Today GM announced a new range of strategic initiatives to respond to the demand of fuel-efficient vehicles and to the economic changes in North America. Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and CEO made the announcements today.
The major initiatives included:
•Funding for the Chevrolet Volt, extended-range electric vehicle.
•Addition of third shits in Lordstown and Orion, which builds the Chevrolet and Pontiac cars.
Wagoner has been quoted saying, “From the start of our North American turnaround plan in 2005, I’ve said that our goal is not just to return GM to profitability, but to structure GM globally for sustained profitability and growth.”
Wagoner has also been quoted saying, “Since the first of this year, however, U.S. economic and market conditions have become significantly more difficult, higher gasoline prices are changing consumer behavior, and they are significantly affecting the U.S. auto industry sales mix.”
In the U.S. GM has been moving to revitalize its car line up and grow its crossover business. The new cars and crossovers have been selling strongly and GM intends to continue on their success. In fact, 18 of the next 19 GM products will be cars or crossovers.
The GM board has also approved a next generation compact for Chevrolet, a next generation of the popular Chevrolet Aveo, and a U.S. production module of GM’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The new compact will be better equipped then today’s cars, and will be designed with quality and safety in mind. The next generation Aveo will be going on sale in the U.S. in the second half of 2010. The new Chevrolet models will help build on GM’s leadership in fuel efficient vehicles.
The Chevrolet Volt has taken a major step towards the showroom with a formal approval by GM to fund the production of the extended-range electric vehicle. Make sure to keep an eye out at your local Chevrolet dealer for the Chevrolet Volt at the end of 2010.
As a reaction to the shift in the U.S. market, in September, GM will be adding a third shift to the Orion Assembly Center in Michigan, which builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6. GM also plans to add a third shift at the Lordstown Car Assembly in Ohio which builds the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5.