DETROIT - Some automakers may view the coupe segment as passé, but don't count General Motors in that camp. Lori Queen, GM's vehicle line executive for small cars, said GM will continue to pursue the North American coupe market.
"A lot of people are walking away from coupes. We're not going to walk away," Queen said at the Detroit show.
"Everyone wants to find a winning formula. We think coupes are here to stay."
Last month, Trevor Creed, the Chrysler group's senior vice president of design, said his company will abandon nearly all two-door vehicles after the 2006 model year.
The Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring coupes are expected to go out of production at that time.
"If you do a two-door, people say it looks sportier but that a four-door is more practical," Creed said in December. "There is no market for two-doors."
Queen said GM's internal research shows coupes still attract a healthy segment of the market.
She said sedans draw two-thirds of the market, but coupes are still strong.
"When you go into a customer's second choice, coupes are always right there," Queen said. "We feel very strongly (the coupe) is part of Chevrolet's identity, and we have no intention of walking away from the coupe."
She added: "Five years from now, could that change? It's possible. But right now, all of our research data indicate there is a market for coupes."
Queen said GM's Cobalt plant in Lordstown, Ohio, has begun building coupes. Dealers should begin seeing the vehicle this month.