Yet another General Motors executive has thrown support behind the shrinking passenger-car segment. Although the crossover and SUV segment has exploded in recent years, GM North America President Alan Batey believes the sedan is still an integral piece to the industry.
Batey, who also oversees Chevrolet’s global operations, told Automotive News in an interview published Monday that GM realizes there are consumers who do not want a crossover, truck or SUV.
“We just launched an arsenal of new crossovers, and we’ve been able to fully capitalize on that opportunity. Having said that, I still maintain that the car segments are very important,” he said.
The executive added that many consumers have switched to a high-riding crossover or SUV and likely won’t look back, but “there are also those people out there that don’t want to drive a crossover.”
Notably, rival Ford plans to do away with all of its sedans and will leave the Mustang and one Focus variant, the crossover-like Activ, for the North American market.
Per Batey, the compact-car segment was still larger than the mid-size SUV segment through May. The segment still gives GM plenty of room to bring new buyers to the brand—especially ones who can’t afford a larger crossover or SUV. Smaller cars remain important introduction points for brands at affordable prices.
Yet, Chevrolet Cruze sales have tumbled from their height in the early part of the decade. GM recently ended the Lordstown, Ohio, plant’s second shift. Now, just one shift assembles the Cruze sedan.