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    GM Considers Outsourcing Some Production Of Commercial Vans To Boost Midsize Truck Production


    • GM Is Trying To Squeeze Out More Midsize Trucks, So Some Commerical Van Production May Move Elsewhere

    General Motors' midsize trucks has become a bright spot for the company. Originally forecasted to sell around 80,000 this year, the company is now on track to selling near 120,000 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks by the end of year. The two model are also the fastest-selling vehicles this year with the average time a Colorado sat on a dealer lot landing around 27 days. The Canyon was slightly longer with a 37 day average.

     

    But this has caused a supply problem for GM. The Wentzville, Missouri plant where both trucks are built has been pushed to the limits. Currently, the plant has three shifts and also builds models during the weekend. Even workers at the plant have agreed to plan to adjust break times to eliminate a six-minute lull between shifts.

     

    This appears to be not enough and GM is now looking into other measures. Automotive News has learned that GM is looking into outsourcing production of cutaway models of Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, the other models built at Wentzville, to AM General. This was revealed to workers by a note sent out by GM earlier in the week.

     

    “The truck and van continue strong sales. This potential partnership would free up production capacity and allow the organization to capitalize on our ability to build midsize trucks to further satisfy customer demand,” said the note.

     

    According to a source, cutaway vans account for one-third of total production at Wentzville.

     

    AM General, the folks who brought you the Hummer, has been in the process of expanding its contract manufacturing business. Back in August, the company announced a deal with Mercedes-Benz to build the R-Class crossover that would then be sent over to China.

     

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    Smart Move by GM, I expect this to continue strong well through the end of next year now that they have the diesel also.

     

    Like Drew, I wonder how fast they can spin up production at the contractor for the van work.

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    Presumably AM General is at least familiar with GM processes. And if they're working as hired guns they can probably get up and running pretty quickly.

    What a wonderful problem for GM to have in the truck segment.

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    I wonder how long the Savana and Express will last anyway.  They are like 20 year old designs and the Euro-style vans are taking over.  The Promaster is a bad vehicle luckily.  But I wonder if GM could allocate that whole factory to pick ups, and build a new van off a new platform some place else.

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    I wonder how long the Savana and Express will last anyway.  They are like 20 year old designs and the Euro-style vans are taking over.  The Promaster is a bad vehicle luckily.  But I wonder if GM could allocate that whole factory to pick ups, and build a new van off a new platform some place else.

    I do wonder if they plan to replace those oldies w/ a modern style van anytime soon.  

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    I believe the problem is, GM's fullsize van in Europe is a joint venture, they don't have their own design like FCA (horrible FWD POS) or Ford (Transit, much nicer) so they may not have the authority to commit to the fullsize van market here with their European fullsize vans.  I hope they don't hand the market over completely to Ford here in the U.S.

     

    On the other hand, Ford is caught with their pants down here in the U.S. in midsize trucks.  When they dropped the Ranger, they had the audacity to state that the FIESTA would take over as the vehicle of choice for Ranger customers... they held the completely erroneous notion that Ranger customers were more interested in a CHEAP VEHICLE than an actual small pickup truck... everyone can see how that panned out.  Fiesta sales aren't exactly taking up the slack... and I don't see any aftermarket Fiesta Ranchero conversions yet.  ;)

     

    Another point:  how will Ford market their Aussie Ranger here with a tried-and-true steel body, next to their aluminum F-series?  They would sound like hypocrites.

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    Yeah, the large Opel/Vauxhall Movano is a JV w/ Renault (it's based on the Renault Master), and the midsize Vivano is based on the Renault Trafic.

    Hmmm... and Renault is in bed with Datsun, and Chevy sells the Datsun NV200 here in the U.S. as the City Express...  :huh:

     

    Which, BTW, I have seen like ZERO City Express vans around here on the road, and only very few NV200s... the Transit Connect RULES the tiny van market.  We won't mention the ProMaster City...

    Edited by ocnblu

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    Yeah, the large Opel/Vauxhall Movano is a JV w/ Renault (it's based on the Renault Master), and the midsize Vivano is based on the Renault Trafic.

    Hmmm... and Renault is in bed with Datsun, and Chevy sells the Datsun NV200 here in the U.S. as the City Express...  :huh:

     

    Which, BTW, I have seen like ZERO City Express vans around here on the road, and only very few NV200s... the Transit Connect RULES the tiny van market.  We won't mention the ProMaster City...

     

    I have yet to see a City Express or a Pro Master City in the Phoenix area.  The only NV200s I've seen are on the front row of the Nissan dealer.  Maybe GM could do a JV to get a variation of the NV1500-3500 and put GM engines and Chevy/GMC noses on them.. 

     

    Note that Nissan hasn't used the Datsun name in the US in 30 years or so.. :)

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    I believe the problem is, GM's fullsize van in Europe is a joint venture, they don't have their own design like FCA (horrible FWD POS) or Ford (Transit, much nicer) so they may not have the authority to commit to the fullsize van market here with their European fullsize vans.  I hope they don't hand the market over completely to Ford here in the U.S.

     

    On the other hand, Ford is caught with their pants down here in the U.S. in midsize trucks.  When they dropped the Ranger, they had the audacity to state that the FIESTA would take over as the vehicle of choice for Ranger customers... they held the completely erroneous notion that Ranger customers were more interested in a CHEAP VEHICLE than an actual small pickup truck... everyone can see how that panned out.  Fiesta sales aren't exactly taking up the slack... and I don't see any aftermarket Fiesta Ranchero conversions yet.  ;)

     

    Another point:  how will Ford market their Aussie Ranger here with a tried-and-true steel body, next to their aluminum F-series?  They would sound like hypocrites.

     

     

    ....and yet drew has no problem with blu's constant fight causing jabs at Ford.

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    I believe the problem is, GM's fullsize van in Europe is a joint venture, they don't have their own design like FCA (horrible FWD POS) or Ford (Transit, much nicer) so they may not have the authority to commit to the fullsize van market here with their European fullsize vans.  I hope they don't hand the market over completely to Ford here in the U.S.

     

    On the other hand, Ford is caught with their pants down here in the U.S. in midsize trucks.  When they dropped the Ranger, they had the audacity to state that the FIESTA would take over as the vehicle of choice for Ranger customers... they held the completely erroneous notion that Ranger customers were more interested in a CHEAP VEHICLE than an actual small pickup truck... everyone can see how that panned out.  Fiesta sales aren't exactly taking up the slack... and I don't see any aftermarket Fiesta Ranchero conversions yet.  ;)

     

    Another point:  how will Ford market their Aussie Ranger here with a tried-and-true steel body, next to their aluminum F-series?  They would sound like hypocrites.

     

     

    ....and yet drew has no problem with blu's constant fight causing jabs at Ford.

     

    Wings, this post you quoted has some positive remarks about Ford and their vans.  And you have to agree that dropping the Ranger and the reasoning they gave was off the mark.  Plus I think it is a valid point I brought up about the new Ranger, without denegrating the F-series.

    Edited by ocnblu
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    .

     

     

    Drew, honestly, preemptively modding remarks like that is strange.  Should I have qualified it as to why it would have helped?

    Interesting that you had no problem with his modding when you first came here.

    • Upvote 2

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