TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Some of General Motors rarest 1960s muscle cars are selling for more than six figures these days. But GM cant bank on the reputation of its past classics as it begins marketing a new generation of tire-shredding performance vehicles, says Mark Reuss, the automakers executive director of vehicle architecture and performance division.
Later this month 2 million car enthusiasts from across the world will fill 16 miles of Woodward Avenue in suburban Detroit for the annual dream cruise, Reuss said at Mondays Management Briefing Seminars.
Well see plenty of vintage GM cars out there. While these vintage vehicles are pretty fun to drive and a blast look at, the Performance Division today is really based on our ability to create a new generation of performance and specialty vehicles. These cars and trucks really have to succeed in a much different environment than they did in the 1960s and 70s.
Reuss said GM plans to appeal to todays performance enthusiasts by delivering factory-built performance vehicles that also can be customized easily with a wide variety of parts available through GM dealerships. GM has rolled out a big selection of factory engineered wheels and high-horsepower crate motors that enthusiasts can install themselves.
We really have to move forward with the new generation of customers that we are trying to appeal to, Reuss said. The customers we are going after were probably just a twinkle in their parents eyes when the GTOs, Camaros and Vettes ruled the street back in the 60s and 70s.
About 250,000 vehicles from GMs performance division are expected to be sold in 2005. Some of the divisions vehicles include the V-series Cadillacs, the SS-series Chevrolets and Saturns Redline Ion and Vue.
Reuss also said the division is committed to bringing low-volume niche vehicles, such as the Pontiac Solstice roadster, to market quickly.
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