GM plans family of little Hummers
General Motors will begin selling a new smaller Hummer sport-utility, the Hummer H2, in 2002.
AM General Corp., which sold the Hummer brand to GM in December, will assemble the vehicle at a new plant in Indiana next to its existing Hummer plant at the beginning of 2002. The factory will have a capacity of 40,000 vehicles per year.
The H2, based on GM's full-sized truck platform, will be very close to the H2 concept vehicle GM revealed at the show, said Ron Zarrella, president of GM North America.
GM has renamed the existing Hummer the Hummer H1 in preparation for a family of Hummer sport-utilities. Zarrella said the next addition to the Hummer family, possibly an H3, will likely be even smaller and less expensive than the upcoming H2, to reach a younger audience. He did not say when the third Hummer might appear.
There is room for our SUV, says Porsche
Porsche's sport-utility will be slightly larger than a Jeep Grand Cherokee and will debut in 2002.
Frederick Schwab, chief executive of Porsche Cars North America, acknowledged at the Detroit auto show that Porsche is a latecomer to the sport-utility segment, but said there still is room for a niche vehicle.
'We're going to be coming to this segment a bit late, but most niche makers enter the market when it is at a mature level,' Schwab said. 'It's just time to put some fun into SUVs.'
Nissan will boost product investment
Look for Nissan Motor Corp. to channel more money into product development over the next few years. For the past two years, the Japanese automaker has allowed its investment in new product to fall to 3.7 percent of net sales.
No more, vows the company's new chief operating officer, Carlos Ghosn. Nissan will raise the annual investment level to 5 percent of net sales, said Ghosn, speaking to reporters at the show. 'It is our blood,' Ghosn emphasized.