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G.M. Drops Buick S.U.V. for Lack of Interest


G.M. Drops Buick S.U.V. for Lack of Interest




Published: August 19, 2009

DETROIT (Reuters) —

General Motors has dropped plans for a new Buick sport utility vehicle because of a lack of consumer interest, only two weeks after the new model was announced, the company said Wednesday.

The automaker canceled plans for the vehicle, which also called for a plug-in hybrid version, after potential customers invited to G.M.’s testing ground last week said the model did not have the premium characteristics they expected from Buick.

Thomas G. Stephens, G.M.’s vice chairman, wrote Wednesday on a company blog that it did so after "listening to feedback from customers, employees, dealers, media and just about anyone else with an opinion."

"In the past, this would have been a several-month process," he said.

At an industry conference on Aug. 6, General Motors announced plans to introduce the five-passenger Buick crossover in 2010 and a plug-in version of the model in 2011.

The Buick was expected to be the first commercially available plug-in sport utility vehicle by a major automaker and to follow General Motors’ heavily promoted Chevrolet Volt plug-in car.

The plug-in hybrid technology will be applied to another vehicle "at no delay" and G.M. will discuss the plans soon, Mr. Stephens said.

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