GM To Trim Model Lineup – Brief Article
General Motors Corp. will trim its model lineup by up to 20 percent by 2004 as part of a series of moves aimed at cutting costs at the world’s largest automaker as sales decline in the United States and Europe. GM will cut up to 16 models from the 80 it sells in the United States by 2004, GM spokesman Brian Akre said. GM also will cut the number of engines and platforms, or basic vehicle designs, that it builds.
The decisions were first reported in the Wall Street Journal. Several of those will be Oldsmobiles. The company said it was killing the 103-year-old brand. Akre wouldn’t specify others, although speculation has centered on older, slow-selling models such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
Akre said GM would continue to add new models, such as the upcoming Buick Rendezvous sport utility vehicle, where it doesn’t currently compete. “We’re eliminating where we have overlap in the product portfolio,” he said. “It’s not that we’ve suddenly decided to trim future product plans.” The automaker said that it would trim 10 percent of its 47,600 jobs from its salaried North America work force over the next two years. Much of those cuts will come from merging its car and truck engineering groups into one unit.
The Journal said GM was looking to shift more engineering to Mexico. Akre declined to comment on that, but said GM already had between 500 and 1,000 engineers in Mexico, as well as several other foreign countries.
The newspaper also said GM would begin working more closely with suppliers to find cost savings, offering them part of the savings as a reward. In addition, GM will look to increase revenues from businesses other than selling cars – such as its OnStar in-car cellular service.
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COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group