To the Editor:
I'd like to add a footnote to David Sedgwick's insightful Jan. 16 column.
Although I agree that disruption of the 7,795 Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealerships seems like an insurmountable obstacle (General Motors did it to almost 3,000 Oldsmobile dealers), GM's product situation has to take precedence.
There truly is no viable business case for Buick any longer. Unfortunately, the same is true for Pontiac and GMC.
Strictly from a product viewpoint, Chevrolet can displace any Pontiac with even sportier vehicles (as the new Camaro concept shows). GMC has no product that isn't a Chevrolet anyway, and Buick has no product that is needed in GM's portfolio.
Even the Buick Enclave, which looks like a great product, would probably receive greater acceptance as an upscale Chevrolet or Saturn model.
An article and an editorial in the same issue of Automotive News mention (Jerry York's) view that GM should dump Hummer and Saab. I don't think so. GM needs more products that are different and appeal to a wide range of buyers, not fewer unique products or divisional clones that step on each other's sales potential.
So GM could definitely put Buick out of its misery. In the short term, dealers would have Pontiac and GMC models to sell. In the long term -- this is corporate survival, remember?