General Motors Co. is planning for the return of $4-plus gasoline by introducing small or compact cars for each of its brands -- even GMC.
GM continues to predict gasoline prices will eventually rise to levels last seen in 2008, when consumers fled light trucks for smaller vehicles.
Also, federal fuel-efficiency standards will rise to a fleet average of 35.5 mpg in the 2016 model year, compared with 27.3 mpg in 2011.
The emphasis on fuel efficiency includes Cadillac with the ATS compact car, due in the 2013 or 2014 model year.
At Buick, GM will introduce the Verano compact car in the 2012 model year and probably will give the LaCrosse sedan a hybrid to continue the fuel economy theme.
Even the GMC brand, traditionally known for its trucks, will get smaller. A production version of the Granite concept, built on a compact-car platform, is expected to come to market in 2013.
Chevrolet will continue to add smaller vehicles. The Aveo subcompact debuts in mid-2011 with production at Orion Township, Mich. The Spark minicar comes to market in 2012. Even the Impala, whose redesign is timed for the 2014 model year, will get a few inches smaller.
Here are GM's plans for the 2011-13 model years, according to sources inside GM and in the industry.