GM Prepares for $4 Gas with Small Cars for All Brands
Yesterday, Automotive News reported that General Motors is preparing for future gas price spikes by introducing compact cars for all of its brands, as follows:
Chevrolet will brighten up its small car offerings when it introduces the Spark in 2012. Fuel economy for the minicar with edgy styling could reach 45 mpg or higher.
In 2012, G.M. will also introduce the Buick Verano compact car, built on the same platform at the Chevy Cruze. (The Chinese version was unveiled in June as the Buick Excelle GTT.) The Verano shares styling cues with the Buick LaCrosse sedan, which is expected to get a hybrid system, maybe the new and improved mild hybrid technology GM talked about last week.
A production version of the GMC Granite ultra-small wagon-truck mix-up, built on a compact car platform, is expected to come to market in 2013. The rumor mill has the Granite powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four, possibly mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
G.M.’s emphasis on size reduction and fuel efficiency extends to the Cadillac brand— with an ATS compact car due in the 2013 or 2014 model year. Clues to ATS styling come from the Cadillac Converj, the luxury plug-in hybrid concept that G.M. dropped in favor of cheaper plug-in hybrids with shorter all-electric range.
Of course, it’s too early to confirm fuel economy numbers, final design decisions, or pricing. But it’s clear that smaller will only get bigger as G.M. and other global automakers anticipate higher fuel prices.