The FINANCIAL — General Motors opened the North American International Auto Show with a road rally of 17 new and upcoming cars and crossovers – including four global premieres – that underscores GM’s ongoing commitment to emotionally compelling design, leading fuel efficiency and advanced technology.
In addition to the four world premieres – the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, 2010 Cadillac SRX, 2010 Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac Converj concept – Chevrolet announced it will produce and bring to the U.S. the highly fuel-efficient Spark four-door mini car and seven-seat Orlando multi-purpose vehicle.
T he production version of the Spark will be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Sales of Spark will begin in early 2010 in Europe, followed by other global regions. Originally seen as the Chevrolet Beat concept, the car drew nearly 2 million consumer votes asking GM to build it. Spark will hit U.S. showrooms in 2011.
A production version of the Orlando show car, introduced last fall at the Paris Motor Show, will also join Chevrolet showrooms in the U.S. in 2011. More details on GM’s global plans for Orlando will be announced in the near future.
The Cadillac Converj concept propels Cadillac’s acclaimed design into the future of luxury driving. The concept is a well-appointed grand touring coupe with a bold design, a host of interactive technologies and eco-friendly, renewable materials throughout. The four-passenger Converj concept is intended to show how GM's revolutionary Voltec electric propulsion system can meet the desires of luxury consumers.
“In many ways, today marks a new beginning for General Motors, as we dramatically accelerate and expand the restructuring that we’ve been driving in North America, and around the globe, for the past several years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.
“Buried in all the financial news of recent months, is that we’ve made tremendous progress in recent years in making cars and trucks that consumers really want to buy,” Wagoner said. “At the same time, we’re committed to leading the industry on the most important issue we face over the next generation: the development of alternative-fuel propulsion.”
Here is a brand-by-brand look at today’s all-new or upcoming introductions:
2010 Chevrolet Equinox (world premiere): When equipped with GM’s all-new 2.4L four-cylinder direct injection engine – one of two all-new engine choices – Equinox is expected to lead the segment in highway fuel economy, beating both the Toyota RAV-4 and Honda CR-V. The 2.4L-equipped five-seat crossover, filled with unexpected amenities for the price and influenced by the popular Malibu sedan and midsize Traverse crossover, achieves an estimated 30 mpg highway.
Chevrolet Spark: This four-door mini car combines youthful exterior and interior design with outstanding fuel economy. Spark was inspired by the popular Beat concept that recently swept the global auto show circuit. Spark will be sold in several markets around the globe starting in 2010 and hits the U.S. in 2011.
Chevrolet Orlando show car: Making its North American debut, Orlando is a compact, seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle based on the recently introduced Cruze compact sedan. Equipped with a fuel-efficient, four-cylinder engine, Orlando offers the versatile attributes of a sport-utility, family van and wagon. Like the Spark, the Orlando production vehicle debuts in U.S. markets in 2011.
Other Chevrolets in the product rally include the production design version of the Voltec-powered Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle; the Chevrolet Malibu, 2008 North American Car of the Year; the upcoming 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, expected to achieve nearly 40 mpg on the highway; the fuel-efficient Chevrolet Aveo 5-door; and the much-anticipated 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, which already has 10,000 pre-orders.
Cadillac Converj concept (world premiere): The Cadillac Converj concept was developed as a well-appointed grand touring coupe with a bold design and a host of interactive technology. The four-passenger Converj is intended to show how GM’s revolutionary Voltec electric propulsion technology can power a luxury coupe with a typically Cadillac “no compromises” design. It enables up to 40 miles of gas- and emissions-free electric driving with extended-range capability of hundreds of miles.
2010 Cadillac SRX (world premiere) : Cadillac’s next-generation midsize luxury crossover features a completely new design and two efficient, high-technology V-6 engine choices as well as available advanced all-wheel-drive technology. The five-passenger crossover, with its CTS-inspired interior, is designed to appeal to both the emotional and pragmatic preferences of today’s luxury consumer. Production begins in the spring.
2010 CTS Sport Wagon: Cadillac’s first-ever North American wagon is a progressive take on the classic wagon body style that delivers significant functionality and fuel efficiency, including up to an estimated 28 mpg highway. Intended to connect with the changing priorities of luxury consumers, CTS Sport Wagon production begins in the spring. The CTS Sport Wagon, like its sedan predecessor (which also is part of the rally), includes available features such as all-wheel drive, a 40-gigabyte internal hard drive, pop-up navigation screen and a hand-cut-and-sewn interior with Sapele wood accents.
2010 Buick LaCrosse (world premiere): The completely redesigned 2010 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan builds on the success of the popular Enclave crossover and continues Buick’s renaissance. LaCrosse offers all-wheel drive, a suite of advanced intelligent personal technologies and safety features, and a choice of two fuel-saving V-6 engines. The exterior design builds on the Buick Invicta show car introduced at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show.
Other vehicles featured in the GM rally conference include the Saturn Aura midsize sedan, the 2007 North American Car of the Year, with segment-leading highway fuel economy of 33 mpg; and the upcoming plug-in hybrid electric version of the Saturn Vue compact crossover. The Vue will use a modified version of GM’s two-mode hybrid system and plug-in technology, a lithium-ion battery pack, highly efficient electronics and powerful electric motors to potentially double the fuel efficiency of any current SUV.
GM also featured the 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe, equipped with a removable roof that enables an open-air driving experience yet offers a greater range of all-season driving opportunities; and the just-launched Opel Insignia midsize sedan, the European member of GM’s global family of midsize sedans. Insignia was recently named 2009 European Car of the Year by a panel of 59 auto journalists representing 23 countries.
When the public steps inside the 121,000-square-foot GM display beginning Jan. 17, a dramatic entry leads to nearly 100 current GM vehicles as well as future product displays. Product stories – illustrated with touch screen computers, cut-away engines and transmissions and trained product specialists – focus on how GM, through design and technology, integrates fuel efficiency, safety and quality into its vehicles.