NEW YORK -- General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said today that it doesn’t make sense to accelerate development of the automaker’s full-sized pickups, which was slowed by GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, amid rising fuel prices.
"Trucks would not be a program that we’d move up in a mileage-sensitive market," he said.
Many GM dealers are eager for the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Those are more profitable vehicles than the cars GM is rolling out this year, including the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact and Buick Verano compact.
Akerson also said that GM developed a contingency plan in November in the event that oil prices exceed $120 a barrel. He did not give details of the plan.
"I didn’t think it would happen quickly as it did," Akerson said of this year’s run-up in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was trading around $107 a barrel today, up from around $90 a barrel in January.
Akerson already had been pressing for GM to accelerate development of more fuel-efficient cars, including a request to speed the production of the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu that GM unveiled yesterday in Shanghai.