Sunday, September 10, 2006

IL Insider: GMC To Add Minivan in 2009

IL Insider: GMC To Add Minivan in 2009
Date posted: 08-28-2006

DETROIT — General Motors' GMC brand will roll out its first minivan in model-year 2009, according to sources close to the product.

Based on the automaker's Lambda architecture, the as-yet-unnamed minivan will be a sibling to the next-generation Chevrolet Uplander as well as a companion to the upcoming GMC Acadia crossover vehicle, Detroit-area suppliers familiar with the company's plans told Inside Line.

While the Acadia is aimed at upscale SUV buyers, including empty nesters and affluent younger couples, the GMC minivan will be targeted more at families. To some extent, it will help fill the void left by the discontinued Safari "midi" van.

GM hasn't officially announced the new minivan, but it is expected to begin production in early 2009. By that time, GM plans to discontinue three of its four existing minivans, including the Saturn Relay, the Buick Terraza and the Pontiac Montana.

That will leave the growing GMC-Buick-Pontiac retail channel with only a single minivan come 2009.

What this means to you: Is GMC trying to stretch the brand too far to cover "non-professional-grade" families?

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