Traditionally, General Motors used letters from the latin alphabet to designate long-running vehicle families aimed at similar market niches. For example, the E-body Oldsmobile Toronado personal luxury coupe was redesigned significantly through four generations from 1966 through 1992, but retained the same letter designation throughout.
The chassis identification can generally be found as the 4th letter of the Vehicle Identification Number. GM also uses the letter designations to identify service manuals, owner manuals, and other publications. Frequently, the letter designations were used in mainstream automotive reporting and were familiar to customers, especially in the case of car families that were visually similar, such as the J-bodies.
In some cases, the name was retained for a market segment even while the architecture diverged radically. In 1982, the A-body switched from rear to front wheel drive. The former chassis continued, now with the G-body name, while the front drive A-body was new design. In other cases, GM has used varied letter designations for similar products. The modern G, H, and K platforms are reported to be closely related, but GM has given different letter designations to various models.
In the 2000s, GM began using a more explicit platform naming scheme based on the greek alphabet. However many latin letter-designated products are still being sold.
Current GM platforms:
- Gamma - subcompact FWD
- Delta - compact FWD
- Epsilon - midsize FWD
- W - midsize FWD
- Sigma - midsize RWD
- H/K - fullsize FWD
- Theta - crossover SUV AWD
- U - minivan FWD
- Lambda - crossover FWD/AWD
- Zeta - midsize/fullsize RWD
- Y - sports cars RWD
- GMT355 - mid-sized pickup truck RWD
- GMT900 - full-sized pickup truck and SUV RWD
Current and Historical platform applicationsEdit
As mentioned above, GM used platforms to make a hierarchy of models aimed at different market segments. The following table attempts to place each shared platform in context. As General Motors has integrated worldwide operations, platforms are now shared globally.
Front wheel driveEdit
Rear wheel driveEdit
GM reused some platform names between the front and rear wheel drive families.
GM also has/had a number of non-shared and international platforms:
- GM P platform - 1984–1988 Pontiac Fiero mid-engined sports car
- U platform - 1974–1980 Holden Torana Rear wheel drive compact
- W platform - 1980–1984 Holden WB Rear wheel drive full-size
- GM Z platform - 1991–2002 Saturn S-Series compacts
- GM/Fiat Premium platform - Alfa Romeo models
- Daewoo T platform - Daewoo Lanos, Daewoo Kalos, Daewoo Gentra
- Daewoo J platform - Daewoo Nubira, Daewoo Lacetti
- Daewoo M platform - Daewoo Matiz
- Daewoo V platform - Daewoo Leganza, Daewoo Magnus, Daewoo Tosca
Badge-engineered and non-GM products:
- GM M platform (Suzuki) - Chevrolet Sprint, Geo Metro
- GM P platform (Isuzu) - Chevrolet Spectrum, Geo Storm
- GM S platform (Toyota) - Chevrolet Nova, Geo Prizm, Pontiac Vibe
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