Turning away from niche vehicles and small-market cars, GM is looking to build nothing but high-volume cars for the near future. That means significantly cutting back truck output and focusing its energy on cars and crossovers.

The company has had some recent success with high-volume products in the target areas, including the Chevy Malibu, Cadillac CTS, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. Bob Lutz, GM's pithy vice chairman phrased the strategy in simple terms. “We can’t afford to hit singles and bunts. We need triples and home runs,” he said.

A new range of smaller, more efficient cars like the Cobalt and eventually its expected successor, the Cruze, will help the company target the increasingly large efficiency-conscious segment of the market, reports The Detroit News. "We've said it before, our goal on all future products is to have the class-leading fuel efficiency," said Lutz.

The Chevrolet brand will be the backbone of the effort to sell cars and crossovers with mass-market appeal. Once the smaller cars fill out the lineup and the Volt is in production in late 2010, the brand will be the focus of GM's U.S. operations. The Volt itself could be pushed to as many as 500,000 units per year within a few years of launch, says Lutz, though he acknowledges the figure is just a guess.

Other cars will get the technology being developed for the Volt as well, however, expanding GM's ability to provide fuel-efficient platforms around the world. Until then, however, the focus will be on small four-cylinders, which will expand beyond its small-car range into crossovers and compact SUVs like the Equinox.