GM will reduce the number of vehicle and engine platforms in half in order to focus on building a global product strategy.
GM has officially announced plans to cut the number of global vehicle platforms by more than half throughout the course of the next decade in an attempt to cut product development costs and complexity. GM's main goal is to comprise the architectures for over 90 percent of vehicles that are set to be used on a global scale. The news came from GM's 2nd Annual Global Business Conference, where CEO Dan Akerson addressed investors and analysts.
Akerson said in a pre-released statement that the automaker would continue "To reach a higher level of performance for our customers and stockholders. We are accelerating our efforts to simplify and strengthen our processes to improve efficiencies and achieve our vision, which is to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles." The number of engine variants will also be reduced from 18 to around 10 by 2018. Combined with this new developmental standardization, GM hopes to be able to get new products into showrooms faster while greatly improving their overall quality in the process.
GM estimates that inefficiencies in its product development cycle, canceled programs, engineering reassignments and late changes to vehicles have all accounted for nearly $1 billion in lost profits annually. In related news, GM has also announced they will soon begin building Cadillacs in China within a year or so. These still unannounced models will specifically be built for China and neighboring markets.