A New GM Division?
Here’s another brilliant idea I came up with in the shower, incubator of my genius.
GM has obviously had some recent success with its new high-powered specialty and sports cars: the Corvette (Grand Sport, above), the Cadillac CTS-V (below left), the Camaro (below right), and the Pontiac G8. We’ve given them great reviews, as have others in the automotive press. The public likes them: Witness the 18,000 Camaro orders tgriffith recently wrote about. This could be a strong niche market at several price points.
Yet bankruptcy will likely doom them all (except for the Corvette, says GM). It’s ironic and unfair that these are some of the best cars the company has ever built. But somebody, somewhere is going to buy the tooling and technology from GM to keep building them.
Here’s my idea: GM should keep building them—in a new specialty division dedicated to producing affordable performance cars for buyers who can and will pay the freight. There are many people still in the market with cash to spend who will buy such cars, notwithstanding the tremendous social, political, and economic pressures to go small, green, and efficient. By the way, the Camaro trim with a V6 gets 29 mpg.
Besides, the American market is never going to accept the overpriced Volt or the Korean-built Cruze. If GM bets the farm on these, it can’t survive. A sport specialty division could at least help fill the gap until better fuel-efficient small cars that people want come to market.
There would be production synergies, since Corvette engines power the CTS-V and one version of the Camaro. Some parts and platforms could interchange. One or two assembly plants could produce all these cars, keeping at least some GM folks working. Setting up dedicated dealerships would stanch some of the bleeding from that wound. Mileage improvements, per the new Obama proposal, would apply to these cars as well.
My idea won’t rescue GM, but may keep it breathing a while longer while the company comes back to life. People clearly want to buy these cars, and they should have the opportunity to keep doing so. If they won’t eat multi-grain bread, let ‘em eat cake.
Do you think there is a viable market for these cars that would help GM stay alive?