GM cancels plug-in Buick crossover

General Motors Vice Chairman Tom Stephens said Wednesday that the company is scrapping plans to produce a Buick crossover sports utility vehicle, just weeks after announcing the product.

Stephens, writing on GM's FastLane blog, said that after previewing designs to consumers during a showcase of the company's future lineup, executives canceled plans to move forward with the midsize vehicle.

"The Buick crossover we showed received consistent feedback from large parts of all the audiences that it didn't fit the premium characteristics that customers have come to expect from Buick," Stephens wrote. "We were all struck by the consistency of the criticism of the compact crossover."

The Buick crossover sport-utility vehicle was first announced in Traverse City, Mich., earlier this month. There were two versions of the car in the works, one with a traditional combustion engine and one with a plug-in rechargeable system that would have entered the market in 2011.

The plug-in version of the vehicle — which had not been named — was originally destined for the Saturn brand, which GM is now selling to Penske Automotive Group.

The decision was made during an executive committee meeting last Friday, Stephens said, adding that the move is an example of GM moving swiftly to make decisions that affect the company's product line.

"In the past this would have been a several-month process involving meeting after meeting of the APB, ASB, and various other acronyms, and also many 'offline' follow-up discussions before a decision was reached and enacted," Stephens wrote. "This happened in one day."

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