GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
DCX, GM go slow on hybrids; few pickups ahead until at least 2006
RICHARD TRUETT
Automotive News

DETROIT -- Consumers looking for hybrid pickups at dealerships selling Chrysler group or General Motors brands will have a hard time finding them.

Dodge will build just 100 diesel-electric 2005 Ram pickups. The division will sell them to fleet customers such as utility companies.

None will be available to consumers this year or next - and the trucks may never be available to the general public, says Frank Klegon, Chrysler group's vice president of product development process and components.

Starting in August, GM will build only 2,500 gasoline-electric hybrid versions of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The trucks will be available to consumers only in Florida, California, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, says John Schwegman, Silverado's marketing manager.

GM and Chrysler have adopted conservative sales strategies, even though the market for hybrids appears poised for a takeoff and fuel prices remain high. These are the first hybrid vehicles the companies are producing.

U.S. sales of hybrid vehicles could reach 350,000 units annually by 2008, predicts J.D. Power and Associates.

GM will build a second batch of hybrids next year. Schwegman says the automaker expects to produce about 2,500 units in 2005. GM wants to launch the hybrid truck nationally in 2006, he says. But those plans are not firm.

"The market will determine the demand for hybrid trucks," he says.

Last August, GM officials rolled out an aggressive plan to launch up to five hybrid models by 2007. The automaker said it would have the ability to build up to 1 million hybrids per year.

But it appears that GM has backed off from its earlier enthusiasm for hybrid vehicles, says Walter McManus, executive director for global forecasting at J.D. Power. "They are taking a wait-and-see approach to see if people will buy it," McManus says.

Through June, Toyota has sold 21,783 gasoline-electric hybrid Priuses in the United States. That's more than double the number sold in the year-ago period.

Toyota has a six-month U.S. waiting list for the Prius. Many dealers are selling the cars for more than the $20,000 sticker price. Customers who don't want to wait have paid as much as $4,000 over sticker price.

Ford Motor Co. is the only domestic automaker with aggressive plans to compete with Toyota and Honda. Ford will launch the gasoline-electric Escape Hybrid in late August or early September. The automaker plans to build 4,000 hybrid SUVs this year and about 20,000 in 2005. The Escape Hybrid will have a $28,595 base price, about $3,300 more than a V-6 Escape.

The bulk of GM's hybrids - 1,875 units - will be Silverados, the rest are Sierras. GM has not priced 2005 models yet, but Schwegman says the hybrid pickups will cost $1,500 more than a gasoline-powered model. The GM trucks are so-called "soft hybrids." An electric motor provides a boost on acceleration. The vehicle has a stop-start system that turns off the gasoline engine at traffic lights. It also has a built-in generator that can power construction equipment.

Full Article Here

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Gauging interest in hybrids with the Silverado is a flawed idea from the start.

Hybrid assist that gives me 2 miles per gallon or a Diesel engine on a Silverado? Hmmm, that's hard.

GM, get a clue and offer it on the Suburban, HUMMER, Express, Trailblazer or other non-diesel optional vehicles before you throw up your hands and say "See, we tried! Nobody wants it!".

It's something like Volkswagen offering a soft hybrid version of a Golf....while selling a diesel version :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
I think this whole GM-Silverado-Sierra hybrid thing is a joke....and only 2500 of them??
Sad...

Instead of waiting until 2006 or 2007 to bring out a Malibu Hybrid or G6 Hybrid, GM should start thinking of an easy way to build hybrid vehicles fast. When Toyota came out with the Prius, and Honda with the Insight, GM should've started preparing hybrid/electric vehicles then. The EV1 was a great idea, it just wasn't marketed enough, and like the Insight, it was an ugly little vehicle that looked awkward. I bet by 2008, Toyota might have hybrid models on at least 50% of their lineup, while GM will now be waking up....350,000 sales in 2008 of hybrid vehicles. I bet GM will only have a 3% share in those 350K sales, while Toyota might have the majority of it.....Sad....For DaimlerChrysler, the diesels are popular. Yet, Benz should think of coming up with an easy way to build hybrid Rams, or Durangos, Liberty's or Grand Cherokees......
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
895 Posts
Short-sighted management at GM. Hybrids may not be the solution to the problem of fuel efficiency, but consumers have become brainwashed into thinking they are the holy grail of the automotive world. I understand that DCX is choosing to rather take the low-sulfur diesel approach which will be out in 2006 in the US in a wider variety approach and diesels are much more efficient overall than hybridizing a gasoline engine. Many European-based companies are heavily invested in this technology because of tax implications there so it isn't surprising that DCX would have further held to this diesel parade over gasoline-electrics. GM's boneheadedness is surprising since they sunk millions in an electric car that could have had potential if it had been more serious about the technology. Each step in alternative fuels pays dividends even if it is not immediate for the manufacturer. GM is simply unwilling to take a risk that could jeopardize their rather precarious balance sheet at the present time. They look great on paper, but there isn't much inspiration of products that are substantial competitors in each market. Merely having single digit increases over last year on some of the most moribund marks like Cadillac isn't progress, it is simply treading water. GM continues to sell too many cars to rental companies depressing their resale values and exacerbating their marketability over imports.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,258 Posts
Hybrids are great PR. In the case of the Escape, they are actually pretty efficient, too. A hybrid electric-diesel would be a real torque monster, but the Cummins engine is already pretty damned powerful.

Hybrids aren't the solution to our reliance on fossil fuels, but even when we are running on hydrogen combustion or fuel cell vehicles, electric hybrids will still be used for additional power and fuel economy savings.

Honda and Toyota are reaping the rewards of publicity from their hybrids, which generally aren't that impressive anyway. DCX and GM don't have much interest in the PR aspects of this technology, it would seem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
I hope GM has a trick up there sleeve, and the long forgotten Hybrid Vue has been developed and is ready to go. Bamm! and they put into production just like that. Speaking of alternatives to motivation, In my Motor Trend and local news paper they had spreads about fuel cells. All they talked about was the Honda FCX(?) not GM's work into fuel cells. Its kinda funny all the auto media etc have been complaining about GM working on fuel cells and not the wonderfull hybrids, then when they decide to write about fuel cells they praise Honda. :blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
954 Posts
Originally posted by Ming@Jul 6 2004, 11:48 AM
Gauging interest in hybrids with the Silverado is a flawed idea from the start.

Hybrid assist that gives me 2 miles per gallon or a Diesel engine on a Silverado?  Hmmm, that's hard.
Does the Duramax come with a built in 120V power converter? Didn't think so. I think it's your argument thats flawed. A hybrid is meant to be environmentally friendly. The diesels may offer more torque, but they're not nearly as 'green' as a gas engine. People usually buy hybrids because they want to make a statement about protecting the environment, they dont care about power or torque.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top