General Motors Proves Even Giants Stumble

All of us have challenges.

Sometimes we stumble. But at least it’s usually only those closest to us who notice. And, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal. We get up, we dust ourselves, and we keep going.

When an icon like General Motors stumbles, everyone notices. But sometimes people like me need to see the big guy fail … and then see him get back up again. It’s actually a great life lesson. As The General dusts himself off, look for these three products to help our American giant keep going:

1. Buick LaCrosse: Get in my garage
The product renaissance at GM began with the Cadillac CTS. The edgy design and forward-thinking technology pushed the marquis out of Grandpa’s garage and into the spotlight for a much younger buyer. Buick is on its way to doing the same thing, and the 2010 LaCrosse will help.

In recent years, Buick hasn’t been able to compete with the likes of Mercedes, Audi and Lexus. But I see that changing. Soon. From the slick, sleek exterior design to the ice blue ambient lighting, the all-new LaCrosse is stunning inside and out.

2. Chevrolet Orlando: Small is the new big
For the last several years, everything from French fries to SUVs has been supersized. The effect is that our bloated habits have caused us to expect—and rely on—oversized portions. But now that it’s hitting us in the gas tank, the Suburbans and Expeditions of yore just aren’t viable any more.

Enter the 2011 Orlando. Built on the platform of a compact car, this five-door utility vehicle combines the new age of Chevrolet design (think sexy Traverse and Malibu) with a small but functional 7-passenger cabin. Other compact cuties on the horizon for Chevrolet in 2011: the Cruze and the Spark (think smart car).

3. Chevrolet Volt: Electrifying!
The Volt is not a hybrid. It’s a pure electric vehicle that can hit 100 mph and go up to 40 miles on a single charge. The gasoline engine only creates energy for the battery if you exceed the 40-mile driving span.

Most people on their daily commute will never need the gasoline, and the cost for electricity to charge the vehicle on a daily basis will be about 6 bucks a week. During the launch of the vehicle last September, the GM execs even joked that “gasoline changes” will replace the traditional oil changes as the gasoline will go stale before it’s used.