DETROIT -- General Motors Co. will produce the Cadillac Converj plug-in concept car introduced at last year's Detroit auto show, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said .
The two-door Converj uses the same technology as GM's Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle, due to be launched late this year.
Lutz, speaking at a Society of Automotive Analysts meeting Sunday, declined to give timing for introduction of the Converj, but said it would be after 2012.
“You'll see it when you see it,” he said. “We have to slot it into the product lineup.”
The target buyers, he said, are people living in congested U.S. coastal areas who are willing to pay hefty prices for luxury vehicles but who also want to appear environmentally conscious.
The Detroit News in November reported GM would make the Converj. GM declined comment at the time.
Despite the growth in electrification, Lutz said electric vehicles won't take over any time soon.
“For the next 20 years, we will continue to be driven predominantly by piston engines of all sizes,” he said.
Making SUVs and pickup trucks comply with U.S. fuel-economy regulations will make them more expensive, which means fewer people will buy them, Lutz said. But he cautioned that the electrification push may be a fad in some ways.
“There are always these waves in the popular media and the public, and right now it's teensy-weensy cars and electric vehicles. And I'm all for it because we're going to have those, and I hope people buy a lot of them so we can make some money,” he said.
“Fifteen years ago, it was the whole world is going to trucks and SUVs. And now it's small cars.”
Lutz also said he expects annual production of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze small car to pass 200,000 units. GM will make the car at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
Lutz, 77, said he doesn't plan to retire any time soon.
Said Lutz: “If the board will have me, if they tolerate my occasional outrageousness, if my health holds out, I plan to be around for the next several years.”