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Here's How COVID-19 Is Affecting General Motors and Its Vehicles

Here’s How COVID-19 Is Affecting General Motors and Its Vehicles

All-electric Hummer still on track though

The COVID-19 pandemic forced all automakers to shut down facilities starting March 2020. Many carmakers, including General Motors, also teamed up with various companies to build and deliver medical supplies like masks and ventilators. Due to this effort, coupled with uncertainty as to when the lockdown will end, General Motors is delaying mid-cycle facelifts for some vehicles.

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What Does the Future Hold For GM Trucks? Will the Company Be Able to Compete With Tesla and Rivian?

What Does the Future Hold For GM Trucks? Will the Company Be Able to Compete With Tesla and Rivian?

Hazy statements from Mary Barra affect the credibility of the whole company

We are a little befuddled listening to what Mary Barra had to say about GM producing an all-electric truck. Who’s Mary Barra? Well, she is the CEO of General Motors and. when asked about doing an electric pickup truck to compete with Tesla’s upcoming pickup, she did not have any answer and just commented, ‘stay tuned.’ Stay tuned to watch GM go down?

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GM Has a Compact, Unibody Pickup in the Works and We're Worried

GM Has a Compact, Unibody Pickup in the Works and We’re Worried

It may never arrive Stateside

The Chevrolet Montana is getting replaced by a bigger, more practical compact truck that will sit on the Global Emerging Markets (GEM) platform and also share elements with the next-generation Tracker. It will be a direct competitor to the Fiat Toro and the Renault Duster Oroch in South America, but we may never see it sold in the United States.

There seems to be growing interest in compact, crossover-based, trucks, at least in Latin America where the Montana has been on sale since 2003. Its, as-of-yet unnamed, replacement will be on sale by 2020 and will follow suit on a trend kick-started by Renault and Fiat, among others. Both now offer four-door pick-up trucks and Chevrolet’s new unibody offering will boast the same number of doors. Is this a niche worth exploiting on the North-American market? We don’t know, and it’s also unlikely for GM to sell a GEM-based car here.

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2019 GM Pickups May Have Carbon Fiber Beds

2019 GM Pickups May Have Carbon Fiber Beds

A bold move to avoid aluminum and ridicule

General Motors might be using carbon fiber construction within the cargo bed of its next-generation 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The news comes from an insider close to GM who spoke with The Wall Street Journal. Apparently, GM will use the composite beds to save weight while adding strength. Only higher-end trims will be available with the composite box, though its availability could spread throughout the lineup.

The move would come as an alternative to aluminum, which Chevrolet has relentlessly poked fun at Ford for using with its 2015-current F-150. TV commercials and other ads have portrayed Ford’s aluminum beds as weaker than Chevy’s steel beds. Moving to carbon fiber would reduce the bed’s weight while providing more strength than aluminum – or so the insider says.

We can expect GM to debut its new pickups at the 2018 Detroit Auto show in January or the Chicago Auto Show in February. Sales will likely begin in the third or fourth quarter of 2018. GM hasn’t commented on the WSJ report or alluded to carbon fiber being present. There is also no word on whether the beds would be an extra-cost option or come as standard equipment on LTZ or High Country models. We should find out more in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for the latest.

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Sorry Ford: GM Trucks to Get Carbon Fiber Beds

Sorry Ford: GM Trucks to Get Carbon Fiber Beds

Premium material could be limited to premium trim models of Chevy and GMC pickups

General Motors is not messing around. The American automaker is reportedly pushing forward with plans to develop carbon fiber beds on its pickup trucks. The decision to use the lightweight but expensive material is seen as an attempt by GM to elevate the status of its pickup trucks, specifically the premium trims. There’s no exact timetable on when these lightweight beds will hit the market, but The Wall Street Journal report indicates that it could be ready in two years or by the time the next-generation pickups from Chevy and GMC hit the market.

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The Emissions Drama Continues; GM Accused Of Installing Defeat Devices

The Emissions Drama Continues; GM Accused Of Installing Defeat Devices

All aboard the lawsuit train!

Earlier today, we reported how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was accused of installing defeat devices in roughly 100,000 diesel vehicles to help circumvent emissions standards, a scheme similar to what Volkswagen did in the infamous dieselgate scandal. Now, it’s looking like General Motors is next in line to feel the heat, as a new lawsuit alleges the automaker cheated on more than 700,000 diesel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. This latest allegation makes GM the sixth automaker accused of using cheater software since the dieselgate scandal broke in 2015. Affected vehicles include Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras between the 2011 and 2016 model years. The lawsuit is currently seeking class-action status, and was filed in U.S. District Count in Detroit in part by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, the same firm involved in the VW dieselgate suit.

The lawsuit against GM alleges the damage created by the cheating GM vehicles could even exceed those of the cheating VW’s, with two to five times the legal limit of harmful emissions produced. GM was quick to respond with a statement, saying “These claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. The Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations.”

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Leaked: Horsepower, Torque Specs for GM's New L5P Duramax Turbodiesel

Leaked: Horsepower, Torque Specs for GM’s New L5P Duramax Turbodiesel

The Duramax goes from dead last to tied for first

General Motors’ next-generation 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 turbodiesel is said to make 445 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 910 pound-feet of torque at only 1,600 rpm. That’s what GM’s own 2017 global propulsion product guide states on the GM Powertrain website. At least before GM took the web page down ahead of the Duramax’s official debut at the 2016 Texas State Fair.

Those horsepower and torque specs are a big improvement over the outgoing LML 6.6-liter Duramax. It produced 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque in the 2016 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy duty trucks. That’s a total of 48 more horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque for 2017.

Much of that power increase can likely be attributed to the already-announced dual-circuit cold air intake for the Duramax. The new intake uses a hood scoop to draw roughly 60 percent of air into the engine. The cooler outside air then hits a 180-degree elbow with a water separator and mixed with the other air coming from the traditional fender location.

In relation to Ford’s newly revised 6.7-liter Power Stroke, the Duramax makes five horsepower more, but 15 pound-feet less torque. That puts the Duramax as the class leader for horsepower and the Power Stroke leading in torque, at 925 pound-feet.

The 6.7-liter Cummins inline six-cylinder turbodiesel in Ram’s heavy duty trucks is now in last place. The high-output version makes 385 horsepower and 900 pound-feet of torque. We’re betting Ram will make a play for 950 or even 1,000 pound-feet of torque when the next generation Ram debuts for 2018.

News of GM’s upgrades to the Duramax is greatly welcomed. Its heavy duty trucks have been skating by the last few years without any major advancements beyond a body style change for the 2015 model year. The new engine specs should help GM compete with Ram’s growing market share and Ford’s all-new 2017 Super Duty.

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GM, Isuzu Part Ways On Midsize Pickup Development

GM, Isuzu Part Ways On Midsize Pickup Development

Commercial truck partnership still going strong

General Motors and Isuzu Motor Company have parted ways on developing midsize pickups. The two automakers came to the mutual agreement as GM focuses on higher-spec models, while Isuzu continues to cater to commercial markets. This ends a deal penned in 2014 for building midsized pickups as part of a joint product development arrangement struck in 2006.

An Isuzu spokesman told Reuters, “The direction each company wanted to take for the vehicles was changing.” A GM statement regarding the split echoed Isuzu’s, saying, "Both GM and Isuzu agree that due to unique requirements for each company, joint development of the next-generation midsize pick-up truck for (GM) markets is no longer the optimal model for this project."

Currently the automakers produce several models together. The Chevrolet Colorado (the global truck, not the U.S.-spec truck GM built on its own) and Isuzu D-Max are nearly clones of each other, with Chevy selling in Australia and the Middle East, while Isuzu is sold in Asia and other countries. Chevy also builds an SUV based off the Colorado and the Trailblazer, which also sold in Asia and Australia.

What’s more, the break-up allows for Isuzu’s partnership with Mazda – a joint venture announced in July 2016. Details are still scarce, but it’s likely the Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max will be replaced with a single pickup, badge-engineered for each automaker. We don’t expect either truck to be offered inside the U.S.

Nevertheless, GM and Isuzu will continue their partnership of building medium-duty commercial trucks. This partnership is only a year old, having been struck in June of 2015, but is reminiscent of the pair’s past partnership in the medium-duty segment, which ended in 2009.

The deal allows Chevrolet to badge-engineer Isuzu’s N-Series Low Cab Forward trucks as its own, while Isuzu benefits from having access to GM’s 6.0-liter gasoline V-8 for both Isuzu and Chevy versions of the N-Series. Overseas versions of the N-Series will come with a variety of Isuzu-built diesel engines.

GM’s next global midsize pickup will be developed in-house, allowing the automaker full control of its product. Expect to see a more luxurious and comfortable Colorado pickup debut in the next few years.

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GM And Navistar Reach Agreement To Develop Medium-Duty Trucks

GM And Navistar Reach Agreement To Develop Medium-Duty Trucks

Well, the rumors proved true – General Motors and Navistar have reached an agreement to co-develop and assemble Class 4 and 5 medium-duty, commercial trucks. This marks the first time GM has been present in the medium-duty segment since its departure in 2009. Back then, the automaker ended production of its Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Topkick trucks thanks to the slowing global economy.

Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet and Commercial sales said this about the endeavor: “Bringing medium-duty conventional cab trucks back into the portfolio strengthens Chevrolet’s commitment to providing commercial customers with more choices and one-stop shopping for a versatile lineup of trucks, vans, and crossovers.”

Though GM did not give any specifics on the future trucks, we know GM will provide many of the components of the truck, including the engines, while Navistar will concentrate on the chassis and manufacturing aspects. The trucks are slated to be built in Navistar’s Springfield, Ohio assembly plant.

Navistar says it will add 300 jobs and invest more than $12 million to prepare the facility for vehicle assembly.

“Our collaboration with GM is another example of our customer-centric, open integration approach – providing our customers with the best technologies available,” said Bill Kozek, president, Truck and Parts, Navistar. “By working with an industry-leading partner like GM, we’ll be able to enhance our medium-duty product portfolio and leverage our scale and expertise in manufacturing medium-duty trucks.”

No other information on the trucks was given, but GM says production will begin in 2018.

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GM Plans To Invest $877 Million Into Michigan Truck Plant

GM Plans To Invest $877 Million Into Michigan Truck Plant

General Motors is set to invest $877 million into its Flint, Michigan plant for updates that include a new body shop and retooling. The Michigan plant, GM’s oldest manufacturing facility that was constructed in 1947, builds the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2015 GMC Sierra HD, most of which are Heavy Duties.

The new body shop is a key addition to the plant and will be located near an existing facility on site that provides sheet metal for the trucks. The proximity will allow for quicker transportation of parts between the two buildings, making the production process smoother. What’s more, a new painting process called wet-coat will be used and will provide a higher quality painted surface that is also more durable.

The retooling set to take place within the main assembly building is said to facilitate the next generation of Silverado and Sierra rumored to be in production for the 2018 model year. Coincidently, GM says the upgrades and additions will be completed by 2018. There are still no further hints GM will be moving to an aluminum body for the next generation, though several rumors suggest it.

The 3.7-milliion-square-foot plant is home to almost 3,000 workers and cranked out more than 180,000 Silverado and Sierra trucks during the 2014 model year. However, the Flint plant is only one of several plants around North American that build the GM truck twins, including plants in Indiana, Mexico, and Canada.

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GM Plans Commercial-Truck Venture With Navistar

GM Plans Commercial-Truck Venture With Navistar

Rumors are swirling that General Motors may strike up a partnership with Navistar International, effectively allowing the automaker to reenter the Class 4, 5, and 6 medium-duty truck market. This comes on the heels of GM’s recently revived partnership with Isuzu in building Low Cab-Forward medium-duty trucks.

This marks a rebuilding for GM of its commercial truck line after it left the market during the economic slow-down in 2009, killing off its 2003-2009 Chevrolet Kodiak line of trucks built using gasoline and diesel powertrains from the Chevrolet Silverado HD and the cab from the Chevrolet Express full-size van.

As for Navistar International, the truckmaker recently found itself at the end of a long partnership with Ford when the Blue Oval elected to begin building its F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks in-house. After that 2010 split, Navistar International focused its efforts on its line of Class 7 and Class 8 big-rigs, though the time was checkered with the defeat of a failed engine design and falling market share.

As Forbes reports, the team up between General Motors and Navistar International would be a mutually beneficial relationship as International would gain increased production volume and GM’s lineup of powertrain options while The General would get a strong kick start on revitalizing its medium-duty truck segment.

This deal would put General Motors in a great position product-wise, as it would have vehicles spanning from gasoline-powered cab-over trucks up to Class 6 heavyweights – not to mention its expansive line of pickups. International would likely retain control over its Class 7 and Class 8 trucks, though the added resources from GM could play a role in growing the trucks’ market share.

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General Motors Recalls 15K Trucks For Leaky Brakes

General Motors Recalls 15K Trucks For Leaky Brakes

General Motors is again issuing yet another recall – this time for 14,838 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-sized pickup trucks. The safety recall centers on the brakes of the 2015 model year trucks, as the front brake calipers might leak brake fluid, compromising the truck’s braking performance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the trucks involved in the recall were built from January 6, 2014 to December 24, 2014 – or basically the entire year. The issue stems from imperfections inside the metal caliper body that lead to air pockets forming in the brake fluid. Over time this can lead to fluid leaking from the caliper body.

Obviously a decreased volume of brake fluid leads to poor braking performance, which could potentially lead to a wreck due to extended stopping distances.

Like with all recalls, the automaker will inspect the effected parts and replace them if necessary, free of charge to the customer. In GM’s case, it will begin notifying customers of the effected vehicles July 10, 2015. For customers who want more information on the recall, they can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020 or GMC at 1-800-462-8782, specifying recall number 14888.

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