General Motors will add minivans to its Buick and Saturn brands in 2005 to try to grab a bigger slice of the market, an executive told the Reuters news agency.

GM vice president of advertising and brand marketing John Middlebrook told Reuters at the National Auto Dealers Association convention that the Buick minivan will help GM compete in the high end of the minivan market, while the Saturn model will be aimed at import buyers.

GM will also continue to offer a Chevrolet and Pontiac minivan, but no decision has been made on whether to keep the current Venture and Montana names, Middlebrook said, according to Reuters.

“It will give us greater coverage of the midsized van market,” he reportedly said.
According to Reuters, Middlebrook said the new models will look substantially different from the current models, and may help minivans shed their “soccer mom” image in the United States.

GM is phasing out its Oldsmobile brand, including its Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan, Reuters noted.

According to Reuters, Middlebrook said the US market for minivans was holding steady at about 1 million units per year, but GM should be able to increase its share of that market.

GM sold 164,000 minivans in the United States last year, Reuters added.