GM Resumes Plan For Redesigned Chevrolet Impala and Other RWD Holden Variants

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The redesigned Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Camaro, and Pontiac G8 are safe. The car most affected by this decision is the redesigned Chevrolet Impala and other planned variants.

    [​IMG]
    Bob Lutz says the future of GM's rear-wheel-drive projects is on hold while the automaker deals with fuel-efficiency and emissions concerns.

    NEW YORK CITY — For now, the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro sport coupe has apparently dodged a bullet. But General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday that the automaker has "pushed the pause button" on future rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

    "It's no longer full speed ahead," Lutz said. He added that "it's too late to stop Camaro, but anything after that is questionable or on the bubble." Also safe is the Pontiac G8, Jim Hopson, manager of Pontiac Communications, told Inside Line. "There's no hold on the G8," said Hopson. "G8 production starts in October and the first units will be available after the first of the year." Still on the bubble are future Camaro derivatives, including a big Impala sedan.

    Trouble is that rear-wheel-drive cars are bigger, heavier and thirstier than front-wheel-drive vehicles. Lutz notes that the corporation has yet to figure out "how to get 30 percent better mileage from" RWD cars.

    The Bush administration is pushing to boost CAFE standards by 4 percent a year so cars would have to average 34 mpg by 2017, up from 27.5 mpg today. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide expelled by cars.

    At the same time, Alan Weverstad, executive director of GM's environment and energy units, told a federal judge on Tuesday that vehicle carbon emissions reductions ordered by California and 10 other states would require average fuel economy standards for cars and the lightest category of trucks of 43.7 mpg.

    Lowering the carbon emissions as much as the states want will involve "fuel economy requirements that are just unbelievably extreme," Weverstad said, according to the Associated Press.

    Automakers involved in the federal trial are trying to hinder states from adopting new standards aimed at lowering emissions of carbon dioxide.

    ------

    General Motors' product guru Bob Lutz has said the company's rear-wheel-drive program is on hold, but it's not yet clear whether this will mean good or bad news for Holden exports.

    [​IMG]

    By IAN PORTER.

    Holden may have to dramatically increase and extend its US export program after parent company General Motors put all its US rear-wheel-drive programs on hold in the face of proposed stiffer fuel economy standards.

    At first glance, the new standards will make it harder for GM to produce rear-wheel-drive cars in the US, especially the profitable high-performance V8 models.

    However, GM will have the option of building the cars outside the US because the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards apply to imported cars and domestically built cars separately.
    GM imports most of its small cars and makes the majority of its larger cars in the US and Canada.

    The Bush administration has proposed that fuel economy standards be raised gradually from 27.5 miles a gallon (10.3 litres per 100km) to 34mpg by 2017 as part of a plan to cut oil consumption and reduce emissions.

    In addition, the US Supreme Court this week ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency - and not the administration - has the right to regulate vehicle emissions of carbon dioxide. There are no carbon dioxide emissions in the US limits at present.

    GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz said the company had halted all its US rear-wheel-drive car programs while it seeks clarification of the new regulations.

    "We've pushed the pause button (on rear-wheel-drive programs)," Mr Lutz told the Chicago Tribune on Monday. "It's no longer full speed ahead."

    "We don't know how to get 30 per cent better mileage from rear-wheel-drive cars."

    Holden is the world centre for GM's large rear wheel drive programs and developed the Zeta rear-wheel-drive platform for its new VE Commodore. GM was planning to put that platform into production in the US and other countries.

    It has just started producing the WM long-wheelbase version in China, where it will be sold as the Buick Park Avenue, with Australian V6 engines, and is about to start making the Camaro two-door sports coupe and convertible in Canada. GMH has been developing the Camaro at its Australian proving ground.

    "It's too late to stop the Camaro, but anything after that is questionable, or on the bubble,'' Mr Lutz said.

    "We'll decide on our rear-drive cars when the Government decides on C02 (carbon dioxide) levels and CAFE regulations,'' Mr Lutz said.

    Should GM decide not to make RWD cars in the US, it will have to make them somewhere else
    , but a GMH spokesman was uncertain about the consequences of the stiffer fuel economy rules.

    "As it's not our policy to speculate on future production or portfolio issues, we're not in a position to offer any elaboration on what implications _ positive or negative _ such a suggestion might have," GMH spokesman John Lindsay said yesterday.

    GMH is set to start exporting a V8 version of the Commodore to the US as a Pontiac G8 later this year. The parent company was planning to start making the G8 in the US, but the stiffer fuel economy regulations may prompt GM to keep sourcing its G8s from GMH after the two-year contract expires.

    Mr Lutz said the three 1 litre compact cars GM displayed at the recent New York Motor Show would not help the company meet the stricter economy rules.

    "Small car mileage only counts towards CAFE if you build them here, and you can't build small cars here at a profit,'' Mr Lutz said in Chicago.
     
  2. Oman4x4

    Oman4x4 OT Supporter

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    Just one thing that makes me curious... why does it take GM so damn long to settle on the design for the front bumper and the badge?

    I mean the Aussies already designed the car to be LHD compatible.
     
  3. 97venge

    97venge New Member

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    how is this legal?
     
  4. Dr.Smasher

    Dr.Smasher .

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    Collision standards n shit, i think
     
  5. clog

    clog NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!!11

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    fucking werd
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Whatever amends they make to the laws it will not prevent any automaker from making the vehicles outside of the USA and importing them. It basically costs us jobs and millions in lost money.
     
  7. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

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    CAFE is the worst piece of legislation ever
     
  8. 97venge

    97venge New Member

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    well maybe they could get around the unions that way and then stay afloat
     
  9. Supernoma

    Supernoma servus publicae OT Supporter

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    Nothing more annoying then the gov't telling me what I can and can't drive. Why not put catalytic converters on the ass of every cow and chicken coop in America too?
     
  10. thewise1

    thewise1 Guest

    Hopefully they will unpause after they implement a fuel efficient but still performance friendly electric system
     
  11. lump

    lump New Member

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  12. CopenKagan

    CopenKagan OT Supporter

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    Carbon dioxide emissions? :ugh:

    We all better stop breathing, too. Don't want to ruin the Earth.
     
  13. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    GM’s Move to Shelve RWD Cars Signals Industry Sea Change

    By Barbara McClellan
    WardsAuto.com, Apr 12, 2007 10:32 AM

    CommentaryGeneral Motors’ recent decision to hit the pause button on development of its upcoming rear-wheel-drive cars marks the first strong reaction by the U.S. auto industry to coming fuel-economy mandates and greenhouse emissions curbs.

    While this may be a bit of saber rattling, the decision to postpone its RWD program is no small move for the world’s biggest auto maker.

    At risk are a rear-drive Impala sedan, fullsize Buick, compact Cadillac and high-powered Solstice and Sky roadsters.
    Pontiac says its new RWD G8 car coming from Australia is safe.

    Another important RWD car in the works is the Chevy Camaro sports coupe due late in 2008, which GM says is still a “Go.” Both the new Impala, due in 2009, and Camaro coupe are expected to be big sellers and major profit contributors to GM.

    However, says GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz in an interview at the recent New York auto show: “If we have to devote our resources to meeting fuel economy mandates that demand we get 30% better mileage, we can’t devote them to future rear-drive products that we don’t know how to get 30% better mileage from.”

    GM made its call following the Bush administration’s recently proposed plan to raise corporate average fuel economy standards 4% per year from the current 27.5 mpg (8.5 L/100 km) requirement today. Other proposals in Congress would put CAFE requirements at 34 mpg (6.9 L/100 km) by 2016.
    It also is a reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency has the power to regulate vehicle carbon dioxide emissions – considered the main culprit in global-warming – which also could force higher CAFE requirements.

    Some of GM’s planned RWD cars are high-performance models, while others are larger and heavier than existing front-drive cars they would replace – and that’s what is causing the auto maker concern.

    Says Lutz, noting his company is freezing its RWD programs while it seeks clarification of the new regulations: “It’s no longer full speed ahead.”

    Welcome to the new reality, one that makes TV’s Survivor program pale.
    Where once Detroit’s Big Three fought government efforts to regulate fuel economy and tailpipe emissions, today they are said to be seeking an active role in reducing damage vehicles do to the environment. But this is not an altruistic move.

    Global warming aside, savvy car companies know they must lead rather than follow as a new political momentum harkens a toughening of federal rules. They also know it’s too late to deny that cars and light trucks generate about one-fifth of U.S. CO2 emissions, produced when fossil fuel is burned.
    While CO2 also occurs naturally and climate change is an inevitable global occurrence, scientists say businesses and governments can help slow it down by achieving a more carbon-free planet.

    However, automotive is not the only industry to create CO2 emissions, and America is far from the only country at fault.

    Fearing tougher fuel-economy rules, Detroit’s car companies are said to favor a cap-and-trade plan that would include all sectors throughout the U.S. economy that produce CO2, thus spreading the pain around.


    There are many voices yet to be heard and plenty of fights yet to erupt, and auto makers know any policy inevitably will impose costs.

    Perhaps, then, Lutz’s acerbic remarks can be excused in light of the industry’s frustration: “If we legislate CO2 from cars,” he says, “why not legislate (taking) one less breath per minute, since humans release capricious amounts of CO2 each time they exhale?”

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Hezkezl

    Hezkezl Rawr! OT Supporter

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    UGh. Fucking government :squint:
     
  15. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    I always wondered how GM will become competitive in the future?

    The hybrid wave will hit, not in 100 years... But in 10 years time. Honda and Toyota have spent billions developing hybrid drivetrains, and fuel efficiant engine technologies, and they will impliment it on a large scale.

    While GM & Ford, the two biggest automotive companies in the world (or two of them), have barely even touched on the design. The best there offering is turbo diesel. Which is just another fossel fuel.

    I just dont get how top management arn't acting on this enourmous tidle wave about to hit the shores...
     
  16. Bona Fide

    Bona Fide Guest

    I really want GM to be competitive again in the midsize market. Seems like Toyota and Honda have a chokehold. :hsd:
     
  17. spooled2.2

    spooled2.2 OT Supporter

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    Good move by GM, bread and butter mid-size sedans don't need to be RWD.
     
  18. Ichabod Crane

    Ichabod Crane Active Member

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    i thought george bush didn't care about the environment?
     
  19. XPX

    XPX New Member

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    Isn't the Impala a fairly new model?
     
  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    No, it was refreshed recently with a new body, engines, and interior but is basically the same car they started selling in 1997.

    They've already performed much of the work on the next Impala which is a rebodied Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8. They've already invested in retooling Oshawa for building the next Impala and Camaro.

    With much of the work done already this is the worst thing that could have happened.
     
  21. XPX

    XPX New Member

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    Oh, ok. Thanks man. :)
     
  22. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    They already did.
     
  23. thefastlane

    thefastlane Rome SDS

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    oshawa's economy is largely based on the gm plant's too, with a large portion of the workers in the town woking for gm.
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    If the investment is too big to go back to the drawing board for (and I hear it is) then production will either go as planned or they will move production out of NA to get around CAFE.
     
  25. Stealthy_C

    Stealthy_C my Vespa rocks.. ̔̕̚̕̚ ҉ ҉̵̞̟̠̖̗̘̙̜̝̞̟̠͇̊̋̌̍̎ ̏̐̑̒ OT Supporter

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    Doesn't Ford make a hybrid?
     

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