The upcoming Buick LaCrosse, sitting on GM's global mid-sized car architecture, represents a new direction for the brand according to the vice-president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC, Susan Docherty. Docherty claims that falling demand for full-sized cars means that GM will not be abandoning large cars altogether, but rather dialing down their importance in its lineup and investing in smaller segments more readily.

According to Docherty, the market for large cars has fallen by "35% this calendar year", and introducing new large cars "wouldn't necessarily be smart". This also means cutting back spending on GM’s existing nameplates to preserve cash for development and promotion of smaller models.

For example, the large Buick Lucerne currently has no plans for a redesign or replacement in the near future, although GM has confirmed that the car will not be dropped from the lineup. Docherty acknowledged this position, stating that GM would rather be spending investment dollars in the mid-size segment rather than "going larger".

Looking to the future, Docherty stated that GM will be increasing its "efforts in market segments that are big and thriving, in ones that don't have a high decay rate."

Other new directions for Buick include the increasing importance of the Chinese market, prompting Buick to source much of its design and engineering from GM Shanghai. This reduces costs for the carmaker and also compliments a new global strategy that should see a greater use of global vehicle architectures, reports Automotive News.

Meanwhile, production of the 2010 LaCrosse was expected to start at GM’s Fairfax plant in Kansas in early 2009, with the first cars are to arrive in U.S. showrooms towards the end of the year, but cost-cutting delays have caused that timeline to be pushed back towards the end of 2009. However, the car is expected to be unveiled in production trim at next month’s Detroit Auto Show.