Target Lexus: GM Considering Buick LS Fighter
GM now considering a flagship sedan for Buick..and it's rear-wheel drive.
August 5, 2010
By: Nick Saporito
Back in June GMInsideNews cleared up rumors surrounding the status of a Cadillac flagship sedan. According to that report Cadillac is considering a Premium Zeta-based sedan to act as their flagship sedan. Now GMI is hearing that GM is also considering a Premium Zeta-based Buick flagship for North America and that GM management has the car’s target set on the Lexus LS.
GMI sources have stated that the GM board of directors recently approved preliminary design work for the Buick flagship sedan. The approval has granted management and product development limited resources to continue working on the program, however the car is not yet approved for production (much like the Cadillac sedan). Very little is known about the car at this time as it is in its infancy stage, but sources tell GMI that word within the halls of GM’s design studio is that the design is “very hot.”
Buick already has a flagship sedan on the Zeta platform—in China. The current Park Avenue sedan was just recently given a mild facelift and is expected to see a total replacement—on Zeta—in a couple of years. The proposed sedan would vary from the Chinese Park Avenue. The remaining question is if this new sedan would ultimately replace the Chinese Park Avenue as well.
Apparently the logic internally is that the Buick flagship would be designed to compete directly with the Lexus LS, while the Cadillac flagship would be designed to directly target the BMW 7-Series. Since the June piece GMI has obtained further confirmation that a Cadillac flagship is being worked on as more funding for the project has now been freed up.
Products built off of Holden's variants of the Zeta platform are not easily manufactured in North America. GMI sources tell us that the variant of Zeta these two sedans would utilize is called "Premium Zeta" and that it would be engineered for North American production. While both programs are far from selecting a production location, GM's Lansing Grand River and Oshawa, Ontario facilities are good fits for them.
As reported with the Cadillac story, it is likely that these two sedans will not see full approval until after GM’s initial public stock offering.