NEWS

GM's Crossover Conundrum

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Marketers at GM are having trouble deciding what to call the automaker’s newest crossovers, reports Automotive News. The cars in question include the 2007 GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, and the 2008 Buick Enclave. Invoked to describe everything from the Chevrolet Avalanche to the Toyota Matrix, “crossover” technically indicates a vehicle that joins two different segments.

It’s more than just marketing-speak: Crossover have come to refer to a unibody SUV that offers the utility and tall seating position of traditional SUVs (like the Ford Explorer or Toyota 4Runner) while retaining gas mileage and maneuverability that’s closer to a car’s. Cadillac calls their SRX a crossover, as do Ford and Nissan with the Edge and Murano, respectively. Honda and Toyota call their crossover vehicles SUVs – and by the looks of it, that billing hasn’t hurt their popularity.

Where will the Acadia, Outlook and Enclave end up? We bet GM will eventually pick “crossover” or something like that. Most buyers, on the other hand, will probably call them SUVs.

[Crossovers: GM Can’t Decide What to Call Them in Ads, Automotive News registration required]

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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