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General Motors: Now it?s time to step on the gas

January 17, 2013

DELAYED for years by GM?s mounting financial problems, then its bankruptcy and government bail-out, the promised revamp of the carmaker?s classic Corvette Stingray at times looked like it might never happen. But on January 13th, on the eve of the Detroit motor show, a gang of reporters and a crowd of sports-car enthusiasts (who paid $1,200 a ticket) gathered in an abandoned warehouse in a rundown part of the Motor City and, at last, to the sound of wailing guitars, the new ?Little Red Corvette? drove onto the stage. It won wild applause, even from the hard-bitten hacks.Things got even better for GM the next morning, when its Cadillac ATS sedan took the show?s top prize, the North American Car of the Year. This boosted GM?s hopes that Cadillac, its premium brand, can begin to catch up with pricey European marques such as BMW and Range Rover among the emerging world?s new rich. The Corvette?s rave reception likewise lifts GM?s dreams of elevating its image from ?successful plumber?s car?, as an executive recently put it, to being a must-have high-performance model for the global elite, up there with Porsche and Ferrari.After years as a basket-case, pilloried...

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