The New York Times said Tuesday that the new Saab SUV (the 9-7) from GM was simply a re-facia'd Blazer with a floor mounted ignition switch and a higher price. An example of One Platform, Many Brands.
Bob Lutz, in his Fast Lane blog replied to the Times: Balderdash. He was polite (too polite), presenting facts and detailing how the Saab 9-7 differs from its Chevy and GMC cousins. Fast response, thy name is Blog.
The majority of the Times article was about the positives and negatives of re-badging but it unfairly singled out the 9-7. The success of the new Saab as an upmarket SUV may be called into question but its going to take more than a spec sheet and press release to do it. Specs are interesting and important but they can't reveal a car's personality. Personality comes from handling, how it feels on the road, the sounds, the fit and finish. Its personality that customers buy, its personality that customers live with and its personality that customers come to love or hate.
Toyota has been successful putting Lexus badges on the Camry (ES 330), the Land Cruiser (LX 470) and 4-Runner (GX 470). There's no reason that GM can't do the same.
When Mr. Lutz started his blog, I was concerned that it might become just another source of GM ads. This is an excellent example of using a blog to talk to your customers and get the facts out. Fast. A conversation. Good job, Bob.