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Gorehamj

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  1. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-19-2019 If you are a fan of vintage Chevy trucks, you need to check out Wheeler Dealers Episode 3 of season 20. You can find it on the "Motor Trend" channel on your TV feed, or you can go to this link and watch it on your computer free (if you sign up for a 14-day trial.) GN-Trucks.com has no affiliation with Motor Trend. If you had "Velocity" on your TV feed, this is the replacement channel for it. As a fan of Wheeler Dealers who has seen every episode, I will warn you that this particular one is unusual in some ways. In many episodes Ant actually builds his own tools to do maintenance and repairs, and he even fabricates parts from scratch. This turnaround is more of an upgrade to an already awesome truck. There is a great transmission shop scene and the shots of the underside of the truck when they work on the suspension will make anyone living in the snow belt jaw drop. The truck is PERFECT underneath. We can't show you much more of the episode or even images without stealing from someone else's family bread, but you can see a quick shot of the truck in the image at the top of our page. Feel free to weigh in if you've seen it, or to chat about Wheeler Dealers in general. Just for the record, I loved Edd, but I am now also a big Ant fan (Makes sense if you know the show).
  2. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-18-2019 Shortly after American Honda Motor Co. first opened for U.S. business in 1959, the company chose Chevy pickups to deliver its motorcycles to its new dealers across Southern California. One of these trucks was captured in an iconic photo in 1961 parked in front of Honda's original office in Los Angeles. Tradition and history matter to most Asian manufacturers. Underscoring the importance of those early Chevy trucks to its success, American Honda restored a vintage Chevy truck to perfectly match the one in the old photo as part of the company's 60th-anniversary celebration. The Chevy trucks helped Honda establish a U.S. market foothold, starting in Southern California. Six years later, Honda was the best-selling motorcycle brand in America with a market share of over 70 percent. To prepare the Chevy truck for its debut at American Honda's 60th-anniversary celebration on June 11, it was given a mild mechanical freshening and new factory-correct white paint. Two vintage Honda motorcycles, a Honda 50 (AKA the SuperCub) and CB160, like those originally carried in the trucks, were placed in the truck bed. The completed Chevy truck package is now on display in the lobby of American Honda's Torrance, Calif. headquarters. The Chevy truck is a half-ton chassis with an 8 ft. bed. It has a 283 cu. in. V8 engine with a whopping 160 HP coupled to a 3-speed manual transmission. Who remembers these trucks fondly from their youth? Does anyone have a vintage one new? Post up your pics and comments below.
  3. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-12-2019 Just two weeks back, GM announced it would pour $24 million into the Fort Wayne plant in order to maximize Silverado and Sierra production. Now it's Flint's turn. GM will invest $150 million to ensure that its Silverado and Sierra HD trucks can be built to meet strong customer demand. The Flint plant has been in operation since 1947 and runs three shifts. “We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “Our all-new Chevrolet and GMC HD pickups are the toughest, strongest, most capable heavy-duty pickups we’ve ever brought to market, and our Flint team is up to the challenge to build world-class quality products to drive the growth.” These Flint and Fort Wayne investments are just the most recent GM made to ensure it has the capacity to handle its growing truck and SUV business. Other locations that have received significant investments include Dayton, Ohio; Parma, Ohio; Romulus, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan. GM says that it has invested one-quarter of all the dollars invested by the American auto industry in domestic manufacturing.
  4. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-12-2019 We've recently reported on two major investments by General Motors in its American manufacturing plants. We have also recently reported on GM's closing of five North American plants. Why is GM investing in some plants, while closing others? Obviously, GM considers this to be a good business decision, but what is becoming pretty clear is that GM will be building the high-volume trucks it sells in North America and primarily inside the borders of the U.S., while it shifts to imported crossovers for its high-volume family vehicle models. There are two reasons that underly this shift. Before we get to those two reasons, let's list off the newest family model vehicle introductions by General Motors, and look at where GM has shifted work on other family vehicles. First up the newbies. The Encore and Envision are two new Buick models that GM introduced over the past half decade. The Encore is imported from South Korea and Mexico. The Envision is imported from China. Next up, GM introduced the Chevy Trax, which is a clone of the Encore. Also made outside of the U.S. GM then introduced the Chevy Blazer, which it builds in Mexico. Most recently, GM has introduced the new Encore GX and Chevy Trailblazer. There are derivations of the Encore with more space. They are also imported. GM also shifted the manufacturing of its Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain from Canada to Mexico. These models make up the bulk of GM's non-truck sales volume. There are two main reasons why GM has shifted its family vehicle business away from the U.S and Canada. Cost and import duties. On the cost side, GM's plants are among the most expensive to operate. This is partly due to the United Auto Worker's successful wage and benefit gains over the past half-century. These workers earn a bit more than the non-union workers who build Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissan inside of the U.S. However, they earn dramatically more than the workers in Mexico, China, and other overseas markets. Other reasons that plants inside the U.S. are more costly to operate than plants in China and Mexico are taxes, environmental costs, and safety costs. The same unions represent workers who build GM's trucks in expanding American plants. However, trucks are protected by a 25% import duty, and that tariff had nothing to do with President Trump. It was promoted by President Kennedy as far back as 1962 and was implemented by President Johnson in 1964. The official name of the order signed by Pres. Johnson, and kept in place by every president since (both Democrat and Republican) is Proclamation 3564. Because of this 55-year-old tariff, hundreds of thousands of American workers have jobs building trucks and parts for trucks. The North American Free Trade Agreement allows GM and other truck makers to build trucks in Canada and Mexico if they so choose without paying the import duty, and most have truck manufacturing operations in those countries to some degree. However, a long-running but fading sentiment in America to buy American has helped influence where the plants are located. There is no tariff that protects crossovers in this fashion. America does have small import duties on vehicles from some countries, but none are double-digit duties like the 25% on trucks. This is why GM is shifting its high-volume family vehicle production and jobs to cheaper markets. It is not alone. Ford builds its new EcoSport crossover that replaces the Focus in India. Jeep's Renegade and Fiat's 500X are imported from Italy. The new Jeep Compass crossover is made in Mexico. Interestingly, the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and many other "foreign brand" top-selling crossovers are built in America. In non-UAW plants. Top of Page Image Note: GM CEO Mary Barra shakes hands with UAW President Dennis Williams.
  5. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-11-2019 Ram revealed the specs for its updated EcoDiesel V6 engine in the 1500 this week. The big news is 480 ft-lb of torque in a light-duty truck. Towing is also very impressive with towing up to 12,560 pounds. Finally, Ram says that it expects to also have class-leading fuel economy from its 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine-equipped truck. "The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is America’s most powerful half-ton diesel pickup, following up on Ram’s Heavy Duty torque leadership and achieving what no other manufacturer has, with up to 480 lb.-ft. of torque in a 3.0-liter engine,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. “The all-new EcoDiesel engine and our eTorque mild-hybrid powertrain technologies deliver the highest available fuel efficiency for our Ram 1500 customers.” Ram says it will also pair its diesel with the only air suspension in the class. Being able to lower the truck at highway speeds will likely help with fuel efficiency. Ram's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 uses dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) with four valves per cylinder and a 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks. The block is cast compacted graphite iron, which Ram says provides strength to dampen vibrations, but weighs less than grey cast iron. Ram uses a compacted graphite iron bedplate to add rigidity to the block. The new EcoDiesel has a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods for strength and durability. Ram's aluminum alloy pistons are cooled on the underside via oil jets. Heat-treated aluminum cylinder heads have individual bearing caps to reduce friction and minimize NVH. The engine's chain-driven overhead camshafts employ roller-finger followers. Ram pointed to these specific upgrades as significant: -A new-generation water-cooled turbocharger with variable geometry turbine (VGT) increases efficiency and responsiveness during transient conditions -Redesigned cylinder head intake ports improve swirl and flow, increasing performance and fuel economy -The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system design has been updated to a dual loop (low and high pressure) system. The added low-pressure circulation system draws gases after the diesel particulate filter, thus minimizing turbocharger energy losses, which increases fuel economy -The compression ratio has been optimized to 16.0:1 from 16.5:1 -High-pressure (29,000 psi/2,000 bar) direct-injection fuel injector nozzles were redesigned to match the newly designed and optimized combustion chamber -Lightweight aluminum alloy pistons were completely redesigned to include thinner rings and low-friction coating on the pin and side skirts to reduce losses -NVH has been reduced by offsetting piston pin by 0.3 millimeters from the centerline; thus, minimizing mechanical noises -The lower portion of the two-piece oil sump uses a lightweight sandwiched polymer/metal material that further reduces NVH -The dual vacuum pump system uses electric and a new mechanical low-friction pump with new blades that improve overall system efficiency Ram will not build this engine in the United States. Rather, it will be produced FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy and imported. Watch for price and fuel efficiency new in about two months. The engine will be available in Ram trucks starting this early winter of 2019 unless it is delayed for emissions testing or other reasons.
  6. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4-25-2019 Back in December, GM-Trucks.com member Jammin87SS posted a note here about a class-action suit related to GM 8-speed automatic transmissions. This transmission was used widely by GM, including in the Sierra, Silverado, Colorado, and Canyon pickup trucks. Owners have been complaining of shuddering and hesitation. Owner of a Silverado, Ed T., wrote a typical description for CarComplaints. He says, "Ever since I bought this truck new there has always been a shifting problem. This problem occurs whenever I slow down to a fairly low speed and then accelerate. When I accelerate there is a hesitation for a second or 2. This is very annoying and could potentially be dangerous. I have contacted my dealer and he just says "that's the way they shift, no fix"??? Dealer also stated that the transmissions have a learning chip and shifts the way a person normally drives - that's total BS. I have had my truck for over 2 years and it still shifts poorly. Besides the above I love my truck very much, GM just has to fix this problem..." GM knows there is a problem. It has issued both notices to its dealer's technicians and also TSBs. However, it has yet to find a solution that works. There is a class action suit that you can learn more about here. Our questions for our members are; 1) Have you experienced any issues with your 8-speed, and 2) was the dealer able to fix it? Let us know in the comments below.
  7. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-2-2019 Pricing Chevrolet has just announced its prices and specs for its first-ever inline-six turbo-diesel offered in a Chevy full-size light-duty truck. The all-new 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel will offer class-leading torque and horsepower according to Chevy. First up, pricing. The new Duramax option will be available on LT, RST, LTZ and High Country models. It is priced identically to the 6.2L V-8 option as a $2,495 premium over a 5.3L V-8 model or $3,890 over a 2.7L Turbo model. Specs Next up, specs. The Duramax 3.0-liter engine will generate 460 lb-ft of torque delivering 95 percent of peak torque at just 1,250 rpm. Peak torque is sustained from 1,500 rpm through 3,000 rpm, providing a powerfully smooth and satisfying driving experience. Being a diesel engine, power is low relative to bigger V8 gas engines, but pretty substantial for its displacement at 277 horsepower. “From the moment the engine is started, to its idle, acceleration and highway cruising, the 3.0L Duramax performance will change perceptions of what a diesel engine can offer in refinement,” said Nicola Menarini, director for Diesel Truck Engine Program Execution. “With advanced technologies that draw on global diesel expertise, it’s a no-compromise choice for those who want the capability and driving range of a diesel in a light-duty truck.” Design and Technology Since the engine is an inline six, it is inherently balanced. There is no need for balance shafts and the engine only requires two cams. Chevy uses a cast aluminum alloy block that provides the strength required to support the high combustion pressures that occur within a diesel engine, while also offering a 25 percent mass savings over a cast iron engine block. Chevy says there are seven nodular iron main bearing caps that help ensure the block’s strength under those high combustion pressures, while also enabling accurate location of the rotating assembly. A deep-skirt block design, where the block casting extends below the crankshaft centerline, also contributes to the engine’s stiffness and refinement. It’s complemented by a stiffness-enhancing aluminum lower crankcase extension attached to the main bearing caps. Chevy went on to add that the rotating assembly consists of a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods and hypereutectic aluminum pistons. The alloys in the respective castings for the rods and pistons make them lightweight and durable. Silicon is blended with the aluminum for heat resistance and tolerance within the piston cylinders, which enhances performance and makes the engine quiet. GM used a thick piston crown — the top of the piston — and also a reinforced top ring to add strength to support the high cylinder pressures enabled by turbocharging and the engine’s high 15.0:1 compression ratio. To ensure durability, Iron cylinder liners are employed. “In addition to reduced friction, the architecture enables smooth operation,” Menarini said. “The new Duramax 3.0L elevates the 2019 Silverado with one of the most refined and efficient diesel engines in the segment.” Here is a quick rundown of some other features of this new engine: OHC: Overhead camshafts offer a direct, efficient means of operating the valves, while four valves per cylinder activated by maintenance-free finger followers with hydraulic lash adjusters increase airflow in and out of the engine. This arrangement is integrated on the Duramax 3.0L’s lightweight aluminum cylinder head, which is topped with a lightweight composite cam cover that incorporates the crankcase ventilation and oil separation systems. A pair of lightweight, assembled camshafts actuates 28.35 mm diameter (1.12-inch) intake and 24.55 mm diameter (0.97-inch) exhaust valves. The camshaft drivetrain is uniquely located at the rear (flywheel side) of the engine, for greater refinement and packaging considerations for the comparatively long inline-six. A crankshaft-driven chain drives the high-pressure direct-injection fuel pump, while a chain driven by the fuel pump drives both intake and exhaust camshafts. A smaller belt drives the variable flow oil pump from the crankshaft. Variable geometry turbocharging enables the Duramax 3.0L engine to deliver class-leading horsepower with minimal effect on overall efficiency. The system uses closed loop controlled vanes position and sophisticated electronic controls to automatically adjust boost pressure to the desired value based on engine running conditions and instantaneous power demand. The liquid-cooled turbocharger features a low-friction ball-bearing shaft and is mounted close to the exhaust outlet of the engine for quicker spool-up of the turbine and quicker light-off of the exhaust catalyst. A water-to-air intercooling system produces a cooler higher density air charge for greater power. Maximum boost pressure is 43,5 psi (300 Kpa) absolute. Low-pressure EGR: The Duramax 3.0L utilizes new low-pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation to optimize performance and efficiency. The EGR system diverts some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixes it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is drawn into the cylinder head for combustion. That lowers combustion temperatures and rates. Traditionally, EGR systems in diesel applications recirculate exhaust gases between the two high-pressure points, the exhaust manifold(s) and intake manifold. However, it generally requires efficiency-robbing assistance from the turbocharger or other supporting elements to achieve the pressure differential required for sufficient EGR flow rates. The new low-pressure system adds to the high-pressure system, supporting continual adjustment of exhaust backpressure for more efficient operation. It recirculates gases between the low-pressure points in the exhaust system (downstream of the particulate filter) and after the compressor inlet. When the low-pressure EGR is activated by an electronically controlled valve, the engine burns exhaust gas that has already passed through the particulate filter. That increases the turbocharger’s efficiency, which helps overall vehicle efficiency without deteriorating the rate of particulate matter emitted by the engine. A variable intake manifold offers dual air intake pathways for each cylinder. Electronically controlled flaps — one for each cylinder — shorten or lengthen the airflow to each cylinder. This optimizes the airflow into the engine and improves performance and responsiveness across the rpm band, particularly at lower engine speeds. A variable-pressure oiling system with a continuously variable-displacement vane oil pump enhances efficiency by optimizing oil pressure as a function of engine speed and load. With it, the oil supply is matched to the engine requirements rather than the excessive supply of a conventional, fixed-displacement oil pump. The engine uses low-friction Diesel Dexos 0W20 oil. Oil jets located in the block are employed for performance and temperature control. They target the inner core of the piston with an extra layer of cooling, friction-reducing oil. The jets reduce piston temperature, allowing the engine to produce more power and enhance long-term durability than engines without the technology. Active Thermal Management helps the engine warm up quickly to achieve and maintain its optimal engine temperature for performance and efficiency over the entire engine operating range. The system uses a three-actuator rotary valve system to distribute coolant through the engine in a targeted manner. It sends heat where it’s needed to warm up the engine to reduce friction and heat the passenger cabin or cools when needed for high-power operation. The Duramax 3.0L also features split cooling between the block and head. Common rail direct fuel injection of 2,500 bar (36,250 psi) helps generates class-leading horsepower and torque. The system’s pressure is generated by an engine-driven twin-piston pump sending fuel to solenoid-activated injectors with nine-hole nozzles that support precise metering of the fuel for a smooth idle and lower combustion noise. The fuel system is capable of multiple injections per combustion cycle — up to 10 times per injector — for more consistent and stable combustion performance that translates into smoothness and refinement, particularly at idle. Electronic throttle valve: The Duramax 3.0L features an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to optimize exhaust gas recirculation rates. It also contributes to a smooth engine shutdown via a more controlled method of airflow reduction. Ceramic glow plugs used in the Duramax 3.0L heat up more quickly and hotter than conventional metal-based glow plugs, helping the engine start and heat up more quickly in cold weather. The Duramax 3.0L achieves unassisted and assisted starting temperatures of -22 F (-30 C) and -40 F (-40 C) respectively. Stop/start technology helps optimize efficiency in city driving. The driver-selectable system shuts off the engine at stoplights and other stop-and-go situations. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes their foot off the brake. Transmission: Chevy will offer just one transmission with the 3.0L Duramax, its 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. The transmission features a centrifugal pendulum absorber torque converter that reduces vibrations to improve smoothness, reinforcing its performance, efficiency, and refinement. Exhaust braking is part of the design. This technology uses the diesel engine’s compression to help slow the vehicle, requiring fewer brake applications by the driver when in Tow Haul mode. Due to some minor emission certification delays, the new diesel engine will be available in early 2020, rather than late 2019.
  8. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-4-2019 GM has developed a partnership with Michelin to develop airless tire and wheel technology. GM plans to begin testing the Michelin “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System,” dubbed Uptis, on a fleet of Chevy Bolts this year. Furthermore, GM says that it will be ready to begin volume sales by 2024. “General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology,” said Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors. “Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.” This technology has been around for a decade and is used on some commercial construction vehicles, like Bobcats. GM sees the following benefits to the technology: -Reduces the number of punctured or damaged tires that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle. -Reduces the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires that are no longer required. -Lasts longer by eliminating irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation. -Reduces dangers related to flats and blowouts. Are we crazy, or dies this technology look perfect for off-roading?
  9. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 3-5-2019 The new unibody Chevy Blazer may not be your cup of tea, or may not fit your budget. But if you have $500 and want to enjoy some serious off-road action check out the Traxxas TRX-4 Blazer RC vehicle. It is styled after the iconic 1979 K5 Blazer and uses Traxxas' proven running gear. Traxxas went so far as to get an official GM license for this scale reproduction. You can learn more at the Traxxas site.  
  10. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-10-2019 If you are searching for a great value on a lightly used vehicle, iSeeCars.com has some suggestions. The group evaluated about 5 million used car transactions of three-year-old, 2016 MY vehicles to see which had the highest discount off of their new car price. Many GM models make the list. Here's a quick look at the models with the highest depreciation. Graduates take note: In the under $20K category, the Chevy Impala is hard to ignore. With a three-year-old average price of just $14,745 it is a LOT of car for the money. Its 50% depreciation rate over three years is way ahead of the average of about 34%. Those graduates headed into higher-paying new jobs may want to consider the Cadillac CTS. With an average price of just $26,785, it is a luxury car on a budget. The XTS is about the same price, but not eactly a graduate's dream car. However, it is perfect for those looking for an Uber vehicle or airport limo for their fleet. The $26K Buick Enclave also makes iSeeCars family vehicle list. With a depreciation of 48% it is about 10% ahead of the pack. In the truck category, the best deal may be the GMC Sierra. With an average 3-year-old price of $33K it is a value that is hard to ignore. See the full report from iSeeCars here.
  11. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-30-2019 GM's heavy investment in the Fort Wayne assembly plant since 2015 is now up to $1.5 billion. A new $24 million investment will enhance the plant’s conveyors and other tooling to support increased production of our favorite two trucks, the Sierra and Silverado. GM says that the work will be completed this summer. GM CEO, Mary Barra, toured the plant and spoke to workers today. “We are building Chevrolet and GMC crew cab pickups at record volume and mix levels to meet customer demand and the $24 million investment will allow us to build even more,” said Barra. “The team here at Fort Wayne has done an outstanding job helping us satisfy customers throughout this launch. Our product ramp-up was very smooth and the quality has been exceptional. Crew cab sales have been very strong, and we are expanding customer choice with new models, more cab choices and innovative new powertrains.” GM says that the new trucks are selling at a rate about 20% higher than the old trucks did. GM is projecting a big increase for the coming second quarter. Deliveries of the double-cab models built in Fort Wayne began during the first quarter. The Fort Wayne Assembly plant employs over 4,500 workers. The plant has over 40 miles of conveyors and 97 truck docks with a material delivery to a dock every 2.6 minutes. The plant contributed $76,826,918.52 in income tax revenue and paid out $418,631,064 in wages last year. The plant covers 716 acres.
  12. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-28-2019 General Motors will reportedly delay the introduction of its new six-cylinder diesel engines for the new generation Silverado and Sierra. Anyone following the diesel vehicle trends in America should not be surprised. Volkswagen's cheating scandal changes things for automakers who want to use diesel engines globally, and in the U.S. in particular. Ram's diesel fiasco didn't make things any easier for automakers who want to use diesel engines in trucks. The upshot of the cheating and other "misunderstandings" is that diesel vehicles draw close scrutiny now. With billions in fines now paid and even some employees in prison, nobody at GM wants to launch a diesel vehicle without giving the EPA the opportunity to do any testing it wishes to do prior to launch. Most vehicles are self-certified by automakers, or are tested by third-parties. We suspect that zero diesel vehicles will be in the future. The EPA is all over these known polluters to ensure compliance. Other manufacturers, notably Mazda and Hyundai had previously announced plans to introduce new diesel engines in America and then opted not to. We do not think GM will back out. GM has already staffed and prepped the Flint Engine Plant to build the new diesel engines. Motor1 reports GM spokesperson Monte Duran as saying, "Yes, we are shifting the 3.0L Diesel from a late 2019MY to a 2020MY as emissions testing is taking longer than expected. However, we did not attribute to a single entity, as the truth is this is a collaborative effort between GM and several government entities. We will make the 2020MY Duramax available for dealers orders soon, and expect to deliver the first trucks to customers soon after emissions testing is complete."
  13. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-15-2019 The same folks that GM turned to for the specialty equipment on the Colorado ZR2 Bison have created a fantastic tray bed concept of the truck. America Expedition Vehicles (AEV) built the concept for Overland Expo West. The concept truck shows off new high-clearance fender flares that AEV has developed. AEV took the new tray bed concept Bisons on a three-day off-road desert adventure to see how well they new bed would hold up. The post-trip report is that it worked flawlessly. The new fender flares allow for the fitment of 35" wheels without a lift kit. The new tray bed and fender flares are presently in development. AEV hopes to have more information for those interested soon. Follow AEV via its website, or at the company's Facebook page. Images courtesy of AEV and Scott Brady.
  14. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-30-2019 Buick will import its Encore GX starting in 2020 and add it to its already impressive line of crossovers. The Encore GX will slot in between the smaller Encore and the larger Envision model. The Encore GX has about 5 cubic feet more than the Encore and is about 3 cubic feet smaller than the Envision. With this new model, Buick now will have four premium SUVs across three U.S.-market crossover segments; small, compact and midsize. “As we look to the future of Buick, the Encore GX positions us strongly as a consideration for those who want to purchase small or compact SUVs,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick, and GMC. Buick is almost entirely a crossover company now in the U.S. with 90% of sales coming from crossovers. That will only increase when the new Encore GX arrives in early 2020. GM-Trucks.com will bring you more details as they are released.
  15. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-17-2019 And just like that, the all-new 2019 Sierra is last year's model! Yes, GMC is starting to prepare the 2020 model year Sierras for sale, despite it not even being Memorial Day in America yet. GMC calls its updates to the Sierra for 2020 "A robust portfolio of technologies." Does that make you want to rush out and get the 2019 lacking the robust portfolio? “The Sierra is delivering the tech customers want in the light-duty truck market, and the 2020 model demonstrates that Professional Grade means never slowing down,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “In just its first year on the market, the 2019 Sierra introduced the available, industry-first CarbonPro Bed and MultiPro tailgate. The truck’s 2020 updates show how the Sierra continues to raise the bar year in and year out.” Here is a rundown of what changes Sierra shoppers can expect for the new 2020 model year truck: -Available Enhanced ProGrade Trailering features a segment-first transparent trailer view, originally introduced on the soon-to-launch 2020 Sierra HD, with a segment-leading 15 total available camera views. -Available Camera-equipped adaptive cruise control system. The system features a single high-mounted camera behind the rearview mirror and can bring the Sierra to a complete stop. -Elevation model now offered in Crew Cab configuration. -First full model-year availability of the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel and the CarbonPro Editions with the carbon fiber bed (both late 2019 model year additions). -Available 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel added to CarbonPro Edition propulsion options, previously offered only with 6.2L V-8. -10-speed automatic transmission availability expands to 5.3L V-8 models (SLT, AT4 and Denali models with 4WD). -New trailer tow mirrors are available as a free-flow option. -8-inch-diagonal infotainment system now capable of supporting SiriusXM with 360L (if equipped). -2020, Sierra 1500 will be available with the upgraded 15-camera ProGrade Trailering System introduced earlier this year on the 2020 Sierra HD. - The in-vehicle Trailering App has updated features and enhanced mobile integration for 2020
  16. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-15-2019 General Motors has earned the "Automotive Excellence Award" for its innovations on the new generation Silverado. The award was presented to GM by The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI). The GM Silverado design earned the award for its innovative use of advanced high-strength steel. The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado has a body structure composed of nearly 86 percent steel. That includes ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS), advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) and high strength low alloy (HSLA) materials in the Silverado's cab, bed, and frame. The use of these strong, but lightweight materials contributed to the new Silverado's mass reduction. During the all-new Silverado's launch presentation, GM President Mark Reuss told the audience that the head of a hammer is steel. He added, “I don’t know how much work you’d get done with an aluminum hammer.” Related Story: 2019 Silverado Focus – Fuel Saving Technology - Facts, Specs, Images "Automotive Excellence Award winners use advanced high-strength steel in applications to provide the best value for OEMs and consumers while also improving vehicle performance and sustainability," said Jody Hall, vice president of the automotive market at SMDI. "With automakers shifting their vehicle mix to favor trucks, CUVs and SUVs, new steel grades are leading the way in innovation. The 2019 Silverado is a great example of the capability of these next generation steel grades." The new 2019 Silverado is 450 pounds lighter than the outgoing truck (crew cab V8 models). High strength steel makes the frame stronger, and stiffer, and also lighter. The cargo bed is also a new lighter, stronger steel.
  17. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-6-2019 GM Has a new trim/equipment package for the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro that caught our attention. The new LT1 Camaro model (Shown in red above) combines the content and design of the Camaro LT (1LT trim) and SS. It is powered by the 455-horsepower LT1 engine, making it the least pricey choice for V-8 performance in the Camaro lineup with a starting price of $34,995 - That price includes destination charges. “The new Camaro LT1 is a great choice for those seeking a pure V-8 performance experience,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. “And at less than $35,000, it will be one of the most affordable V-8 performers on the market.” The 2020 Camaro LT1 is offered in both coupe and convertible models, and is available with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an available 10-speed automatic. Additional features include: -LT exterior styling combined with the SS’s vented hood. -LT1 fender badges and black bowtie emblems. -20-inch x 8.5-inch SS style wheels at all four corners and all-season tires (versus the SS’s staggered wheels and summer performance tires). -Available Technology Package, including the Chevrolet infotainment system with an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen and Bose premium audio system. GM is also slightly restyling the Camaro SS (Shown in blue above). The 2020 SS front-end appearance is based on the distinctive design of the Camaro Shock show vehicle shown last fall at the SEMA Show. The SS front end now has a repositioned bowtie emblem in the upper grille and a body-color bar between the upper and lower grilles. “Customers spoke, and we listened,” said Mr. Majoros. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Shock concept car's stylized design helped prompt its transition from concept to production.”
  18. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 3-21-2019 IIHS has just completed its latest round of testing of 11 pickup truck models. The new testing adds passenger-side small frontal overlap crash test results. This test is important because in real-world crashes investigators find that about 25% of all fatalities and serious injuries occur in crashes of this type. This test is one of the hardest in the American market. NHTSA does not perform the test and the test is also carried out at higher speeds than NHTSA's other tests. The small frontal overlap test simulates a vehicle striking a utility pole or similar object with just a portion of the front structure. IIHS added the passenger-side test after it discovered in some research testing that automakers were not reinforcing the side not commonly tested. They tested a Toyota RAV4 which earned a Good score on the driver's side, and Poor score on the passenger side. Ford's F-150 is the only truck so far tested to earn a score of Good on every crash test. Overall, the Honda Ridgeline is the only truck in America that has earned a Top Safety Pick award. Watch the comparison in the video to see the difference between a Good result (F-150) and a Poor result (Toyota Tundra). GM's results show that the company scores the second from lowest rating in many areas. By all appearances, GM is one of the remaining companies that does not reinforce the passenger's side the same way it does its driver's side.
  19. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4-27-2019 General Motors expects its next-generation Corvette to boost sales significantly, and GM is staffing up to build the car. The current generation Corvette was introduced in January 2013. With the new Corvette set for an official launch this July, that means the Corvette design we all know and love is now six and a half years old. The last of the outgoing generation Corvettes - a black 2019 Z06 model - has been donated to charity by GM. The final seventh-gen Corvette will be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in Connecticut June 28. GM will be adding a second shift to its Bowling Green, KY factory. That will boost jobs at the plant by 400. “The Corvette’s iconic status owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This is the workforce that can deliver a next-generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to its reveal on July 18.” GM has built more than 1 million Corvettes at the Bowling Green factory since it opened in 1981. The plant currently generates more than $76 million in state wages and $15 million in income tax. GM-Trucks.com will bring you more information on the new Corvette once Chevrolet releases details.
  20. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-8-2019 Last night, the GM-Trucks.com team were introduced to the new Jeep Gladiator at a media event in Massachusetts. We thought that the GM-Trucks.com membership might be interested in hearing and seeing a few things that we found notewothy. To begin, the meeting was standing room only. All of these media events are popular, but this one was a packed house. Media from the six New England states were in attendance along with writers from Car and Driver, Autoweek, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and CarTalk. In addition to the content managers from every major online shopping site (CarGurus, iSeeCars, BestRide etc) there were also radio and TV media in attendance, including the host of Chasing Classic Cars. Josh and I could not remember a more well-attended meeting. FCA sent Jim Morrison, VP of FCA and head of Ram North America, along with a posse of four product managers to dive deep on the Gladiator. Jeep isn't adding the Gladiator to the Wrangler line, this is a full-whammy new product line for Jeep and FCA. The most important thing we took from the meeting is that the Gladiator, although made in the same Toledo production facility as Wrangler, is not a Wrangler with a bed. Sure, it shares its styling, that is the whole point. However, there are major differences. Look closely and you will see that the grill is different. Jeep opened up the airflow slots to enable better cooling. More importantly, the suspension is not shared with the Wrangler, though the capabilities end up similar. Jeep's designers pointed to the similarities to the Ram 1500 that the Gladiator has. The Gladiator is more of a Ram 1500 in terms of suspension than it is a Wrangler (Their words). Jeep is making a six-speed manual transmission the standard offering. Every trim has the six-speed manual. The automatic is optional. Every Gladiator will come with Fox shocks standard, and electronically disconnecting front sway bars allow for greater articulation than other trucks in this class. As every Colorado ZR2 owner likes to point out, your truck is rubbish unless it has front and rear lockers. Yup, Gladiator checks that important box. Jeep's Gladiator doesn't just have rock rails to protect its cabin body area, it also has rock rails that protect the cargo bed area. Each side of the cargo bed can support 1/3 of the full weight of the truck when hung up on a rock. Every Gladiator also has a full-size spare up under the cargo area. The bed of the Gladiator is not full-size like in the Ram 1500 obviously. So Jeep designed a 45-degree opening for the tailgate that allows the Gladiator to haul sheet stock home from the home improvement palace. Jeep will offer the new Gladiator standard with an open-air soft-top built in Acton Mass. by Haartz Corporation (Same supplier to Chevy's Camaro, Porsche 911 Targa, and BMW Z4, among others). The specially-designed soft-top was designed for Jeep to be easy to clean but also rugged and long-lasting. The optional tonneau cover is made from the same material on the same line to give the Jeep a perfectly matching set. The two-piece hard-top is optional. All Gladiators have removable doors and a drop-down windscreen. The drivetrains of the Gladiator mirror the Wrangler's. Coming later this year is an all-new 3-liter turbo diesel engine option. Jeep is claiming that its long list of standard and optional off-road equipment makes its Gladiator the most capable off-road truck in America. We find it hard to argue that claim. The new Gladiator is in its second month of sales.
  21. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-6-2019 General Motors is recalling 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4500, 5500 and 6500 vehicles, 2017-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 vehicles, and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 vehicles equipped with Duramax 6.6 liter diesel engines and an optional engine-block heater. The engine block heater cord or the terminals that connect the heater cord to the block heater may short circuit and fail. GM says that a short-circuit may damage the engine components and increase the risk of fire. Unfortunately, GM does not have a fix yet for the problem. To see if your truck is on the list of those recalled, you can use the GM Recall Lookup Tool found here. GM's number for this recall is N182206310. If your truck is on the list contact your dealer to be sure you get updates.
  22. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4-30-2019 We've reported the GM sales and financial results here at GM-Trucks.com in the past quite regularly. One interesting take-away the GM financial results data being offered by the company is the increasing shift from sales unit volume to an emphasis on transaction prices. We find this interesting because there are two very different ways to look at higher transaction prices. They are good for stockholders and bad for truck buyers. Back in early April, GM focused on higher transaction prices, saying that its overall average prices in Q1 had increased by $8,040 higher compared to their outgoing models in the first quarter of 2018. That stunning upward shift in prices was tempered by the fact that GM had only produced limited trims and configurations of the 2019 Silverado and Sierra, while continuing to build the previous-Gen 2018 trucks in the lower cost versions. However, this week GM released the data of its financial performance in Q1. With a bit more time and more 2019 models produced, GM updated its "good news" about transaction prices of its trucks, saying, "The company’s full-size truck launch is ahead of plan and drove strong pricing for the quarter in North America. Average transaction prices for GM’s all-new full-size crew cab pickup trucks are up $5,800 over the outgoing models." We looked up the current inflation rate and found that it is presently at historically-relative lows between 1.5% and 1.9% this past quarter. It does not seem that GM is increasing the cost of its trucks due to higher costs, but rather due to a shift in the trims and configurations it is choosing to produce. “We are bullish on pickups and expect to gain sales momentum throughout the year,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “We are installing capacity in Flint to build more HD pickups in total, more crew cab models, more dualies and diesel models, too, all in response to dealer and customer demand.” It looks like higher truck prices are here to stay, at least for the near term.
  23. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 3-18-2019 If you love GM trucks, and particularly ones with big engines you are in good company here. The GM-Trucks.com staff own big trucks. We also test them. In two of our driveways this week, are 2019 model year V8-equipped pickups. We also report on and test EVs from GM and other automakers. We report the news as it comes, but we hope for good news from GM. When GM recently announced it was closing factories on unprofitable cars, resulting in the loss of jobs for workers in four U.S. states and one in Canada, we had a hard time finding the good. However, along with that announcement, GM made it clear that the future it sees involves EVs and that the company was making changes to free up funds to double its EV efforts. 'Who cares, we love trucks," would be an easy way to greet that news. But maybe there is a reason to cheer for GM's EVs. The EPA isn't going away. It may over-reach at times, but truck lovers also love the outdoors and the EPA helps keep our air, land, and water clean. We watch the EPA news closely at GM-Trucks.com. This week, the agency released its most recent report on the auto industry and the EPA's efforts to boost fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, particularly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report has final data on model year 2017 vehicles and the information is through October of 2018. The green vehicle segment moves fast, and a lot has changed since then, but GM was kicking ass in model year 2017. GM sold the most electric vehicles in model year 2017 and it was not even a close race. Sure, we hear Tesla talk the talk all the time, but GM walks the walk, and has for a decade. That matters because the EPA requires automakers to meet fleet-wide goals for its emissions. Despite GM's great EV sales results, the company was just even with regard to GHG credits. This is a sort of cap and trade system that the EPA has forced upon automakers to ensure they meet their own fleet goals. Each fleet has its own goals based on its own mix of vehicles. GM's mix is heavily skewed toward trucks with hard-to-improve upon fuel efficiency. Things like stop-start, carbon fiber beds, aluminum hoods, cylinder deactivation, high-efficiency alternators and AC systems, solar reducing glass, all are now in use on the GM truck fleet. Yet, GM is still barely keeping up with its GHG targets. If GM is going to continue affordably producing gas and diesel pickup trucks by the hundreds of thousands, the company desperately needs some fuel efficiency gains in the rest of the fleet. And GM's mainstream cars sales are in decline. GM had a great fix for the game EPA was playing. GM produced a lot of large vehicles categorized as "alternative fuel vehicles." You might own one. If it says "Flex Fuel" on your vehicle you do. The idea was that these would burn fuel from crops. Originally, EPA allowed each to be credited as if the truck was run 100% on ethanol-based fuels. That helped GM quite a bit with its scores on the EPA system. However, GM, the EPA, and everyone reading this story knows that only a small fraction of those vehicles ever saw an ethanol E85 pump. Since 2015, the EPA now estimates the real usage and the automakers are out of luck because it guesstimates about 14% of those flex-fuel vehicles were running on alcohol. The EPA says that the result is, "FFVs can still represent a CO2 emissions benefit, and can help to lower the emissions of a manufacturer’s fleet, but the overall impact is significantly diminished." GM's EV sales in model year 2017 were impressive, but they have since declined. GM also just killed off its top-selling EV, the Volt EREV. In order to stay ahead of the fuel efficiency mandates coming from our government, and to avoid costly penalties that will raise the cost of trucks, GM is in need of a hail-Mary pass. That pass is battery-electric cars on a scale way beyond its past production and way beyond what even Tesla has achieved recently. Read the full EPA report here (if you have trouble sleeping). Even a quick scan shows that without a high volume fleet of hybrids, EVs, or alternative fuel vehicles GM is in trouble. The good news is that GM has been a leader in EVs and is taking big steps and making hard decisions to keep its EV future bright. So, if you love big trucks, be sure to root for GM's EV fleet as it rolls along in the coming years.
  24. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4-2-2019 General Motors released its Q1 U.S. sales figures today and the sales report is optimistically titled, "The First of GM’s All-New Pickups Posts a 20 Percent Q1 Gain." Yet, Silverado sales were down by 16% to 114,313 units. Sierra was down by 2.2.% to 40,546. We looked back two years to 2017 and found that the Silverado was down compared to 2017 as well (128,456 units in Q1 2017). Sierra's sales were 49,810 in Q1 of 2017. So, in a nutshell, GM's trucks were down for the second consecutive year in Q1. Yet, GM found a headline that says "up 20%." How? Deeper in the GM sales report the company says, "Combined sales of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cabs — the first of the company’s all-new full-size pickups to launch — were up 20 percent year over year." So, there is the answer. If that makes any sense. GM seems to clarify the situation by saying, "Availability of all-new regular-cab and double-cab pickups was very limited during the quarter due to launch timing, but full production of all cab styles started in March and they currently are arriving in dealer showrooms." Overall, GM's sales were down 7%. GM attributes this to a very strong Q1 2018. GM sees a rebound for the full year. “After a slow start to the year, the retail SAAR has risen each month since January,” said Elaine Buckberg, GM chief economist. “Consumer sentiment continued to recover in March and the other key drivers of auto sales like employment, wage growth and household balance sheets are healthy. The Fed paused in raising interest rates, which eases a headwind facing auto sales. Overall, the U.S. economy is in solid shape, which bodes well for the industry outlook.” The Canyon was down for the quarter, but the Colorado was up 16% with 34,494 units sold. Compare that to the segment-leading Tacoma which sold 22,798 units just in March. Image courtesy of Zane Merva.
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