September 21, 2013
Reuss is confident GM has the right products, noting the Chevrolet Impala launch is going smoothly, with the V-6 model accounting for most sales. The Hamtramck, MI, plant only recently began rolling out 4-cyl. Impalas.
“I won't be surprised if sales are 50-50 for a while after we get the supply pipeline filled,” Reuss says. “But we're very agile with this.” GM can supply whichever version is in demand.
There have been no ’14 Impala sales to fleets yet, except for a small number to daily rental companies in an attempt to familiarize potential customers with the new model. Reuss expects the Impala to make conquest sales among Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus drivers.
“We're also seeing a little (action) with Toyota Avalon owners,” he says.
The new Chevy Malibu with its refreshed front end, roomier back seat and improved fuel economy with standard stop/start technology will be a stronger competitor to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. But Reuss makes no claim of aspiring to lead the midsize-sedan segment.
“We're not going to give it away,” he says. “We're not in it to win the incentive game. I don't want to over-incentivize the car for sales at all cost.”
Reuss also is encouraged to have the new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra large pickups on the market.
“We have the newest and best truck for the first time in many years,” he claims, suggesting combined sales of the Silverado and Sierra could surpass those of the Ford F-150. “We haven't done that in the past.”
The high-margin trucks are GMC’s, while Chevy aims for the work-truck segment, he says. “The (large-pickup) segment is the most profitable in the world. I think GM can own that segment again.”
Reuss says there could be more diesels in GM cars. “I'm really excited about the (Chevrolet) Cruze diesel. We're still in launch state, just putting our toe in the water with it.” But no firm decision has been made on whether to offer more diesel-powered cars in the U.S.