Reuters is reporting that GM is backing off its attempt to only offer three-cylinder versions of some vehicles in China after facing backlash.
China is known for having some of the strictest emissions and fuel efficiency regulations in the world. As a result, manufacturers have begun offering three-cylinder cars in that market, which are both cleaner and more fuel efficient. GM, rather than giving customers the option as BMW and Honda did, discontinued four-cylinder versions in favor of three on many of the models it sells in China.
The move did not go over well, and was a likely contributor to the company’s sliding sales. According to Reuters, “many Chinese consumers, however, perceive cars with three-cylinder engines as noisier and prone to vibrating.” As a result, GM has started offering four-cylinder options once again.
GM’s troubles illustrate the balancing act many corporations must perform to meet regulatory goals while, at the same time, maintaining the level of performance customers have come to expect.