• Sep 29, 2008
The last aardvark inspired minivan has passed through the doors of GM's Doraville, GA assembly facility. The plant, which opened in 1947, has four developers vying to get their hands on the 165-acre parcel. About 1,500 workers have been idled due to the closing, which was a long time coming. The Doraville plant's closing is an unfortunate consequence of the old GM, and its divestiture is intended to aid General Motors as it continues clawing its way back from the brink.

We can't say the U-Platform vans will be missed. Though significantly changed from its inception as the Lumina APV with its odd styling, the Uplander was a swing of the pendulum to the other side of weird. Smack dab in the middle was the normal, yet lackluster, Venture. None of the platform's iterations managed to ignite buyer passions, coming up short against the competition, and lately completely crushed by the Odyssey/Sienna 1-2 punch, with a kick in the head from the Grand Caravan for good measure.

[Source: Auto News - sub req]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now for the fun part:

      Having the workers line up in one of the ten gas stations that actually have gas so they can drive home.

      Stupid Atlanta Gas Crisis *grumble*
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM's minivans basically have always sucked and always will since their first knockoff of Chrysler's minivans (Chevy Astro). Since then they have always tried to keep up with the other domestics and have failed. Hell remember how terrible the crash test results were for the Pontiac Transport/Chevy Lumina APV/Oldsmobile Silhouette? They were the worst rated in history. The reliability of GM's minivans are even worse as the engines they have used in them were specifically built for CARS.

      GM, like most domestics these days, have never gotten the total formula right and refuse to get a clue. Chrysler was the only company that had 3/4ths of it right. Reliability was the only thing lacking severely. This is where the imports learn from the domestics mistakes and build a better product, although some imports had disasters on their own in the beginning. Nobody's perfect. It's that strive for perfection on ALL aspects that make the imported minivans more of a benchmark, instead of being considered as taking an investment risk that the domestics are considered as, I know there are some execs and pro domestic fanboys want to whine and cry about the tired and old "people think american stuff is junk" song and dance, however whining and using excuses is not why GM, as well as other domestic companies are in the mess that they are in now. Plain and simple economics

      • 6 Years Ago
      Well at least they learned not to develop a platform and then split it into 4 pieces to cater to their brands.

      Oh wait a second, they're doing exactly that with their SUV line.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes...the longest running sob story in Corporate History. A company that makes Woolworths look preeminent.
      Anybody have any boilerplate for a Washington Mutual/GM suicide pact?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @virginia

        Rick Wagoner very likely pays a hell of a lot more taxes than you.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey, at least WAMU is not on Welfare, was not.

        Funny how i single mom with two children and Rick Wagoner are on the same line. And Rick got a better side of the deal.
        • 6 Years Ago
        epilonius, OK, but i do my job CORRECTLY, if i did my job the way Rick does his i'd be fired YEARS ago.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm ecstatic. Not because GM is finally killing their terrible minivans (which should have died years ago), bu because I live around the corner from the Doraville plant. That is fairly prime real estate these days, inside the perimeter and close to good neighborhoods. It may take a little longer than expected given the current economic climate, but eventually what was ugly 50 year old factory is going to be converted to a valuable mixed-use property with shopping, dining, offices and condos. Hello higher home values! ;-)
      • 6 Years Ago
      HAHA It's finally gone!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chevy could have used a nice minivan, when optioned those things can cost 30-40K (a BMW 1-3 series territory).

      But i for one will not miss Pontiac Montana.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Why did the excitement division need a Minivan anyway? Nothing much exciting about the Montana.
          • 6 Years Ago
          I remember when the Montana first came out (when they basically added a bunch of plastic body cladding and changed the name from Trans Sport), the ads had this Wild West theme and the tagline was something like "Because life is more exciting in Montana!" I've been to Montana, and "exciting" is probably the last word I'd use to describe life there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Apples to Oranges.
      • 6 Years Ago

      The Lamba CUV's are recognized as being among the best in their category. Far better than the Minivans that they replaced.
        • 6 Years Ago
        True...while I hear great things about the Buick Enclave and it looks quite good, I have hardly seen any on the road.

        As for these dead minivans, it seems like GM was going for an SUV/truck type of front end, with a flat hood as opposed to the traditional sloped, short hood on all other minivans. While this may have been a good idea to try to pretend to be more SUVish, they made them so ugly and awkward that nobody wanted them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But they do not sell either. Also SUVs and VANS are different cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes, these minivans were very ugly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Isnt' everything from GM ugly
        • 6 Years Ago
        God, LOOK at that thing. These minivans were an absolute embarrassment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Surprisingly, saw "2009" models yesterday at the local Chevy dealer. GM Canada is giving away 2008 short wheelbase versions at $15-16k right now. Pontiac store near work has what looks like about 200 on their storage lot.
      • 6 Years Ago

      The GM minivans were horrid products that paled in terms of quality, reliability, durability, desirability, satisfaction, and value for money relative to the competition. Customers, embittered by abysmal product quality and atrocious customer care, undertook a successful class action suit to obtain compensation for failed engine intake manifold gaskets.

      GM claims it produces 1st class cars and attributes the market rejection to a consumer "perception gap."

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