WINDING ROADS | NEW YORK CITY - -
According to an article in today?s Chicago Tribune, General Motor?s rear-drive initiative is in trouble. While the next Camaro is still moving forward, car czar Bob Lutz has indicated that ??anything after that is questionable or on the bubble.? That shocking bit of news means that the Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, and even any Camaro derivatives (Pontiac Firebird, etc.) are all a big question mark. So too, is a replacement for Buick?s Lucerne, and a sub-CTS-sized Cadillac.
According to Lutz, the problem is?
?that company?s planned rear-drivers are all larger and heavier, which exacts a heavy toll on fuel economy. President George Bush?s new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, if enacted, would make it very tough for GM to be compliant with these new cars. Says Lutz: ?We don?t know how to get 30 percent better mileage? [from these cars]
. Lutz says that GM will decide the fate of these models when the government figures out how to proceed on CO(-2) levels and updated CAFE standards.
Could this all be a bit of Lutzian theater, designed to discourage Washington from enacting tougher emissions and fuel-economy standards? Or are a good portion of GM?s future vehicles now well-and-truly on the ropes? Have your say in ?Comments.?