GM plans a new product strategy to streamline costs image

In its efforts to cut production costs as much as possible, General Motors plans to develop fewer platforms to underpin multiple models, platforms that could remain unchanged for more than a decade.

Even if the automakers reported record sales last year in the United States and China, the foreseen slowdown of those markets for the coming years is making the companies adjust their development plans to streamline costs. If the automakers used to often redesign their models, this approach would no longer be financially viable on those projected market trends. At least not for General Motors, which now wants to double the lifespan of vehicle platforms as part of a broader effort to cut and redirect capital spending, GM executives said. The automaker plans to start the new strategy with the new Chevrolet Cruze and future basic underpinnings of vehicle lines could last a dozen years or more, GM President Dan Ammann told Reuters. In the coming years, the automaker is determined to adopt the most radical change in its development strategy seen in decades, GM executives said. The goal is simple, as its future models will be designed based on a straightforward technical platform that could be later implemented over millions more vehicles of various segments.

A single platform, underpinning multiple cars, might stay largely the same for more than a decade, GM officials revealed. Global product development head Mark Reuss said the company aims for up to 2.5 million sales a year from a variety of models built on the same platform as the Cruze compact, including the mechanically similar European Opel Astra.

Via Reuters