Around the world, customers are clamoring for new and exciting cars, trucks and crossovers, and we’ve been working overtime at GM to satisfy the demand. March has been a particularly busy and exciting month in this regard, starting with five global debuts at the Geneva Motor Show.
Opel kicked off the fireworks with the world premiere of the elegant new Cascada cabrio, the only mid-size convertible from a mainstream manufacturer. The classic four-seater features an electric soft top that can be opened at the press of a button and at speeds up to 50 km/h.
The Opel ADAM ROCKS Concept opened the door to a new market segment with a three-door urban mini-crossover study. ADAM ROCKS offers a fabric roof that closes automatically when adverse weather is approaching, and a higher and wider stance than the popular Opel ADAM, which is launching in Europe now to strong reviews.
Opel next introduced the ADAM R2 Rallye to complement the brand’s recent return to motorsport. The ADAM R2 will be a top-class vehicle eligible for every national championship in Europe. All 40 vehicles that Opel plans to race in Germany and France had already been sold by the time the Geneva Show started.
Finally in Geneva, Opel kicked off an aggressive powertrain offensive with the introduction of the new 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC engine. This new offering is the first in a new family of industry-leading four-cylinder turbo diesel engines. It’s also Opel’s cleanest diesel ever. Opel is committed to a multi-billion euro product offensive with 23 new cars and 13 new engines through 2016, proving once again that there is so much more to discover at Opel.
Also making its world debut in Geneva was the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible. Like the Coupe introduced in Detroit in January, the Stingray Convertible is the quickest, most powerful, most fuel-efficient Corvette in history.
Chevrolet also used Geneva to introduce the new Spark EV to Europe for the first time. Spark EV is a spirited, fun-to-drive car with great performance and an all-electric range that’s among the best in class. Spark EV will be available in Europe in early 2014, following its launch in the U.S. this summer.
Complementing the Geneva Show in early March, the New York Auto Show set the stage for several critical introductions at the end of the month.
Buick, which was just named “Best Value Luxury Brand” by Kelley Blue Book, started off with the introduction of the new LaCrosse and Regal sedans. The new full-size LaCrosse offers new interior and exterior design cues, advanced safety technologies, enhanced in-vehicle connectivity, and an all-new available Ultra Luxury Interior Package. It goes on sale this summer.
The new mid-size Regal offers sportier styling, a more efficient and refined turbo engine, and the introduction of all-wheel drive. Both the Regal and LaCrosse offer adaptive cruise control and Buick’s next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system, with intuitive controls and natural voice recognition. The new Regal goes on sale this fall.
Next up, Chevrolet introduced the redesigned 2014 Camaro SS, the most popular sports car in the U.S. for the last three years. We also announced the return of the Z/28, the most iconic model in Camaro history. Both models feature a revised exterior design that integrates high-performance aerodynamics for more efficient cooling and stability at high speeds. The Z/28 features a full aerodynamics package that creates downforce at speed, which helps make it the most track-capable offering in Camaro’s history.
The all-new Chevrolet SS, Chevrolet’s first V-8 rear-wheel-drive performance sedan in nearly two-decades, was also shown in New York. In February, Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 driving the SS racing version.
The Chevrolet SS and Camaro models were joined by the Corvette Stingray Coupe and Convertible, which was shown in the U.S. for the first time in New York. Together, these cars represent our extraordinary new lineup of Chevrolet performance vehicles for 2014.
Finally in New York, we introduced the much anticipated Cadillac CTS. This third-generation CTS is based on the rear-drive architecture of the award-winning ATS sport sedan, and moves Cadillac into the heart of the prestigious midsize luxury segment. The new CTS is five inches longer than its predecessor, but also, remarkably, significantly lighter. In fact, it will be the segment’s lightest car, enabling it to have the most agile driving dynamics in its class. Production begins this fall and marks yet another milestone in our drive to replace or refresh 70 percent of our U.S. nameplates in the 2012-2013 timeframe.
2013 continues to be a very big year for GM as we work to satisfy customer demand for winning new products around the world. We got off to a great start at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and now the Chicago, Geneva, and New York shows have added to our product portfolio. Next up is the Shanghai Auto Show in April and the North American launch of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups early this summer. There’s a lot more to come from GM in 2013. Stay tuned!
Mary Barra was named Senior Vice President, Global Product Development effective February 1, 2011, responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality for General Motors’ vehicles around the world. She is a member of the Executive Operations Committee and serves on the Adam Opel AG Supervisory Board.