Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

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Thread: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

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    News Contributor Premium Member EJD1984's Avatar
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    Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines
    Automotive News
    By Nick Carey
    November 18, 2019



    DETROIT -- Long before the pistons for General Motors Co. V-6 engines reach the automaker’s plant near Detroit in Romulus, Mich., they are seasoned international travelers.

    Powdered aluminum from Tennessee is shipped to Pennsylvania and forged at high temperatures into connecting rods for the pistons, which are then sent to Canada to be shaped and polished. They are then shipped to Mexico for sub-assembly and finally the finished pistons are loaded onto trucks bound for Romulus to become part of a GM V-6 engine.

    The parts make four international border crossings in all, without a single tariff levied.

    “They already have their passports,” said Jim Bovenzi, GM’s executive director of global supply chain on a recent tour of the Romulus plant. “We look at North America as a borderless region. We have parts and components coming back and forth across the border all the time.”

    GM’s V-6 engine is just one example of how GM and rivals Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have used the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement to shift work to lower-cost facilities across the continent, cutting expenses and boosting returns from the region that represents the bulk of their global profits.
    *Full Article at Link

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    i thought rods were steel and pistons were aluminum.

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    I was at the Seattle auto show this weekend. The one thing I noticed after looking at the vehicles' pricing info is that the vast majority of GM vehicles, their transmissions and engines are "made" in the USA. This is in contrast to the foreign automakers and even Ford and FCA. And that is why despite all the disappointments, I will support GM! Basically all Cadillacs are made in the US and have US made transmissions and engines. Yes, of course they are made from parts from around the world, and those parts cross the border numerous times (especially intra-NAFTA), but the Lexus, Merc and BMW's were rarely US made and when they were just about everyone of them had foreign made/ assembled transmissions and engines. US workers just put the Lego pieces together.

    Other takeaways from the car show although not relevant to this thread:

    1. The Canyon/ Colorado are in desperate need of an interior make over. The area around the key hole (yes, they still use a key!) showed a massive seam and the whole unit around the steering wheel felt loose. Cheap, nasty. The exterior still rocks, really an attractive vehicle/s;

    2. The CT5 looks really great in person. I hardly noticed that controversial C pillar. The one they had was black with the Sauvage (sic) interior. Very attractive. The interior has excellent quality. The seats are super comfy. My only criticism is the lack of some risk taking. BMW has amazing interior lighting. Merc has tons on interior chrome (which I thinks sucks, but it differentiates them). Lincoln has lots of glitz (which I also hate but ditto with what I said about Merc). Cadillac is just the bare luxury requirements- inoffensive, no risk taking although very good quality and design.

    The other issue I have it that the damn hump below the rear seat is still there! Its also in the CT4 which seems to have exactly the same lack of rear leg room as the ATS. WTF! We had been told GM had engineered a work around! I suspect that it fell victim to cost cutting. On that score, it felt to me that the CT5 and CT4 interiors are the bare minimum that GM felt it could get away with in order to be competitive with Lexus and BMW; in contrast the XT4, XT5 and XT6 felt like they put in a lot more effort into the interior to beat (albeit by a small margin) the competition. I think the XT4 is perhaps the best Cadillac as a whole package based on its interior. The XT6 surprised as well, it is a damn good, quality package (subject to the lack of any risk taking as outlined above).

    3. CT4. They had a red CT4V. I couldn't get inside, but from the outside the interior looked like the quality is quite good. Only issues is that it is very conservative with (again) no risk taking. This is supposed to be a young person's car so WTF. The exterior is nice but too close to my current ATS. Still, if it had a V-6 opinion and interior colors I like, I may be tempted.

    4. Silverado- the interior is as bad as they say. The worst part is the controls. How can you sell this monster truck but put in controls that feel like cheap plastic that can be ripped off by a baby?

    5.Camaro- the convertible had mismatched paint on its front clip. But its a stunner and should be outselling Mustang 10-1!

    6.Buick Enclave- Excellent interior. I don't get the complaints about it, but like every other GM vehicle, its too damn expensive!

    7. Buick Envision- Boycotted Chicom mobile.

    8.GMC Acadia- The Denali is simply superb! I'd get one in a heartbeat if I was looking for a SUV.

    9. GMC Terrain- The Denali was perhaps the biggest surprise. Interior quality was surprisingly good, and seemed better than Equinox (which is actually impossible). It was a great package. If it wasn't made in Mexico, it would be my third choice for a SUV//CUV (behind Acadia and XT4).

    11. Lincoln Corsair. The interior is a star from a distance. However, perhaps its my anti-Ford bias, but I thought the quality was skin deep. Something about it felt contrived. Touch the interior and it feels cheap. Not all of it, but enough. Still, I can see a ton of people choosing this above the XT4, because it appears to mimic the Merc approach to interiors. The exterior is typical Lincoln, which is to say awful.

    12. Lincoln Aviator. I hated the exterior in pics. I hated it more in person. I didn't bother with the interior....because of the queue to sit in it. Seems the people love it, lots more interest than in any Cadillac!

    13. Sedans are dying! Other than sports cars, people just don't give a damn. The Toyota area was a good reminder. No one gave any Toyota sedan a second glance, but the Tacoma, Highlander etc were inundated with traitors (remember Pearl Harbor lol ).

    14. Other than the Teslas, no one seemed to care for electrics. And this is a progressive hell hole!

    15. Chevy are idiots. The most heard comment at the show "Why didn't GM show the C8/ new Corvette!". Truly pathetic!

    16. Autoshow food isn't fit even for starving mimes!

    That is all.
    Last edited by CadillacSA; 11-18-2019 at 12:50 PM.

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    Quote Originally Posted by CadillacSA View Post
    15. Chevy are idiots. The most heard comment at the show "Why didn't GM show the C8/ new Corvette!". Truly pathetic!
    This is totally off topic..and my apologies...but...I suspect the absence was do to the fact the pre-production units were pretty much ragged out by the recent auto-mag tests and real production doesn't start till Feb.
    I think it is just a shortage of presentable examples.

    REALLY off topic...but since you brought it up...
    I have a 2018 Terrain Denali. It is totally loaded except for AWD, and pretty much bullet proof. Even the stop-start is buttery smooth. Zero issues. If being built in Mexico means they can offer it at a price I can afford, I could care less.
    UAW extortion wages/benefits are baked into every "Big Three" vehicle made in the USA. I don't feel obligated to subsidize that. If engines can be produced cheaper by shipping back and forth between countries, I support that as well. Also consider that a substantial amount of content in all USA produced vehicles is imported so do not be misled by a USA point of origin.

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    Colorado still has a key. Thank goodness. Maybe I need to get one before the ugly looking refresh comes out.
    One thing this article does point out is just how much extra fuel and energy is needed to move parts around in a global economy.

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    If only UAW was thinking of how to bid for all this work!!

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    "Colorado still has a key. Thank goodness. Maybe I need to get one before the ugly looking refresh comes out."

    You and me both brother. We were in the market for a Traverse or Acadia and decided on a low miles '16 Acadia and one of the factors was the key. We were originally looking for a '17 or '18.

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    The great big huge sucking sound of jobs leaving the US has already past and we are now dealing with its repercussions.



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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    Quote Originally Posted by Myron 65 View Post
    Colorado still has a key. Thank goodness. Maybe I need to get one before the ugly looking refresh comes out.
    PB start has been out there for years now. Are you aware of a great increase in number of no start issues...or a sharp increase in stolen vehicles? Didn't think so.
    I suspect that when they went form a hand crank to start the vehicle to a keyed system you would have held out for the hand crank. Or from hand crank windows to power?

    But if a key makes you feel warm and fuzzy, more power to you.
    Last edited by criticalmass; Today at 09:40 AM.

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    Quote Originally Posted by criticalmass View Post
    PB start has been out there for years now. Are you aware of a great increase in number of no start issues...or a sharp increase in stolen vehicles? Didn't think so.
    I suspect that when they went form a hand crank to start the vehicle to a keyed system you would have held out for the hand crank. Or from hand crank windows to power?

    But if a key makes you feel warm and fuzzy, more power to you.
    So progressive and modern you are. Yet still hold on to that buy domestic dogma when for fifty years it's industry executives and workers and it's Union leadership haven't given one frigging **** about you. Just your money.

    Myron65 might want a key, but you, sir, are a tool.

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    Re: Parts with passports: how free trade drives GM's engines

    Quote Originally Posted by Citation84 View Post
    So progressive and modern you are. Yet still hold on to that buy domestic dogma when for fifty years it's industry executives and workers and it's Union leadership haven't given one frigging **** about you. Just your money.

    Myron65 might want a key, but you, sir, are a tool.
    What? The fact I don't give a crap about a key makes me a progressive tool who buys into "domestic dogma". How in the H...did you come up with that? Please see post #4...re: my made in Mexico Terrain.
    And BTW...the UAW bites.

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