The Detroit News reports that GM is delaying the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze. The nationalized automaker’s next big—I mean small thing will now hit U.S. showrooms in the third quarter of 2010. In theory. GM’s explanation for the delayed denouement: it wants to ensure “a flawless launch.” Given GM’s on-again, of-again product planning chaos, and their failure to get enough Buick LaCrosses on the ground, you’ve got to wonder why they would set themselves up for failure with talk of perfection. Oh right; the automotive media has the memory of a goldfish. Meanwhile, the company’s camp followers can take heart in New GM’s new determination to get things right—while those of us who’ve heard it all before sigh, shake our heads and say “Flawless. Yeah right.” No matter how you slice it, the Cruze’s failure to set sail by the advertising for-sale date isn’t news to gladden investors’ hearts. After all, the ur-Cruze (the Korean Lacetti) debuted on October 30, 2008. The EU-Cruze has been plying European roadways since February. The delay means the Cruze will not arrive before GM’s kinda maybe sorta I know we said we would but tempus fugit mid-2010 IPO. Between now and then, stand back! GM’s predicting a sales spurt!
GM said it anticipates its October vehicle sales will rise compared to a year earlier, the first such increase for the automaker in 21 months.
Mike DiGiovanni, GM’s director of global market analysis, pointed to improving economic conditions, including a return to more normal credit markets, increased manufacturing and demand for new GM vehicles such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, as reasons for being cautiously optimistic.
October sales will be released Tuesday. GM sales dropped 45 percent last month and have fallen 36.4 percent this year.
“We know we are not out of the woods yet,” he told reporters during a conference call.
And there’s your new media meme: things are bad, but they’re getting better and they’ll be more better later. Eventually. Hang on; isn’t that the old meme?