General Motors will reportedly postpone spending on product development in all of 2009 and 2010 in an effort to cut costs. The spending cuts will affect engineering, research and design, and is expected to lead to delays in the introduction of crucial models such as the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.

The information comes from an inside source, who told Automotive News that no actual models planned for those two years has been canceled. This is contrary to previous reports that claimed GM had canceled plans for its next-generation Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe full-size SUVs. It does however coincide with news that models such as the new Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS Coupe, and the aforementioned Cruze have all been delayed.

"The 2009 stuff that's too late to cancel is coming out, then everything else gets pushed out anywhere between three months and up to a year," said one of the sources. "It's not just capital budget, it's also engineering, design, and everything else that would cause money to flow out in 2009."

The product delays are expected to save GM around $1.5 billion. The source also said the much-hyped Chevrolet Camaro and Volt plug-in hybrid will be immune from the spending cuts.

A spokesman for GM declined to comment on the recent reports but confirmed that the carmaker’s entire portfolio was being reviewed. Union members at GM’s Lordstown plant in Ohio, which will build the new Cruze, said they have not been told of any delays.

The new LaCrosse was originally planned for launch in the first half of next year, along with the Cadillac CTS wagon. These were meant to be followed by the new CTS Coupe later that year, and the Cruze in early 2010. According to the source, the respective launches of these vehicles could be delayed from anywhere between three months and up to a year.