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Old 01-15-2008, 09:52 PM   #1
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Oshawa, and CAFE....

Fuel rules guide GM in decision on cars for Ont. plant

GREG KEENAN
AUTO INDUSTRY REPORTER
January 15, 2008

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. is still studying which cars to build in Oshawa, Ont., alongside the new Camaro because the U.S. debate on fuel economy means it's difficult to assess the market for rear-wheel-drive cars, company chairman Rick Wagoner says.

"The issue we're looking at in the U.S. is just with the CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Requirements] - how big those segments are going to be," Mr. Wagoner told a small group of reporters yesterday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"It really is the $64,000 question."

He said GM has not concluded how sales of rear-wheel-drive vehicles will be affected by the U.S. government move to require fleets to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Front-wheel-drive vehicles provide better fuel economy.
"We've had a range of ideas," he said.

"In the latest developments on fuel economy some seem more feasible than others and others that were pretty good a while ago don't seem as logical now."

But he pointed out that there's likely to be high demand for a six-cylinder version of the Camaro and GM will offer a version.

That's another example of how the North American market is changing amid high gas prices because muscle cars typically have V8 engines with plenty of power.

GM is undertaking a massive redevelopment of its Oshawa car plants as part of the $2.5-billion Beacon Project, which received more than $400-million in financial assistance from the federal and Ontario governments.

One of the two car plants will be closed and the company will construct a leading-edge flexible plant that will allow it to assemble cars off more than one platform or basic underbody.

Sources said the original plan called for GM to manufacture as many as 500,000 rear-wheel-drive vehicles including the Camaro once the plant was running at full tilt by 2010.

Mr. Wagoner would say little about the negotiations this year between GM and the Canadian Auto Workers union.

"I think it's going to be a robust set of negotiations," he said.

CAW president Buzz Hargrove and his leadership are well informed about the issues to be discussed, Mr. Wagoner said.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:04 PM   #2
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If they make that Zeta platform Caddy flagship that would work real well. If it can handle two platforms, move Alpha there as well.
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post

He said GM has not concluded how sales of rear-wheel-drive vehicles will be affected by the U.S. government move to require fleets to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
just to show that not all cars will have to meet this requirement. Just the average of all their fleets. This helps my logic that muscle cars are on the uprising just like imports where a couple years ago. Someday someone will roll out a factory tuned 800-1000hp car.....someday
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:13 AM   #4
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Once again, the "man" is keeping us down, LOL.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:17 PM   #5
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I think the thinking is that some cars just don't make sense from an engineering standpoint, to go through the trouble and expense for a car that's only going to hurt the fleet average. For high-power cars like the Vette it doesn't matter much since it's not a volume seller. The Camaro will be around for generations to come and GM engineers will surely keep a V8 up front in some Camaro models, while the V6 (or 6's) will make up for the majority of sales. No worries; the performance, rear-wheel-driven American muscle car is going nowhere.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:01 PM   #6
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I have no problem with RWD V8 powered performance cars being low-volume. It will make owning one even better.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:02 PM   #7
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by stovt001 View Post
I have no problem with RWD V8 powered performance cars being low-volume. It will make owning one even better.

So true.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:07 AM   #9
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Ah, the good 'ol Beacon Project. Thanks GM! More on that below. As far as the CAFE goes, the projected sales of the Camaro are less than 200 000 world wide. 75% of these will likely be V6. That leaves fewer than 50k V8 Camaros a year. Assume that half of that will be for the US market. Then add in the Corvette, G8 and any other V8 car (I think that large trucks are still exempt, right?) and you have a total of perhaps 50k V8 cars sold in the US by GM per year. in 2007 they sold 3.87 million vehicles, taking off truck sales lets figure they sold about 2.5 million vehicles. So those V8 cars account would for 2% of their US car sales. Thats not a whole lot. Compare that to 200k cobalts sold each year. And the Volt which is anticipated at being over 100k in its first year.

Back to what I said earlier. A good portion of that beacon project is going into my University. We are getting a brand new facility out of it known as the Automotive Centre of Excellence. It will have a massive wind tunnel (large enough to fit a bus in) and a four post shaker rig. We will become their hub of academic research in Canada. Who are we? We are the University of Ontario, Institute of Technology. The goal is to have a Canadian university that is on par with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), or the California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:42 AM   #10
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Your statement of less then 200,000 camaros per year is astonishing. As is your fewer then 50k v8 camaros per year. Where did you get these figures?

I know for a FACT how many will be built per year, i know how many will be built for the first year production run, and i know how many shift"s" got eliminated on the new camaro line. Whoever gave/wrote down those figures you got are way off. But i wont tell you how many are slated for production runs as i dont want to give away our secrets


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when i said "astonishing" i should have said "laughable" We are not building a "me too" car like the Impala.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:03 AM   #11
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I just pulled them out of my ass. I think I heard that they were anticipating 150k being sold and assumed that it would do better than expected. Then I figured about 25% would be V8's, no particular reason there but the guess felt right. Dodge is selling 10 000 or so STR8 Challengers, double what they originally planned. But even if the numbers I had for the Camaro are high, it helps my point further since the fewer V8 cars there are, the less impact they will on CAFE, correct? Oh, and those numbers for GM's sales are just slightly educated guesses as well. Do not take any of that stuff as fact. But if anyone can provide solid numbers for any of that stuff, please correct me
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Originally Posted by FbodFather
My sister's dentist's brother's cousin's housekeeper's dog-breeder's nephew sells coffee filters to the company that provides coffee to General Motors......
........and HE WOULD KNOW!!!!
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #12
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Well, if you are guessing 100K Camaros per year, I'd say it's safe to assume that 25 to 30% of those could be Z28's and SS's....maybe up to 35% tops...depending on price and demand.
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:12 PM   #13
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Whatever the case I will most definately be driving one of the V8's.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #14
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thats some BS that they say every car has to have a35mpg average by2020. so what if they dont get it then that meens it gets the gas guzzler tax ???
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