GM’s current market value is smaller than that of Mattel Inc., maker of Matchbox cars, and a 10th of what it was in 2000. A Merrill Lynch analyst said [July 2, 2008] that a GM “bankruptcy is not impossible if the market continues to deteriorate.” Merrill downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “buy.” The price was the lowest since 1954 adjusted for splits.
GM may bring the production version of the Chevrolet Beat to the U.S., people familiar with the plan said. The car, which would normally be reserved for markets such as Asia and Latin America, gets as much as 40 miles a gallon, a fuel efficiency topped in the U.S. only by hybrids.
Besides the Beat, GM is weighing a list of options for refocusing its auto lineup on fuel efficiency rather than performance. They include the U.S. introduction of a small pickup popular in Latin America and an expansion of the number of versions of the Volt plug-in electric car, the people said.
GM is also trying to increase production and speed up availability of the successor to the Chevy Cobalt sedan and develop a fuel-efficient alternative to the Cadillac Escalade sport-utility vehicle, they said.
About flippin’ time!