Trimming the Fat: GM to Halve its Global Platforms and Engines to Save Money
GM has announced that it's going to cut its global platforms and engines in half by 2018. Automotive News reports that GM will reduce its current platforms from 30, and current engines from 20, in a bid to globalize, and cut costs on product development.
GM made the announcement at its 2011 Global Business Conference. At the conference, GM Senior Vice President of Global Product Development Mary Barra presented slides showing that the 30 platforms from 2010 would be reduced to 14 by 2018, and engines would be reduced from around 20 as of 2009, to 11 or 12 in 2018, and to around 10 eventually.
Much like Ford did with its, "One Ford" program, GM will trim the fat by increasing the production of cars and trucks on shared "core" architectures. According to Automotive News, GM considers its core architectures to be global platforms, like GM's Delta platform which underpins vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and upcoming Buick Verano, and high-volume regional platforms, like the GMT900 platform that underpins trucks and SUVs like the Chevrolet Silverado, and Cadillac Escalade in North America.
There's already some evidence of GM putting this plan to work. The Chevrolet Impala for example, used to have three available engines, with the 2012 model offering a single 3.6-liter V-6 that it shares with the Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac CTS. GM's platform sharing has already begun as well; its expected that the next generation Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Camaro and upcoming Cadillac ATS will all share GM's rear-wheel drive Alpha platform.
GM said it hopes cutting platforms and engines will help reduce wasted spending from last-minute changes and canceling programs. GM estimates it can save up to $1 billion per year by reducing its engines and architectures.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)