A New GM Division?

2010-corvette-grand-sport1

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.

2009-cad-cts-vYet 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.

2010-camaroBesides, 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?

—jgoods

Be Sociable, Share!

  1. Randy
    May 26th, 2009 at 12:57 | #1

    These cars are are nothing more than big breast implants for the General’s girl friend. They don’t make any significant profit for the company and their main function is to generate press. The down side is that they cost as much (or more) to design and validate than high-volume profitable vehicles, so they actually hurt GM more than help. If GM wants to survive, they definitely need to go the way of the dodo bird. Niche vehicles are for successful companies, not outfits living on the government dole.

  2. Jim
    May 21st, 2009 at 17:43 | #2

    …LOOK fast, but weigh 4000 lbs…

    Fixed.

  3. Norm Davis
    May 20th, 2009 at 15:35 | #3

    Oh well I have to disagree again, sorry. This sounds like a great idea but Americans love to buy cars that LOOK fast, but have cheap tiny engines. So we have V6 Chargers and Mustangs, and now Camaros also. I would love to see a purely muscle division, but it won’t survive any more than a purely minivan division would survive.

  1. No trackbacks yet.