AD #2092 – GM Thinks Diesel Market Could Double, Toyota Tests Fuel Cell Semi Truck, Chevy Plans to Bring Back the Blazer

April 20th, 2017 at 11:35am

Runtime: 6:49

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- VW Getting Back on Its Feet
- Toyota Puts Mirai Fuel Cells in Semi Truck
- GM Thinks Diesel Market Share Could Double
- Opel’s Clever Bicycle Carrier
- Chevy Plans to Bring the Blazer Back

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15 Comments to “AD #2092 – GM Thinks Diesel Market Could Double, Toyota Tests Fuel Cell Semi Truck, Chevy Plans to Bring Back the Blazer”

  1. MJB Says:

    That slide-out bike rack by Opel is very clever thinking. Subaru should have been on this years ago (with their demographic of outdoorsy lifestyle buyers).

    But I guess it makes more sense for the buyer who doesn’t want the trailer hitch even visible. I actually even go to the trouble of uninstalling the hitch from my LS430 every Fall – just so it doesn’t get all corroded up from salt and snow during the winter. Nothing like a rusted-out trailer hitch to take the ‘luxury’ out of a luxury car.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Won’t a new ‘Blazer’ step on the toes of the Equnox; perhaps it needs to be closer in size to the Caddy XT5. GMC shares that platform with the Acadia and it seems that that is the size they are aiming at (sans third row).

    That bike rack is pretty slick (would be even slicker if its cost was closer to $350).

    Fuel cells in known distance haulers makes the most sense; refueling would be or could be same-location fueling stations; this requiring less of a fueling infrastructure.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Shouldn’t a new Blazer be based on the Colorado pickup, and have two doors? That would put it in a different market from Equinox et. al.

  4. Lex Says:

    GM is heading in the wrong direction with a diesel powered Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.
    I have written many times that GM should shoehorn the Volt’s powertrain into those vehicles. This will add fuel to the fire for the guys and gals on Wall Street who have been attacking GM IMHO.

    The New Blazer should be a clone of the new GMC Acadia, which would be offered at a lower price point as how GM has traditionally worked it’s produce lineup.

  5. Lex Says:

    Honda will do well with a five passenger Pilot.
    The current third generation Pilot is minivan in size and not attractive for empty nesters and smaller families. The only thing I hope is that Honda keeps the 3.5 Litre engine in the New five passenger “Pilot Sport”.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 The 149 hp Volt powertrain, as is, in a 4000+ pound plug-in hybrid Equinox wouldn’t be powerful enough to suit most Americans, but I can envision the Volt powertrain as a good starting point. You could start with the Volt powertrain, with a bigger battery, and add one or two extra motors, powering the rear wheels. Many, or most people want AWD in these vehicles anyway, and you could get more power for acceleration, and AWD at the same time. The gas powered generator would have plenty of capacity to maintain any normal cruising speed, and the existing direct connection of the ICE to the front wheels at highway speed, should allow reasonable gas mileage on the highway.

    A likely downside, would be price. Would people want to pay $50-60K+ for such an Equinox?

  7. Lisk Says:

    6, 4) A good candidate would be to use the Malibu Hybrid power team. The battery is only 1.5 Kw but it can power the Malibu up to 55 mph. City numbers are 49mpg with highway at 43. The Equinox uses the same 1.5L & 2.0L engines as the Malibu, so fitting the 1.8L hybrid unit should be a fairly easy swap. A bigger batter could be added for more electric range and the best part is the Hybrid Malibu is only about $4,000 more than a similarly equipped LT model.

  8. MJB Says:

    @2 – Well, Chuck, you gotta keep in mind that you’re actually paying for both the trailer hitch & bike rack in one for $630.

  9. ToddT Says:

    VW is not getting back on it’s feet. This is nothing other than short term return on massive reductions in spending. Eons ago there was a golden boy in VW group named Noel Phillips, he had done an amazing job producing record breaking financial results at VW South Africa, so much so in fact he was brought back to lead VW of America. It was later discovered those amazing financial results were very short lived, as the cost cutting that produced them would later produce revenue shortfalls that nearly collapsed VW South Africa. And his true leadership abilities, came to the test when Audi sales were gutted, and the brand nearly destroyed in America due to his handling of the unintended acceleration debacle.

    VW Group has cut costs in nearly every department to pay for the diesel scandal. The financial impact of those cuts won’t be realized for years, but unless VW encounters miraculous revenues due to outrageous strong global demand, the proverbial s**t will hit the fan. In a globally competitive industry cutting costs particularly in product development, R&D and marketing, will put you in a dire position at some point down the road.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems to me, that VW will continue to be successful everywhere in the world, except the U.S. and to a lesser extent, Canada.

    America is truck-centric, and VW are late to the game in that market. The U.S. CUV/SUV market is so full of good products, that VW will have a hard time making inroads, even if, say, the Atlas is actually a good vehicle. With the diesels gone, they have lost a major niche they once has in the American market.

    I still think they should buy FCA, if they can afford to. There is little product overlap, and VW would instantly have a decent dealer network to sell the good stuff they do have, like the Golf/GTi, and the Sportwagon. They could re-badge the Atlas as a Jeep, and it would sell, even if it isn’t any good.

  11. Ziggy Says:

    @3 Kit, couldn’t have said it better myself. Let’s hope Ford stays on track with the Bronco and spins it off the world-wide Ranger pick-up and not some soccer-mom mobile like Chevy with the Blazer.

  12. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The new blazer should be based on the midsize colorado frame.Diesel should be an option.As for GM offering a diesel option in other vehicles,the consumers will decide if they fly or not.VW is out of the diesel bidness here.That leaves a good potential market for GM to capitalize on.Ya never know…

  13. Bruce Melton Says:

    Unless the engine is supplied from a known supplier, who has an excellent reputation in making small diesel engines (e.g. Cummins, CAT, M.B., etc.), I would not consider a GM diesel vehicle for purchase. Many people may have forgotten the Oldsmobile designed 5.7L diesel fiasco, as well as, the Detroit Diesels (6.2L) in the pick-up/Suburban vehicles. My 83 Blazer w/6.2L D came apart on the No. 1 cylinder due to broken wrist pin in 1989 at ~61,000 miles. The piston skirt was not being properly lubricated, as I was told. A friend who had just purchased a brand new ’78 Olds Delta 88 w/5.7L diesel, which completely “grenaded” at 600 miles (brand new), with a bottom end webbing in the engine block blown out. Also, in 1983, the sales mgr. at a local Buick dealer said they would not order a new Buick Park Avenue e/w 5.7L diesel unless the customer put down $1500 non-refundable deposit. The prospective customer was told that they did NOT want the car in stock if the customer rejected it for any reason. On the other hand,a former neighbor had an 83 Riviera w/5.7L D, and they were happy with it. However, it was subsequently stolen when taken to the dealer for routine service (never found!). It became an insurance issue! I have not heard of any major complaints regarding the Isuzu diesel engines, which were installed in the Hummer H1, as well as, later model GM pick-ups, etc.

  14. BobD Says:

    13 – While GM has a terrible history of diesel engines, I don’t think it is logical to judge GM’s current diesel engines in the Cruze/Equinox and Colorado/Canyon based upon designs from 30 years ago. The new engines are sourced from Europe and have absolutely not heritage from those previous engines. Likewise, the 6.6L Duramax used in GM’s full-size pickups has been pretty durable, so it would make more sense to judge the new diesels using that history.

  15. Bernie Says:

    The GM diesels are supplied from a well known supplier, namely the joint Powertrain development center they formed with Fiat a decade or so back.
    That was when GM had no competitive small engines at all, neither diesel nor petrol. They formed that purchase deal with Fiat that later broke to pieces and had GM pay money to Fiat for not taking them over. Remember?
    The joint powertrain department was split and GM left with competitive diesel engines and knowledge.
    Regarding the Opel bike rack, this was introduced on the Corsa D, around 2006 or so. Strange you are discovering it only now.