Speaking at its 2011 Global Business Conference, General Motor's CEO Dan Akerson told a group of investors and industry analysts that the automaker plans a sweeping rationalization effort between now and 2018 aimed at reducing the cost and complexity of its product lines. If the program meets the stated goals, GM will manage to cut its worldwide platform count by over 50 percent -- from the existing 30 to just 14 -- while increasing the percentage of total volume on those remaining architectures from 31 percent to 90 percent. The automaker also anticipates trimming engine platform count from 20 to around 10 by the end of the decade.
"Today's GM has strong brands and fuel-efficient products that customers around the world truly value," said Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. "To reach a higher level of performance -- for our customers and stockholders -- we are accelerating our efforts to simplify and strengthen our processes to improve efficiencies and achieve our vision, which is to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles."
Akerson went on to note that: "More of our components will be common, and more of our vehicles will be on global architectures." Despite this reduction, he indicated that GM plans a major expansion in the number of individual products that will be spun off of this smaller collection of architectural underpinnings.