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Found 8 results

  1. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-12-2018 Let's face it. The Bison is a Colorado ZR2 with skidplates, better bumpers, and the cool snorkel. Except you can get the snorkel just as easily on a ZR2 or even a base Colorado. Chevy isn't supplying them from the factory. To have that cool appendage, you have to install it yourself or have someone do it for you. Cutting out the catcher's mitt-sized hole in the fender is one thing, you can always replace a fender, but drilling into the A-Pillar may seem scary. That A-Pillar is responsible for a lot of safety functions as well as being a tougher part to repair if need be than a removable fender. To drill or not to drill, that is the question. It is also a question we put to the Facebook Chevy Colorado ZR2 club. 77 of the 144 respondents said "No F'ing Way!" to drilling into that particularly sensitive spot. To see if the A-Pillar is off limits, we reached out to the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI). These are the folks who help automakers to develop the exotic steels now used for lightweighting and strengthening key parts of trucks and cars. First, we asked SMDI what exactly the A-Pillar in a Chevy Colorado is made from and how it is made. They told us, "A-pillars are typically designed with 3 layers of sheet metal. An outer body side panel which is the painted exterior surface, and an outer (middle layer) and inner (interior to the passenger compartment) A-pillar structures. The outer panel is made of mild steel and is mostly to cover the structure of the vehicle and contribute to styling. The two structural pieces for the A-pillar are made of ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS) and have tensile strengths greater than 1000 MPa. The outer is a press-hardened steel (PHS), also called a hot-stamped steel. The inner is a multi-phase grade (stamped at room temperature). These grades are 4-6 times stronger than the mild steel of the outer panel and deliver exceptional performance in strength and resistance to intrusion (bending or crush in a collision). These grades also deliver efficient designs of the A-pillar in that higher strength allows for a thinner section design (over lower strength materials such as aluminum) which gives better visibility to the driver." SMDI reviewed the video of the install from AEV, the supplier of the snorkel. We then asked them if they thought the drilling was any kind of concern. SMDI replied, "The way this process is shown in the video is more than adequate to attach the snorkel without compromising the performance integrity of the A-pillar. It is attached directly to the outer panel and does not disturb the load path performance provided by the outer and inner structural pieces." So the experts say "full send!" Send us images and video if you do an install of your own. We'd love to do a post showing them off. Here's how to get the snorkel kit. Image note: Component images are slides from the 2015 Great Designs in Steel presentation by Wendy Malone (GM) on “The All New 2-15 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon Cab Structure.” Courtesy of SMDI.
  2. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 3-8-2018 Earlier this week GM-Trucks.com reported that the bean counters at Goldman Sachs had estimated import tariffs on steel and aluminum could cost GM $1billion in profits. Maybe they were wrong? In an interview this week, GM's CEO Marry Barra was asked specifically about the top-selling General Motors vehicle, the Silverado. The host asked, "Have you done any studies? Would it jump the price of a GM Silverado by $100? Is there a way to gauge?" Ms. Barra's answer was interesting. She said, "It's a small impact. We would look to find offsets and efficiencies in other places to not have to pass that on to the customer." Although that was good news for Silverado buyers, what Barra said earlier in the interview was a bit of a surprise, given the media's coverage of the tariff issue. When asked if she thought there would be tariffs on imported steel and what it would mean for the price of a General Motors car, Barra said, "We source about 90% of our steel and the majority of our aluminum from the United States. So when I look at the specific impact from that perspective I think it something we can more than offset. " Barra did go on to say that if there is a change that drives the cost up it will have a direct effect on demand. For part one of our coverage regarding why GM and other automakers are staying silent on tariffs, please check out our prior story.
  3. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 3-6-2018 General Motors could lose up to $1 Billion in profits per year if the 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on Aluminum proposed by President Trump actually go into effect. This, according to a report in Market Watch who cites Goldman Sachs as having done the math. Don’t expect GM’s Mary Barra to pull an Elon Musk style hissy fit though. Here’s why. One very specific tariff has benefited General Motors and its peers in the U.S. automotive industry for over 55 years. The “Chicken Tax” as it is most commonly known, is a U.S. 25% import tariff on light trucks covering nations not included in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The dispute began under President Kennedy, during a trade argument primarily over American chicken with European countries. As a counter to the tax imposed on American food exports, President Johnson instituted the retaliatory tariff which has very effectively blocked the importation of any pickup truck made outside of North America in any significant (or insignificant) number in the modern age. The 25% import tariff on light trucks first initiated during Kennedy’s administration and instituted during Johnson's protecting American automakers’ truck business was kept in place by Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump. Automakers have been pretty careful not to complain about the tariff, since it accounts for a huge volume of jobs in America, Mexico, and Canada. And even more importantly perhaps, huge profits.
  4. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-15-2017 Global metals supplier Kobe Steel has admitted to falsifying materials specifications and quality control reports on numerous metals for dozens of industries. The false engineering isn't a short-term error, but rather, a decades-long culture within the company according to reports. Despite the name, Kobe Steel is a key supplier to the automotive industry for metals such aluminum, copper, steel and other critical metallic components in everything from doors and hoods to gears and other drivetrain components, and even such things as LCD screens. Ford says that materials that are suspect were used in doors and hoods for its Chinese vehicles, but has not yet determined if the materials were not to spec. A spokesman for GM, Nick Richards, told Automotive News, "We are investigating any potential impact and do not have any additional comments at this time." Both Toyota and Honda use Kobe steel as a key supplier in some markets and have come forward to state that they do use metals from Kobe Steel. However, like GM and Ford, whether substandard metals were used in the production of its products remains unclear. According to Bloomberg, GM accounts for 1.67% of Kobe Steel's global revenue.
  5. Zane Merva Executive Editor, GM-Trucks.com 6/8/16 Chevrolet is taking Ford to task on the strength and durability of the F-150's all-aluminum bed. In a series of videos released by the automaker, the company repeatably demonstrates how the bed of the Ford F-150 turns to swiss-cheese during three side by side demonstrations that compare it to the high-strength steel bed used on the Silverado. Spend a few minutes and watch these three videos in order. Chevy Silverado vs. Ford F-150: Howie Long Compares Truck Beds | Chevrolet Silverado Strong: Steel Bed Outperforms Aluminum Bed - 2016 Silverado | Chevrolet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTm2F4ysQrE Silverado Impact Strength: Engineering Overview and Demonstration Methodology | Chevrolet So, what do you think? Will these types of comparisons help bolster Silverado's image in the future? Will it sway potential buyers? Or is it one giant hint that the steel bed isn't going anywhere in the T1 Platform 2018 Silverado?
  6. Visitors to Chevrolet.com are prompted to watch these three videos, which all seem to make the same point. You've got to be an idiot to buy a truck with an aluminum body. That said, each video goes about it in very unique way. Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIC7Fw1rFF4 So, what do you think? Is highlighting a short term difference a good long term move for Silverado marketing?
  7. Visitors to Chevrolet.com are prompted to watch these three videos, which all seem to make the same point. You've got to be an idiot to buy a truck with an aluminum body. That said, each video goes about it in very unique way. Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIC7Fw1rFF4 So, what do you think? Is highlighting a short term difference a good long term move for Silverado marketing?
  8. Zane Merva Executive Editor, GM-Trucks.com 7/6/15 Hot off the 4th of July weekend, Chevrolet is going for broke to let the world know they think Ford F-150's all aluminum body..well.. sucks. Visitors to Chevrolet.com are prompted to watch these three videos, which all seem to make the same point. You've got to be an idiot to buy a truck with an aluminum body. That said, each video goes about it in very unique way. Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIC7Fw1rFF4 So, what do you think? Is highlighting a short term difference a good long term move for Silverado marketing?
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