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Lutz deflates talk of new Chevy Caprice

Fri, 17 Jul 2009

Well, that was fast.

Just four days after Bob Lutz, General Motors' new marketing honcho, raised the possibility of the Pontiac G8 living on as a new Chevrolet Caprice, he shot it down.

"The G8 will not be a Caprice after all," Lutz wrote on GM's Fastlane blog on July 16. "I'd mentioned it, and said we were studying it, giving it a serious look, because a car like the G8 was just too good to waste.

"That's all still true. But I have to say that, with my new 'marketing' hat on, upon further review and careful study, we simply cannot make a business case for such a program. Not in today's market, in this economy, and with fuel regulations what they are and will be."

There had been talk that GM wanted to keep a version of the rear-drive G8--which is built by GM's Holden subsidiary in Australia--in the U.S. market to make a pitch at police agencies.

Lutz the car guy says he's not happy that the G8 is going away. But Lutz the marketing guy says it doesn't make sense.

"With budgets being what they are for the time being, the resources must be allocated elsewhere," he said.

The move is not a sign that GM will back away from rear-drive performance vehicles, Lutz said. "We have a tremendous RWD team in Australia that gave us the beloved G8, a team that we will tap into at some point again in the future for its expertise and sheet metal."

By Dale Jewett