GM: From virgin killer to buzzkiller

You can’t be in business as long as GM without having scored your share of ‘firsts’, and GM is no exception: turbochargers, V6 engines, Flexfuel vehicles, the electric vehicle, and even the monthly car payment (GMAC)! For a major automaker they have been especially forward-thinking with regard to alternative vehicles and fuels. This last point makes their most recent lost opportunity even more of a shame.

At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, General Motors introduced the Saturn Vue Plug-in Hybrid. Technology issues had the launch date up in the air, but word is now coming out that those issues had been resolved and that the vehicle could have been ready for launch in the Fall of 2009.

This likely would have positioned the Saturn VUE PHEV as the first production model plug-in hybrid to hit US markets, scooping even the PHEV-6 Toyota Prius, thus making GM the head cheerleader for the alternative-fuel cars.

Instead, according to a feature at CNNMoney, it’s been pushed to 2011. By then (I hope), the Vue PHEV won’t even be hot enough to make the drill team. Drill team.

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