GM spent $150 million on the ad campaign for the new Malibu. Intriguingly, though -- and after all the work that went into the car, all the hype, all the ads (we dig the one with the jogger running into the car, even though it's not a new Malibu), and all the great reviews -- GM only expected to sell 500 of them in November, the car's first full retail month. That's right: GM sent 3,500 of them to dealers. And they only expected 500 of them to get off the lot, down the road burning gas.
Well, as George W. Bush said, GM "misunderestimated." GM's on track to sell nearly the entire allotment, with 3,000 cars looking to be on the move. Lutz said dealers don't have any because they keep selling out of them. The same phenomenon is being reported for the Buick Enclave. which is not only exceeding sales expectations, but swiping the expected younger buyers from the Saturn Outlook. Hey Mr. Lutz: that's because the Enclave looks curvy and cool, and the Saturn, uh, doesn't.
In a Wall Street Journal article about the perception gap between American cars and imports, GM chief Rick Wagoner said "Building a better car and assuming people will buy it doesn't work." To you, Mr. Wagoner, we would like to present the Malibu and Enclave as Exhibits A and B, and retort: wanna bet? If they prove to be as reliable as we know you can make them, then you shouldn't have any problem selling them. Now, get us a Camaro that looks like the concept, a CTS Coupe, a hot Solstice coupe, and a Volt by 2010, and you might be able to shift your concerns to building inventory as opposed to moving it.