Since both cars are about the same size and would be offered with V6 and V8 engines, dealers thought the vehicle would cannibalize sales of its front-wheel-drive Lucerne. Bob Lutz said the rear-wheel drive Buick was firmly in the U.S. product program until it was shown to dealers. Lutz added that the door is still open if dealers reconsider.
We can't understand why any American luxury car brand would reject a modern rear-wheel drive sedan? We understand that most people don't care about front- or rear-wheel drive. We also understand that the front-wheel-drive Lucerne sold nearly a 100,000 units in 2006. We also understand the fuel prices are up and the shine has gone off of Chrysler's LX rear-wheel drive sedans. But we simply don't understand why Buick would turn down a vehicle that would almost certainly increase brand sales. While the front-wheel-drive Lucerne would likely lose some sales if the Statesman was sold as a Buick, sales of both large sedans, which would target different buyers, should easily surpass the sales of the Lucerne alone.