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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Take it for what it’s worth, but GM executive vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss says the automaker has no plans on developing a full-size competitor to the upcoming, second-generation Ford Raptor. That word comes from an interview Reuss had with Edmunds about viability of the project.
Reuss is quoted saying, “We have a lot of priorities…. [and] capital is not endless. That is not one of our highest priorities in terms of spending capital right now.”
While it’s never wise to fully accept the fate of a vehicle based on such loose quotes, this does feel like sugar in the gas tank of the Raptor competitor’s possibility. It also somewhat dulls the excitement over GM’s trademarking of the “Badlands” name. Perhaps that’s a vehicle GM showrooms will never see. It could, however, be that rumored Jeep Wrangler-fighter from GMC.
With the bad news (sort of) confirmed, speculation can turn to the smaller, yet likely just as capable, Colorado ZR2 concept. The highly modified truck made its debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show and wowed audiences with its remote reservoir shocks, meaty tires, four-inch suspension lift and four-inch stretched width. The concept even boasted a built-in winch behind the front bumper.
Of course, the Colorado ZR2’s fate is still undetermined as it still has the “concept” term stuck on its name.
With all the off-road rumors swirling around The General these days, it’s hard to give up on either idea of a GMC Badlands or the Colorado ZR2. Let’s just hope Reuss has something up his sleeve on this one.
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General Motors has filed for a trademark on yet another truck name, this one just as promising as the Z71 Trail Boss name that came before it. This time, it’s “Badlands.” While the name conjures up thoughts of blasting over sand dunes and through deep streams, there is still no clue what GM might use the name for, or even at all.
The fine folks at GM Authority spotted the February 16th filing with he U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The official paperwork leaves a slew of questions unanswered, with the description only stating, “Motor land vehicle, namely, trucks.” Could this be the Raptor fighter we’ve all been waiting on? Could it be a mere concept? Only time will tell. Until then, we’re left to speculate.
Perhaps one of the more tantalizing uses of the Badlands name is that Jeep Wrangler fighter GMC is rumored to be building. Said to be taking inspiration from the defunct Hummer brand, the off-road-ready GMC would bring some long-overdue competition to the Jeep. Like the Badlands name, there is no official word or even solid rumors as to what the General has planned.
Conversely, the Badlands name could end up being just another special edition package on one of GM’s many trucks. Let’s just hope for the former. In the mean time, stay tuned for any further developments.
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It appears General Motors may be considering a Ford Raptor competitor in the near future, though not with the Silverado or Sierra. Reports from GM Authority suggest The General will use the upcoming midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon as the truck of choice.
It seems GM has chosen the smaller trucks mostly due to their compact size and lighter weight, giving them more agility and potentially better handling. Along with being more agile, the smaller trucks will fit into tighter trails, like the famous Rubicon Trail in California — a trail the Raptor is simply too large to navigate.
There are really no solid details to go on, so speculation will have to suffice. It’s likely the new Raptor fighter will come with the largest engine offering, meaning the 3.6-liter V-6. Perhaps GM will allow the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel to power the off-roader as well. Beefy springs and shocks will be a must, along with larger off-road tires. Expect to see the Eaton G80 locking rear differential come standard along with a high-capacity cooling system for the engine and transmission. Generous underbody skid plating will also come included.
As far as naming the new GM truck, we could see a revival of the ZR2 nomenclature last used in regular production on the long-dead Chevy S-10. The name had a recent comeback on a Chevrolet Silverado concept truck back in 2011, but never gained any traction. We already know GM was pondering a “ZR2 package” back when the new Colorado/Canyon twins were revealed in 2013, so the likelihood is rather high the ZR2 will happen. Whether it’s a true Raptor fighter has yet to be seen. Stay tuned for further details.
Note: Chevrolet Colorado Rally Concept pictured here.
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Do you remember theChevrolet Code 130R Concept that was unveiled last year at the Detroit Auto Show? If you liked it, you’ll be happy to know that General Motors is considering a rear-wheel-drive sports car inspired by it.
The potential new model would target the new Toyota GT-86 sports car and its derivatives. Though it hasn’t been confirmed for production just yet, "it is on the wish list of the former Holden boss."
General Motors North America boss Mark Reuss confirmed in a recent interview that the car is on GM’s list and that indeed it will be "a great entry" for the company.
A production version of the 130R would be based on a shrunken version of Cadillac’s freshly-developed Alpha rear-wheel drive platform. Reuss did not provide any other details on this possible car, but did confirm they will try to keep it as cheap as possible.
A final decision on such a car will be made in the upcoming months, so stay to see if such a car will really happen!
Back in 2007, Buick unveiled a cool Riviera Concept which many thought would move on to production form. Nothing has been heard about this concept since then, but on May 3rd General Motors filed a trademark for a Riviera name, citing it for use on automobiles. Although they did not say it would be used for a Buick model, the previous concept makes us consider this as an option.
In fact, last year, it was rumored that GM wanted to produce a sporty coupe, possibly based on the rear-wheel drive Alpha platform. Then, at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the company announced it was considering bringing the Riviera name back, but in a rear-wheel drive form. The concept unveiled back in 2007 was a sporty coupe built on an Epsilon front-wheel drive platform.
So, the Riviera name may be used either for either a production version of the concept which would arrive sometime in 2015, or a new Riviera concept. We’re hoping for the first scenario!
Mahindra is an Indian carmaker that first gained attention by building Jeeps for the home market. Now they may be interested in moving on to the next generation of American military vehicles by buying the Hummer brand. This may seem like an odd move during a time when high fuel prices are causing large SUVs to grow stale on dealer lots, but Mahindra may be looking at Hummer for part of a bigger plan.
It’s no secret that General Motors wants to get rid of Hummer, and Mahindra may utilize its name and products to help bring it’s own cars to the U.S. Its rumored that the company is developing a network of around 300 dealerships across the U.S. to sell Mahindra vehicles, with a $125,000 fee being asked from dealerships to become franchisees.
As General motors and Ford are trying to stop record losses, they may both turn to an unlikely ally, each other. Although neither company will publicly admit it, credible rumors say that the expense of future engines and transmissions may be shared between the two rivals. Considering that a new engine may cost $1 billion and a new transmission may cost $800 million, only having to spend half as much would be a great benefit to either ailing carmaker. The deal may also extend to technology that is already in development such as the system to be used in GM’s volt or Ford’s EcoBoost system.
All three of the “Big Three” American car companies have built brand loyalty through cross-Detroit rivalry. Many readers have fathers (or who are themselves) who identified themselves as a “GM-man” or a “Ford-man”. But quietly the companies have shared technology. Most recently, GM and Ford split the expense of developing a new six-speed transmission.