LAS VEGAS - Admitting that nearly all of General Motors' widely publicized market share loss since 1977 has come in the entry level segment, the company's president for North America, Ronald L. Zarella, says the world's largest vehicle manufacturer has a plan in place to regain some of that lost share.
"In the next four years, we will introduce seven all-new new vehicles in a coordinated effort to accelerate our leadership in the entry-level market," says Mr. Zarella. "We'll cover all of the bases in the segment with a broad portfolio of entry-level SUVs, sedans, pickups, coupes and crossovers."
He notes that the seven vehicles, slated to account for 1 million units in North America, will "re-establish our traditional bond with America's youth by doing what it takes to meet their very diverse needs and desires, including their strong individualism."
Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac will be the divisions charged with reclaiming GM's share of the entry-level market.
Among the new offerings will be a "a segment-busting Chevy model that will combine the functionality of an SUV with the ride dynamics of a car - along with some unexpected surprises." Mr. Zarella says it "bears more than a little relation to the Chevy Traverse that we showed at the 1999 Chicago auto show."
Chevrolet also will introduce a more-refined Cavalier, developed alongside Opel Astra, and a new mid-size pickup, co-developed with Isuzu, as part of the strategy.
Pontiac will come out with an athletic crossover that is bold and purposeful - big enough for transporting friends and gear, but with a personal feel.
Included in GM's entry-level strategy is Saturn's new SUV.