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Will GM axe their mid-size SUV line up?

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Will GM axe their mid-size SUV line up?

Truck Trend Truck Trend
Administrator | Posts: 4666 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 05/07/07
06:07 PM


GM May Axe Mid-Size Utes

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General Motors is prepared to move ahead with a new round of rear-wheel-drive vehicles but it is taking a hard look at the replacements for the traditional mid-size sport-utility vehicles such as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

Fritz Henderson, GM's chief financial officer, said in response to an analyst question that GM would move forward with a family of rear-wheel-drive cars based but also was taking a hard look at its future options.

"We have some rear-wheel-drive vehicles in the pipeline and we're going to execute those," he said.

However, Henderson also told the analyst that GM was mindful of the new challenges over the horizon.

"We need to step back and think about fuel prices and regulation as we develop our portfolio," Henderson said. "We shouldn't just leave it static. We obviously need to consider the dynamics of the market as we think future choices," Henderson added.

"I'd say sitting here to day given the uncertainty it's something we're looking at. But I wouldn't say I have anything to announce today. It's just natural that we should be looking at our portfolio choices in a different regulatory/fuel economy environment," he said.

Robert Lutz, GM vice chairman for product development, said in a television interview that aired in Detroit over the weekend the company had "hit the pause button" on a family of new rear-wheel-drive models. However, GM isn't going to scrap the vehicles, though it is rethinking the powertrain options it plans to use in the various models, which would be spun off from the architecture being utilized for the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro.

The business case for the new Camaro, due out in 2009, has already been reviewed and approved, which means most of the fixed investment required for the other rear-wheel-drive models has already been committed, Lutz added. Thus, the other models would be less expensive to develop, Lutz added. was the first to reveal that GM planned to spin off more models from the Camaro architecture back in February.

GM will have fewer but more flexible platforms that would accommodate a wider range of vehicles and vehicle designs, Lutz said in February. The new Camaro platform could be used for other vehicles, he indicated.

At the time, Lutz also hinted that part of the reason for the delay in moving forward with the Camaro project was to extend the utility of the fundamental architecture so it could serve as the platform for other vehicles as well.

"What you've got to understand is that we've got this modular product architecture kit where we have two different lengths of center underbodies, two different lengths of front rails, and two different lengths of rear over hang. So we can modify those elements any way we want. In the case of the Camaro it's long short, short. If, for instance, we wanted to do a very large rear-wheel-drive Cadillac with more than eight cylinders you could do long, long, long," Lutz said. "It's like a Lego set - you weld them together anyway you want," he added.

So far, however, GM hasn't said publicly it plans to go ahead with an ultra-luxury Cadillac. However, executives such as Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of sales, service and marketing, have said they would like to move forward with an upscale Cadillac that could compete with cars such as the BMW 7-Series and the new Lexus LS460.

Remarks by Lutz and Henderson, however, suggest capital is in relatively short supply and that GM executives are becoming more cautious about spending. However, GM's engineering chief Jim Queen acknowledged recently its top rival is outspending it by a wide margin now. GM's capital spending this year is expected to top $9 billion but Toyota is expected to spending $14 billion and GM pays more to borrow money now than Toyota does.

Thus finding ways to conserve capital by spinning off more products from one basic investment has become critical for GM.


I dont think so..  

User | Posts: 204 | Joined: 03/07
Posted: 05/07/07
06:24 PM

They badly need too.  

thekoof thekoof
Enthusiast | Posts: 312 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/08/07
10:24 AM

They could really use a substantial update for sure but axing them, not sure.  

thekoof thekoof
Enthusiast | Posts: 312 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/09/07
04:04 PM

The only thing that their midsizers have over the Lambdas are towing capacity.  

Edward A. Sanchez Edward A. Sanchez
Moderator | Posts: 577 | Joined: 06/06
Posted: 05/09/07
04:26 PM

Other than the TrailBlazer SS, which is a pretty nice ride, there's nothing especially remarkable about them. It seems like the Acadia/Outlook/Enclave triplets and derivatives are going to be the midsize SUV lineup for GM in the near future.  

User | Posts: 204 | Joined: 03/07
Posted: 05/09/07
06:09 PM

That's exactly my point.  The new Lambda's just make the others useless.  

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