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Jamie LaReau

Automotive News

August 25, 2008 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT — The world in which General Motors operates is a very different place from what it was a year ago.

Gasoline prices are at unprecedented highs, the green movement has gained momentum that likely won't be reversed, the slump in housing has killed the demand for high-profit pickups and SUVs, and the Detroit 3 are running out of cash. Add to that strict new federal fuel economy regulations.

Although GM has vowed to not let those factors diminish its future product lineup, they are affecting how many products the automaker will build.

Economic conditions turned so severe that in June, GM put its Hummer brand up for sale.

The company already has killed the idea of large rear-drive cars and deferred development of its next-generation pickups for several years.

That means the Chevrolet Impala remains a front-drive sedan. And it means the push to get small, fuel-efficient cars, such as the Opel Corsa, to the United States could be ramped up.

Likewise, full-sized SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon may no longer exist in their current form. GM could replace them with mid-sized utilitylike vehicles.

Here is a look at what to expect out of General Motors over the next few years, with the caveat that it could all change if the market continues to erode GM's sales and cash supply.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20080825/ANA03/808250309

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Ya know...

I'm optimistic, despite all the bad news.

This pretty much is what we were getting anyway minus Zeta. And who knows, maybe the bigger Eps II will accomodate AWD.

Then when money starts coming in again, maybe GM can do a better large RWD platform. After all, Cadillac will need it to survive. So I don't think the question is "if" but rather "when"

I certainly hope GM fulfills on it's goal to offer PREMIUM (READ: EXCITING, DIFFERENT, FUN) small cars. I'm just jaded, because the only small car made by a domestic that I've ever desired to own is the Focus (and I do own one of those)

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