CHICAGO -- Oldsmobile will drop its midsize Toronado luxury coupe and full-size Custom Cruiser station wagon after 1992, the first evidence that General Motors Corp. is about to whittle down its product offerings in order to cut costs and regain profitability for its North American operations.
Earlier this week GM announced it earned a scant $179 million in the first quarter of this year. Though that was GM's first profit in six quarters, the company said its North American operations were still losing money, with estimates of $1 billion or more for the quarter, and that consolidation and cost-cutting would be accelerated.
Elimination of selected models would appear to be the next step in GM's top-to-bottom reorganization.
That effort began last December, when GM Chairman Robert Stempel announced that 21 plants and 74,000 jobs would be eliminated by the end of 1995. On April 6, the company's outside directors moved to speed the change by demoting two of Mr. Stempel's top lieutenants and easing him out as head of the board's executive committee. Last week, Mr. Stempel announced a sweeping realignment of GM's automotive divisions and hinted that a review of its many product lines was under way.