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Not exactly a huge surprise.

Faced with a steep drop in demand for the family vehicles, GM confirmed Tuesday that it has scrapped plans to build new minivan models that would have debuted as early as 2009 under Chevrolet, Saturn and other nameplates.

"We do believe it is a declining segment," GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told The News on Tuesday. "Our new crossovers, Acadia, Outlook and Enclave with their three rows of seats and economical V-6 engines, can meet the same customer needs, minus the 'Soccer Mom' stigma."

What stigma? Personally, I find the sliding doors much more convienient than regular doors to get a toddler in and out of a child seat.

Of course, maybe it is a good thing that GM is dumping minivans. We just looked at minivans recently; GM's are inferior, for a variety of reasons.

I don't think that GM ever got the minivan right," said Eric Merkle, forecasting director at IRN Inc., a consulting firm in Grand Rapids.

The early Lumina APV, made from 1990-96, "looked like a Dust Buster," Merkle said.


- Jeff
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