''Why GM is Poised to Lead this Important New Segment''
A ChevroletRevived Commentary
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Hailed by experts everywhere as the 'next big thing', it looks like the Crossover will become the next fad. SUV's defined the 90's, now it looks like crossovers are going to define the 00's. The Automakers know this, and they all are looking to become the market leaders, as cornering and capturing an burgeoning new segment is an automaker's dream. Toyota introduced the Highlander, For 2007 Ford fielded the Edge and Lincoln MKX and now GM, with the new Outlook, Enclave and upcoming Acadia is taking it's hand at capturing the crossover market. In designing the over-budget Lambda's, it's apparent that GM's focus was upon the Outlook and Enclave, the most important of the Lambda crossovers. These vehicles are clearly defined in terms of purpose and mission. The Outlook is designed to lead the segment in the lower price categories.The Enclave, on the other hand, is attacking the luxury end of the segment, going head to head with competitors like the Lexus RX330 and Lincoln MKX. No doubt, the Outlook will be the volume seller of all the Lambda platform mates. The Outlook is one of the essential ingredients of Saturn's positioning as GM's import fighting brand. Saturn, which, just a few days ago, had the weakest lineup in GM's brand hierarchy, now has the one of the most modern and competitive due to the competentness of the Outlook and Aura. Once each model is introduced, GM will have the largest lineup of crossovers available, eclipsing Ford and Toyota. This lineup will include the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Cadillac SRX. Each platform mate will be well differentiated from one other. The stylistic difference between the Enclave and Outlook is apparent; the two look nothing alike. The stylistic difference carries over into the interiors as well: both are fresh and modern, yet they carry an impressive design distinction. I applaud GM for taking the time to do this; according to researchers, re badged vehicles don't fare well in the market place. GM is putting fresh and competitive powertrains in the new crossovers. In the Outlook, the smooth and refined 3.6l HF V6 mated to a new 6 speed show you that GM really was serious about making these crossovers not only contenders, but class leaders.
GM has long been criticized for being cumbersome and slow to react to market changes. It seems however, that GM was always there to ride the wave of a new trend. Take the popularity of SUV's for instance. Who was there to tap into that market? GM capitalized on this new trend, and enjoyed the high volumes and high profits generated by these vehicles. Their immense popularity and profit generating capability helped GM to stay on top. Although GM will be able to retain it's sales, and stay the leader in this area, the market is changing and shifting to crossover vehicles. GM realized this and developed the Lambda's, the most stunning lineup of vehicles yet to come out of GM. When GM takes something seriously, look what can happen. Once again, it looks like GM will be there to tap into this new market, and become the segment leader.