DETROIT – When it comes to light-vehicle architecture strategies, GM global product boss Mark Reuss says he’s not talking, and his silence now makes proprietary another piece of information once publicly discussed by the automaker.
“I’ve been there. I’ve talked about it,” he tells WardsAuto during a roundtable interview with journalists at the North American International Auto Show here. “I’ve been the spokesman for it, and I always thought it was funny because we were talking about things that I didn’t want other people to know about.”
Reuss’ remarks follow questions over whether GM’s emerging modular approach to vehicle architectures, as reported by WardsAuto in October, would rival a similar strategy employed by.
The German automaker has said it expects the MQB platform, which launched in Europe last year on the new Golf and Audi A3, to underpin a wide range of futurevehicles and yield millions of dollars in product development savings.
Analysts pay close attention to architecture strategies, because an automaker’s ability to build multiple vehicles off a single platform often provides a glimpse of future profitability.
But no more inside baseball from GM, Reuss says, calling an automaker’s architecture strategy “sacred” information.
The decision comes after the automaker stopped disclosing production information last year and this year announced it no longer would host a monthly sales call with Wall Street analysts and journalists.
“We are not in a desperate situation, where we have to convince people we’re doing the right things,” Reuss says. “When you’re not doing good cars and trucks, you’re talking about architect strategies, because that’s all you’ve got to talk about. That’s a different place to live.”
GM has posted 15 straight quarterly profits, and the streak likely will extend to 16 quarters when it releases 2013 full-year earnings on Feb. 6.
The automaker this week swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards with the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Silverado pickup, capping a year of honors for GM vehicles that include recognition as the automaker with the U.S. industry’s best quality.
Reuss says he would prefer to let GM’s sales results do the talking in the future. “If you’re selling a lot of cars and making a lot of money doing it, it’s a pretty good indication you’ve hit the sweet spot.”