entrance of the Japanese competitors, even Chrysler's minivans were miles ahead of the Ford Windstar and the Chevy Venture. Once the Sienna and Odyssey arrived, they had no chance. Rebadging the same awkward vehicle under half a dozen different nameplates didn't help.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:53 PM   #4
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I always wondered why minivans weren't the first segment to have hybrid drivetrains in them. They're big enough to hold them, performance wasn't an issue, and if you're buying a minivan getting good fuel economy is probably up there on your list of priorities.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:55 PM   #5
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Aww, gee I was just about to get a Pontiac minivan...
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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Aww, gee I was just about to get a Pontiac minivan...
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:24 PM   #7
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Aww, gee I was just about to get a Pontiac minivan...
sprinter FTW
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Old 11-23-2006, 09:56 AM   #8
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Good move - for now.

You can't just keep on ceding segments of the auto business and still consider yourself a full-line auto company. Just like you can't give up on the small car segment, and it isn't smart to not have any large cars either. Trends change, tastes change, people grow older (usualy they go for bigger cars), while new drivers enter the car-buying pool (they usually prefer/afford small cars). Giving up is what got Detroit into the mess that they are in now.

If they are doing this temporarily to save some $ and then plan on re-entering the market with a truly competitive market that is one thing. I just find it pathetic that Detroit now only has ONE player in the minivan business - I really hope that Chrysler's next-gen minivan can keep up with the Odyssey.
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:23 PM   #9
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strange, i remembered seeing this recently:



also some GM insider said the new minivans would "look like spaceships" which I assume would be an upgrade over looking like a dustbuster.

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Old 11-23-2006, 02:30 PM   #10
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that minivan in disguise looks like a renault laguna..
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:15 AM   #11
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LOL GM finally gave up! which they usually don't do and continue to sell crappy cars...
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:33 PM   #12
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Hahahahaha~ more SUV on the road~ yey~!!!
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