Some Safety Items Become Options as GM Trims Costs
Under pressure to cut costs, General Motors Corp. will make buyers of most of its 2003 vehicles pay extra for anti-lock brake systems and side air bags, previously standard equipment, according to a USA Today story by David Kiley.GM currently has standard ABS on 52 of 58 models and standard side air bags in 31 models. Among 2003 models, GM will offer ABS as standard on its six Cadillac and two Saab models, plus Pontiac Bonneville, Chevrolet Corvette and Buick LeSabre. Side air bags will remain standard on only the Cadillacs and Saabs."We're not taking these safety options away,just competitively pricing them," GM spokesman Jay Cooney said.Over the years, GM has loaded its cars with standard equipment. Competitors have notfollowed.GM product boss Robert Lutz has been reviewing the company's product line-up, looking to trim unnecessary features and follow competitors on features that carry charges.GM could save more than $100 million a year on ABS and side air bags. GM wants to cut $1.5 billion in costs this year.