Intrepidation

Lutz: No Beat for the U.S., smaller CUVs on the way, Insignia stalled

31 posts in this topic

General Motor's car czar, Bob Lutz, sat down with the little people of the blogosphere after GM's announcement that it would be reducing white collar expenditures by 20-percent, cutting truck production and eliminating retired health care for salaried workers over 65, all in an effort to boost its liquidity by $15 billion by the end of 2009.

Hit the jump for all the details.

[Photo: David McNew/Getty]Maximum Bob addressed questions about GM's entire brand portfolio, saying, "Pontiac will be nourished with products" and confirming that GM is in talks with financial institutions about HUMMER, and that, "If we could sell the brand, we'd be interested in doing that."

Predictably, much of the conversation centered on fuel efficiency and the General's plans to address the growing demand for miserly transport in the U.S. Lutz made it clear that "as fuel costs in the U.S. begin to resemble those in the rest of the world" it will be easier for GM to realign its products on a global scale.

So what about the Chevy Beat? The subcompact hatch is slated to arrive in Europe next year as the Spark, replacing the Chevy that shares the same name. However, GM didn't intend for the Beat (or Spark) to be offered in the U.S., so it currently doesn't meet federal safety and crash standards. It would take too much money and about two years to bring the Beat up to snuff for sales in the U.S., so Lutz conceded that it wouldn't be coming to the U.S. until the next generation arrives... whenever that is.

In more unfortunate news, the Chevrolet Cruze, set to debut in Paris and sold in Europe next year, won't be replacing the Cobalt in the U.S. anytime soon. Lutz maintains that the current Cobalt is "no where near the end of its life-cycle" and that it's "finally coming into its own" in the U.S. market. When the Cruze does debut, expect an interior that's a cross between the Cobalt and the Malibu, and powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-pot that will get 40+ mpg.

When asked about Saturn, Lutz was insistent that GM "likes the brand," but is concerned that the franchise isn't generating enough volume. While earlier reports suggested that Saturn would short-cycle the Aura and replace it with the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, Lutz says that it won't be coming forthright.

When the 2008/2009 show season ramps up, expect GM to debut several new compact crossovers that are significantly smaller than the Lambda CUVs currently on sale. Lutz wouldn't elaborate on what brands would be getting these new cute 'utes, but expect them to span GM's brands.

Source: Autoblog

Edited by Dodgefan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some...um...WTF?

If this is correct, the Cobalt, which is already near the bottom of the compact class, and already due for a redesign, is going to hang around even longer? It's only selling because it's relatively good on gas, but when other makers come out with even more efficient, better looking cars (Kia Forte) where will that leave it?

As for the Beat...when they started designing this thing no one thought, "Hmm, gas prices are going up, maybe we should design this for the US market too). And anyway, how could it be any less safe than the Aveo? Sell the damn thing anyway. If people are willing to pay thousands for Geo Metro deathtraps, I'm sure they would pay for this even if it couldn't survive a Mack truck head on collision at 120mph while having a 747 land on it simultaneously.

Sometimes I think GM is really trying to run itself into the ground, and this is one of those times.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still waiting for the stuff that would make PCS come in here to tap dance on Camino's head..... it sounds like Saturn is in greater danger than Pontiac, and that the Opels originally thought to be on their way are now stalled....

nothing popcorn worthy so far....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does "nourished with product" mean more Chevy rebadges because car sales are picking up?

That Cruze/Cobalt comment about the Cobalt "nowhere near the end of its life-cycle", made me shiver...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But lets bring more CUVs to teh market, because that's what the market is demanding right now! :stupid:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that Autoblog is also reporting that Rick said the Cruze starts production in the US in 2010 for MY2011.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like the Cruze may be slotted in a slightly higher price point than the Cobalt, and they're going to try to squeeze every penny from the Cobalt before they redo/drop it? I'm also wondering if the Insignia costs more to make than the Aura, and they're delaying giving it to Saturn because it would just further the sticker shock going on at Saturn...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question: why product place the Beat in Transformers II, get it lots of exposure, and then not plan to offer it in the US, where the movie will see the most viewers?

Edited by Dodgefan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another question: why product place the Beat in Transformers II, get it lots of exposure, and then not plan to offer it in the US, where the movie will see the most viewers?

Pathological behavior? :scratchchin:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

insignia stall bothers me, but....will it become a pontiac? makes me think saturn is dead in the water.

cobalt living on....er.....at least give it a new interior....something!

in fact, you gotta wonder, will pontiac become saturn? and will saturn be the sacrificial lamb? WOW.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anybody see this Autoblog post?

UPDATE: Wagoner addressed GM employees and shed some light on what products are in the pipeline.

The Chevrolet Cruze will begin production in the U.S. in 2010

The Chevrolet Equinox will go into production in May of 2009, equipped with a direct-injected 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

The Cadillac CTS coupe has been green lit and is coming in the summer of '09.

The Cadillac CTS Sportswagon will be on the market in next spring.

The next Cadillac SRX, inspired by the Provoq concept, will go on sale globally in 2009.

The rear-wheel-drive Buick Invicta will be released in the U.S. next spring.

The Saab 9-4X is on its way in late 2009.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/07/15/gm-to-c...ruck-productio/

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
insignia stall bothers me, but....will it become a pontiac? makes me think saturn is dead in the water.

cobalt living on....er.....at least give it a new interior....something!

in fact, you gotta wonder, will pontiac become saturn? and will saturn be the sacrificial lamb? WOW.

^proof that no matter how many times GM says all the brands are safe and have a future, speculation on one or more (besides hummer) being cut soon will continue. Everybody's doing it. :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
insignia stall bothers me, but....will it become a pontiac? makes me think saturn is dead in the water.

cobalt living on....er.....at least give it a new interior....something!

in fact, you gotta wonder, will pontiac become saturn? and will saturn be the sacrificial lamb? WOW.

proof they're listening.......to me bwah hah hah :D jk

yes, the saturn product stall seems to indicate the heavy product infusion is under review. aura and vue have received the biggest product push, and of course outlook entered into a burgeoning hot market that is supposed to see automatic volume. so i would suspect the sales performance of these three especially will be under heavy scrutiny. my rational question about that judgement call would be what perceived special feature does aura offer over any other car in its class? style? malibu offers that and more.... but I am in favor of reviewing Saturn's position and eventually jettison the expansion. i don't see them building a brand there, money better spent reviving other 'damaged' brands.

I echo all the other sentiments here. Beat is not really that big a deal, though the market is coming on, it's not as urgent as say a Corsa intro here, and it's still primarily going to be a city car, which isn't a bad reason to hurry up. but the whole transformers thing is stupid planning yet again. get exposure for a car not even produced here. cruze is coming soon, we already have thegriffon and toyotavs.gm confirming production in Mexico for late next year for distribution here. so cobalt will probably continue to be cobalt. that's not such a bad thing. actually it wouldn't be a terrible thing to have the three compacts remain for some time. Pontiac being nourished with product...hmmmmpphh.....about time is all i can say. they need to seriously hurry up and remake a brand that could serve a vital line down the road.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does "nourished with product" mean more Chevy rebadges because car sales are picking up?

That Cruze/Cobalt comment about the Cobalt "nowhere near the end of its life-cycle", made me shiver...

Well, the previous Cavi lasted 10 years, and the Cobalt is only in it's 4th now... if they can give the Cobalt an MCE around '10, I don't see why it and the Cruze can't coexist for a while.

Edited by moltar
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, the previous Cavi lasted 10 years, and the Cobalt is only in it's 4th now...

it wouldn't be so bad to see cobalt fill in the fleet sales role as well as maybe hold the line on the truly affordable compact [13k-16k market], while Cruze starts in a little above it. of course, it would be pathetic to see cobalt continue with no design changes for another 4 years. eventually cobalt would need to be phased out, used stricly for fleets, or redesigned.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about it, I agree with the idea of keeping the Cobalt and selling it along side the Cruze, as a cheaper alternative, although the more upmarket compact idea is what the Astra was supposed to be, however the lack of a sedan is a serious omission.

It reminds me of the idea thrown around for Ford to sell both Focus models along side each other.

However the Cobalt needs an MCE with a new interior and updated exterior to keep it competitive. An optional 6-speed automatic would be good too, and the Cruze would have it standard.

Edited by Dodgefan
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm still waiting for the stuff that would make PCS come in here to tap dance on Camino's head..... it sounds like Saturn is in greater danger than Pontiac, and that the Opels originally thought to be on their way are now stalled....

nothing popcorn worthy so far....

:scratchchin:

GM seems to have a heavy case of multiple personality disorder, doesn't it?

Or...

Maybe Uncle Bob read up on the C&G census. :AH-HA_wink:

http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...showtopic=24611

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like the Cruze may be slotted in a slightly higher price point than the Cobalt, and they're going to try to squeeze every penny from the Cobalt before they redo/drop it? I'm also wondering if the Insignia costs more to make than the Aura, and they're delaying giving it to Saturn because it would just further the sticker shock going on at Saturn...

I'm so confused.

The Cruze is replacing the Cobalt, right? And he seems to feel the Cobalt is going to stay popular when everything around it is getting redesigned?

RWD Buick Invicta in the Spring? HUH?

2.3L DI 4-cyl for the Equinox? I'm sorry--I don't keep up too much on engine development, but did we know about this? I didn't hear this until now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm so confused.

The Cruze is replacing the Cobalt, right? And he seems to feel the Cobalt is going to stay popular when everything around it is getting redesigned?

RWD Buick Invicta in the Spring? HUH?

2.3L DI 4-cyl for the Equinox? I'm sorry--I don't keep up too much on engine development, but did we know about this? I didn't hear this until now.

Again, Autoblog not quoting the speech, but adding extra, unconfirmed and probably erroneous information. The actual quote was:

"The next-generation Chevy Equinox will begin production in May 2009. It’ll feature a new four-cylinder engine, which will place it among the best fuel-economy performers in its class."

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Again, Autoblog not quoting the speech, but adding extra, unconfirmed and probably erroneous information. The actual quote was:

"The next-generation Chevy Equinox will begin production in May 2009. It’ll feature a new four-cylinder engine, which will place it among the best fuel-economy performers in its class."

It's awesome GM is waking up and implementing these things. I just wish there was a RWD large Buick on the horizon. Something around 198-202 inches would be perfect for me... providing the space was better used than in the 198" LaCrosse we have now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's awesome GM is waking up and implementing these things. I just wish there was a RWD large Buick on the horizon. Something around 198-202 inches would be perfect for me... providing the space was better used than in the 198" LaCrosse we have now.

I suspect in the new reality the Panthers (which will be gone by '10?) are the last 200+ inch RWD American cars we will see.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...



  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room