GM Stakes Future On New Pickup

Still reeling from a summer strike, General Motors is betting its future on a shiny new pickup truck with a flashy name, reports CBS News Correspondent Bob Orr.

On Wednesday, the automaker launched an unprecedented $135 million sales campaign to promote its new Silverado and polish its tarnished image.

During the crippling strike, GM fell behind Ford in sales for the first time in 28 years.

While GM has recovered most of its market share, analysts say it still has too many plants and too many people. The Detroit behemoth also spends far more than its competitors to build each car or truck.

Richard Wagoner, just appointed as GM's new President, says the company is thinning its ranks with retirements.

"We've moved from a huge gap versus our best competitors to a smaller gap," he says.

However, critics say GM still lags in productivity and still makes too many cars that people don't want.

"The real solution for General Motors is to build such irresistible products that they need more workers and more plants and nobody seems to see that happening right now," says Keith Crain, publisher of Automotive News.

That's why the Silverado stakes are so high.

"We got a much stronger product, so we've got a chance to recapture leadership," says Wagoner.

So far, the Silverado is being hailed as a hit. "We're having trouble keeping them in stock," says GM dealer Kevin Fincham. "We're having trouble getting them."

While, GM's fortunes will not rise or fall with one truck, it could be a start for a company that must find a more efficient way to compete if it is to remain the world's premier automaker.

Reported by Bob Orr
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