GM stages show of international might in Detroit

If General Motors’ presence at the Detroit auto show was any indication, the company’s post-bankruptcy momentum is resulting in a strong, globally focused product offensive and some sweeping corporate changes.

GM made critical introductions in Detroit, most notably the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, but also more meaningful models to the company’s financial health, like the refreshed Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. 

And on 14 January, the conglomerate’s Cadillac ATS sports sedan was named  North American Car of the Year.

That car “was developed during a very tough time in the company’s history”, said GM president Mark Reuss in an interview on Monday with BBC Autos. In trucks, he said, “there is a significant history of winning at GM, and losing in cars.”

The 7th-generation Corvette was unveiled to journalists at an invitation-only event on Sunday evening. At the Chevrolet display on Monday, it was joined by no fewer than five older Corvettes, which showcased the vehicle’s evolution over the past six decades.

Internationally, GM is placing significant faith in the power of the Chevrolet brand, which carries much of its global product lineup in emerging markets. Adjacent to the Corvette heritage models, GM displayed a few of its offerings not sold in the United States. It was the only major automaker to take this tack at the show, displaying the Spin multipurpose vehicle and Onix sedan, which are popular in South America, among several other cars and trucks.

Reuss made clear that while GM may have more market differentiation in its product line than competitors such as Ford, it would not change course now that it was turning profits again.

"To taste winning is very important," he said. "Winning can be contagious."