General Motors has cancelled next week’s launch of the CTS Coupe at the LA Motor Show as part of a dramatic rethink of future products in the face of the company’s growing cash crisis.

The company has also postponed the launch of major new European models, including the new Saab 9-5 and the Vauxhall Meriva until 2010.

>> See more pictures of the Cadillac CTS Coupe

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The CTS Coupe, which is production ready, has been delayed as GM desperately tries to cut costs to avoid running out of cash. The company is trying to conserve the reserves it needs to finish and launch high volume products like the next Astra. “It’s must-haves versus nice-to-haves,” a senior GM source told Autocar.

Previewed by the CTS Coupe concept at January’s Detroit motor show, the production car was seen as a vital part of building a more comprehensive Cadillac range that could take on BMW and Mercedes.

It would have always been a relatively low-volume seller, however, and delaying the car’s launch will not significantly harm Cadillac’s finances.

The Saab and Meriva have been delayed due to the costs involved with the final engineering programme. “To Saab the 9-5 is as important as the Astra is to Vauxhall. Saab needs the 9-5, but it’s more complex and costly to finish than the Astra.”

High launch costs for cars such as the Astra have also influenced the decision to postpone the smaller-selling cars.

Dan Stevens