DETROIT May 20 The launch of General Motors
Co's redesigned Chevrolet Silverado, the most important
since the automaker's bankruptcy and $50 billion taxpayer-funded
bailout in 2009, is on track and advertising for its full-size
trucks should begin in a few weeks, a top GM executive said on
Mark Reuss, head of GM's North American operations, said the
launch of the 2014 Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups is going
"really good" and there had been no hiccups to slow the rollout.
Analysts estimate GM has invested $3 billion to $4 billion
to develop the new trucks and related engines, and to revamp the
plants where they are built. The last major redesign of the
trucks was in 2006.
Reuss said advertising for the new big trucks will not begin
until there are enough on dealer lots to meet demand.
"We want to match availability with the marketing, so we've
still got some weeks before we get everything to everybody that
needs it," he told reporters after an event at which he
announced the creation of a summer internship program for
Detroit-area high school students.
Reuss was comfortable with inventory of about 100 days for
current truck models and said that was not too high.
The trucks are a linchpin in GM's ongoing battle with No. 2
U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co, whose F-150 truck is the auto
industry's top-selling vehicle.
The current versions of the big trucks and related SUVs
generate profit of $12,000 or more per vehicle and account for
about 60 percent of GM's global profit, according to analysts.
Citigroup has estimated the new models could bring the automaker
more than $1 billion in additional operating earnings in 2013
Reuss also said on Monday he was not concerned that the
softening Japanese yen could lead to rising incentives across
"Everybody wants high-quality sales, not sales at all
costs," he said.
Reuss expects GM's May U.S. sales to be up from last year
and he remains unconcerned at this point about the industry's
weaker-than-expected sales in April, saying it was just one
month of results.
"There's some optimism out there," he said.
Reuss also agreed that GM topping the $33 price at which the
company returned to the stock market in the fall of 201 was a
positive psychological point. He added that, if the city of
Detroit seeks bankruptcy protection, it will not affect GM
financially or operationally.