The Chevrolet Lumina sedan , coupe and minivan were first introduced in 1989 for the 1990 model year as a new range of vehicles from the Chevrolet brand of General Motors to replace both the Chevrolet Celebrity sedan, and the Monte Carlo coupe. The Lumina was an answer from General Motors to the Ford Taurus. All Luminas were built at the Oshawa Car Assembly plant, in Ontario, Canada. The Chevrolet Lumina had the longest length from any other W-body car at the time.
Consumers were ultimately confused by having two different vehicles (the Lumina sedan and the Lumina APV minivan) share the same name, and the concept was eventually dropped when the Lumina APV was replaced by the Chevrolet Venture in 1997.
The North American Chevrolet Lumina was based on the mid-size GM W platform, which was shared with the Pontiac Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Oldsmobile Intrigue, Buick Regal and Buick Century (after 1996). Although the Lumina became a popular seller, GM was widely criticized in the motoring press for being late to the game in introducing a direct aero-designed competitor to the Ford Taurus. The Chevrolet Lumina's first generation ended production in 1994, making this the shortest-lived generation of the first-generation GM W-body cars.
In 1989, the Lumina became the nameplate under which Chevrolets were raced in NASCAR, more than a year before the model was available to the public. Irate fans bombarded NASCAR with letters protesting the unfairness of Chevrolet being allowed to race an aluminum car.