General Motors North America president Mark Reuss wants the automaker to launch a modern-day station wagon, as well as a hatchback version of the Chevrolet Cruze, according to Forbes. In addition, Reuss believes GM should add at least three other vehicle types to its portfolio in order to remain competitive.
The idea for a modern station wagon is reportedly focused on a mainstream, affordable model, rather than an updated Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon or a rival for wagons from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It would be a “contemporary” model that might serve as an in-between for buyers unsure whether they want to swap a sedan for a crossover. GM currently only sells one traditional wagon model in the U.S., the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon and CTS-V Sport Wagon (pictured above), both of which are based on the outgoing version of the CTS.
Reuss told Forbes that the decision not to sell a hatchback version of the Chevrolet Cruze in the U.S. was, “a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” A five-door Chevrolet Cruze is sold in Europe, as well as a wagon version, but not Stateside where it would compete with hatchback versions of the Mazda 3 and Ford Focus. Even without the presence of a hatchback version here, the Chevrolet Cruze sedan is one of GM’s most successful vehicles, with 211,862 sold so far this year. As for the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze, expected to debut next year, Reuss says, “the next-generation will blow you away.” Our spy photos show the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze will adopt styling cues from the smaller Sonic, as well as a freshened interior with more modern switchgear and a new infotainment system. Based on Reuss’s remarks, it’s possible a hatchback version of the next-gen Cruze will be sold in America.
Other future product plans for GM include a compact van that would take on the Ford Transit Connect. Although GM will have a short-term solution in the form of the Chevrolet City Express, that is a rebadged Nissan that will only be sold in the U.S. If GM wants to compete with Ford on a global scale, it would need to develop its own compact van.
Reuss once again stoked the fires on the future of Buick, telling Forbes that the brand needs a high-end flagship luxury model.As for the model’s design direction, Reuss says to expect, “a much more beautiful [Porsche] Panamera.” Buick hinted at its intentions for a high-end luxury car with the Riviera concept shown at the 2013 Shanghai auto show earlier this year.
The final new model that would help GM fill out its model offerings is what Reuss reportedly terms a “black hole” pickup truck. It would fit in between a heavy-duty and a medium-duty pickup, and could be similar to the Ford F-350.