• Aug 9, 2006

General Motors says it will eliminate $1 billion from its spending on mid-size cars by sharing more parts, designs and factories to get 'er done. If this involves a little process called "badge engineering," we urge GM to beware of the inevitable onslaught of negative comments following this post.

Ahem. The platform used for the Chevrolet Malibu, for example, will be shared with Saab convertibles among the plants in North America, Europe and elsewhere. The idea is part of a larger plan to get the General, which lost buku bucks last year (try $10.6 billion), back to profitability as competitors such as Toyota Motor Company suck market share away from them. GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner plans to reduce annualized spending by a total of $9 billion by the end of this year.

[Source: Bloomberg]



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  • 35 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      It doesn't take an MBA to figure out that this is a really bad idea. With gas prices, and changes in social taste, trucks and larger SUVs are going to see steadily declining sales to those consumers that don't absolutely need them. I'm happiest with a midsize car, and I think that if anything, GM should be putting MORE money into the midsize segment! I wanted to like the Malibu, I just hate the design! Best case scenario, GM shares a great midsize platform with several companies, it sells very well and also costs less for them. I have a feeling though, that this isn't going to work out the way they want it to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As I understand it this will not envolve re-badging in the USA. What GM will be doing is sharing underbodies with Holden and other GM owned brands in Europe and elsewhere. The new Holden SS will be brought to the US given new sheet medal and sold as a Pontiac Gran Prix. The same body will be used for the new Impala but with intirely new sheet medal. Some of the european and aussie interiors will be used as is(modified for US driving)in American products, but there will be no re-badging as with the Cobalt and G-5. The is more in the vein of what has been done with the new Saturn line-up, they will be taking advantage of Global engineering to better the GM US offerings.

      I believe I have heard some of the posters on this blog as why doesn't GM bring certain products over here. Well now guys and gals that is what is going to happen. GM will be selling more of those bodies worldwide, but they will be called something beside Holden, maybe Malibu, or Caprice.

      I believe it will make for some very interesting product offerings from GM, this could be exciting to watch. No more stale styling or old ideas, I believe the gloves are off, so to speak.
      far jr
      • 8 Years Ago
      Some GM platform sharing creates some very different looking cars using the same platforms (efficiency of scale). I don't think there would be much confusion with the following.

      Epsilon Platform:
      Saab 9-3
      Chevy Malibu
      Pontiac G-6
      Opel Vectra
      Cadillac BLS

      Theta Platform:
      Saturn VUE
      Pontiac Torrent
      2007 Opel Antara
      2007 Holden Captiva
      Suzuki Grand Vitara

      W Platform:
      Chevy Impala/ Monte Carlo
      Buick Lacrosse
      Pontiac Grand Prix

      Even the Kappa which is badge engineered as the Saturn Sky, Opel GT, and Daewoo GT does so in diffent countries. The Pontiac Solstice in the US is quite different from the Sky.
      The GMT900 trucks look different than the SUV's and the Cadillac/ Chevy version have as much variation as say a Nissan Armada/ Infinity QX.
      But that's not to say that I disagree with some others posting here. The minivans and G-5/ cobalt are a joke no matter how you slice it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM will NEVER stop nor reduce badge engineering.
      It is inbred into GM like UAW workers are inbred...
      • 8 Years Ago
      There isn't a damn thing wrong with platform sharing. Almost all successful companies do it. It's accepted practice. Look at the Ford Focus (EU) and Volvo S40. Same platform, two VERY different executions.

      But badge-engineering...that's a different beast. The present-day foursome of failure (Terraza, Uplander, SV6, Relay) is a perfect example of badge-engineering at its worst.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hi...This article isn't news. Remember the Nova from Chevrolet? In the nameplate Nova, the "O" represented the Oldsmobile Omega, the "V" represented the Pontiac Ventura and the "A" represented the Buick Apollo. The only differences between the four cars literally were trim and exterior pieces. And oh yes. The pricing structure with Nova being the least expensive. Platform sharing, badge engineering, market manipulation, value ripoff...the epitomy of mama GM doin' what it did best. You know the rest.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ahh GM

      Can't get small cars right, struggles with mid-size, fine with full size & trucks.

      Actually most of their small cars are not even theirs!

      Hello, return of hatchbacks, in north america, gas going up, who in their right mind would not drop their suvs (which have only seen mud from a construction site), or biggie v8 cars, if they don't need it.

      GM is still stuck in the 90s I guess.

      For north american's, ask for things like the mazda 5 or honda stream

      this is what most of us need or an A3 hatch
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sharing parts doesn't necessarily mean boring badge engineering does it? Didn't Chrysler cut costs on the Prowler development by sharing a ton of parts with the LH series... even with such things as knobs and pedals?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Interesting... In other media outlets the headline reads
      "GM to SAVE about $1 billion on next mid-size sedan's development"

      Ms. Mays headline makes it sound as though GM was planning on spending X billions on this car but for whatever reason decided to cut the budget and go with WHATEVER results from that cut.

      When I read this YESTERDAY on carconnection.com my reaction then was.........DUH. GM will FINALLY try to save some money by employing various groups with the needed expertise, from within the global reach of it's company? Like, GM before just gave any group at Chevy the go-ahead to design the Malibu, but NOW, they figured they might want to use engine, powertrain, suspension and exterior/interior designers that just might work for other parts of GM...like Holden or Opel because they might be experts AND might be able to do a better and or cheaper job?
      No wonder this company has problems.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ron: It must be early... I think you mean that they COULDN'T care less. After all, if they could care less, they obviously do care somewhat!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "General Motors says it will eliminate $1 billion from its spending on mid-size cars"

      Idiots. Not spending development money on its midsize cars is what got GM into the current mess. That billion should go toward better interiors and refined drivetrains
      Core Device
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM needs new blood, they're always playing catch-up because the CEOs are old and slow. New ideas, are the only way to be number 1.
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