Bob Lutz, a man who has seen the insides of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors to name a few, took a break from predicting the future of the automotive industry and instead looked back at the past. In a new article published by Road and Track this past Monday, Lutz gave readers insight into why automakers kill potentially successful projects.
Many cars met their demise over the years and Lutz said he personally gave a few the red light. They ranged from an extended Saturn Vue with third-row seating, a Dodge Ram-based SUV, and a couple of sedan proposals. Normally, the death of potential products or successful cars is due to one thing: the market went in a different direction. It’s why the last Chevrolet Trailblazer died and the Camaro met its end in the early 2000s.
Sometimes, Lutz wrote, business reasons give some of the best cars the ax. He noted the Dodge Viper and recalled a report that stated the Chevrolet Volt, Buick LaCrosse, and other GM sedans that may meet their end. If the cars can be replaced with something more profitable, the automaker will normally move ahead.
And, of course, some projects die because of financial situations. Lutz recalled work on a mid-engine Corvette just before the 2008 global financial crisis. Cadillac also began work on a radically different XLR. As GM approached bankruptcy, the automaker killed the money-chugging programs. Nothing personal, just business.