Flops such as the Pontiac Aztek could be a thing of the past as General Motors axes some planned new models and changes others, Associated Press reported.

“If they have not had good research and had a faulty business case, yeah, we’ve pulled them out,” GM group vice president for advanced vehicle development, Mark Hogan, told AP at a media briefing last Friday in Detroit.

“On the other hand, we’ve taken other ones that have not been going that swimmingly, made some course corrections and pulled them through,” Hogan added, according to AP.

AP said that Hogan declined to say how many vehicles had been removed from GM’s new model development process since the car giant established an advanced vehicle development (AVD) process in February.

AP said AVD is the brainchild of GM’s new ‘car guy’, the vice chairman and chairman of GM North America Bob Lutz, who joined the company last September and whose goal is to develop what he calls “gotta have” products.

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A week after AVD was announced, Lutz told reporters at the Chicago Auto Show that he had ordered the new Buick Regal be restyled, delaying its launch, AP said.

AP added that Lutz was also on record as saying that design would be considered earlier in the product development process and there would be less emphasis on customer research which had, in any case, been ignored in the past if negative.

“He told us we had to be a lot more intuitive, use our instinct and our gut,” Hogan told AP on Friday.

AP said the new GM system uses a portfolio planning process that looks at market trends, competitive products and regulatory concerns such as fuel economy and then evaluates the current product line looking for areas where GM needs to be stronger or needs to cut.

If a product idea gets through that first stage, styling, engineering and manufacturing are considered with at least nine designs submitted and pared down to three, AP said.

Models of the three are made, clinic feedback gathered and business cases built for each one and the winner chosen by AVD leadership, headed by Lutz, AP added.

“Our new approach was put into place to improve our ability to move faster and provide crisper decisions to simply support ‘gotta have’ products faster,” GM North America vice president for planning, Ron Pniewski, told AP.

AVD is cutting vehicle development time from nine months to four or five, Hogan said, according to AP.