GM Holds 2010 Buick LaCrosse Rollout Over Quality Concerns

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2010 Buick LaCrosse First Drive

2010 Buick LaCrosse First Drive

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Among automotive journalists and other obsessive car types, the concept of the "public beta" form of vehicle release is a common one. Rather than testing a car to completion, manufacturers sometimes let a car loose that's only about 85% finished, letting the public find the rest of the flaws and quirks. Not so with the 2010 Buick LaCrosse.

That was nearly the case, however. About 300-400 examples of the all-new 2010 LaCrosse were shipped last month, but further deliveries are being held until GM can chase down some lingering quality issues, according to vice president of U.S. sales Mark LaNeve.

As usual, GM isn't releasing details of the "quality issues" it's concerned with. During Motor Authority's first drive of the 2010 LaCrosse, Susan Docherty made it clear that the rollout of the car - which hadn't yet received a solid date - would only take place when production of the car was up to snuff, so today's announcement means only that GM may have jumped the gun with the August shipments, not that plans for the LaCrosse have changed.

The delay may not be all bad, says LaNeve, as GM still needs to get the word out that the LaCrosse is not business as usual for the brand, but a completely new direction. As we noted in our first drive review back in mid-July, and as many other outlets are beginning to realize, the LaCrosse isn't just the equal of its competition - in most cases, it's better.

[ABC News]

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Comments (7)
  1. "... the concept of the "public beta" form of vehicle release is a common one."
    Primarily only US Automakers did this - particularly GM. You didn't see the Germans or Japanese manufacturers using their customers as unpaid Quality Control Inspectors...
    ...which is one reason the import brands control @ 75% of the US automarket.

  2. Agreed, but it was primarily a practice of the 1980s and early 1990s, and wasn't necessarily deliberate. Things have changed, as the example in this story illustrates.

  3. We sure this is the new GM, sounds a lot like the old GM

  4. And out come the pitchforks of the ignorant Euro Trash!!! Have you morons (yes morons) seen where Buick placed on initial quality last year for JD power? They tied for first with Jaguar!!!!!
    GM is protecting a coveted prize here and with this move they most likely will have just widened the quality gap some more. A gap which you'll find your coveted brands are losing too as well!!!!
    Come on guys open up yours and realise even the Euro's and the Japanese have bad days and I think you'll find there on track to have some.

  5. Actually great news -- under the hopefully bygone GM the unspoken rule was don't buy the first year of a model b/c the second model year will have the bugs worked out, or better features. Such was the clearly not-ready-for-prime-time electric steering a few years back; they eventually got it working the way they wanted, but it was a work in progress and as Nelson points out the customers were Beta testers without getting a discount.

  6. It's funny how little people know about history. To suggest that American car manufacturers released Beta editions in the 1980's show so much ignorance. GM, Ford, Chrysler and dozens of other manufacturers in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's released such cars because the industry was figuring out how to build them and most American men had enough backyard mechanic knowledge to get into the cars and see how to make them better. The manufacturers listened and learned from them and made the improvements. There was a symbiotic relationship and it was part of American culture. (My dad was more engaged than most, and I remember him holding up the entire tailpipe of our '56 Chevy that he had removed before welding on a new one.) The hard part for the American manufacturers was how all this slowly changed as cars become more complicated, Americans became less mechanically inclined and the Japanese brought over cars that could not benefit from this now-lost American value. The fault lies with GM, Ford and Chrysler's slowness to change, not the underlying idea of 'beta' releases.

  7. The first poster also forgot to mention that Japanese/European cars generally hit their local shores a few months to a year before we get the cars over here.

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