General Motors’ Vice Chairman Bob Lutz was asked why over the last few years, the truck-friendly GM did not focus more on building fuel-efficient cars, his response was simple: “Nobody wanted them.” GM’s news conference held this morning with Lutz, Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, and COO and President Fritz Henderson, showed that General Motors knows its market is shifting.
Over the next 18 months, full-size trucks plans will be reduced and fuel efficiency will take center stage. “Our goal is to become the fuel economy leader in every segment we compete in,” Lutz said. “We’re not there yet, but that’s our goal.”
GM has traditionally been one of the worst offenders of badge engineering, producing cars that are virtually the same except for the logo. But at the conference, Lutz suggested that future plans include no longer “providing every division with a version of what every other division has.” This not only indicates future distinct brand identities, but may also suggest the elimination of a few General Motors brands before 2010.