With sales of full size pickup trucks and SUVs shrinking far faster than even the most pessimistic industry projections one year ago, GM has decided to delay the successor to the current GMT900 models. The current generation of large trucks debuted in 2007 and were scheduled to be replaced in 2013. However the combination of a 51 percent drop in SUV sales and 24 percent drop in pickup sales along with still uncertain fuel economy rules has prompted GM to suspend development. Until new fuel economy standards have been finalized and a clearer picture of where economic conditions are headed emerges it would be foolish for GM to continue work on the next-generation models. Instead the company will cut production of current models and tweak the current designs to improve efficiency until the situation stabilizes a bit. At that point they can re-evaluate what needs to be done with the new trucks. A re-focusing away from the consumer market back to the traditional commercial markets is likely. In that case much of the gadgetry and luxury features that have been added for personal use customers will likely be eliminated and models will probably be trimmed. Volumes will likely be cut sharply as well.

[Source: Detroit News]



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