Late to the increasingly popular sport wagon segment, General Motors is jumping in with both feet.
GM will add one sport wagon to its portfolio this year: the Pontiac Torrent.
After that, things pick up in a hurry.
By the end of the 2007 model year, GM says its portfolio of car-based, SUV-like sport wagons will grow to nine vehicles. For the 2009 model year, that number will mushroom to 13.
John Smith, GM's vice president of global product planning, said being late to the game is not the issue.
"I'm not moved by being first as much as I'm moved by being the best," Smith said during the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., this month.
A little more than 1.7 million sport wagons were sold in the United States last year. But GM sold fewer than 300,000. GM expects to double annual sales of what it calls "crossover vehicles" to 800,000 by 2009, Smith said.
John Smith: Being best is more important than being first.
In addition, Chevrolet and GMC will receive compact sport wagons based on GM's Theta architecture. Those vehicles will compete against the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. Cadillac will also get a premium sport wagon that will fit into its portfolio under the SRX. Those vehicles should arrive for the 2009 model year.
"That's what customers want," Smith said, referring to sport wagons. "They want something different."
You may e-mail Jason Stein at [email protected]