DETROIT -- The new Buick Verano compact car, the smallest Buick in decades, is drawing what I consider unwarranted criticism -- not for the car itself, but for the strategy behind it.
Critics in the blogosphere are dumping on Buick for building a small car, period, and for sharing a platform with the Chevrolet Cruze. They see this as the wrong strategy for the U.S. market, and for where Buick wants to go.
In an era when every automaker shares platforms across vehicles -- none more successfully than Honda -- I don't have a problem with Buick doing likewise. It's all in the execution.
But methinks the critics failed to grasp the significance of the following two paragraphs in the middle of an Automotive News article earlier this month:
The Verano was co-developed with GM's operations in China. The Chinese version, the Excelle GT, has been on sale in that country for about six months.
“Buick China is the key customer for this car,” said Jim Federico, vehicle line executive for the Verano and GM's chief engineer for global compact, small, mini and electric vehicles.