General Motors executives are eager to cut costs by building most of their vehicles from a handful of architectures. This allows the company to build more nameplates with many of the same components.
For example, the Epsilon front-drive mid-sized car architecture is the basis for the Opel Vectra, Saab 9-3, Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6.
GM uses the term "architecture" to signify a set of common components, performance characteristics, a common manufacturing process, a range of dimensions and connecting points for key component systems.
The goal is to vary vehicle dimensions, body styles and performance so a Saab 9-3 looks and drives differently than a Chevrolet Malibu, while GM still can take advantage of economies in purchasing common parts.
GM's other global architectures are called Delta, for fwd small cars; Kappa, for rwd, small, sporty cars; Sigma, for rear-drive luxury vehicles; Theta, for fwd sport wagons; Lambda, for fwd minivans and sport wagons; and Zeta, for rwd premium cars.
GM's truck architectures, such as GMT800 for full-sized pickups and SUVS, are used mainly in North America.
|GM's newest car architectures|
|General Motors wants to revive the reputation and sales of its cars. Here are the recently developed and new car architectures it plans to use in North America.|
|NORTH AMERICA VOLUME (EST.)||2005||2006||2007||2008|
|Delta||300,000||Chevrolet Cobalt||Chevrolet HHR|
|(fwd, small)||Saturn Ion*|
|Epsilon||500,000||Pontiac G6||Saturn sedan|
|(fwd mid-sized)||Chevrolet Malibu**|
|Kappa||100,000||Pontiac Solstice||Saturn roadster|
|(rwd, small, sporty)|
|Sigma||150,000||Cadillac STS||Cadillac CTS restyled|
|(rwd luxury)||Cadillac CTS||re-engineered|
|Zeta||400,000||Buick flagship sedan||Buick coupe,|
|(rwd premium)||Pontiac GTO (or 2008)||possible convertible|
|* Debuted 2003 model year|
|** Debuted 2004 model year|