Buick Shipments Delayed Over Quality Concerns

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Co. said Tuesday the rollout of its new 2010 Buick LaCrosse is being delayed for a few weeks due to quality concerns.

Speaking to analysts and reporters during a conference call on August sales, GM's vice president of U.S. sales Mark LaNeve said about 300 to 400 of the cars were shipped in August, but further deliveries are on hold until the company works out what it called "quality issues."

The company wouldn't offer specifics on exact problems with the LaCrosse, but LaNeve said they "were not serious but were enough to delay us three or four weeks while we made sure they were fixed so that our customers didn't have any problems."

GM is currently advertising the LaCrosse, a midsize luxury sedan that is designed to compete with Acura, Lexus and Toyota models. Its marketing campaign, called "Take a Look at Me Now," will feature television spots, as well as ads that run in cinemas and digital media.

The much-hyped car is key to attracting younger people to Buick, which has reputation of only appealing to older consumers. Buick had a median buyer age of 68 last year. Its target market for the LaCrosse is people in their mid-40s and 50s. The Lacrosse has a base price of $27,835.

"(It's) probably not the end of the world because we need to build awareness around having this new LaCrosse," said LaNeve of the delay. "I think October will be a good number to look at for LaCrosse, that will be our first month we have adequate availability to post the number."

More in Operations