GM plans to stop the bleeding in part by shutting down its unit that develops high-performance cars, according to GM Spokesman Vince Muniga. In a Thursday AutoWeek article, the auto giant’s comprehensive plan for getting itself out of its financial quagmire includes disbanding the unit that produces V-Series Cadillacs and the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, HHR SS and a V-8 version of the Colorado.
The engineers will be transferred to other "core" development plants where their talents will likely be squandered, and further plans to produce high-performance vehicles have been placed on hold. So here we go, the beginning of the end for gutsy American cars. They will be cast out in favor of under-powered electric tin cans.
GM submitted its viability plan to the Treasury Department on Tuesday, planning to focus its future line of cars on being fuel efficient. The company also asked for another $16 billion to help achieve the ball-busting feat of replacing its fleet of cars with 26 fuel efficient core models by 2014. I am not surprised by Muniga’s statement that the company will "attempt" to reinstate its high-performance unit once the company comes around. The key word here is "once", in that GM believes it will make it through this debacle.
But with GM and Chrysler also promising to shut down U.S. assembly facilities, my guess is we are simply witnessing another step in the slow, agonizing death of the American car industry. Grab your popcorn, and get ready for some more carnage in the coming weeks.
The Chevrolet HHR SS, one of the doomed.
Photo courtesy of AutoWeek.com.