MILAN, MI – It may have its hands full with delinquent pension funds, high incentives and overcapacity, but there is no shortage of new products fromCorp. for 2004.
The auto maker will debut more than 30 all-new or updated vehicles as ’04 or ’05 models next year.
Among the highlights: the ’04 Chevy SSR sporty cross/utility vehicle, ’04 Pontiac GTO muscle car, ’05 Chevy Equinox CUV, Cadillac ’04 XLR roadster, Cadillac SRX CUV, ’04 Chevy Canyon/GMC Canyon midsize pickups and hybrid versions of the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra fullsize pickups.
|Malibu is key product in critical year for Chevy.|
"GM today is leaner, faster, more flexible and more efficient," insists John Middlebrook, GM vice president-marketing and advertising. "We're focused like a laser on bringing to market the kind of well-built, stylish, innovative vehicles that GM was known for when it was the undisputed automotive leader."
While GM has concentrated on rebuilding its truck lineup since the late 1990s, the ’04 model year begins a multi-year effort to reinvigorate its car products, which have been largely responsible for the erosion of GM’s market share from more than 50% a half century ago to 27.4% in May. Here’s an overview by division:
- Buick marks its centennial year, by putting down the foundation for a strong future with the Rainier midsize SUV – another knockoff of GM’s GMT360 platform – and the addition of Rendezvous Ultra CUV will help solidify Buick's emerging status as a significant player in the important premium segment. Buick will get its first minivan (although GM is calling it a “high-end crossover sport van”) in the ’05 model year.
- Cadillac rolls out two all-new entries in key segments – the XLR luxury roadster and SRX CUV. Both are crucial to Cadillac’s attempt to re-establish itself as a luxury leader. In addition, ’04 ushers in new varieties of some current Cadillacs with the much-anticipated CTS-V performance sedan, the new Platinum version of the Escalade ESV and a special armored-edition DeVille.
- Chevrolet aims for high-volume segments with the Malibu sedan and Malibu Maxx wagon, Daewoo-based Aveo subcompact, Colorado midsize pickup and ’05 Equinox CUV. Supercharged versions of the Impala and Monte Carlo are on the way. Truck highlights include the Silverado 1500 Series Crew Cab and FlexPower hybrid propulsion pickups.
- GMC finally gets an exclusive product, sort of. Based on GM’s popular midsize SUV platform, the Envoy XUV SUV, featuring a retractable cargo area roof, won’t be sold by any other division. Other ’04 introductions include the Canyon midsize pickup, Sierra 1500 Series Crew Cab and FlexPower hybrid-propulsion truck pickups.
- Hummer retunes the H1's 6.5L V-8 turbodiesel to deliver more horsepower and torque along with improved emissions. Coming soon: an H2 sport/utility truck that will be available at Hummer dealers during second quarter 2004 as an ’05 model.
- Pontiac is all about horsepower in 2004 with the Holden Monaro-based GTO muscle car, Grand Prix GTP with a supercharged 3.8L V-6 cranking out 260 hp and Bonneville GXP with an estimated 275 hp.
- Saab Automobile introduces the 9-3 convertible. In spring 2004, the
-based 9-2 compact will arrive. The Chevy TrailBlazer-based 9-7 SUV will follow as early as late 2004.
- Saturn Corp. will launch a significant product assault in 2005 when it introduces its first minivan, a hybrid version of the Vue and a new midsize car. The new Red Line series of specialty vehicles for the Vue and Ion will have to tide customers over until then.