After decades of pushing heavy iron, General Motors executives are telling the company's dealers to think "beyond our dominance in trucks" and prepare to start selling small cars (vehicles like the forthcoming Chevrolet Cruze, above). The message was broadcast late last week at the Rock Financial Showplace in Michigan, as representatives from about 430 GM dealers gathered to hear the automaker's latest plans as they emerge from bankruptcy. Brent Dewar, the new vice president of Chevrolet Global, added that dealers, "have to think slightly different... about how to sell the value of the vehicle on content and that small doesn't mean less."
Other news to emerge from the event included the announcement that GM had appointed an executive tasked with retaining the three million GM customers who will lose their vehicle model, GM brand, or dealership to the restructuring, and that Buick is planning a new mid-size sedan for 2010 followed by a compact car in late 2011. GM also said that strong Pontiac sales this summer will allow the brand to exhaust its inventory by the end of the year, ahead of earlier projections.