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Lutz says GM is upbeat, but mum on Kerkorian

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DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said Tuesday the automaker will save billions in development costs with a new global engineering plan, but he wouldn't discuss some critical issues facing GM, including Delphi Corp.'s bankruptcy.

Lutz also didn't address investor Kirk Kerkorian's efforts to increase his stake in GM. GM's shares rose 94 cents, or nearly 4 percent, to close at $26.42 on the New York Stock Exchange after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it won't challenge Kerkorian's plan to increase his stake in GM to nearly 10 percent. Kerkorian has said he may seek a seat on GM's board.

Lutz said that on Jan. 1, the world's largest automaker will consolidate regional engineering and design budgets into a multi-billion-dollar global budget. Lutz said separate budgets had hindered efforts to produce vehicle platforms that can be used globally and regions weren't coordinating hiring or product planning.

For example, Lutz said North America has long wanted a very small sport utility vehicle but couldn't justify the expense for such a small market. Under the new system, North America, Europe and Latin America can share the costs for such a vehicle.

"No longer will one region be forced to turn down a program because it doesn't have the budget to pay for it," Lutz said in a speech to the Automotive Press Association.

Lutz said the program will save GM $1 billion on the development of mid-size cars alone. GM expects to reduce the cost of materials by 20 percent because it will be buying in larger volumes.

http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0...lutz-345486.htm
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i like the sound of this report... and what it says is accuarte... like the Kappa its designed to be a low volume vehicle... but due to its export to europe it might see sales of 90-150k a year and definatly if they can integrate the nomad you could easily see more, that plant will reach capacity... and if they do the Tru-Flex thing where they can manufacture any vehicle at any plant, GM can really do a number on the competition...
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If GM sold its American built car world-wide they wouldn't face such problems.. cars like the G6, HHR, Cobalt and Solstice should be sold globally..
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Hey, Kerkorian just bought more GM shares, he is now at 9.9 percent. :o :o At this price, it's a deal. Do you smell the coffee?
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