Among the costs of being bailed out by the government, General Motors folded its High Performance Vehicle Operations (HPVO) in February last year, reassigning some sixty engineers to mainstream projects. Face it, regardless of what the buying public wanted – who weren’t buying much of anything at the time – churning out CTS-V’s and SS models didn’t fit well with the current government’s agenda.
With the company back on track now, selling new models, making money and paying back its debts, GM is listening to the market once again. In what could be considered one of the most marvelous conundrums, last week’s SEMA Show had a high performance, Z-spec Chevrolet Volt on display.
Other performance oriented models from GM included Z-spec Cruze and Spark models, as well as modified versions of the current Camaro SS. Chevrolet’s marketing head, Chris Perry, spoke with Automotive News about these cars and the fact that GM must continue to acknowledge the demand for performance cars from the marketplace.
“Right now we don’t have a performance sub-brand in us,” Perry told the trade magazine. “For now it might not be a sub-brand. It might be initiatives around parts and accessories.”
Regardless of the short term direction, it seems clear that so long as gasoline prices remain reasonable, the public wants the means to burn it gloriously. GM has plenty of performance partners through which they could work to bring new performance packages to the public. The first step back on that road may simply be a few parts.