Is GM backtracking on its hybrid promises?

Right on the heels of GMNext, GM Canada has started a purely green public outreach effort, the Green by Design podcast. The first episode says there will be 10 'casts, all about green topics such as hybrids and fuel cells. For the most part, these types corporate programs are usually extended commercials telling us things we've heard before, but one thing seems new here. Thirteen minutes into the 20-minute podcast, someone says, "We have about 10 hybrids in the pipeline at General Motors. We are going to be introducing a new hybrid every 3 months for the next two years."

Two years? GM Chairman Bob Lutz has said "sixteen hybrids in the next four years" and GM CEO Rick Wagoner said "one new hybrid coming out every quarter for next four years." So, they meant 16 hybrids including the ones released in the last year or two? Whatever they mean, in two or four years or how many hybrids total (16, 20 or 24), GM will probably have more hybrid brands than any other car maker for many years.

Fellow blogger Sam Abuelsamid notes that as with most automakers, GM doesn't have exactly the same model lineup in the smaller Canadian market that it does in U.S. The smaller Canadian market with its higher gas prices tends to skew more toward smaller cars than the U.S. market. It's possible some duplicate models with different branding might not be offered north of the border. For example, GM Canada might sell the Silverado Hybrid but not the Sierra hybrid. Unless GM in the U.S. says anything about a change in plans, what the Canadian side says should not necessarily be taken to reflect U.S. plans.

[Source: GM Green By Design]

Press Release:

Feb 11, 2008 11:40 ET
GM Canada Podcast Series Challenges the Conventional Wisdom of Where Vehicles Fit in a Sustainable Environment

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2008) - Stringent new fuel economy standards and the urgent need to address climate change have marked the coming decade as one of revolutionary change for the vehicles we drive and the fuels and technologies that will drive our cars of tomorrow. That is the inspiration behind the new "Green by Design" Podcast series from General Motors of Canada which explores a wide range of game changing green vehicle technologies and asks what it will all means for Canadian drivers.

"In order to be successful in reducing our impact on the environment we need to offer consumers a wide range of affordable choices to meet their diverse vehicle needs," said David Paterson, vice president corporate and environmental affairs, GM Canada. "The purpose of this Podcast series is to provide people with an overview of various advanced vehicle technologies, to encourage green choices and help people understand that going green does not necessarily have to come at a premium or sacrifice in terms of utility."

Paterson added, "These Podcasts are also meant to generate discussion. When you look, for example, at the potential of an electric car like the Chevrolet Volt to eliminate trips to the gas station all together or a fuel cell vehicle that emits nothing but water - I think we are challenging the conventional wisdom of where cars fit in a sustainable environment."

You can download the Green by Design Podcast Series at

General Motors of Canada (GMCL) is engineering and manufacturing advanced environmental technologies ranging from Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and hybrid systems to E85 biofuel and fuel cell vehicles - more than any other auto company right here in Canada. Headquartered in Oshawa Ontario, GMCL employs more than 19,000 people nationwide. GM of Canada manufactures vehicles, vehicle powertrains, and markets the full range of General Motors vehicles and related services through 743 dealerships and retailers across Canada. Vehicles sold through this network include Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Saturn, Hummer, Saab and Cadillac.

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