DETROIT -- Robert Lutz has tossed out conservative redesigns of the Buick LeSabre and Regal.
New designs for both cars approved by Lutz, GM's vice chairman for product development, are scheduled for the 2005 model year, GM sources say.
The changes are good news and bad news for Buick. Dealers will get the redesigned Regal a year later. The LeSabre was not delayed. But if Lutz's touch with product continues, Buick will get more attractive cars with a European flair.
Last year, Lutz canceled the Bengal, a two-passenger convertible that he said looked "like a big, green sausage." The company already had decided to drop the Century when the redesigned Regal is introduced.
Lutz has had less influence on Buick's growing truck and crossover lineup. The Rendezvous is posting solid sales, and the Rainier mid-sized sport-utility will go on sale in September 2003. Also, some dealers say GM is planning a Buick minivan.