When General Motors eliminated half its brands, essentially overnight, it created turmoil in its product development program. For one thing, the sale of the Saturn division meant there’d be no home for the plug-in hybrid system that was supposed to be used on the brand’s 2011 Vue.
GM officials briefly considered giving a rebadged version of the Vue plug-in to Buick, one of the company’s four surviving North American brands, but pulled the plug on that idea, as well. However, sources confirmed for TheDetroitBureau.com last week that the technology won’t be abandoned, and while a final decision on where to use it has not been made, it would almost certainly show up in a Chevrolet or GMC model, most likely by the originally planned, 2011 model-year.
The latest confirmation of this comes from suppliers to the program. GM is telling them to move ahead with plans for a plug-in hybrid despite the automaker’s decision to kill a Buick version of the plug-in hybrid that had garnered negative comments from potential consumers.
GM is now looking for new slot in its current lineup for the plug-in hybrid, according to Prabhakar Patil, the chief executive officer of Compact Power Inc. in Troy, Michigan.
Compact Power also is collaborating with GM on the Volt, and is in discussions with Eaton Corporation about producing lithium-ion batteries for trucks and commercial vehicles.
Compact Power is the North American subsidiary of LG Chem, one of the world’s largest producers of lithium-ion batteries for automotive hybrid electric vehicles and commercial and military markets.