By David Thomas on November 22, 2006
Following Ford’s recent exodus from the minivan market, GM announced yesterday it is not planning to produce any new minivans after the Chevy Uplander and Buick Terraza run their course. The company was planning to build a new line of minivans on the same platform as the new Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave crossovers, but decided against the move. Perhaps it was the 50% decline in minivan sales since 2000 that helped GM make that decision.
After driving the new Saturn Outlook, we’re pretty sure GM is making the right call. Its new crossovers do everything a minivan can, but with more style. It seems the executives are also following this logic.
“Our new crossovers — Acadia, Outlook and Enclave — with their three rows of seats and economical V-6 engines, can meet the same customer needs, minus the 'Soccer Mom' stigma," GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told The Detroit News.
We agree, but also think successful minivan launches from Kia and Hyundai probably put the nail in the coffin for any GM or Ford attempt at re-entering a segment now dominated by imports and Detroit rival Chrysler.
[GM Kills Plan for Minivans, The Detroit News]
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David