Well you kinda knew GM was pulling the plug on its cap ex (capital expenditure) when they announced the Chevrolet Cruze would be delayed a year (to 2013). The Cruze was supposed to be The General’s next big small thing. The great wheeled hope. The economy car that would put GM back in the non-SUV game. Fuhgeddaboutit. Or, as the Brits would say, GM’s dropped the other shoe. Automotive News [sub] reports that the cash-strapped American automaker is postponing “nearly all of its spending on product development in 2009 and 2010.” According to an unnamed source, “The 2009 stuff that’s too late to cancel is coming out, then everything else gets pushed out anywhere between three months and up to a year. It’s not just capital budget; it’s also engineering, design… everything that would cause money to flow out in 2009.” Except, of course, executive salaries. So what else is spared? The Camaro, the Hail Mary-shaped plug-in electric – gas Chevrolet Volt, the “restyled” Buick LaCrosse (whew!) and, maybe, just maybe, the Cadillac CTS Wagon (thank God!). And here’s the really scary part. “General Motors is taking drastic action to avoid running out of money sometime next year. With its product delays, GM hopes to save as much as $1.5 billion, said the source.” Just $1.5b? That’s only a month-and-a-half’s worth of GM’s current cash burn. Desperate days.
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