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WSJ: GM Puts Off Big Pickup Redesign

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2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid Crew Cab

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GM's putting big trucks on hold as fuel-economy rules reshape the future landscape of big pickups and SUVs, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

The company is in the midst of a sweeping re-examination of its product lineup as it tries to eke out more miles per gallon per vehicle, and to come up with a product solution to the rise in gas prices that has slammed truck sales for the past year.

A spokesman told the Journal that the company's "whole product portfolio" is under review, and that the company is looking around its global empire for ways to bring more fuel-efficient cars to the U.S. sooner. The most immediate impact could be on GM's full-size truck and SUV program, which includes vehicles from the Chevrolet Silverado to the GMC Sierra and Cadillac Escalade. Those vehicles were supposed to be replaced in 2012, but the Journal says that date will be pushed back.

In recent weeks, GM has said it would introduce new compact cars with fuel-efficient engines, bring out a new generation of the Chevrolet Aveo, and put its HUMMER brand under strategic review. On top of that, the paper adds, GM is toying with the idea of canceling a future HUMMER SUV and with shutting down another brand.

What's your plan for GM--how can it boost fuel economy across the board? Tell them in a comment below.
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Comments (6)
  1. It's simple. Bring the Agila, Corsa, Meriva, Signum, and Tigra to the States. A few Holdens might also help. Kill Hummer. Reduce production of V8s and limit its application to utility vehicles (diesels mostly) and sports cars (Corvette and Camaro, that's it). Refine the output in V6s and L4s, so people don't miss the eight cylinders. That would be a start.
     
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  2. HDFL, isn't that what the Saturn line is?
     
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  3. It's one thing to change priorities, another to kill a product line altogether. If the big threes had stuck to some small group of smaller cars (which in the case of Ford and GM they sell all over the world), they would have some products already in the market. The big pick ups are here to stay (albeit with better gas milage and maybe a bit smaller). They should make sure that while priorities are handled, they don't end up without products people want. Same is true with Hummer. I hate the brand but it has room in the market: make the H2/H3 more fuel effiecient (that's an oximoron isn't it...) more of a niche/luxury market and make a small Hummer similar to the H2O concept presented last year, to compete with Jeep. The smaller, ligher model could actually outstrip the Wrangler which is much too bid. Sell it with a Diesel 4 and watch them sell like pancakes.
    The problem with the Big three and most US companies is the short term minded set. If you want to be successful, you must compete. If you are GM, you cannot leave parts of the market to the competition, certainly not with Daewoo/Chevy/Cadillac/Pontiac/Hummer/GMC/Buick/Holden/Vauxall/Opel/Saab... covering the market!
     
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  4. I agree with Cyrus EM, pick ups are here to stay, but they will have to evolve from the V8 guzzlers that hey are today. It's good to see that GM is taking the fuel prices serious, but you think that they would have seen the writing on the wall a year or so ago and started the shift then......ahh well, hindsight is always 20/20.
     
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  5. The big US trucks aren't common Down Under but they are here and they do have a history of use. What's also here is a range of Euro commercial vehicles of similar size and load capacity such as the VW Crafter, M-B Sprinter & Iveco Daily - difference? They aren't body on frame and the biggest engine is a 3L common rail diesel. Yet they still manage excellent performance and excellent fuel economy.
    One major option for GM is to stay with the Silverado size ute but actually invest in the driveline via their relationship with VM Motori and move to smaller capacity common rail TDi engines. Aim for combined economy of 10 to 12 litres per 100km. The other option is to offer a smaller class of utility (like the Izuzu D-max/rodeo, Toyota Hilux or Ford Ranger) that is common in other parts of the world but has similar load capacity to the bigger utes (most of ours have net load capacities over 900kgs).
     
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  6. Haven't seen a single Saturn Astra on the road yet. There was a boat load of them at the dealership, but they ALL had automatics. Even when the product is decent, count on the dealer body to screw it up.
     
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