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DETROIT (CAP) - In an effort to cut spiraling costs, General Motors may stop making cars as soon as 2011, said GM COO Fritz Henderson at the Automotive News World Congress this week.
"The fact of the matter is, right now we're losing money on pretty much every car we make," said Henderson. "So you can imagine how much money we'd save if we just stopped making them.
"I'm thinking quite a bit," he added.
Henderson noted that even if GM stopped making cars tomorrow, the stock they have now would last at least two years, "more if people keep not buying cars."
After that, he said, "we can start by selling off other things we have around the showrooms, like the fixtures and the couches in the waiting room. By the time that's all gone, I'm sure the economy will be better, or we'll have figured out something else we can sell that might be more profitable than, you know, cars."
He mentioned vacuums, clothes dryers and lawn mowers as possibilities. "Ideally it would be something with a motor in it, because of the whole ‘General Motors' thing," he said.
The announcement comes on the heels of the news last week that the company would likely be abandoning several brands, such as the under-performing Saturn line. That announcement sent shock waves through Saturn's small but devoted fan base.
"I desperately, desperately love and need my little Saturn Astra," said Marc Hurwitz, whose Facebook group I Desperately, Desperately Love and Need my Little Saturn Astra has more than 20,000 members. "First I might lose my Logo, and now my Astra? Why don't you just take away my Librium too and I can just curl up into a ball and cry until I dehydrate to death?"
Hurwitz also noted that you don't have to be gay to enjoy driving a Saturn, "but it helps."
There were some signs that the plan could be problematic, however. For instance, when asked if it was a provision of the federal bailout plan that the company keep making cars, Henderson paused, cursed under his breath and ran from the room.
In a later interview, meanwhile, Henderson acknowledged that some customers might be upset to see their favorite GM cars go by the wayside, but he noted that they would continue to make parts for "a good year" after they stop making the cars. "Or at least six months," he said.
"Or people could just get one of those Toyotas," he offered. "I hear they last forever."
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