GM transforming product-line from SUVs to Volts

GM is closing 4 SUV and truck plants, opening a new small car plant, and re-evaluating the Hummer

A few days after Ford announced that the new plant for the Fiesta subcompact would be in Mexico, GM is planning their own dramatic shift to smaller vehicles, affecting 10,000 workers. Before, we briefly discussed the impact of the subcompact on new, “green collar” jobs. While closing four plants dedicated to producing SUVs and trucks, a new plant in Lordstown, Ohio is set to open in mid-2010 for the Chevrolet Volt, a car capable of driving 40 miles without gasoline of which GM plans to sell 100,000 by 2012. A turbocharged engine for the car would be produced in Flint, Michigan. Foreign auto companies are also expected to make up for the loss of jobs by employing 39,000 more people by 2011.

This is likely the beginning of drastic changes for GM. Here’s what CEO Rick Wagoner had to say.

At this point, we are considering all options for the Hummer brand… everything from a complete revamp of the product lineup to partial or complete sale of the brand

In the long-run its probably best to axe the Hummer brand. Its not unlikely, seeing that Wagoner sees $4 gasoline as more than just a temporary spike, even having a “bias upwards” in future plans. Typically its said that you should look to what people do rather than what they say. For GM, it appears that those two are in accordance and they are preparing for a future of high-fuel prices.


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