GM restructure a necessity

By

Opinion

November 29, 2018 - 10:58 AM

General Motors plans to ax the Chevrolet Impala as part of its dramatic restructuring announced this week, ginning up nostalgia for a vehicle name that first appeared in the 1950s. Pictured here is a 1960 Chevrolet Impala Convertible. Paul Mosely/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT

GM plans to cut about 14,000 jobs and shut down several factories in a move to restructure.

The news is disappointing, but the logic is sound. GM needs to invest in its future, and that means focusing on electric and self-driving vehicles. Both are coming to a driveway near you — quicker than you think. What isn’t selling? Old-fashioned sedans. Well, that isn’t entirely true. Japanese automakers still sell lots of Camrys, Civics and the like, but GM and Ford make their money on pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers.

It’s amazing how fast consumer preferences shift. Five years ago, passenger cars represented about half the U.S. market. Today it’s around 30 percent. Ford plans to stop selling most cars in North America in the next few years. Fiat Chrysler made a similar decision two years ago. As for GM, it will end production of the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and Impala, along with several other passenger vehicles. Lordstown makes the Cruze, which makes the Lordstown plant dispensable.

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