The news that General Motors is signing the death warrant on four more models might sound like more drastic action from a floundering manufacturing behemoth, but I don’t think the latest round of cuts is as extreme a course of action as it first appears.
When you look more closely at the models disappearing from the General’s line-up, you can see that none of them are exactly stellar models, and that most sensible car companies would be dropping them anyway – global car sales meltdown or not.
First let’s look at the Chevrolet Impala SS. Sure, it’s got an evocative name, but this is a 299bhp V8 saloon with front-wheel drive. When there’s ‘proper’ rear-drive muscle cars like the Dodge Challenger and Charger, and the Ford Mustang, not to mention GM’s own Chevrolet Camaro and the Holden Comodore/VXR8-based Pontiac G8, the only fit place for a car like the Impala SS is surely the dustbin.
Then there’s the four-door Chevy Cobalt SS: that’s a four-door version of a successful semi-hot coupe, but nobody wants one, so why not get rid?
As for the Pontiac G6 GXP, that’s a top-end coupe based on the same platform as the last Vauxhall Vectra – that had to be nearing the end of its natural life.
Same goes for the Cadillac STS-V – Audi, BMW and Mercedes don’t let their super-saloons live for very long, so the STS-V’s four-year lifespan is probably about right, too.
Streamlining and natural product wastage? Yes. Desperate measures? Hardly.