The reconstituted General Motors Co. pulls back the curtain on its future products, revealing plans for 23 new or redesigned cars and cross/utility vehicles over the next 24 months.
It will nearly double Buick's portfolio, add an entry-level sports car and big sedan at Cadillac, grow the number of low-cost, fuel-efficient products at Chevrolet and inject youth into GMC.
GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson says by eliminating brands and shifting spending from pricey truck programs to less-expensive cars and CUVs in the last 24 months, the auto maker has been able to fill its pipeline with the sorts of products it thinks consumers will want.
“First thing we did was eliminate our spending on Hummer — a huge amount of capital (saved), actually,” Henderson says of the SUV division GM plans to sell to a Chinese industrial group. “We eliminated spending on Pontiac, Saturn, Saab.”
GM is closing in on the final sale of Saturn and its Saab Automobile AB unit. It will kill Pontiac. It will go to market with four core brands — Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.
In addition to previously announced products such as the '11 Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle and all-new '11 Chevy Cruze — both coming in late 2010 — the bow-tie division also will add a redesigned Chevy Malibu in '12 among a 10-model infusion to its portfolio.
GM also refashions the front and a rear of Chevy's volume passenger car to accommodate new pedestrian-protection laws due in the U.S. and makes the rear trunk larger and more easily accessible, addressing a key customer complaint with the current model.
David Lyon, executive director-interior design for North America, promises a Malibu interior with a level of detail and jewelry “taken to new heights.”
Lyon also points out the 7-passenger Chevy Orlando, a multipurpose vehicle that straddles the passenger car, wagon and family van segment.
The Orlando shares the Volt/Cruze platform, known as Delta, and Lyon says when it arrives in' 11 the vehicle will have more “crossover” appeal than “utility-leaning” competitors now on the market, such as the Mazda5.
GM also gives the green light to the Camaro convertible for second-quarter 2011.
Cadillac continues the “Art & Science” renaissance it began 10 years ago, stretching the design theme to a new entry-level sports car and a fullsize sedan.
The small car will come in both coupe and sedan versions, says GM Global Design chief Ed Welburn, although he stops short of pinpointing its arrival date more specifically than within the next 24 months.
Welburn does not provide powertrain details, but says the vehicle, dubbed the ATS in its near-production form here, will feature a longitudinal layout with rear-wheel and optional all-wheel drive.
The fullsize sedan will arrive within 24 months, as well. Welburn declines comment on whether base models would be front or rear drive, but its designation as the XTS4 suggests AWD will be an option.
With the CTS lineup growing with the addition of a coupe next year and performance “V” edition and the Sport Wagon arriving later this summer, GM's premium brand now has an entire family of vehicles off the Sigma architecture.
Buick will get a smaller midsize sedan sharing the short-wheelbase Epsilon II platform with the Malibu and a compact sedan adding to its lineup of the Buick Enclave large CUV, LaCrosse midsize sedan and Lucerne fullsize sedan.
GM scrapped plans to build a 5-passenger CUV including a plug-in hybrid-electric version for 2011 after it received critical reviews at a product reveal last month.
GMC, meanwhile, likely will add an up-level Denali version to the Acadia large CUV, and the division's design studio included a funky, unnamed concept car similar in size and shape to a Kia Soul.
The concept has a slim chance of making it to market as presented with its clamshell doors, but designers are using it to study how a premium vehicle could be executed in an entry-level way.