Jump to content
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    GM Engineers Take A Tour of the F-150 Plant For Inspiration

      Hiding in plain sight

    When General Motors decided to study the Ford F-150 to help make the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, they sent engineers to the front door of where the F-150 is built. 

    According to Reuters, engineers went on a public factory tour of Ford's Dearborn truck plant to study how Ford was building them. Special attention was paid to workers attaching aluminum body panels to the trucks. After watching and timing the fitment of parts with stopwatches, GM engineers found some problems.

    “They had a real hard time getting those doors to fit,” said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer for GM truck programs.

    Focusing on the doors, engineers bought F-150 doors as parts and took them apart. What they realized is that they could cut weight in their trucks with a combination of aluminum and thinner high strength steel for a lower cost. 

    GM could have gone all-aluminum with their trucks. Herrick said the debate at the company “was a really hotly contested item for us.” But at the end of the day, the decision to use mixed metals will allow for a larger profit on the trucks.

    “We think we have thousands of dollars advantage (over Ford) just in the aluminum costs. It’s big,” said Herrick.

    Source: Reuters



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    It is always wise to learn from your competitors, especially where they fail.

    Now if only GM can get the Silverado AND Sierra to outsell the F-series combined.

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    22 hours ago, dfelt said:

    If not for the F150, Ford might very well be a dead company now.

    You mean they would have needed a bailout like their other US counterparts? 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    43 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    You mean they would have needed a bailout like their other US counterparts? 

    True in both regards, if they had not been able to secure their loans when they did they would have needed a US bailout. If they did not have the F150, I am not sure they would still be here, more like Pontiac, Ford would be gone I think without their truck lineup.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    You mean they would have needed a bailout like their other US counterparts? 

    They needed the bailout before the crisis happened... they just did it before all the banks imploded and there was no one left to finance them.  GM was actually fine, not great, but slightly profitable, just up until the banks melted down. 

    Gotta remember the timeline

    1. The banks melted down

    2. Credit for healthy companies dried up, this is important for financing of operations, buying inventory, etc.  Target suddenly found themselves unable to buy inventory because their primary bank was in the process of failing.  This happened to lots of companies.  GM ended up in the same situation as Target, but being so huge and with long days to cash (time from purchasing parts to getting the cash from a sale) it put them into a major cash crunch.

    3. There was no where else for big, cash hungry businesses to turn but to the federal government. Banks and Automotive were saved, many others weren't. 

    But before all that happened, Ford was already in trouble.   Some wiz in Finance saw the same writing on the economic wall that I did and mortgaged the entire company right up to the name on the door before the crap hit the fan.  It wasn't by some miracle of management or superior vehicle design. It all came down to reading the tea leaves before a major storm.

    If anything, because of all the debt they took on, Ford is now behind their Detroit competition in many ways. They need to address that debt in order to catch up. They got their bailout... and they are still being bailed out by those giant loans they took. 

    This really isn't the sign of a healthy company....

    2018-08-13_11-36-45.png

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    So true, FORD is in many ways worse today as they still have a ton of Union pension debt obligation that GM and Chrysler do not have. I honestly think it would have been best for Ford to go the Route that GM did.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Oh I know they needed cash and they took care of it. My point was just that "ford would be dead if..." Well, the whole D3 would be dead "if" not for *insert a any one of a few things here*. 

    I know it wasn't some miracle of management but foreseeing a sh!tstorm and preparing for it vs not preparing for it is usually preferred. 

    Ford absolutely is in a worse way today because they're paying off loans. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    Oh I know they needed cash and they took care of it. My point was just that "ford would be dead if..." Well, the whole D3 would be dead "if" not for *insert a any one of a few things here*. 

    I know it wasn't some miracle of management but foreseeing a sh!tstorm and preparing for it vs not preparing for it is usually preferred. 

    Ford absolutely is in a worse way today because they're paying off loans. 

    I think the point that @dfelt and @A Horse With No Name are making is that the F-150 and Mustang are, until very recently, the only things holding FMC together.  I would argue that the Explorer, Edge, Navigator, and Escape, and MKC are pulling their weight as well, but otherwise largely agree with the sentiment. 

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I think these trucks are very nice though but I think even with all this tech the gains are quite incremental. Did anyone notice how to meet the efficiency standards trucks are made bigger and bigger!!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    8 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

    I think these trucks are very nice though but I think even with all this tech the gains are quite incremental. Did anyone notice how to meet the efficiency standards trucks are made bigger and bigger!!

    That is because.. TA DAAAHHH... the "efficiency standards" do not obey the fundamental law of physics.  Yet the madness goes on, and when someone tries to come back to earth, the loons cry.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By Drew Dowdell
      General Motors and LG Chem are joining forces to invest $2.3 billion in a new battery plant near its old Lordstown Assembly complex in Lordstown, Ohio.  The deal is a 50/50 partnership between GM and LG Chem and will create 1,100 jobs in the area. 
      Construction of the plant will begin mid-2020 at a greenfield former manufacturing site. The employees will work for the joint-venture and will not be direct GM employees. Initially, the plant will solely supply batteries for GM vehicles, though with a maximum capacity of 30 gigawatt-hours annually, the company could expand to supply other manufacturers as well.
      GM and LG Chem are forming this joint venture in an attempt to bring down the unit cost of batteries for future vehicles. The plant's capacity, once completed, will be among the largest in the world. 
      General Motors has said it wants to introduce 20 electric vehicles globally by 2023. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      General Motors and LG Chem are joining forces to invest $2.3 billion in a new battery plant near its old Lordstown Assembly complex in Lordstown, Ohio.  The deal is a 50/50 partnership between GM and LG Chem and will create 1,100 jobs in the area. 
      Construction of the plant will begin mid-2020 at a greenfield former manufacturing site. The employees will work for the joint-venture and will not be direct GM employees. Initially, the plant will solely supply batteries for GM vehicles, though with a maximum capacity of 30 gigawatt-hours annually, the company could expand to supply other manufacturers as well.
      GM and LG Chem are forming this joint venture in an attempt to bring down the unit cost of batteries for future vehicles. The plant's capacity, once completed, will be among the largest in the world. 
      General Motors has said it wants to introduce 20 electric vehicles globally by 2023. 
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Infiniti is planning on launching five new models over the next 3 years. The first will be the QX55 that we reported on the other day.  It is a crossover coupe version of their QX50 crossover and is expected to be powered by the same 2.0-liter variable compression engine.
      Next up is the redesigned QX60. Expect it to look much more SUV like than that of a crossover. Infiniti says the styling will be dramatically different than the QX60 on the lots today. They mention that the gas powered model will have a large grille, which implies there will be an electrified model coming as well.  They are also planning on offering two 12.3-inch touch screens and a two-tone roof.  The QX60 is Infiniti's best selling vehicle.
      After that, Infiniti will be launching three electrified vehicles, a crossover and two sedans.  The vehicle will be offered as fully electric or with serial hybrid technology which is similar to that in the Chevy Volt where a gasoline engine recharges the batteries which power the car. Styling is expected to take after the Q-Inspiration concept shown at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.  The three vehicles are following a "three vehicles, one platform" concept and will all be related. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Infiniti is planning on launching five new models over the next 3 years. The first will be the QX55 that we reported on the other day.  It is a crossover coupe version of their QX50 crossover and is expected to be powered by the same 2.0-liter variable compression engine.
      Next up is the redesigned QX60. Expect it to look much more SUV like than that of a crossover. Infiniti says the styling will be dramatically different than the QX60 on the lots today. They mention that the gas powered model will have a large grille, which implies there will be an electrified model coming as well.  They are also planning on offering two 12.3-inch touch screens and a two-tone roof.  The QX60 is Infiniti's best selling vehicle.
      After that, Infiniti will be launching three electrified vehicles, a crossover and two sedans.  The vehicle will be offered as fully electric or with serial hybrid technology which is similar to that in the Chevy Volt where a gasoline engine recharges the batteries which power the car. Styling is expected to take after the Q-Inspiration concept shown at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.  The three vehicles are following a "three vehicles, one platform" concept and will all be related. 
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Alfa Romeo still has some crossover rollouts coming, however a recent peak at the quarterly earning statement gave a clue as to what else is happening at the brand, and the truth is, it isn't much. During the earnings call this week, CEO Mike Manley said that Alfa's "future product lineup has been significantly scaled back with a corresponding reduction in capital spend." 
      Alfa currently has two products on the market in North America, the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover.  Those will both be getting a refresh for the 2021 model year.  That same year, a new C-segment crossover will make an appearance. This model, previewed by the Tonale concept car, will ride on the same platform as the Fiat 500x and Jeep Renegade. It should eventually be offered as a plug-in hybrid as well.  After that, a B-segment crossover should appear as well. 
      Once the crossovers are on the road though, there isn't much left.  The expected return of the GTV and 8C Competizione don't appear anywhere in the plans. 

      View full article
  • Posts

  • Social Stream

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Cory Wolfe
      Cory Wolfe
      (31 years old)
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • My Clubs

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...