Henderson’s appointment as GM’s North American chief makes the future of several other high-ranking execs uncertainEnlarge Photo
That leaves Hummer, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac in an uneasy state. GM has already confirmed that it is looking for a buyer for its Hummer brand, and that Saturn was also under review. Pontiac, meanwhile, is expected to be reduced to just a few models, while Saab could also be sold-off or axed altogether.
Speaking with Automotive News, GM COO Fritz Henderson said the company is conducting a strategic review of its Saab and Hummer brands and that the "status quo" for the Saturn brand will not work. "We need to do something different with Saturn," he said.
As for Saab, Henderson confirmed that GM was working with the Swedish government to help the brand remain viable, however, he stressed that Saab was “not a U.S. strategy.”
Pontiac, meanwhile, will "shrink substantially," Henderson said. Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show last week, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz also said Pontiac will eventually be reduced to just five models – the G8, G5, Vibe, Solstice and Solstice Coupe.
Part of GM’s downsizing efforts will also see its 6,600 dealer network shrunk to around 4,700 dealers by 2012.
Finally, Henderson warned that if GM doesn’t receive the $5.4 billion second instalment in government aid the carmaker would run out of money by March. The payment was originally due last week but was delayed by this week’s change in administration.