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Chevy Cans The Orlando; Does America Care?

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On: Mon, May 3, 2010 at 11:41AM | By: John Welch

Chevy Cans The Orlando; Does America Care?

In order to please the AutObama administration and its investors, (re: Us!) GM has go about streamlining its business operations. Simplifying the complicated, downsizing the unwieldy. One way to go about skinnying up a corporate dinosaur is to limit complications in production. Do a few things really well. As it applies to GM, those "things" would be the Traverse, Equinox, Malibu, and the upcoming Cruze. GM plans to remain efficient by limiting the number of new models its American factories are pumping out.

To this end, GM’s president for North America, Mark Reuss, has leveled the proverbial "ax" on the Chevrolet Orlando. According to Reuss, this action is being taken in order to maximize the output of current top-sellers, the Malibu and Equinox. Along with the Traverse, GM has added a third shift at the plants that produce these cars. There are even plans to produce the Equinox and Malibu at other facilities.

Considering the Orlando will still be offered in other markets, could this be a good sign for the Volt MP5? Perhaps the Orlando is deemed to similar to the Equinox, and Chevy is trying to avoid the sort of inter-company cannibalization that led to GM's financial melt-down in the first place. Answers to those questions are not going to come soon, or easily. If you ask Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet’s product marketing director for small cars and crossovers, you might come away a little disappointed. She isn't all that specific . . .

"The best thing to do for Chevrolet is to focus on the brands we’ve already brought to market: the Traverse, Equinox, Malibu and, soon to come, the Cruze," Brooks said Monday morning. "We feel that with those vehicles, Chevrolet has plenty of options for the modern family."

Uhm, okay . . . that's not really what I asked, but . . . alright . . .

Brian Goebel, a company spokesman, assured the press that the Orlando would still be offered in Canada, Asia, and Europe. Is the Equinox sold in those markets? It is in Canada, anyway.

Considering Mr. Reuss announced, in full press-conference regalia, that the Orlando would be sold in the US market, it seems obvious that Chevrolet was serious about the ill-fated crossover. In January, GM said the Orlando would be available to New-World customers early in 2011. Not only were they serious, but they had gone so far as to lay out a timetable.

So, interesting questions abound. Is this a case of "too close for comfort?" Is there no room for another car-based CUV in Chevy's line-up? Is GM finally heeding the advice of so many industry experts, and limiting how many vehicles it offers to the same market segment . . .? Or is this just a way of utilizing idle factory floor-space meant for building a crossover version of the Volt? You and I are technically in charge of Mark Reuss, Margret Brooks, Brian Goebel, and every other GM employee . . . they have to keep us informed . . . right?!

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James Roberts | 12:32PM (Mon, May 3, 2010)

The commercial looks like a preview to a disney movie... Was that Tinkerbell driving?


imwithcoco | 12:46PM (Mon, May 3, 2010)

And the music sounds like the theme from ALF.

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