AD #3158 – Chevy Silverado Updated; Why OEMs Should Merge ICE Powertrain Operations; smart Reveals Upscale Concept

September 10th, 2021 at 11:41am

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Listen to “AD #3158 – Chevy Silverado Updated; Why OEMs Should Merge ICE Powertrain Operations; smart Reveals Upscale Concept” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 12:13

0:08 Chip Shortage Could Last Another Year
0:29 Toyota Slashes Production Forecast
0:50 Hyundai To Stop Making the Sonata in The U.S.
1:45 Hyundai Designer Now in Charge of Genesis Communications
3:12 Toyota Avalon Nice but Not Spectacular
4:37 smart Reveals Upscale Concept
5:54 Chevy Adds ZR2 To Silverado Lineup
8:31 Why OEMs Should Merge ICE Powertrain Operations

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56 Comments to “AD #3158 – Chevy Silverado Updated; Why OEMs Should Merge ICE Powertrain Operations; smart Reveals Upscale Concept”

  1. Rey Says:

    All quiet on the Tesla front, a ‘ring record was set for bonestock BEV production car.

  2. MJB Says:

    All solid points about ICE production moving forward, John.

  3. George Ricci Says:

    On the topic of merging ICE powertrains. I agree with you on the HP powertrains. But on the other ICE, I think you more likely to see companies share/trade powertrains and technology. GM is going to make some EV’s for Honda for while, but at some point when the volume is higher, they will make there own. GM can supply them batteries/motors and Honda can supply GM with 4 cyl. ICE and hybrid powertrains. Ford and VW will collaborate on commercial vehicles and VW will supply Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive toolkit, MBE architecture, and invest in Argo AI. etc.

  4. GM Veteran Says:

    The ICE production company sounds good on paper, but I see a lot of thorny issues cropping up. Whose plants would be used for production and whose would be mothballed? Who would capitalize such a venture, knowing it will have a short and defined lifespan? Not many people want to start a company with a planned shutdown date from Day 1.

    Instead, I think corporate collaboration will continue to grow where it makes sense, like Ford and GM making transmissions together. As volume declines, these deals will make more sense and be easier to execute.

  5. GM Veteran Says:

    I like the Smart concept vehicle styling a lot. Very clean and modern without looking stark. The tacked on dash screen really needs to go, however. With all that open dash space it really does not need to be a freestanding element. I know it sounds silly, but that alone would take it off my shopping list. Just look at the dash on the updated Silverado with its nicely integrated screen. Much more appealing.

  6. Dave Says:

    Avalon was the #1 car bought by “the Millionaire Next Door” in the last book, in the first book it was a second hand Buick which means ????

  7. Dave Says:

    Hence will the new millionaire next door be buying a BEV

  8. Kevin A Says:

    John, Excellent points! If they concentrated on the most reliable ICEs, warranty costs could go down. If they could unload some employees, future buy out costs could go down. If they became efficient enough, they might be able to export engines to countries where EV conversion is slower and supply ICEs to smaller companies so they could switch their resources to EVs faster. I suspect that Toyota may do what you suggested, supplying ICEs to all the companies it part-owns, consolidating production in just a few plants.

  9. wmb Says:

    I’m sorry but all I see in the Smart Concept is a Mini CUV! The head and tail lights are different (obviously), but the overall shape and design scream Mini ripoff.

  10. Rey Says:

    #3 george,Yesterdays AH,ICE has reached its best before day, but old auto didnt get the notice, on that EV collaboration,so who does Honda go after when a battery pack catches fire, GM or LG? ..GM is still trying to get an answer from LG,it seems.

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    John the way I see it; the really great engines tend to stand out. No arguing between automakers is necessary. Look at the data and who has the least issues per 1000 and best performance ie MPG, HP, Emissions. Then as engine plants wind down the strong survive. Ford can start buying engines from GM like they did from Yamaha back in the day. Who has the best 2.0L? That plant stays alive building engines for many manufacturers.
    Everything is becoming more modular and the car designs will have to be packaged around a purchased engine/transmission.
    Consolidation is inevitable and it wont make sense for large manufacturers like GM to have 9-12 different engines. So if the volume on one of your V6s has dropped to a point where it makes sense to buy from Honda or Toyota then I can see that happening.
    It will actually be a good thing for consumers if its done properly as only the best engines will survive and remain in production with good volume. The goal wont change and keeping the engine plants to full capacity will still be the goal. Whether you use those engines internally sell them to another manufacturers they will still need the plants to be profitable.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    9 I agree, my first thought was, its a Mini. However I like this design better even if its only slightly different. Hopefully the rear suicide doors remain. I too don’t care for the slapped on screen in the middle of what was a nice flowing IP.
    Hopefully Smart and produce this with decent performance unlike the old Smart cars where you got pathetic performance and mediocre mileage for a small box with no trunk. Being an EV hopefully there is also some storage room under the hood.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding Avalon, yesterday I took my Camry in for a low pressure fuel pump recall, and walked around the dealership to kill time. They had an Avalon hybrid in a really nice metallic red color. The interior was black, with leather or Naugahyde, not sure which, and was a little nicer than my Camry. Then, I looked at the sticker, ~$46K, ~$15K more than my Camry LE hybrid with the same powertrain, sunroof, and a package that included all of the safety gadgets they had in 2018. The Avalon would, presumably, be a little quieter than the Camry, and has a slightly larger trunk, but costing $15K more, no wonder the Avalon didn’t sell.

  14. Larry S. Says:

    I realize I’m probabin tbe minority here but this is my opinion. I think this rush to bev is far too premature. I see piles of batteries just like tires were for so many years. Not to mention the hazards. Batteries aren’t fully recyclable yet, they are an uncontrollable fire hazard in any real quantity. As such they emit highly toxic fumes (see battery fire in the Chicago suburs for ex.) Charging infrastructure is inadequate, fire mitigation systems are inadequate, recycling systems are inadequate… it’s just not ready for prime time yet.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 liter turbo fours would be a good place to start with engine consolidation. None of them have much “character.” All of them work ok, but there’s not much to distinguish them. As others have mentioned, it might be hard for a committee of biased people to decide which ones to build, and which ones to drop, but a global consolidation would probably save the companies billions of dollars, and would result in some brands of vehicles having better engines.

  16. John Says:

    #1, There’s pictures online today, taken with a long lens at the ‘Ring, showing ceramic brakes on the Tesla in question. Definitely equipped with a conventional steering wheel as well. Is it possible that Elon lied about it being bone stock???

  17. George Ricci Says:

    10. It is whatever the contract says. You can sure it would be covered in there because of the Bolt issue.

  18. WineGeek Says:

    What is wrong with US auto manufacturers that they won’t all get together to set up a JV and produce chips in the USA. What is going on is the ultimate stupidity, stop making things because a small piece is not available. Where is the vaunted “American ingenuity” convert an existing building into a chip plant temporarily and build some chips for US auto plants until they could build a giant US owned chip plant to bring chip production home so that it is under US control to build US chips for vehicles built in the US.

  19. George Ricci Says:

    11.Keep in mind that company’s A engine does not bolt up to company’s B transmission. To make this work you will need to talk about a powertrain(engine, transmission, alternator, AC pump, Air intake, Cat(s), Lots of sensors, ECU, and a box to interface between the ECU and the rest of the car.

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    19 That’s just a matter of sending a drawing file from one design team to another. They can make everything fit. Most likely any purchased engine would come with accessories attached just like they do from the engine plants now. Engine/transmission management systems are also included. That interface to the vehicle is easily resolved with a plug specified by the buyer.
    They just need to start thinking in terms of modular construction. Plug n play.

  21. Albemarle Says:

    I think your idea is great, John. You mentioned it before and I like it. But, I see so much ‘tradition’, ‘history’ etc. in the not-so-big-anymore-three that the idea will die. For 100 years, you’ve had companies bragging about what’s under the hood.
    The joint ventures are almost all with new markets or new products. Share engines? Never, not even with suppliers. Sad.

  22. Albemarle Says:

    9. I agree. Next BMW will sue MB for copying. It’s cute but the large hood undoes a lot of the hamdy city size of the Smart.

  23. rick Says:

    new general motors half ton trucks awesome job on new 2.7L 4 cyl. and diesel engines and transmissions

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. GM was in the semiconductor business in Kokomo, IN for years, and shut down their bigger fab in 2017. It was not competitive, and as things were, it would not have made sense to spend tens of millions of dollars on it. To restart it now would take years, because of availability of equipment.

  25. Buzzerd Says:

    New Silverado looks great. Probably what they should have put out in the first place. Question- does it get the same tailgate as GMC?

  26. Rey Says:

    #16 LOL who you trying to fool? Why don’t you go to YouTube, Tesla channel the driver is on the Yoke doing the “Green Hell”, of course there will, be unbelievers that a Battery powered 4 door sedan can chase the latest mid engine Corvette and be within one second of it, ICE has reached its limits,deal with it.

  27. Rey Says:

    #16,Elon said the Plaid was bonestock , but he leaves any future attempts with modifications like aero teams and brakes and suspensions to others , like Unplugged performance or that other outfit from Oregon, I guess he doest have time for such things, he run two Companies full-time, as everybody knows, besides Neural Net and Boring

  28. Kevin A Says:

    You didn’t mention it, but GM did this engine consolidation once before years ago when it phased out Buick and Olds and other engines in favour of all Corporate engines. Now they just have to spin it off.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 I remember the whining and law suits when they first put Chevy V8s in Oldsmobiles, even though the Chevy engines were probably better. People wanted their Rocket V8.

  30. Bob Wilson Says:

    The big problem of consolidation is outsourcing critical engineering and supply to a smaller set of suppliers (and importers.) Like the chip shortage, they sneeze and domestic companies furlough plants and workers.

    Another example, Bolt batteries. GM has no leverage against their one battery supplier. In contrast, another EV maker has the flexibility to use different battery suppliers and chemistries. They are growing EV production at a remarkable rate year. They also had flexibility in their chip suppliers.

  31. Bob Wilson Says:

    With close to two orders of magnitude fewer parts and 1/3d the operational cost per mile, EVs provide a significant cost savings year-over-year.

    Sure GM and Nissan showed bad battery engineering but bad engineering is too common across any industry. Heck, some EV makers don’t have enough scrap batteries to sustain recycling. But there is a cottage industry taking salvage EV drivetrains and putting them in legacy bodies.

    So relax and as EVs and charging technology improves, don’t be afraid to switch when the time comes.

  32. Sean Wagner Says:

    I’m with John when it comes to the BMW Circular’s new look. It was high time that marque came up with something – anything – that leaves behind the current stale design language. Even if it’s just a concept.

    Lambo2015 – I wonder how modular the current American engine families are. Maybe it’s not so straightforward to just pluck the best from the lineups and expect to reap efficiencies.

    I’ve also been thinking that maybe one last half-step in ICE development might be useful if series-hybrids based on transversally mounted engines (like an I6) gained traction.

    As for stationary EV charging, maybe contactless is the way to go, with probes that can be lowered from a car’s underbody to nearly touch the tarmac. It would make wide scale installation so much easier.

  33. Sean Wagner Says:

    When was the last time an American car figured among Germany’s top ten best-sellers? Even if it came from the region of Shanghai… the Model 3 made it into 7th place last month. Someone over at Cadillac should be taking note and waxing Lyriq.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Maybe the Model T was the last one.

  35. Rey Says:

    #33 sean W, Last time i looked GM is not in Europe Caddy making a comeback there?

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 GM sells a few Corvettes, Cadillacs, and Camaros in Europe, unless they quit very recently.

  37. Rey Says:

    #36 how many is a few, 5 of each, or a few hundred ? Rimac”sells a few” Neveras in the USA.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 A few hundred Cadillacs a year.

  39. Rey Says:

    #36, TTAC says maybe around 5000 but that was 2018, Tesla might sell that in a month in Europe, from Chinas Shanghai factory.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Also, a few hundred Corvettes.

  41. Rey Says:

    #40, Forbes say nearly 67,000 Tesla in 1st half of 2021 for Europe,about twice VW BEV sales,despite the mod 3 costing quite a bit more than the competition – id3and 4 and Zoe, this without Giga Berlin production yet.

  42. Rey Says:

    #40,maybe the American Ferarri ( mid engine) is a bargain compared to the Italian horses.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42, Yep, definitely a bargain compared to any of the Italian exotics.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You could get a 20 year old less popular F car for the price of a new C8, but maintnance cost of the F car would be much higher.

  45. Sean Wagner Says:

    35 Rey – As Kit said, some select gm vehicles are still sold in Europe.

    If Cadillac doesn’t exploit this once-in-a-lifetime transition to reenter Europe with lust-inducing, high-margin products, it’s never going to happen.

    Successfully serving such a large and demanding market should help the marque to thrive.

  46. Rey Says:

    #35 ,correction on the Tesla Europe sales as of Aug 2021, 11,581 Tesla were sold in Europe

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 Is the Model 3 the top selling Chinese car in Europe?

  48. Bob Wilson Says:

    I’ve seen YouTube reports it is the Model Y followed by Model 3. But many new models have a sales boost due to anticipation.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 This says Model Y production is 1000/day and Model 3 800/day in Shanghai. If that is right, production numbers are huge, about a half million a year.

  50. Rey Says:

    #49, Elon expects the mod Y to far outsell the mod3 by a big margin,being a crossover and having a hatch and more volume inside,it will, even though its probably $5,000 more than the mod3, and yes run rate of Shanghai will be at least 500,000 when complete, they already make modY SR single motor RWD with LFP CATL battery packs, that car does not exist in USA yet,only China.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    An RWD Model Y is something I’d be interested in, if they ever sell it in the US, and “at home” charging becomes available at my condo.

  52. Lambo2015 Says:

    Interesting, Just in time for EVs.

  53. Ukendoit Says:

    In the parking garage at the hospital I work at, they have designated some parking spots on each level as EV parking. They have not installed chargers there (yet), but those spots are nearest to the regular 110v outlets by the stairwells, and many of the cars parking there run their own charging cords. I’m happy to see them doing this, but I have wondered how safe I would feel using my own cord in a public garage. Does anyone know if there are locks available to lock the cord to the vehicle or a post? It seems it would be easy enough to make a cable lock that would be secure enough to remove the temptation for someone to grab the cord.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53 Are there cameras? That might help deter cord thieves.

  55. Ukendoit Says:

    There are some cameras, especially around the stairwells/elevators where most of those EV spots are. I’m not sure that all the available EV spots are on camera though. I did find a few recommendations (the link on my name) for cord security, the two simplest being to run your cable to the trunk and an extension cord out to the outlet, or park on the cord (they showed an accessory where the protected cord runs through a little parking pad. I don’t have an EV yet, but I’m thinking ahead for when I do.

  56. Pat Y Says:

    I disagree about merging power-train operations being a good idea.

    If the auto company’s put all the drive line production under one house it would mean NO more competition in the drive-line market.

    Lack of competition would stifle new ICE innovations and quality would began tank.

    At least until some other company(s) got into the drive-line market with a “better” product.

    Then one OEM would pick company A another company B. Before you know it you would be back to what we already have today.

    Also what company is going to want to get into being the drive-line manufacture knowing its a dying market. Only a company that dosn’t care about quality because there just going to mothball the operation in a few years and end the liability.