SUVs in a slump
The moves come as sales of mid-sized SUVs slump. U.S. sales of the TrailBlazer and Envoy peaked at a combined 418,381 units in 2004. That dropped to 352,012 units last year.
GM officials say they can counter falling sales of mid-sized SUVs with crossovers on the Lambda architecture, scheduled to go into production this fall. Chevrolet will get a crossover on Lambda for the 2010 model year. The initial Lambda-based vehicles will be the Saturn Outlook crossover, which will arrive at dealerships this year, followed by the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave crossovers, scheduled for next year.
"We've been preparing for the erosion of mid-sized utilities," Paul Ballew, GM's executive director of global market and industry analysis, said in a meeting with reporters last week.
Ford, meanwhile, will halt production of the Monterey in August. The Freestar minivan is expected to exit the lineup at a later date.
The Monterey is being discontinued because of disappointing sales, Ford's U.S. sales chief Cisco Codina said in an interview last week.
"Overall, appeal and sales of the model has not been to our satisfaction," said Codina, group vice president of North American marketing, sales and service. "We have other plans for the future."