Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kscarbel2

General Motors News

Recommended Posts

Yes, that's a Buick — just without the 'Buick' name badge

Jackie Charniga, Automotive News  /  March 13, 2018

DETROIT — Starting with the 2019 model year, Buick vehicles will no longer bear the name in North America.

As each vehicle shifts in the next model year, the company said, the naming badge will disappear.

Ditching the "Buick" script badge first was the 2019 Buick Envision. The badge was conspicuously absent during the premiere of the vehicle's midcycle refresh last month.

"It was a small running change that we didn't view as especially worth announcing to the world, but I've been pretty amazed by the interest in it in the past couple days," Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle said.

The main reason for dropping the script is consistency across marketplaces, according to Fowle. Since launching Buick in China, the only market outside of North America for the brand, the badge has been absent on those vehicles.

But market research Buick conducted revealed that 3 out of 4 consumers recognize the tri-shield badge as Buick without seeing the name.

"We are in the minority of brands that have their badge in addition to having their name on the back of the vehicle," Fowle said. "It was like we were saying Buick on the back of the car two times."

Across the industry, Buick found name badges are disappearing more and more from vehicles. The exception, Buick found, is the pickup market, where the badges appear to get bigger and bigger in each model iteration.

Another benefit of losing the Buick script is clearing space for the Avenir name. Buick's upscape subbrand is currently marked on the two front doors of the Enclave and the LaCrosse, though nothing today identifies Avenir from the rear, Fowle said.

.

image 4.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chevy to launch all-new 2020 Silverado HD in fall 2019

Richard Truett, Automotive News  /  April 10, 2018

With profits from pickups more important than ever as sales of cars fade, Chevrolet is making sure one of its biggest cash cows won’t ever get old. Chevrolet said the next-generation Silverado HD will debut next year as a 2020 model.

Chevrolet on Tuesday released the first teaser image of the 2020 heavy-duty Silverado.

Heavy duty pickups, often kitted out with opulent luxury features, are some of the most profitable vehicles sold by General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Chevrolet has been left in the dust by Ford, which has opened up new market segments with such vehicles as the ultraluxurious F-450 Super Duty Limited 4X4, which can top six figures once sales taxes are added.

In addition to consumer versions of the Silverado 2500 and 3500, Chevrolet is moving to directly challenge Ford with all-new versions of Silverado 4500 and 6500 chassis cab medium-duty trucks. These models are sent to upfitters who use the chassis for ambulances and other commercial vehicles. Ram offers a 4500 chassis cab model.

The 2020 Silverado HD will be built in Flint, Mich., and production is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2019, Chevrolet says. Ram also plans to offer a freshened version of its heavy-duty pickup next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Downsized engines a test for GM pickups

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  May 21, 2018

DETROIT — The new four-cylinder engine option for General Motors' 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups will test the loyalty and perceptions of pickup buyers who associate inline-fours with compact cars.

A four-cylinder engine in a full-size pickup was unimaginable a decade ago. But advancements in engineering as well as Ford Motor Co.'s success with its V-6 EcoBoost engines have proved that V-8 engines aren't necessarily the default choice for pickup buyers.

The question now is: How low can you go?

The 2.7-liter inline-four turbo engine is a major milestone for GM. It is the first four-cylinder engine in a modern-day full-size pickup and the first engine in a pickup that's capable of running on two cylinders. The engine is rated at 310 hp and 348 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and will be standard on the new Silverado RST and popular Silverado LT, replacing the 4.3-liter V-6 that's rated at 285 hp and 305 pound-feet of torque.

GM believes the engine will help it lead in fuel efficiency against Ford's aluminum-body F-150 with V-6 EcoBoost engines and a redesigned Ram 1500 with a mild hybrid system. GM didn't release mileage estimates for the engine, exact payload and towing specifications or details about its availability and capabilities in the Sierra.

‘Different animal'

Based on GM's expectations and the promise of increased performance compared with the previous engines, IHS Markit analyst Stephanie Brinley said she believes pickup buyers won't mind the four cylinders.

"I think that consumers will look past it and look at what the end-result performance is," she said after driving the pickup last week. "And again, it's important that it's not intended to be the volume V-8 engine. That's a different animal."

Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, said that even with the new engine, the company expects V-8 offerings to account for about 90 percent of Silverado sales, including 80 percent for the 5.3-liter V-8.

At Ford, the 3.5-liter and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6s together account for 72 percent of F-150 sales; the 5.0-liter V-8 accounts for 24 percent.

Jeff Luke, global director of gasoline engines at GM, said "it is very possible" the new four-cylinder eventually could replace the traditional V-6 in the pickups.

"This engine has been specifically designed for truck durability and reliability and performance," Luke told Automotive News. "We believe this package is going to be very well-received by our customers."

According to GM, the new engine powers the Silverado from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds and trims the truck's weight by 380 pounds compared with the current model with the 4.3-liter V-6.

GM says it is expected to deliver comparable payload capability to competitors' trucks (about 2,000 pounds), with greater torque than the 3.3-liter V-6 in the Ford F-150 XLT and the 3.6-liter V-6 in the Ram 1500 Big Horn.

All engines in the next-generation Silverado and Sierra pickups — which are expected to go into production in the third quarter — feature GM's Active Fuel Management system that can operate in two different cylinder modes or its new Dynamic Fuel Management technology that continuously adjusts the number of cylinders firing — down to two — in various combinations based on performance needs.

It is GM's first use of Active Fuel Management in a four-cylinder engine. The technology reduces the number of cylinders in use to two in light load conditions.

Six engines

Overall, GM is offering six engines and three transmissions — six-, eight- and 10-speed — for the 2019 Silverado and Sierra.

The four-cylinder engine is one of two new engines for the pickups. The other is an optional Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel that will be available later in the model year. They join the 4.3-liter V-6 — standard on three entry-level Silverado models — and three V-8 engines.

The V-8 engines are an updated optional 6.2-liter (420 hp/460 pound-feet) and two variants of the 5.3-liter (355 hp/383 pound-feet) — an optional work truck variant with Active Fuel Management and a standard version with Dynamic Fuel Management on its high-end Silverado LT Trailboss, LTZ and High Country trims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM will equip big '19 pickups with I-4 turbo in mpg battle vs. Ford, Ram

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  May 18, 2018

DETROIT -- General Motors is doubling the number of engines available in the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, including the addition of a new four-cylinder turbocharged engine that can run on two cylinders to increase fuel economy.

The 2.7-liter I-4 turbo engine is a major milestone for the company. It is the first modern-day four-cylinder engine in a full-size pickup and the industry's first pickup capable of running on two cylinders.

The engine, GM believes, will help it lead in fuel efficiency against Ford's aluminum-bodied F-150 with V-6 Ecoboost engines, including a 2.7-liter, 6 cylinder engine, and a redesigned Ram 1500 with a mild hybrid system.

"Everybody's going to get their chance to claim they're winning. We're going to claim that we're the highest fuel efficiency vehicle and what it means for our customer and the value we give back to our customer," Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of GM's full-size pickups, said during a media briefing Thursday at the company's proving grounds in the Detroit suburb of Milford.

Herrick and GM later clarified those comments to Automotive News, saying the lineup will be “very competitive in fuel efficiency.” The company cited EPA testing is not finalized for the 2019 models.  

GM did not release expected fuel economy estimates for the engine, priding, exact payload and towing specifications or details about its availability and capabilities in the Sierra.

Jeff Luke, global director of gasoline engines at GM, said "it is very possible" the new four-cylinder could eventually replace the traditional V-6 in the pickups.

"This engine has been specifically designed for truck durability and reliability and performance," Luke told Automotive News. "We believe this package is going to be very well-received by our customers."

The engine is rated at 310 hp and 348 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and will be standard on the new Silverado RST and popular Silverado LT trims -- replacing a 4.3-liter V-6 that's rated at 285 hp and 305 pound-feet torque.

According to GM, the new engine package in the Silverado delivers 0-to-60 mph performance in less than 7 seconds and weighs 380 pounds less than the current pickup with the 4.3-liter V-6. The company also made significant enhancements to reduce turbo lag.

Comparable payload

Compared with competitive full-size trucks, GM says it is expected to deliver comparable payload capability (about 2,000 pounds) with greater torque than the 3.3-liter, V-6 engine in the Ford F-150 XLT and the 3.6-liter V-6 engine in the Ram 1500 Big Horn.

All engines in the next-generation Silverado and Sierra pickups -- which are expected to go into production in the third quarter -- feature GM's Active Fuel Management system that can operate in two different cylinder modes or its new Dynamic Fuel Management technology that continuously adjusts the number of cylinders firing -- down to two -- between 17 modes based on performance needs.

It is GM's first use of active fuel management in a four-cylinder engine. The technology reduces the number of cylinders in use down to two cylinders in light load conditions.

Six powertrain configurations

Overall, GM is offering six powertrain configurations with six engines and three transmissions -- six-, eight- and 10-speed -- for the 2019 model-year Silverado and Sierra.

The four-cylinder engine is one of two all-new engines on the pickups. The other is an optional Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel that will be available later in the model year. They join the 4.3-liter V-6 -- standard on three entry-level Silverado models -- and three V-8 engines.

The V-8 engines include an updated optional 6.2-liter (420 hp/460 pound-feet) and two variants of the 5.3-liter (355 hp/383 pound-feet) -- an optional work truck variant with active fuel management and a standard version with dynamic fuel management on its high-end Silverado LT TrailBoss, LTZ and High Country trims.

Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, said even with the new engines, the company expects the mix of V-8 offerings to remain at about 90 percent of all Silverado sales, including a mix of 80 percent for the 5.3-liter V-8.

U.S. sales of the Silverado rose 1.9 percent to 585,864 last year while the large pickup market grew 5.6 percent.

In 2017, Sierra sales slipped 1.7 percent to 217,943.

Production of the pickups is expected to start at GM's plant in Fort Wayne, Ind., in the fall. GM also builds the trucks in Mexico, but it has not announced production details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Downsized engines a test for GM pickups

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  May 21, 2018

DETROIT — The new four-cylinder engine option for General Motors' 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups will test the loyalty and perceptions of pickup buyers who associate inline-fours with compact cars.

A four-cylinder engine in a full-size pickup was unimaginable a decade ago. But advancements in engineering as well as Ford Motor Co.'s success with its V-6 EcoBoost engines have proved that V-8 engines aren't necessarily the default choice for pickup buyers.

The question now is: How low can you go?

The 2.7-liter inline-four turbo engine is a major milestone for GM. It is the first four-cylinder engine in a modern-day full-size pickup and the first engine in a pickup that's capable of running on two cylinders. The engine is rated at 310 hp and 348 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and will be standard on the new Silverado RST and popular Silverado LT, replacing the 4.3-liter V-6 that's rated at 285 hp and 305 pound-feet of torque.

GM believes the engine will help it lead in fuel efficiency against Ford's aluminum-body F-150 with V-6 EcoBoost engines and a redesigned Ram 1500 with a mild hybrid system. GM didn't release mileage estimates for the engine, exact payload and towing specifications or details about its availability and capabilities in the Sierra.

‘Different animal'

Based on GM's expectations and the promise of increased performance compared with the previous engines, IHS Markit analyst Stephanie Brinley said she believes pickup buyers won't mind the four cylinders.

"I think that consumers will look past it and look at what the end-result performance is," she said after driving the pickup last week. "And again, it's important that it's not intended to be the volume V-8 engine. That's a different animal."

Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, said that even with the new engine, the company expects V-8 offerings to account for about 90 percent of Silverado sales, including 80 percent for the 5.3-liter V-8.

At Ford, the 3.5-liter and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6s together account for 72 percent of F-150 sales; the 5.0-liter V-8 accounts for 24 percent.

Jeff Luke, global director of gasoline engines at GM, said "it is very possible" the new four-cylinder eventually could replace the traditional V-6 in the pickups.

"This engine has been specifically designed for truck durability and reliability and performance," Luke told Automotive News. "We believe this package is going to be very well-received by our customers."

According to GM, the new engine powers the Silverado from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds and trims the truck's weight by 380 pounds compared with the current model with the 4.3-liter V-6.

GM says it is expected to deliver comparable payload capability to competitors' trucks (about 2,000 pounds), with greater torque than the 3.3-liter V-6 in the Ford F-150 XLT and the 3.6-liter V-6 in the Ram 1500 Big Horn.

All engines in the next-generation Silverado and Sierra pickups — which are expected to go into production in the third quarter — feature GM's Active Fuel Management system that can operate in two different cylinder modes or its new Dynamic Fuel Management technology that continuously adjusts the number of cylinders firing — down to two — in various combinations based on performance needs.

It is GM's first use of Active Fuel Management in a four-cylinder engine. The technology reduces the number of cylinders in use to two in light load conditions.

Six engines

Overall, GM is offering six engines and three transmissions — six-, eight- and 10-speed — for the 2019 Silverado and Sierra.

The four-cylinder engine is one of two new engines for the pickups. The other is an optional Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel that will be available later in the model year. They join the 4.3-liter V-6 — standard on three entry-level Silverado models — and three V-8 engines.

The V-8 engines are an updated optional 6.2-liter (420 hp/460 pound-feet) and two variants of the 5.3-liter (355 hp/383 pound-feet) — an optional work truck variant with Active Fuel Management and a standard version with Dynamic Fuel Management on its high-end Silverado LT Trailboss, LTZ and High Country trims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think large (2.5-3L) 4 cylinder turbo engines will be the norm for 1/2 ton full size pickups within a few years.

I also hear GM may be working on a large gasoline engine for HD pickups and medium duty trucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, RoadwayR said:

I think large (2.5-3L) 4 cylinder turbo engines will be the norm for 1/2 ton full size pickups within a few years.

I also hear GM may be working on a large gasoline engine for HD pickups and medium duty trucks.

Can’t believe they’ve got away from the big blocks; they got the most gallons per mile!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How aerospace could be a key to GM's future in fuel cells

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  June 18, 2018

GM has entered an exclusive deal with Liebherr-Aerospace to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered auxiliary power unit for aircraft applications.

DETROIT — How does an automaker cover the cost of developing next-generation hydrogen fuel cell technology without piling hundreds or thousands of dollars onto the cost of today's cars and trucks?

For General Motors, the answer is to pursue nonautomotive partnerships and commercial revenue opportunities ahead of offering the long-promised technology to consumers.

The latest example: an exclusive deal with Liebherr-Aerospace of France to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered auxiliary power unit for aircraft applications. An auxiliary power unit typically powers an aircraft's lighting, air conditioning, backup systems and other auxiliary functions.

The deal marks what's expected to be the automaker's first major foray into aerospace since it sold its Hughes Aircraft operation two decades ago. It calls for the companies to mutually explore opportunities to leverage Liebherr's strong position as a supplier of on-board aircraft systems with GM's fuel cell technology.

"It's all part of our strategy to evolve the technology rapidly to get it reduced in costs so it can be more suitable for a range of applications in the automotive space," Charlie Freese, executive director of GM global fuel cell business, told Automotive News.

The aircraft APUs, which are currently powered by gas-turbine engines, are an "introduction point" to other fuel cell applications in aerospace and related fields, Freese said.

He said GM "has started some discussions" with aircraft manufacturers, but declined to discuss the talks or details of the company's agreement with Liebherr, citing a nondisclosure agreement.

Affordability question

The aerospace work at GM represents a potential, if partial, answer to the quandary facing all automakers as they push forward on costly r&d work that could take years to pay off in the consumer marketplace. Emissions controls, fuel-saving systems, safety components and complex infotainment systems are already testing the limits of vehicle affordability, making it harder for automakers to shift costs of alternative powertrain development to new-car buyers.

Such initiatives are especially important as GM and other automakers face the prospect of having to pass tariff costs down to their customers as relations with key trading partners fray.

"Clearly, we want to make sure that we maintain affordability in vehicles," GM CEO Mary Barra said last week ahead of the company's annual shareholders meeting in Detroit, speaking on the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

The moves also reflect GM's vigorous defense of its "fortress" balance sheet, a hallmark of the company's strategy after its 2009 emergence from bankruptcy. The financial discipline enforced since then by leaders of the finance team has led GM to quit many unprofitable operations and is expected to continue under the leadership of Dhivya Suryadevara, who takes over as CFO Sept. 1, succeeding Chuck Stevens, who is retiring after 40 years at GM.

'Nice revenue path'

GM sees the institutional market and partnerships as a particularly attractive route to commercializing fuel cells. The Liebherr deal follows GM's launch of a defense unit focused on military applications for fuel cells, and its agreement last year to produce fuel cell systems for automotive use through a 50-50 joint venture with Honda Motor Co. around 2020.

Such tie-ups and revenue opportunities allow GM to cut costs and scale up volume more rapidly than relying on consumers to embrace, and pay for, the new technology.

"I think it's a great idea," said Morningstar analyst David Whiston. "There's no reason they can't do something like that. The military can be a nice revenue path … which is very small today."

GM is taking similar approaches with its aggressive plans for all-electric and autonomous vehicles.

This month, GM built on its alliance with Honda by announcing a new battery partnership that's expected to call for Honda to buy battery modules based on the next generation of GM's battery system. Building up economies of scale will be critical as GM plans to launch at least 20 EVs and fuel cell vehicles globally by 2023.

For the development of self-driving vehicles, including an expected ride-hailing fleet in 2019, GM on May 31 announced a $2.25 billion investment from prominent tech investment firm SoftBank Vision Fund in its autonomous vehicle operations.

'All feasible'

GM has been a major proponent of fuel cell technologies since the 1960s. For more than a decade, Freese said, the company has been developing fuel cell technology for aerospace, which is how the partnership with Liebherr-Aerospace began.

Like battery EVs, fuel cell-powered vehicles operate on electricity and don't emit pollutants. But rather than storing electricity in a battery, they generate power through a chemical process involving hydrogen fuel, which emits only water vapor.

Fuel cells also typically offer refueling times that are comparable to conventional fuels, though they face more serious infrastructure and cost challenges than battery EVs.

"We saw a great opportunity here to exploit the advantages of a fuel cell," Freese said. Fuel cell systems can operate either in-flight or on the ground much more quietly and efficiently than current auxiliary power unit systems, he added.

He said GM doesn't expect any technical roadblocks in implementing fuel cell auxiliary power units for airlines, but the two companies still need to co-develop the system to aerospace specifications and certification. He declined to discuss the time frame for deployment.

"We've developed systems that have been tested in environments like this," Freese said. "We think that's all feasible. There is a lot of work that needs to be done."

GM, according to Freese, sees adjacent opportunities even in the water produced by fuel cells — from humidifying the plane to assisting in flushing toilets and water supply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chevy resurrects Blazer as tech-savvy, sporty crossover

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  June 21, 2018

ATLANTA -- General Motors, aiming for more gains in the booming American market for utility vehicles, is resurrecting the venerable Chevrolet Blazer nameplate as a tech-savvy, yet sporty, crossover.

The new midsize Blazer, which GM last produced in 2005 as a body-on-frame SUV, will slot between Chevrolet's compact Equinox and large Traverse crossovers -- both of which were redesigned for 2018 and helped GM post record U.S. crossover sales last year.

“As this market continues to grow and evolve we will strengthen our commitment to offer a model for every customer and for every lifestyle,” Alan Batey, president of GM North America and head of Chevrolet's global business, said while unveiling the vehicle here Thursday

U.S. consumers are migrating from cars to crossovers, and Chevrolet hopes to capture more of those buyers by offering another utility in a key segment dominated by the Honda Pilot, Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, Hyundai Santa Fe and Subaru Outback.

From 2013 to 2017, U.S. sales of midsize crossovers increased 24 percent, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The segment has expanded 4.4 percent through the first five months of 2018.

“This is a huge opportunity for us,” Batey said. “We just think it’s the right vehicle at the right time.”

3 trims

The 2019 Blazer is expected to go on sale early next year in three trims -- base, RS and Premier --and introduce a simpler trim strategy for the brand. The trims, GM says, will offer "distinct styling," including custom grille appearances and chrome.

The five-passenger crossover has been designed in line with recent vehicle updates in Chevrolet's lineup but adopts a much more aggressive, sculpted approach. It features a prominent dual grille similar in shape to that of the refreshed 2019 Camaro SS and sleek, horizontal LED daytime running lights between the headlamps.

John Cafaro, executive director of Chevrolet design, said the vehicle was styled with "attitude" while "fulfilling the promise of versatility at the heart of every Chevy crossover and SUV."

Powering the front-wheel-drive vehicle will be a standard 2.5-liter inline-four engine rated at 193 hp and 188 pound-feet of torque. A 3.6-liter V-6 engine is also available, offering 305 hp and 269 pound-feet of torque. Both direct-injected engines feature intelligent stop-start technology and are paired to a nine-speed transmission.

The Blazer's maximum trailering load is an estimated 4,500 pounds with the V-6 engine.

GM will produce the Blazer at a plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, alongside the Chevrolet Equinox crossover and Chevrolet Cruze hatchback. It is based on GM's C1XX regular-wheelbase crossover platform, which also underpins the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia. A longer wheelbase is used on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and 2018 Buick Enclave.

Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production in the fourth quarter. In May, U.S. transaction prices for new midsize crossovers and SUVs averaged $38,175, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Tech

Traction Select is standard on all models and allows real-time adjustments to the vehicle's driving mode. On all-wheel-drive models, it also allows the system to be completely disconnected from the rear axle, meaning drivers can opt to have their vehicle operate in fwd when awd is not needed. An advanced twin-clutch awd system will be available on RS and Premier models.

Inside, the vehicle will come standard with an 8-inch color touch screen with Chevrolet Infotainment, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. On RS and Premier models, a new Chevrolet cargo management system, with a rail and cargo fence to help secure smaller items by dividing the cargo area, will come standard.

Available features (mostly available on RS and Premier) include advanced hitch guidance systems, electronic-locking glove box, heated outboard rear seats, adaptive cruise control and wireless charging.

1970s roots

GM introduced the K5 Blazer name in 1969 as part of the famed Chevrolet C/K truck family.

The automaker says it has sold more than 8 million Blazers, with annual U.S. deliveries routinely topping 200,000 from the mid-1990s through 2000, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The nameplate was discontinued in early 2005 amid sluggish demand for truck-based SUVs, rising gas prices and a shift in consumer preferences to sport wagons or crossovers.

Photo gallery: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=CA&Date=20180621&Category=PHOTOS01&ArtNo=621009999&Ref=PH

.

Photo 1.jpg

Photo 2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM Ignores Trump Call for U.S. Jobs by Building Blazer in Mexico

David Welch, Bloomberg  /  June 22, 2018

Just as U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening tariffs on imported autos, General Motors Co. plans to resurrect the Chevrolet Blazer, this time as a sleeker sport utility vehicle -- made in Mexico.

The new mid-size model -- bigger than the Equinox, smaller than the Traverse -- will go on sale early next year, as GM’s revives a nameplate that went away in 1994 when the boxy, truck-like SUV was renamed the Tahoe. The largest U.S. automaker said that the car-based utility will be assembled its plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

The move could be contentious, since Trump has been pressuring automakers to create more jobs in the U.S. He’s threatened to tear up Nafta and may be preparing to slap a 25 percent tariff on all imported autos in order to bring back assembly work lost to Mexico and elsewhere. GM’s decision was sharply criticized by the United Auto Workers, which supported Trump’s investigation into vehicle imports.

“This news that the iconic Blazer nameplate will be built in Mexico is disappointing to UAW families and communities across this country,” Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW’s GM Department, said in a statement. “This is all happening while UAW-GM workers here in the U.S are laid off and unemployed.”

The president has appealed to working-class voters in part by bemoaning the loss of factory work in the U.S. and blaming unfair trade with other countries.

“After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!” Trump wrote on Twitter in May, before directing the Commerce Department to investigate whether imported cars pose a national security threat. Trump also told top auto industry executives last month in a White House meeting that he wants them to build more vehicles in the U.S.

Chevy Imports

The UAW said GM employs more than 15,000 production workers in Mexico and pays them $3 an hour. The union claims that GM sells more than 80 percent of its Mexico-made vehicles to the U.S.

In April, GM cut the second shift at an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, where it makes the slow-selling Chevy Cruze compact car. Chevrolet is expected to import about 780,000 vehicles this year, mostly from Mexico, according to research firm LMC Automotive.

GM chose to make the Blazer in Mexico because the company was planning the vehicle years ago when all of its SUV plants were running on three shifts, said spokeswoman Katie Amann. The Ramos Arizpe factory was the only assembly plant with enough capacity for the Blazer, she said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM to transfer Vietnam operation to Vingroup's car arm, eyes sales boost

Reuters  /  June 29, 2018

HANOI -- General Motors has agreed to transfer its Vietnamese operation to VinFast Trading and Production LLC and distribute Chevrolet cars through the local carmaker, in a move that could help drive up its modest sales in the country.

The U.S. automaker will transfer full ownership of its Hanoi factory to VinFast for the Vietnamese firm to produce small cars under a GM global licence from 2019, the companies said in a statement on Thursday, without disclosing a value for the deal.

As part of the deal, VinFast, a unit of Vietnam's biggest private conglomerate -- Vingroup JSC, will be the exclusive distributor of Chevrolet in Vietnam.

"The GM-VinFast strategic partnership will best position the Chevrolet brand and dealer network for long-term growth in Vietnam by leveraging GM's global scale and expertise, married with VinFast's domestic strength and insight," said Barry Engle, executive vice president and president of GM International.

The transfer, which includes GM's Hanoi plant, dealer network and employee base, is expected to be conducted by the end of 2018, the companies said in the statement.

GM used its Hanoi plant to assemble Chevrolets with parts imported from South Korea -- a country where the U.S. automaker came close to bankruptcy as it struggled to turn around its debt-laden unit. GM Korea is GM's biggest production base in Asia excluding China.

The plant will be used solely to produce VinFast cars after the transfer, while Chevrolet cars will be imported.

VinFast said this partnership with GM was "integral" to its plan to "launch a portfolio of five VinFast vehicles in 2019".

It is building a $1.5 billion factory in the northern province of Hai Phong and plans to launch a sedan and SUV in the third quarter of 2019, and a small car, electric car and electric bus by end-2019.

"Our vision is to build an automobile manufacturing eco-system that will include assembly plants, local automotive suppliers and dealers, and a string of supporting industries," said VinFast CEO Jim DeLuca.

Vietnam's automobile sales grew 24 percent in 2016 but fell 10 percent last year to 272,750 units, data from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA) showed. Sales fell 6 percent in the first five months of 2018.

While GM's sales in Vietnam have been rising since 2014, its numbers last year were only an eighth of the country's market leader, local Truong Hai Auto Corp, and a sixth of runner up Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp, VAMA data showed.

Sales of Chevrolet, the only vehicle GM offers in Vietnam, grew 8.5 percent to 10,576 units in 2017, lagging gains of 34.5 percent in Indonesia and 25.7 percent in Thailand.

Chevrolet Vietnam - http://en.chevrolet.com.vn/vehicles/cars.html

.

Photo 1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chevy underestimated the overachieving Blazer

Automotive News  /  July 16, 2018

New Roads, Chevrolet's owners magazine, profiled 101-year-old former chief truck engineer Paul Hitch in its latest issue and turned up a choice anecdote about the origins of the Blazer, the nameplate the brand has announced it is bringing back.

Hitch, who retired in 1978, began working for General Motors in 1935 and was Chevy's truck engineering boss from 1965 to 1976. He oversaw development of the first Blazer in 1969.

"We were trying to compete with the Ford Bronco, so we discussed it," Hitch recalled.

"I said, 'Why don't we just take a Chevrolet pickup, cut the wheel base to 104 inches, marry the pickup box to it, and see what that does?'

"We put it out to the sales department. They estimated they could sell 300 a year. Pete [Estes, then Chevrolet's general manager and GM's future president] said, 'Well, go ahead and do it anyway.' And that year, we sold 5,000 and we didn't have enough tooling capacity to make any more. That was one funny, unusual situation."

Chevy stopped producing the Blazer in 2005 but last month unveiled a 2019 version as a midsize crossover.

.

Photo 3.jpg

Photo 4.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GM discontinues Chevrolet City Express small van

Michael Wayland, Automotive News  /  July 16, 2018

DETROIT -- General Motors has discontinued the Chevrolet City Express, a small work van which the automaker has marketed under a partnership with Nissan Motor Co. since 2014.

Dealers, according to a GM spokesman, were told of plans to drop the small van last summer. Final orders were taken in September 2017 and production of the last 2018 Chevy City Express vans -- a derivative of the Nissan NV200 -- ended at Nissan's assembly plant in Cuernavac, Mexico, in February.

The GM-Nissan pact was a quick, cost-effective way for Chevrolet to enter the small-van segment, which Ford Motor Co. has dominated since essentially creating the domestic market with the Transit Connect in 2009.

When unveiling the City Express in February 2014, Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM fleet and commercial sales, said the company saw "tons of opportunity" in the small commercial van market.

But Chevrolet gained little traction in the emerging segment. Less than 30,000 City Express units have been sold in the U.S. since it went on sale in November 2014. That's less than one year of Ford Transit Connect sales, which have averaged more than 42,500 annually since 2013.

City Express sales peaked at 10,283 in 2015 -- its first full year on the market. That same year, Ford sold more than 52,200 Transit Connects and Nissan sold more than 17,300 NV200s. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sold more than 11,000 Ram ProMaster City vans that year -- its first year of sales.

A GM spokesman declined to comment on reasons for the move or if the vehicle is expected to be replaced.

The supply agreement, according to a Nissan spokeswoman, was on an annual basis. She said Nissan "remains committed to the compact van segment." Nissan controls about 25 percent of the U.S. compact van segment, which dropped 9.5 percent in 2017 and has shrunk another 7.1 percent this year.

The discontinuation of the small van will not impact the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, which remain the only major body-on-frame offerings in the full-size van segment.

.

Photo 3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read the above for those waiting for a GM class 7 truck. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as International has surplus production capacity they'll probably be happy to assemble medium trucks for GM. But with major International stockholder VW Group testing everything from big Scanias on down in the U.S., VW Group may kick GM outta Intenational's plants...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The City Express was not much more than a limited market testing exercise, if it would have sold GM would have built their own small van.  It's a small price sensitive market in the U.S. that Ford practically owns, and it isn't real profitable anyway. 

Not sure VW will ever end up owning all of Navistar.  My best guess is some sort of merger could be a possibility in the distant future after VW spins their truck unit off, but probably not before that.

Not sure Navistar would want to kick GM out of their plants either.  Navistar is doing good business assembling GM's cut-away van chassis (and probably wouldn't mind more of GM's van work).  The JV medium will provide International a class 4/5 truck to replace the discontinued TerraStar, and GM will likely become an engine (small diesel and gasoline) and cab component supplier to Navistar.  In addition, I think there will be more JV's between GM and Navistar going forward.   No doubt MAN/Scania will also be very important partners as well, if not more so than GM.  You know, with GM's Duramax, MAN, and Scania diesels, International could drop Cummins eventually.      

 

   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Navistar will sell GM all the trucks GM will buy, it is good for Navistar, they need to keep there plants working. Navistar would sell trucks to Mack, if Mack would buy them. I say build what you sell. Look at the junk Navistar built for Cat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TS7 said:

Navistar will sell GM all the trucks GM will buy, it is good for Navistar, they need to keep there plants working. Navistar would sell trucks to Mack, if Mack would buy them. I say build what you sell. Look at the junk Navistar built for Cat. 

The "junk" that Navistar built for CAT was designed by......CAT. They were deeply involved in every detail.

Interestingly, the US market CAT on-highway truck website is still up...........https://www.cat.com/en_US/products/new/equipment/on-highway-trucks.html

As is the CAT Trucks Australia website, which is actually quite impressive..............http://www.cattrucks.com.au/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still like the Australian market product (which offered CAT engines). It’s evident that much time and effort was invested. Attractive trucks too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Cat-Navistar".  Again everytime I think of it I say-"marriage made in Hell!  Both companies created all kinds of bad press with engine issues- and they get together???

Shocker Kevin that the Cat site still mentions the on highway trucks.  

The one time the name "Cat" didn't work with the loyalists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every Cat truck that I have been around that has problems are related to Navistar basic parts. Every Cat dealer truck repair person I have talked too says the same, they have no use for Navistar and the way they build trucks. Cat trucks are really Navistar trucks, Cat did not change every part. I could say a lot more and have seen a lot of issues, they are the same ones Navistar trucks have. I would never own any Navistar product, no matter what name is on the hood. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

Welcome to BMT!

...The world's best antique, classic & modern Mack Truck support forum! Founded in 2000, BigMackTrucks.com is the place to go for everything related to Mack Trucks!

BMT!

BigMackTrucks.com is owned and operated by Watt's Truck Center, New Alexandria, PA. This forum and it's contents are not affiliated with Mack Trucks, Inc. or Volvo Trucks North America.

×