DETROIT – General Motors Corp. has begun producing a new lineup of full-size SUVs earlier than expected. Last spring, the manufacturer said it would speed up the program to help restore profits and boost lagging sales, according to the Detroit News. In the last week of November, GM began producing the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade, one week ahead of an already accelerated timetable aimed to begin output five weeks early. Gary White, GM vice president over full-size trucks, said the automaker was able to save time after prototype testing was completed early. The SUV program further benefited from a new engineering approach that uses more common parts among GM vehicles, according to the Detroit News report. GM will move up the launch of its redesigned full-size pickups — the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra — by three months to October 2006, as a result of these same efficiencies. However, even with the early production schedule, GM’s SUVs cannot be sold in dealerships until early next year. A legal requirement bars automakers from selling 2007 models until at least Jan. 1, 2006.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials