The newly appointed head of General Motors' performance division has announced plans to develop a new range of powerful small cars.

Chevrolet-Cruze

Jim Campbell, who assumed the role of vice president of GM's performance vehicles and motorsports just last week, is eager to revisit plans to build high-performance small cars after they were put on hold following GM's bankruptcy last year.

The new performance mantra will "cross all brands" within General Motors with a primary emphasis on Chevrolet and Cadillac.

"Small cars and compact cars are going to be more and more important going forward, and we're looking at efficient performance," said Campbell.

The move has been backed by the current president of GM's North American operations, Mark Reuss, who previously headed the High Performance Vehicles Operations unit before it was axed when GM filed for bankruptcy - moving him to Australia as Holden's managing director.

Since this time, all performance projects - aside from special-edition, low-volume performance cars, such as V-Series vehicles for Cadillac - have been put on an "indefinite hold".

As the former head of Chevrolet marketing, Campbell has said the aim of the new performance division is to the improve the image of each brand.

At the top of the list of cars expected to receive the performance treatment is the soon to be released Chevrolet Cruze - also offered in Australia as the Holden Cruze.