General Motors' vehicle plan this year centers on rebuilding the Saturn line and quickly rolling out its high-profit, re-engineered, full-sized trucks.
While many of those products are being launched, GM is shaking up product plans for this decade and next. The most striking change is the company's likely abandonment of mid-sized SUVs, shifting instead to more fuel-efficient crossovers. Two of these mid-sized crossovers debut this fall.
For fun, the good-looking, much-talked-about Chevrolet Camaro concept will be turned into production reality in 2008. Two other rear-wheel-drive cars are eyed, possibly for Buick and Pontiac.
GM's most important vehicles are the full-sized 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Both have been extensively re-engineered for improved safety and fuel economy. For the first time, both brands have distinctive styling on all but the vans, an effort to give GM truck buyers a choice.
Saturn dealers will need a cheat sheet to keep track of the new models bowing this year. The sporty Sky started the product stream this spring. The Opel-inspired, mid-sized Aura sedan is heading to dealers. This fall, the mid-sized Outlook crossover debuts. A rebadged Opel Astra will be imported next year.
Finally, after two decades of misunderstanding the minivan market, GM will introduce a vehicle that is the size of the Dodge Grand Caravan and Honda Odyssey.
Of course, higher gasoline prices, a shortage of oil or a partnership agreement with Nissan-Renault suddenly could alter GM's product plans. But for now, here are highlights of GM's 2007-10 plans.
You may e-mail Jamie LaReau at [email protected]
- Rick Kranz contributed to this report