One of the best ways to sell cars, at least in the eyes of those who make them, is to offer select high performance models. Not many of these vehicles are sold, but they happen to raise the visibility of that particular model, perhaps encouraging sales across model lines.
High Performance Vehicles Operation
General Motors has long been about high performance with Chevrolet Corvette being the best example of what the automaker can do to make produce a powerful sports car. The company also operates a High Performance Vehicles Operation (HPVO) unit, one that takes rather ordinary cars and makes them extraordinary.
Among the vehicles that have benefited from GM performance prowess are the Pontiac G8 GXP, Cadillac CTS-V and the Chevrolet Cobalt SS. But, those cars will soon be history — at least the high performance models — as GM has closed down its HPVO unit.
Seeking To Recover, With Federal Assistance
This bit of news comes from the company’s recently submitted recovery plan report where the automaker outlined to the federal government the direction the company would be taking over the next several years. That report revealed that GM would abandon or sell off several brands, close factories, lay off workers and work extra diligently to bring the electric Chevy Volt and similar vehicles to market.
Though the new direction GM is taking may seem a bit stunning, high performance vehicles rarely provide the profits needed to sustain them. These types of vehicles cost a lot to make and the return on investment is non-existent. Thus, in its current state GM needs to take action to ensure that the products they have going forward provide a higher volume which means a higher return on their money.
The Corvette Goes It Alone
According to Automotive News, which broke the story, engineers who were working in HPVO have been reassigned. Although the Corvette has been part of HPVO, more than likely the iconic sports car will soldier on with its own dedicated group of engineers.
Current HPVO vehicles will likely finish out their lifecycles meaning that the CTS-V sedan will continue for a few years. Next year’s planned released of the CTS-V coupe is in question, however.