GM May Delay 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, Next Malibu

October 27, 2008
In another sign of how the economic freefall is turning GM's product plan on its end, the world's largest automaker may delay two important new vehicles to conserve cash.

BusinessWeek reports that the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and the next generation of the Chevy Malibu will be introduced up to a year later than planned, as General Motors delays costs and tries to assemble a merger with Chrysler.

As a result, the Chevy Cruze would likely move into the 2012 model year; the Malibu would become a 2014 model.

The Chrysler deal in the works could be one of the few things GM can do to stave off bankruptcy. Short of a dramatic turnaround in car sales--this year's estimated sales could be as low as 13.5 million units, after hitting 16.9 million units in 2005--GM has only asset sales and government financing to help it out of the current crisis.

The company is actively recruiting buyers for its HUMMER division, has announced it would entertain offers for its ACDelco parts business, and most recently, is trying to craft a deal with Chrysler in which GM would take over the smaller car company and get access to its estimated $10 billion in cash. The company also stopped matching 401(k) contributions.

BusinessWeek says GM is running through $1 billion a month, which would leave it with a little less than a year's worth of operating cash. GM has said and continues to insist that bankruptcy is not an option.

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