After Opel, Where Will GM's Chainsaw Swing Next?
General Motors isn’t finished slashing products or dialing back plans to bolster its financial standing.
After unloading its near century-long Opel and Vauxhall holdings to France’s PSA Group, a move that came after failed attempts to return the European brands to profitability, GM plans to turn its focus on underperforming products in North America. There’s a chance that a model you hold dear could find its way to the chopping block.
“In [CEO] Mary Barra’s GM, everything is on the table,” Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Rebecca Lindland recently told Automotive News.
The trade publication cites internal sources who claim there’s more than a bit of anxiety within GM’s more distant operations about where the blade will fall next. Overseas markets have the most to worry about.
Following the Opel sale, Barra stated, “There’s a little bit more work that we’re doing in the international markets.” In the conference call, she stated her company’s strategy — that “every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital.”
This isn’t a new thing for GM. After boosting Russian vehicle production in 2012, GM announced it was vacating the market just three years later, after the Russian economy took a dive. Other recent rollbacks targeted the southeast Asian market.
In North America, every automaker’s game plan involves spending money to make money — on SUVs and trucks, mostly. However, even as new crossover and SUV models roll out, GM’s passenger car sales look grim. Slow sales of the new-for-2017 Buick LaCrosse point to the full-size segment’s malaise. Meanwhile, overstocked inventories of other cars has prompted the automaker to cut shifts and temporarily shutter plants.
The jury’s out on whether GM is so gung-ho on cost-cutting that it would drop models from its lineup. It could just as easily cut investments and let certain models wither on the vine. Then, the freed-up money could be put to work developing and building higher-profit utility vehicles.
[Image: General Motors]
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Wow, GM is really going to drop down to a 15% market share.
GM needs to cut any vehicle that doesn't have "special sauce". Escalades, Camaros, Corvettes, any GM pick-up, SUV, CUV have "special sauce". None of their cars,I'm looking at you Cadillac, mid-size and small have "special sauce". Oh, Buick has "special sauce" in China. Kill the rest of their cars with fire. Or still have people laughing at them. It's their choice.