GM planning new midsize pickup and a stretched version of its European minivan

Article by Christian A., on August 27, 2010

General Motors Co. is considering additions to its lineup, including a new midsize pickup and a stretched version of its European minivan, according to three people familiar with the process. CEO Ed Whitacre told his staff to explore the potential of several models that could be added to its future portfolio.

The sources said that Whitacre told its product staff to consider small, youth-oriented cars for Chevrolet and a large prestige sedan for Cadillac, as well as the minivan and midsize pickup.

These sources clarified though that these ideas are still being studied and may not be built. Whitacre's new direction is very different from before the bankruptcy. The new company is controlled by industry outsiders planning for an initial stock offering and isn't constrained by historic cost.

Rebecca Lindland, analyst with IHS Automotive, a research firm in Lexington, Mass., said that the new management is able to "look at things from a different angle."

She surmises that since there is plenty of market share up for grabs, it is prudent to examine some of these products.

Last June, Stephen Carlisle was appointed as vice president of global product planning, a position that reports directly to the chairman.

Sources said that since that time, Whitacre has been asking his management team to explore new product ideas and to examine how the carmaker can discover new market segments and improve long-term sales. GM has yet to comment on this report. [via autonews]

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