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Oracle of Delphi

FUTURE PRODUCTS -- GENERAL MOTORS

7 posts in this topic

Jamie LaReau

Automotive News

August 25, 2008 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT — General Motors' product lineup will be dramatically different next decade.

"It's clear that the size of the American vehicle is going to shift radically, for all kinds of reasons — fuel economy; legislation; the gasoline price, which may or may not come down and may go up over time," Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman of product development, told Automotive News.

"So the U.S. fleet is going to be downsized, and I think the U.S. consumer is no longer going to associate size with luxury and price."

GM's small cars will be developed on two global platforms: the Gamma and the slightly larger Delta compact architecture. The designs and engineering for those front-wheel-drive platforms are done in Korea.

GM also has a global minicar platform, but vehicles on that platform will not meet U.S. safety standards for at least five years.

Bigger Aveo

Chevrolet is the logical place for many of GM's small cars. For the 2011 model year, the brand will get a longer and wider version of the Aveo that picks up styling cues from one of the three minicar concepts that GM unveiled at the 2007 New York auto show.

The Delta architecture, which underpins the Chevrolet Volt, could be the basis for several more vehicles for North America, Lutz said. But immediate plans are for replacement products that are slightly bigger than their predecessors because of safety regulations.

For example, for 2009 Chevrolet will further tweak the Cobalt before it eventually replaces the car with the Cruze. The Cruze is due to market in mid-2010 and will be built simultaneously with the Cobalt for a while. Both will be built on Delta.

Small Caddy?

GM also is considering small cars for Buick, Saab, Cadillac and Saturn.

"We are planning a lot of vehicles that sort of assume American customers are going to be willing to pay fairly high prices for very well-done small cars that are premium in every way — styling, power, execution, ornamentation, interiors — and that would naturally carry brands other than Chevrolet," Lutz said.

This year GM added the Opel-based Astra hatchback compact to Saturn's lineup. The small Opel Corsa subcompact or a small minivanlike vehicle based on the Opel Meriva could join the Saturn family as well. But sources say a small Saturn would not come to the United States until 2013 because of safety regulations.

GM revealed a small Saab 9-X hatchback concept at the 2008 Geneva auto show and a 9-4X crossover concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The automaker plans to build the crossover in 2009, but the hatchback is at least four years out.

Cadillac will get a car priced around $28,000 and sized below the CTS for the 2011 model year. Cadillac will likely debut a "baby" Cadillac concept soon. The car would be a small, rear-drive sedan built on GM's new Alpha architecture.

Finally, GM's board has green-lighted the Chevrolet Volt — a plug-in electric sedan — for production in November 2010.

There is talk that Cadillac will get the next vehicle to use the Volt technology. Stay tuned.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20080825/ANA03/808250314

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There's still hope yet if GM keeps Caddy sedans rear wheel drive - even if they're smaller. I'm intrigued by Alpha a lot. :rwd:

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There's still hope yet if GM keeps Caddy sedans rear wheel drive - even if they're smaller. I'm intrigued by Alpha a lot. :rwd:

I'm not intrigued by any of it. This just means that we are going to have fewer choices, in this subcompact, knees against the dashboard, MPG conscious, tree-hugging world. Who would choose to drive an uncomfortable, underpowered fart box rather than a comfortable, spacious, adequately powered vehicle. The problem will be that we won't have any choices any more.

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Who would choose to drive an uncomfortable, underpowered fart box rather than a comfortable, spacious, adequately powered vehicle.

Apparently 80 billion Toyota owners.

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It's just ashame that most of these small cars seem to be coming from Korea...makes GM seem more like a Korean company...why would I choose it of a Hyundai then? Especially since what we've seen from GM-DAT isn't any better (and usually not een as good as) what Hyundai has been making for small cars lately.

Then again a small Chrysler will come from Japan.

And a small Ford will come from Europe.

So does this just prove that after all these years America still can't build a good small car on it's own?

Edited by Dodgefan
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How did Cobalt get tweaked for 2009 exactly? All I see are 4-bolt (1980's import/Ford reminiscent, at that) wheels and 2000-05 Impala-resembling wheel covers, increased XFE promotion, and a few new colors. Its still the same, sub-average, too-small interior compact car since its 2005 intro. Its not that I don't like Cobalt and its not ugly or overly boring like most other compacts, but other than gas mileage, some variety, and a decent-looking but more cramped coupe, it was and still is an underwhelming car. Cruze and Volt are no less than mightily impressive though at first look.

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How did Cobalt get tweaked for 2009 exactly? All I see are 4-bolt (1980's import/Ford reminiscent, at that) wheels and 2000-05 Impala-resembling wheel covers, increased XFE promotion, and a few new colors. Its still the same, sub-average, too-small interior compact car since its 2005 intro. Its not that I don't like Cobalt and its not ugly or overly boring like most other compacts, but other than gas mileage, some variety, and a decent-looking but more cramped coupe, it was and still is an underwhelming car. Cruze and Volt are no less than mightily impressive though at first look.

That's what I was wondering. All I see are new wheel covers....

I wonder how long they will build the Balt. It sounds like at least 2011...so that it will give people a cheaper pricepoint to buy (I'm hearing the Cruze will start about the same as the Astra does now-around 17 grand)

It sounds like the new Aveo will be about the same size as a 80s J body......

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