GM's Car-Based Future

Buickinvicta

GM is slashing production of pickups and SUVs, but its showrooms will be far from empty.

The company has approved plans to add more cars and crossovers over the next 18 to 24 months to lure customers back into the GM fold.

GM chairman Rick Wagoner told employees during a special closed-circuit televised meeting Tuesday that, while truck output is being cut by 300,000 units by the end of 2009 in response to high gas prices and reduced consumer interest, several new cars and crossovers are being added to make up for the losses.

He said 18 of the next 19 product introductions at GM will be cars or crossovers.

He said the new entry-level compact Chevy Cruze — whose fuel economy is estimated to be 9 mpg better than a Chevy Cobalt — will begin production in the U.S. in mid-2010. It will replace the Cobalt at GM's Lordstown, Ohio, plant.

The next-generation Chevy Equinox crossover will begin production in May 2009 featuring a new four-cylinder engine that Wagoner said will get mileage similar to that of a hybrid.

The next-generation Cadillac SRX crossover, which was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show last January as the Cadillac Provoq concept vehicle, will go on sale in the second quarter of 2009 and will be marketed globally.

The often-rumored Cadillac station wagon will be called the CTS Sportwagon and has been approved for production next spring.

At the Detroit auto show earlier this year, GM unveiled a Cadillac CTS coupe concept. It, too, has been given a production thumbs-up for the summer of 2009. Will it get a convertible version? Stay tuned.

Buick introduced a concept rear-wheel-drive Invicta sedan at the Beijing auto show in April, powered by a turbocharged, 250-hp four-cylinder engine. As expected, it will go on sale next spring in the U.S. as well as in other global markets.

Saab will expand its product range with an all-new 9-4X five-seat crossover that's headed to showrooms in the fall of 2009.

Wagoner said these are just a few of the new GM products headed for markets in the U.S. and around the globe over the next 18 to 24 months.

By Jim Mateja | July 15, 2008 | Comments (6)

Comments 

Bob Lutz was asked why over the last few years, the truck-friendly GM did not focus more on building fuel-efficient cars, his response was simple: “Nobody wanted them.” Does this guy live under a rock? At least they're finally waking up. They should introduce that trio from the NAIAS (the Beat, the Groove and whatever the other one was)

RE the Invicta:
A turbo four banger doesn't sound very Buick-like to me. I'd expect six portholes in a production version.

alex

well after reading this article, i like of what i see. it would be nice if they killed the cobalt sooner, but the cruze looks like it COULD BE A WInner. A caution light for the cruze though, the honda civic gets its re model in summer 2010, (hard to believe the civic been around 3 years already), and honda will be armed and ready with the new civic. hopefully the cruze will match the test. GM needs to focus on chevy and cadillac, and they seem to be doing that. A turbo charged buick? come on, kill buick and give it to cadillac. Sell saab too.

hitman1970

The Invicta will be FWD as it is on the new global FWD platform, Epsilon II. AWD may be a possibility. I think Buick has a history with turbochargers, Regal GS, Buick GNX, so that is a non-sequitor. Turbo-four banger not luxury? I guess Acura better S-can the TSX and RDX.

LM

Lil' Tom your comment is the exact reason why companies like GM are in trouble. They've been following that model for too long and have fallen behind.

alex

gm is way behind.. they need new leadership

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