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John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 8-15-2019 General Motors' Chevrolet division has announced the price for the new rear-mid engine Corvette and it is a pleasant surprise for fans. Chevy says the new Corvette's base price is $59,995. Fans will want to take note that the price does include the destination fee. For a vehicle with such amazing capabilities, this price point is almost unprecedented. “Most people thought when we moved the Corvette to mid-engine it would no longer be attainable, but we knew we couldn’t mess with a winning formula and the 2020 Stingray proves it,” said Brian Sweeney, Chevrolet U.S. vice president. What may be even more of a surprise, is that the highest-trim of the Corvette, the 3LT, has a price tag of $72K. You can view the features and content breakdown below. GNM isn't holding anything back it seems. The full pricing and order guide is now available at CHevrolet's website for future owners to check out. If shoppers still have questions, Chevy has set up a dedicated Chevrolet Corvette Concierge team that will provide 2020 Corvette customers with answers about the vehicle discovery, buying and ownership process. The team, which is based at General Motors headquarters in Detroit, is working 12-hour shifts each workday and can be reached by calling 866-424-3892. (Our apologies for the image quality)
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-31-2019 A new study by our friends at iSeeCars.com lists out the most driven vehicles in the U.S. market. Five of the top ten are built by GM. The list includes the Suburban at number one, the Yukon XL at number two, Tahoe at number five, the Yukon at 7, and the Cadillac Escalade ESV at number ten. All exceed the annual average of just under 12,000 miles by a substantial percentage. With 14,862 miles per year, the Suburban is 4% higher than average. “Full-size SUVs are built on truck platforms so they have the durability of a truck and the cargo space for up to eight passengers, which makes them popular family vehicles,” said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly. He went on to add, “The vehicles with the highest annual mileage tend to also be the vehicles that last the longest. People who drive their cars the most are likely to prolong the lives of their vehicles with regular service and maintenance because these vehicles may be a large part of their livelihood, and in the case of large SUVs, they are expensive to replace.” We think Mr. Ly nails it win his last statement. Our suspicion is that the full-size SUVs from GM are being driven in large part by ride-share services such as Uber, Lyft and private livery companies making airport runs. Why do you think the GM vehicles top this list?
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-30-2019 Polaris buyers can now order their side-by-side ATV with the loudest, highest-performing audio system available direct from the factory. Polaris has teamed up with Rockford Fosgate, an industry leader in high-performance audio systems, to delivery high-quality audio on is new General and RZR XP. "In working with the team at Polaris we see that they are as passionate about off-road as we are about our music," said Bill Jackson, Rockford CEO and President. "We both strive to deliver class leading products to enthusiasts of our brands, and I believe that the fact that Polaris recognized this opportunity to give their owners features they demand in vehicles fully equipped from the factory reinforces their position as a market leader." These are audio systems specifically designed for off-road use. "Our team of designers here at Rockford are proud to be leading the way for the next generation of audio in off-road vehicles," explained Jake Braaten, Rockford Vice President of New Product Development and Engineering. "It was a challenge to figure out the best solution to integrate premium sound into these models, but after optimizing the speakers and their locations, we knew that we could deliver an amazing sound experience in the General." Rockford Fosgate also offers systems for Polaris vehicles that have already been acquired. Learn more at the company's website. GM-Trucks.com staff have sampled Rockford Fosgate audio in many vehicles and have always been impressed. This pairing seems like a perfect match to us.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-25-2019 General Motors reported this morning that the all-new Silverado equipped with the 3.0-Liter Duramax diesel engine has earned an EPA-estimated 33 MPG Highway in 2WD configurations. Here is a quick look at the numbers we have so far: 2WD Silverado Duramax = 33 MPG Highway, 23 City 4X4 Silverado Duramax = 29 MPG Highway, 21 City Here are a couple of quick comparisons: 2019 Ford F-150 2WD Diesel = 30 Highway, 22 City 2019 Ford F-150 4WD Diesel = 28 Highway, 22 City 2019 Ram 1500 2WD Diesel = 27 Highway, 20 City 2019 Ram 1500 4WD Diesel = 27 Highway, 19 City **2020 Chevrolet Colorado 2WD DIesel = 30 Highway, 20 City **2020 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD DIesel = 28 Highway, 19 City “We designed the all-new Silverado and the all-new 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel to deliver both performance and efficiency,” said Tim Herrick, Silverado executive chief engineer. “The engine utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to optimize every drop of fuel, and takes advantage of architectural changes to make Silverado larger, lighter and more aerodynamic than before. The resulting combination offers all of the performance, refinement and capability customers want in a full-size truck, with highway fuel efficiency you would expect from a family sedan.” The trade-off for fuel economy alone will worth calculating. In addition to the higher fuel cost compared to gasoline, for the LTZ and High Country, the 3.0L Diesel is a $2,495 option (identical to that of the 6.2L V-8). For the LT and RST, it is a $3,890 increase over a 2.7L Turbo engine. For those looking for diesel towing capability, the choice will be an easy one. The EPA has not yet published full MPG and emissions information on the new Duramax at its site, www.fueleconomy.gov. Once data is posted we will do a more in-depth post on the comparison to some other Silverado models. First deliveries of the 2020 Silverado with the Duramax engine will be this coming fall.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-24-2019 Ford has been working hard behind the scenes to develop the world's first mass-produced, mainstream electric pickup truck. That development is now to the point where Ford is ready to start showing off a bit. This week, Ford's chief engineer for the F-150, Linda Zhang, hooked up the test mule to ten double-decker rail cars. She then tugged that train 1,000 feet. To add a bit of drama, she then loaded up 42 F-150s into those rail cars and did it again. Clearly, electric trucks will be tow monsters. Ford is one of the best-positioned automakers to advance its fleet with electric drive. Ford is now a partner with not only Rivian, who is developing a luxury EV pickup, but also with VW. No other automaker has as much to lose by falling behind in the EV transition, and no other automaker seems better positioned to profit from EVs when they are finally ready for the masses. Related Story: Is GM Working On EV Pickups?
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-10-2019 The 2020 Enclave Premium and Avenir trims from Buick will up the ante this coming year. Buick is offering massage front seats in these trims. Massage seats have long been one of the benchmarks we at GM-Trucks.com look for in a vehicle that claim to be luxury vehicles. Two others are a heated steering wheel and Android Auto. “Buyers are choosing the Buick Enclave because it is everything they want in a premium crossover with its distinct styling, quality and driving dynamics,” said Phil Brook, vice president of Buick and GMC marketing. “For the 2020 model year, we’re upping the comfort with available massaging seats, bringing in a new and different look for customers with Sport Touring and enhancing our in-vehicle technology to provide more of what these customers want.” The combination of Android Auto, massage front seats, and a heated steering wheel are not available on any current Lexus, Rolls Royce, or BMW vehicle sold in America. Maybe someday they will earn our luxury designation...
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-9-2019 GM is recalling 159,000 Sierra and Silverados in Canada equipped with power sliding rear windows. GM says that part of the rear window defroster can overheat and that can lead to risk of a fire. Here are the vehicles and model years included: 2014-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 2015-2019 Chevy Silverado HD 2014-2018 GMC Sierra 1500 2015-2019 GMC Sierra HD To see if your GM vehicle has an open recall, simply click this recall lookup by VIN. Hat tip to TFL Trucks for the scoop on this story.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-9-2019 GM-trucks.com is testing the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer over the coming two weeks. We are just a few days into the testing and we are already in love with this vehicle. It has many great features that we are planning to go into great detail on in a long-format review soon. One of the most impressive features is the new rear camera mirror our RS tester came equipped with. The new camera mirror is dead simple to operate. The mirror is still a reflective mirror until you flip up the little tab we used to call the dimmer. Once that is done, the image changes to the camera view. The camera view is wider, brighter, and higher in resolution than what one sees in the reflective mirror. It is so good, and so wide, we found that we no longer needed the side-view mirrors in most circumstances. The camera performed great in daylight, at night, and in the rain. GM cleverly incorporates a washer for the camera that is located directly next to the backup camera on the rear tailgate above the license plate. When you wash the rear window the camera also gets a spritz. If you happen to be at a GM dealership ask someone there to let you check out the new rear camera mirror in one of the vehicles. You will instantly fall in love with this new technology. If you own a GM vehicle with the camera, please tell the membership how you like it so far in our comments section below.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-5-2019 Each quarter GM breaks down the company's deliveries (often called sales). Normally, the breakdown is by model. That means the Silverado is one line item. Same with Sierra. However, the auto press is all abuzz with reports that the Silverado has slipped to number three in sales overall behind Ram. While true, there is more to the story and we are not ones to make excuses for GM here as you know if you follow the GM-Trucks.com news page. What is really happening is that GM is crushing it. Everything the company is focusing on is doing great. Including Silverado and Sierra. GM is still transitioning the generations and the sales & deliveries are following the production ramp. To help illustrate this, GM included -for the first time- a breakdown of the Sierra and Silverado trucks by capacity. In other words LD (light duty) HD (heavy duty) and MD (medium duty). We won't bore you with a long list of numbers, but we took away one interesting fact we suspected could never really prove. GM sells three times as many LD trucks as it does HD. MD is a very small segment. So now we know that! Here's what GM had to say. “The light-duty segment is the highest-volume part of the pickup market and we are expanding choice to make sure that we meet the needs of every customer,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “Heavy-duty trucks, by contrast, are about 25 percent of full-size pickup sales. Our HDs are purpose-built machines for people who need maximum capability, and we are poised for significant growth.” GM also came right out and said what its fleet sales volume is - 23% of all sales. Contrast that with Honda that is nearly zero and you can see that the two companies, though they have some overlap, are in different businesses. Also important to GM, since it is quitting on "cars," is that its crossovers are selling like hotcakes. And it makes no difference where they are built. Buick's imports from China are selling well, as are the Mexico-built Chevy's. As are the SUVs made in the U.S. Here are the GM Highlights from its sales report this week: -Crossover sales set a new second quarter record after sales grew year over year by 17 percent. -Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab were both up 12 percent year over year. -The Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse and GMC Canyon all delivered record second quarter sales. -Sales of every Buick crossover were up year over year, with the Envision posting a 28 percent sales increase. The Enclave was up 21 percent and the Encore was up 5 percent. -Buick deliveries were up 5 percent and GMC deliveries were up 10 percent. -The all-new Cadillac XT4 continues to lead its segment and the all-new Cadillac XT6 has begun shipping to dealers. Cadillac crossover deliveries were up 19 percent in total year over year, helping the brand grow both total and retail sales. -The Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe and GMC Yukon XL were each up more than 20 percent compared to a year ago. Here Are Some Truck-Specific Notes: -GM has installed new body shops, upgraded paint shops and reconfigured general assembly at its plants to increase capacity by 20,000 units compared with the outgoing model. -Based on the most recent data available, retail customers have registered more GM full-size light-duty pickups in 2019 than either Ford or Ram. GM light-duty registrations have also led Ford F-150 in 11 of the last 12 months. -The first new GM models to launch were the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra crew cabs in late summer 2018. Sales of each were up more than 12 percent in the second quarter versus a year ago. -After two consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year growth, GM’s crew cab mix has risen from 60 percent of sales to almost 75 percent. -Full production of all cab styles started in March for both retail and fleet orders, and inventory is approaching target levels, especially for the most affordable regular and double cab models. Sales of these models were down year over year due to limited availability. -Customer demand for Chevrolet’s new Trail Boss models — the first full-size pickups equipped with a 2-inch factory-installed lifted suspension — have far exceeded expectations, so GM will double production. In addition, for 2020, Chevrolet will offer both Trail Boss models with a 420-hp, 6.2L V-8 engine. -More than 95 percent of all-new GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab sales are high-end trims including SLT, AT4 and Denali. -GM is introducing a new refined, very powerful and extremely fuel-efficient 3.0-liter Duramax diesel that is expected to be available later this quarter. -GM has consolidated heavy-duty pickup production at its Flint (Michigan) Assembly plant. The company has installed new body and paint shops and created 1,000 new jobs to support a capacity increase of 40,000 units compared to the outgoing model. -The company is sharply increasing production of crew cab and diesel models to meet customer demand. -Early production will be focused primarily on crew cab models, similar to the light-duty launch cadence. Trucks began shipping to dealers in the second half of June, with availability expected to grow throughout the third and fourth quarters.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-2-2019 The new Ford Ranger did pretty well on its newest safety tests by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), but it did not have the scores to earn either level of the Top Safety Pick award. The Ranger fell short in three ways overall. First, it scored Acceptable for its passenger side small frontal overlap crash test. Like some other manufacturers, Ford does not reinforce the passenger side of its Ranger as robustly as it does the driver's side. That boots the Ranger off of the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. Next, the Ranger's best headlights are only Marginal. That boots it off of the Top Safety Pick list. Finally, the child safety anchors are scored Marginal, which does not factor into the IIHS scores, but makes parents swear quite a bit. You can see detailed score info at this link. IIHS has a good video with more details below.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-25-2019 GM is adding another $20 million to its recent $1.2 billion investment in its Arlington assembly plant. The plant builds GM's full-sized SUVs. It is the only plant that makes the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade. There are rumors that a new GM SUV may join the mix when the next generation begins production in the coming year. “We’ve been building trucks in Texas for more than 20 years, and our additional investment in Arlington Assembly is proof of our commitment and confidence in our Arlington team,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “We are counting on the Arlington team to continue focusing on building the highest quality products possible for our customers while preparations continue for the launch of the next generation of our full-size SUVs.” The Arlington plant opened in 1954. It presently employs about 4,500 workers directly and had a payroll in 2018 of $405,231,063. The plant paid the state of Texas $47,883,571. in state income tax last year. The first vehicle ever built there was a 4-door black Pontiac Chieftain. The plant has also built the GTO and El Camino. Arlington is unusual in many ways. One is that the plant is powered by wind GM sources from green power suppliers in the region.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-21-2019 GM's latest addition to its in-vehicle marketplace is an app that will let you order Dominos Pizza from your infotainment screen. We have high regard for GM's infotainment systems. If you don't agree, try a new Lexus on for size and let us know how you like a hot mess of touch-pad mice and no Android Auto. No, GM does everything important right. Still, how many times per trip or per 100 trips does one need to order a pizza? Maybe one time per 100 trips? Maybe one time per twenty trips if your family gets pizza once per week (like mine did growing up). In-dash apps should be ones which drivers need during routine trips. Things they will use frequently. Waze is a perfect example. It will warn you of a new pothole, of upcoming traffic, and even that the po-po are just around that turn. Stuff that you need on each trip. You can even add in your own helpful markers. It's an app you need on the infotainment screen because you need to interact with it while you drive. Pandora, Google Maps, and other apps that you use during each trip make good sense. Let's face it, an app on your phone that orders pizza makes some sense, because your phone isn't burdened by such an app sitting dormant in the app tray where it hides until you need it. Here's what Chevy says about the new app: “Domino’s has offered pizza lovers innovative ordering and delivery options for years. At the same time, Chevrolet put technologies in place that allows us to add capabilities to vehicles already on the road, like the ability for our drivers to order pizza through the touchscreen,” said Scott Goddard, Marketplace line of business leader, Chevrolet. “This new in-vehicle solution is a natural collaboration that both Chevy drivers and pizza connoisseurs can enjoy.” I enjoy pizza and may have starved in college if not for Dominos. Still, as much as I am a fan of both pizza and GM, I already know that every vehicle in America with a hands-free Bluetooth connection already has an app that can call in a pizza. And you can operate it from the steering wheel. Simply touch our Push To Talk button and say "Dial Main Street Dominos." If your local Dominos phone number is stored in the mobile device you link, the call will be made without you touching the infotainment screen. When Dominos answers, they already know you from your phone number and they already know your order history. And you never took your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. GM isn't guilty of any sins here. It just seems like they have run out of ideas if the newest infotainment update is an app that is redundant and will likely be used only a few times each month at most. My $0.02.
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).
I just want to hug that engine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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