General Motors North America President Mark Reuss is perhaps the highest-ranking executive within the company that looks out for us enthusiasts. Problem is, enthusiasts are a vocal crowd, they’re dwarfed by Joe Camry and the rest of his boring and tasteless friends who view their cars like they do their refrigerators, with driving abilities being equally awful. Despite their dull ways, GM and the rest of the auto industry tend to answer Joe Camry’s calls more than anybody elses, because they bring in the money. Bean counters love money.
What they don’t love, is a business case based on passion — which can’t be added to the bottom line of a balance sheet. That being the case, Reuss and company have an uphill battle to get approval of a small, rear-wheel-drive and affordable Chevrolet vehicle — what many relate to as something along the lines of the Code 130R. Reuss has been successful of late, with such enthusiast-focused products as the 2014 Chevy SS and 2014 Camaro Z/28. It’s very likely that GM has the Zeta architecture underpinning both vehicles already paid for, but something like the Code 130R is more of a challenge.
The problems, which Jalopnik recently laid out, are nothing that we haven’t outlined here before: GM’s Alpha platform can’t really shrink any more than what we see with the Cadillac ATS, making it a bit too big for the proposed vehicle. There’s also the fact that the next-generation Camaro will dowsize and lose some weight, and would therefore perhaps encroach on where the Code 130R-esque vehicle would exist.
This, seemingly, means that a little RWD car would have to require its own architecture, and therefore a lot more money than perhaps the finance guys would want to see put into the project. Adding a platform also seems to go against GM’s plans to halve its amount of current platforms by 2018.
Considering its niche attraction, the model would also need to have appeal globally, thereby allowing GM to leverage high economies of scale.
On Twitter, Reuss addressed Jalopnik’s Matt Hardigree, saying he needs some “creative on how to do it.” That being the case, the GMA community should assist, and sound off…