There is a growing market for luxury vehicles which straddle the passenger car and sport-utility segments. Does GM have any plans to enter this segment?
We look at everything and talk about almost nothing. However, this segment has not exploded in Europe the way it has in North America. But if it develops in Europe we will be there. The growth in Europe is slow and it seems as if people are testing the product. Our research shows that people may buy one SUV but very often they don't go back for a second one. They buy one to try something different and they are a bit disappointed because it is not as comfortable as their car.
For there to be strong growth, these vehicles need to be more car-like in their features and comfort but still capable of going off road. The operating costs also need to come right down. At the moment SUV ownership is much higher than that of a passenger car. They are more expensive to buy, insure and operate compared with a car and this really limits the number of people who will buy one. As a result we only foresee continued slow growth.