A new report says GM’s average lifespan for vehicles is shrinking and will soon match that of rival Toyota. For those who may be confused, this is a very good thing for both consumers and the company alike. The lifespan of a model is the time between its introduction and the rollout of its replacement. Formerly, Detroit manufacturers were replacing models every eight years, but recently GM and DaimlerChrysler have sped that up to five years, like their foreign rivals.
When a new model is introduced, like the new Chevrolet Tahoe shown above, for example, it features advancements in nearly every category, not just design. This means consumers get newer technology, usually at a price similar to the outgoing model. The fact that GM will replace 75% of its lineup over the next four model years is impressive and is just a few steps behind industry leader Toyota, which is at 83%. Both companies will have an average showroom age — the average age of all their current models — of 2.8 years by 2010.
Improvements in manufacturing and development have helped lead this surge for GM, while other companies like Honda, Kia and Hyundai are experiencing slowdowns because of their smaller lineups.
[GM Quickens Car Rollouts, Study Shows, Detroit Free Press]