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Interior and exterior views of the Cadillac Converj concept-- according to a new report, the Converj has received the go-ahead for production and will hit the streets in 2011. It could be GM's first profitable electric vehicle and is expected to have more power than the Chevy Volt.  (Source: Motor Trend)
GM gets the second entry in its electric armada ready as it faces troubling times

When it comes to GM, it’s hard to remove its financial predicament from news of its tech developments.  However, assuming that it can survive, GM has approved production of the Cadillac Converj according to a recent report.

Though some have poked fun at the name, the Converj has been quite popular ever since it was introduced as a Volt-derivative plug-in Cadillac concept at the North American International Auto Show 2009 in January.  The model seemed a logical move -- the Volt's production price is well above that of an average Chevy, but closer to that of a luxury brand model -- like a Cadillac.  By essentially re-releasing the Volt with luxury styling, the cost of deploying the Volt could be offset somewhat with an even pricier model under the Cadillac umbrella.

The vehicle has received official go-ahead from GM according a report from Motor Trend.  GM reportedly plans to unleash it on the roads in 2011 making it a 2012 model year vehicle.  Sources say that the Converj could even be the first profitable electric vehicle -- a major victory for GM, and a big boost in getting federal approval of their revised restructuring/bailout proposal, due June 1.

The source at GM says that the Converj will be followed up by a people-mover/crossover utility based on the Voltec (Volt) architecture. 

A GM spokesperson denied both comments, saying that no changes had been made with the Converj or other models.  However, Motor Trend stands by its source, stating.  The publication points out that the drivetrain (lithium-ion battery pack and 1.4L four-cylinder engine) could be largely reused from the Volt, with more battery mass added to give it more power.  The main work would be working an all-new sheetmetal and interior.

The new production model will reportedly be a two-door coupe, like the concept.  This is different from the 4-door with hidden handles version that retiring product chief Bob Lutz suggested.  The height of the production vehicle will also have to be tweaked to make production financially feasible.

The source says that they believe the Buick brand is a likely target for the people-mover.  GMC is another branding possibility.  The Voltec CUV would have two to three rows of seats

GM is continuing to make efforts to grow its profitable brands as it reluctantly agrees to kill other ones, as part of its restructuring -- including Saturn, Saab, and Hummer, according current expectations and reports.  GM has also entered into a partnership with Segway to release new light electric two-wheelers for urban streets.



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SAAB -- the best of the bunch
By BikeDude on 4/15/2009 7:06:30 PM , Rating: 4
General "safety does not sell" Motors get away with a lot of stuff.

E.g. SAAB sold a bunch of cars in the US in 2007. All the expenditure went into SAAB's books and all the profits went directly into the books of GM USA. If SAAB had been allowed to keep the profits of those sales, they would have shown a nice profit for that year globally.

quote:
GM is continuing to make efforts to grow its profitable brands as it reluctantly agrees to kill other ones, as part of its restructuring -- including Saturn, Saab, and Hummer


...makes it sound as if SAAB is not a profitable brand. Which is not only wrong, but also quite unfair given the amount of technology and knowhow harvested by GM. SAAB gave GM a lot, but all GM contributed was bad management and strange ideas like killing the turbo hatchback and letting the SAAB model range grow old. Other brands have picked up where SAAB was forced to let go, and have shown that SAAB's original strategy would have been quite profitable and good for both companies.

Good luck GM. Without SAAB you won't have any road-safe cars to sell anymore. Which GM car can say it is at least 30% safer than the average car? The answer used to be 'SAAB', now the answer will soon be 'none'. Good (for GM) that most people think a couple of airbags suffice to make a car safe.




RE: SAAB -- the best of the bunch
By Andrwken on 4/15/2009 9:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 2003 saab 9-3 linear coupe. I can assure you from my experience and the experience of a lot of owners of this car (just do a little searching) that the best parts of this car were from the GM parts bin and not the proprietary saab components. The drivetrain has been solid (mostly a carryover from cars like the cobalt), the new turbo is better and less laggy than any of the saab originals, and the handling and suspension has also been great (also gm parts bin). But the saab computer system and electrical is a joke. This thing crashes like windows ME. One day a door lock won't work, you get in the car, and the car tells you the door locks screwed up, see your dealer(they took the time to write this error code for you?). Turn off the car, and woila! everything works. The radio has cut out and I had to "reboot" the car twice. I already replaced two components of the saab proprietary audio system. Trust me, from experience, GM didn't hurt this company. Not using enough of GM's electrical components did.


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