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GM to launch Chevrolet van in global markets

Wed, 30 Jun 2010

Chevrolet plans to launch a family van soon in several global regions, GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens said Tuesday in showing analysts GM's future product plans.

General Motors will base the van on its global compact-car architecture, said Stephens, who heads product development. He showed a picture of the van to analysts at a company presentation Tuesday, but his slides were not made available to members of the media.

Stephens also showed analysts a Chevrolet SUV concept designed by GM's South American region and a Chevy small-car concept, although he did not give details on markets for those vehicles. In addition, he previewed a three-row Buick business van designed for China. He did not give timing for possible launches for any of the vehicles he showed.

During the daylong conference calls, CEO Ed Whitacre and other top executives gave a review of GM's current business operations, including restructuring in Europe, growth in other markets and 85 percent capacity use in North America. The United States, which owns 61 percent of the automaker, may sell 20 percent of its stake in a planned initial public offering, making it a minority owner, said two people familiar with the plan.

“We are not re-introducing GM,” Whitacre told the audience at the automaker's technical center in suburban Detroit. “We are introducing a new GM.”

GM is now positioned to break even during troughs in demand, Whitacre said. The management team is executing well, he said.

By Chrissie Thompson- Automotive News