So, What Is GM Developing?
If GM wants to have a chance of celebrating the New Year as a (somewhat) solvent company, it needs find $5b in cuts by the end of December. We’ve heard about the layoffs, forced vacations and executive pay cuts (wait, scratch that last one). But what’s going on with product development? After all, if the taxpayers are going to buy into GM big-style, we should know what we’re funding, right? CNN Money went through the GM product pipeline. (Keep in mind that things are changing fast.) The Volt and Cruze are said to be on-schedule, set to debut in 2010, the year that seems to get farther and farther away with every passing day. CNN says GM has given these two projects “protected status;” they’ll remain on schedule “no matter what crisis materializes.” Y’know, out of the clear blue sky. Of course, the fact that GM hasn’t announced a Volt battery supplier might lead you to question whether the Volt will make it in time, and anonymous information from one of the competing firms suggests a widespread pessimism on this point. So, two new products by 2010 (should the General survive till then). Anything else? Anyone? Bueller?
CNN reports that “Camaro is already in the final stages of testing and GM isn’t about to hold back now. It’s on schedule unless, of course, things get even worse than GM expects.” As if. Spring 2009 comes very soon though, and pre-production models ain’t looking great. For what that’s worth.
And if you think it’s strange for GM to release a muscle car as it seeks to redefine itself as America’s publicly-funded efficiency peddlers, you might be even more surprised to find out that a new Chevy Equinox SUV is set to debut later next year. Sure, they’ll cut the Pontiac Torrent version, but they’re also adding a GMC Terrain model. Also, a new SRX and CTS Sportwagon are both considered “on target for 2009.”
If muscle cars, SUVs and cannibalistic CUVs are a go, what’s being delayed? Hybrids (Vue Green Line), already solid products (next-gen Malibu) and the most beastly of utes (Yukon, Escalade) are all delayed far enough to be considered off the menu (2011-indefinite). Meanwhile, a new Buick LaCrosse will debut next year, breathing cruel hope into a brand that is likely to go Tango Uniform as GM scrambles to make savings. All in all, not exactly a world-beating (or bailout payback-ing) product pipeline.
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