Automakers may be in the business of selling cars, but investors also continuously expect a raise in shareholder value. General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, is determined to fulfill those requests from investors, and past actions only back up her determination.
Decisions to exit certain markets across the globe and cease manufacturing operations in Australia lay the foundation for a leaner-global General Motors. But, Automotive News spoke to Barra on future vehicle segment strategy, where she implied future scrutiny will be placed on particular vehicle segments, and not just markets where GM does business.
“We have a broad portfolio. But how are we going to look at what are the right vehicles to put in the marketplace?” Barra told AN. “We’ll look at what makes sense and what will generate a return.”
Speaking to investment analysts this month, GM President Dan Ammann also made it clear the microscope will be used to inspect some vehicle segments.
“If there’s no long-term path to be profitable in a particular segment, we will look at that,” he said.
Barra specifically dodged a question on the future of the Chevrolet Impala, which has arguably had its best generation from a design standpoint in years. Still, it’s hard to overlook the fact the large-sedan market continues to shrink in size in the U.S., while crossover fever takes over.
Through September, sales of large sedans dropped a whopping 16 percent in the U.S.
When asked about the future of the Impala, Barra made the following comments:
That’s a hard one because the Impala is such a great vehicle, but we can’t look at where the market’s been. We’ve got to look at where the market’s going. The Impala has a role today, but we’re going to be looking over the future and asking ‘What is its role in the future?’ and making that decision.
The lights may have gotten a tad dimmer for Chevrolet’s full-size sedan, especially as a new elongated 2017 Buick LaCrosse readies for debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, and the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu closes in on wheelbase length by less than an inch.