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GM product chief says no delay for plug-in SUV

Posted Tuesday, Jul 7, 2009, 10:34 am in Employee News

General Motors Corp. is on track to launch a plug-in sport-utility vehicle in 2011 despite scrapping its Saturn brand as part of a sweeping reorganization in bankruptcy, according to the automaker’s product chief, Reuters reported.

“I can tell you that I won’t lose one day in terms of customers being able to walk into dealerships and actually purchase a plug-in,” GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens said in an interview with Reuters. Stephens also said GM could consider launching an all-electric small car for congested cities that would mark the automaker’s return to a technology it dropped in 2003 with the decision to scrap the battery-powered EV1 in California, the news service said.

Under the product plans that underpin its U.S.-government financed turnaround effort, GM has promised to launch 14 new, fuel-saving hybrid models by 2012, Reuters noted. The centerpiece of GM’s effort to reinvent itself has been the Volt, an electric-drive car GM aims to introduce by late 2010. The Volt will have a 40-mile driving range on a single battery charge, a distance that GM projects will cover a round-trip for most urban commuters, the story said. (Reuters
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