Today’s business world is increasingly global. Nowhere is that more true than the auto industry. The world’s largest automaker is once again GM, which sells vehicles on nearly every continent. More and more, GM and other automakers are looking to limit the number of vehicle platforms sold in different countries, with an eye towards efficiency. And as fuel economy standards continue to rise, small, lightweight, front-wheel drive platforms are bound to be the most popular.
However, GoAuto reports that GM’s North American President Mark Reuss has defended the large-and-limited Zeta platform as a global vehicle architecture…even though its future is very much in doubt.
The Zeta platform was developed to be GM’s next-generation rear-wheel drive platform, yet the economic crunch and rising gas prices changed plans. As it is, the Zeta platform underpins a handful of Holden vehicles (including perennial favorite the Commodore) as well as the 2010+ Camaro and the short-lived Pontiac G8. The Zeta platform is large and heavy though, and not much suited to more fuel-efficient engines. The upcoming Alpha platform, which underpins the new Cadillac ATS, is slated to replace the Zeta platform…one day.
Over a billion dollars went into the Zeta platform, and GM’s Mark Reuss has defended the platform, noting that it underpins the Camaro, as well as the Chevy Caprice PPV. Still, with a newer, lighter rear-drive platform already making its way to dealerships, the Zeta platform’s days do seem numbered.