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GM expects flat SUV sales

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By Jason Stein
Automotive News / September 20, 2005

DETROIT -- General Motors' next generation of SUVs will debut with significant gains in fuel efficiency, safety, sophistication and design, the automaker promises.

But GM doesn't think that will mean a huge spike in sales.

GM, which unveiled its 2007 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe as well as the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade to journalists on Tuesday, is projecting sales to maintain current levels.

"It is realistic to assume the segment won't grow," said Robert Lutz, GM's vice chairman of global development.

GM says it owns 60 to 62 percent of a 750,000-unit segment and leads in certain sales categories, including the large-luxury market.

Lutz said even with gasoline prices at record levels, GM's market share and the segment volume should hold steady, but not significantly improve the way the segment did at the beginning of the decade.

"People are still going to buy full-sized sport utilities at $3 a gallon. But even at $3 a gallon, it's 750,000 people a year. It's not going to go to a million," Lutz said. "Two years ago we would have told you the segment is going to go to a million vehicles. It's not going to do that. It's leveled off.

"We think 750,000 (units) is the best prediction based on today's fuel prices. I think we may maintain our volume at other people's expense, even if the segment shrinks a little bit."

More: http://www.autonews.com/news.cms?newsId=13362

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Well, at least they've taken a more realistic view of things, rather than thinking they're going to revolutionize the world and have everyone buying one.

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They only showed them to the media. The Yukon stuff is released Oct 5th, and the Escalade stuff is released sometime in Nov. according to GMTV.

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