General Motors (GM), being hit hard by cash problems, is indicating that several new models in the planning pipeline may not make their debut on schedule. Automotive News and other industry authorities have learned that GM will be scaling back product introduction for 2009 and 2010, pushing back the release of several new models.
The Chevrolet Camaro is expected to be released on time next February and Cadillac will see the CTS coupe, CTS wagon, and a new SRX crossover vehicle in 2009. But, the Chevrolet Cruze will not make its debut as expected in 2010, though the electric Chevrolet Volt is expected to still arrive on time in November 2010.
GM’s financial difficulty is impacting the way the company is conducting its business as the automaker attempts to find ways to trim costs while still remaining competitive. By not bringing timely, fuel efficient cars to the market on schedule, the company risks falling further behind and jeopardizing its recovery.
Among the vehicles being delayed are:
Buick LaCrosse – The replacement for this model is in the works, but likely won’t appear until 2010, a year later than planned. The smaller, lighter second generation LaCrosse would be a boon for the Buick brand which currently does not offer a four cylinder model.
Chevrolet Cruze – The car slated to replace the Cobalt will not be introduced until 2011 at the earliest. With the promise of delivering exceptional gas mileage, the Cruze will replace the Cobalt, a model that will see its life extended a full year until the Cruze is ready to arrive.
Next Generation Big Cadillac – The DTS and STS are the two largest Cadillacs with GM planning to replace both models with just one car. Initially, the big Caddy was to debut in late 2010 or early 2011, but we may not see a replacement model until 2012 at the soonest.
In addition, GM is scaling back on its marketing for the next few years including:
Shifting Auto Show Debuts – Several new models were to be introduced at this November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, but GM will save the Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac CTS coupe for the Detroit show in January. By rolling out cars a few months later, GM will save on marketing costs while putting the emphasis on the show nearest its headquarters.
No Oscars Support – GM paid a big price to sponsor the most recent Summer Olympics but the Oscars and other annual events are not going to get GM support this year. Also, expect GM to scale back on other forms of marketing, including print, online media, and television advertising.
Despite the cutbacks, GM is still interested in purchasing Chrysler, but with government help. The automaker is looking for federal loans to buy Chrysler and is expected to swap its remaining shares in GMAC for that purchase. Ultimately, the federal government will be on the hook for these loans, becoming a part owner of what would once again become the world’s largest automaker.