GM: teaming up to build trucks

GM: teaming up to build trucks

General Motors’ new low-cab forward trucks are now in production, the fruits of a partnership with Isuzu, rather than a joint venture.

The distinction, GM’s Paul Loewer explained in an NTEA Virutal Truck Product Conference presentation November 9, is that major functions such as sales, service, and warranty all funnel through the GM network.

Diesel models of the medium-duty trucks are brought in from Japan. Gasoline models are completed at the company’s plant in Charlotte, Michigan.

Chevrolet will re-enter the low cab forward market with seven new models – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 4500HDX, 5500HD and 5500 HDX.

The low-cab forward is not the GM partnership. According to GTM’s Jonna Hudson, the company cannot keep up with demand and is diverting some production of its full-size vans and mid-size pickups from its Wentzville plant to the Navistar plant in Springfield, Ohio.

The company’s full-size pickup line will have an optional 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine, Dan Tigges reported. The new engine, which meets federal emission requirements, produces 445 horsepower and 910 lb ft of torque. To address the added torque, GM has strengthened the universal joint for improved durability.

Other changes:

• The DEF tank is larger (seven gallons instead of 5.3 gallons), but the larger tank is not expected to appreciably impact packaging.

• Capless fuel-fill systems will now be on gasoline-powered trucks.

• Rear vision cameras will be standard on all but trucks that have work truck trim level. GM will offer cameras for installation on body. Box delete will be pre-wired.

• A new camera system is designed for use in towing trailers. It features a minimum of three cameras. The video feed is compatible with 4.2 and 8” display screens, giving the driver a good view of what is happening with the trailer. The display has a variety of display modes, but it automatically shows the side view when the turn signal is activated.

• An integrated trailer brake controller now optional for the Colorado and Canyon.

• A new 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine for the Colorado and Canyon produces 308 horsepower and 275 ft lb of torque. It is mated with a new eight-speed automatic transmission and achieves 25 mpg on highway for two-wheel drive models.

• A series of new technical bulletins are now on the company’s website. ♦

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