GM to Double its Crossovers During Next Four Years
27 October 2005
General Motors will double its number of entries in the rapidly growing crossover vehicle segment to 14 during the next four years, according to Bob Lutz, vice chairman of product development.
As buyers shrink from the full-size SUV segment, many are opting for crossovers—slightly smaller vehicles that combine aspects of both cars and SUVs. GM considers its Saturn VUE, on which it will apply a Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) mild hybrid system starting in mid-2006 (earlier post), a crossover.
GM estimates that crossovers will account for more than 2.5 million sales in the United States this year, and could grow to 3.5 million units by 2010.
As crossovers become increasingly popular in Asia and Europe, GM says that it will also use its global vehicle development capability to develop a new family of small crossovers that will compete in most of the world’s major markets. These will be in addition to compact crossovers already under development for Chevrolet and Opel, which have been shown publicly in concept versions as the Opel Antara GTC and Chevrolet S3X.
GM introduced a Chevrolet S3X diesel micro-hybrid concept at the Paris Motor Show in 2004 (earlier post); an Antara GTC twin-turbo diesel concept at the Frankfurt IAA (earlier post); and an Antara GTC diesel hybrid implementing the two-mode hybrid drive still under development at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2005 (earlier post).
GM today offers seven crossover vehicles in the United States and Canada: The Chevy Equinox and HHR, Pontiac Torrent and Vibe, Buick Rendezvous, Cadillac SRX and Saturn VUE. GM led the industry in crossover sales in the United States last month, and is contending for industry crossover sales leadership for 2005.
Perhaps it might try to contend for crossover hybrid leadership as well.
I love how GM shows off its ability to make hybrid vehicles. Then it falls short and makes "Crossover" sporty utilities utelising V6 powerplants. What tha,..
Its not their fault really. They are just cater for clientelle that hold an outdated attitude to cars.
Once those people see the error of their ways GM's primary revenue will dissapear and they will be forced to join the rest of us.
Posted by: Adrian | 27 October 2005 at 06:39 PM
I hope Bob Lutz can make sense out of this mess.Sad to say the US is number 2 in advancing car tech. They have equal in spewing sales speak.
There is something GM still doesn not understand. Car buyers are becoming more tech and as such they want tech solutions to solve the problems of Gas, Air polution, and cost. If the Maya 100 was produced in 1,000,000 unit quantities what do you think the cost would be?
Soon I think GM will be begging for help from the Feds to protect them from their creditors. Earlier GM
wanted no part of any controls and said let the free market decide. Well it seems they have made up their mind. Good riddens. The Vue gets what 25mpg? Maybe?
Very very sad. They call that better? Call me when they hit 50mpg or 90 like the Prius. In 07 I will be buying a tech solution and I doubt it will be GM.
Posted by: Robert | 27 October 2005 at 08:52 PM
How can you ask somebody to be patriot and buy GM when they act so imature? "Green car" is not anymore a futuristic concept. It is now reality. So bad that GM doesn't seams to realize. Green is Green - GM is GM!!!!
Posted by: Ioan Ciprian Ungureanu | 28 October 2005 at 06:21 AM
It seems that GM and Ford have not heard the wake up call yet. It may come, within a year or two, when GM's market share falls below 20%. What a shame when a once leading major company cannot adjust to changing conditions and values.
The first major car manufacturer to market a plug-in hybrid, with a 100 + mile electric range + a small light weight clean burn flex fuel on-board generator, will quickly capture a very wide market.
Manufacturers form Europe, Japan, China and even from Canada and Australia have developed similar products and will market them within a year or two.
Why GM or Ford, with all their resources, have not already done it on two or three of their existing platforms is beyond comprehension? Dont they want to survive or do they still believe that they can continue to fool most people most of the time? The 'free market' may have to decide for them. Let's buy with wisdom and discernment and they may see the writing on the wall before it is too late.
Posted by: Harvey D | 28 October 2005 at 07:07 AM
"General Motors will double its number of entries in the rapidly growing crossover vehicle segment to 14 during the next four years, according to Bob Lutz, vice chairman of product development."
What is that, two new cars sold through seven divisions?
Posted by: odograph | 28 October 2005 at 07:32 AM
SUVs were always a dumb concept. Why spoil a perfectly good car with a dumb concept? If you want to haul stuff, get a truck. If you need to haul a lot of people, get a van. GM is introducing concepts; Toyota is selling cars and will surpass GM next year.
Posted by: t | 28 October 2005 at 07:37 AM
I think the cross-over concept is a good one. The Element, which I used to own gave me van-like cargo space and SUV utility with a small footprint and at least acceptable (20-21mpg).
Ford's Freestyle gives SUV like passenger cargo space with a station wagon profile. With the CVT transmission it gets 19/25 (call it 21 real world mileage). It's a move in the right direction. As they get hybrid or diesel drivetrains rolled out these cars will make useful and more efficient platforms for the new drive systems.
Furthermore, these cars aren't the hulking danger to other drivers on the road that the giants SUVs are...
Posted by: Lance Funston | 28 October 2005 at 08:00 AM
Harvy D, there you go like so many other people lumping Ford in with GM. Ford has had hybrids for sale for almost 2 years and plan to roll out more models soon. While GM is just announcing 6 speed trans Ford has been building cars and trucks with 5 and 6 speed autos for a few years. GM still makes many cars with pushrod engines while all of Ford cars have gone to over head cam designs years ago. (yes some of Ford's trucks use pushrods) Just setting the record straight not all the NA automakers are stuck in the last century.
Posted by: Tim R | 28 October 2005 at 12:19 PM
To be completely fair here, Toyota and Honda are making and marketing plenty of SUV's and pickup trucks and making quite a profit from them.
Posted by: Bob | 28 October 2005 at 03:46 PM
Tim R. I'm aware that Ford is producing a few hybrids using the Toyota drive train and Mazda light 4 x 4 platform. Would you give them an 'A' for that limited effort?
The front leaders in hybrid technology apllication for cars and light vehicles seem to be Toyota and Honda. There are a few more players for delivery trucks and buses, but in limited quantities so far.
Euuropean manufacturers seems to prefer diesel, specially with newer, cleaner more efficient engines.
Light weight Diesels + hybrids technology could make a good pair.
I still think that GM and Ford are heading for market share and financial problems if they don't adapt to the fast changing market within two years. The Big Three are still over-flooding the local TV Ad market with their huge 4 x 4 gas guzzlers and nobody is buying. Something is going on.
Posted by: Harvey D | 29 October 2005 at 08:10 AM
The reason for the flooding of adds is because they need to get their ROI off the 4x4 tanks they made. Once those are all completely gone they will focus their campaign on something else. It is all about the sale.
Maybe a good marketing hype is a modular hybrid design that lets you customise the car shape, engine plant or the electric motors in your wheels, so you can turn your hybrid from a family car to a sports car to an offroad utiliy overnight. Wouldn't that be cool. :)
Posted by: Adrian | 03 November 2005 at 10:17 PM