Other Than the Chevy Volt, What IS GM Developing?
Autobloggreen reports that the Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) is probably on ice. The wired Vue was due to become GM’s first– and pre-Chevy Volt– PHEV. Now, who knows? “During the General Motors third quarter earnings (or lack thereof) conference call on Friday, company executives discussed the vehicle introduction schedule for 2009 and 2010. Several cars that had been expected to debut during 2009 have been pushed back to the following year, including the Saab 9-4X and Cadillac CTS Coupe. GM declined to discuss any vehicles beyond the 2010 calendar year. One vehicle that notable by its absence in the list of vehicle launches is the Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid.” While we’re at it (or not), the hold-back on the Saab 9-4X also casts doubt on the Cadillac cute ute replacement for the SRX and the new Chevy Equinox; vehicles that were supposed to sit on the same platform. Equally important: each day that these and other GM vehicle programs are delayed, the more expensive it becomes to restart development, and the harder it becomes to catch-up with the competition. The delays also impact suppliers, who may go under in the meanwhile. But that’s another story, which we’ll get to a bit later…
Hmm. Nothing new for Pontiac. I wonder if it does get eliminated, although I am of the opinion if you kill Pontiac, you have to kill GMC and Buick as well (as the dealer networks for the three are now mostly combined), and they have new product (although not much). The lack of a 9-4x may merely mean that GM is, or is at least considering, discontinuing Saab sales in North America completely; sales are so pathetic here that this makes sense. Heck, Saab sales are pathetic world-wide-a total shut down of Saab might also make sense. Personally, I think killing Saab (at least domestically), Hummer (or selling it), and Saturn, but keeping Buick-Pontiac-GMC, makes the most sense-there are too many BPG dealers and too many sales there to cut, especially since many of those products are clones of Chevys and therefore keep the factories that build products for both running at something resembling full production.
I am sure that big bonus payments for Wagoner and Lutz are under active development.
Vauxhall-Opel is worth more when Saturn is included. And one way for GM to raise cash is to sell of it and/or Chevrolet-Asia (aka Daewoo)