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 Bechtel are teaming up to form a new company to deploy a widespread fast-charging network. Neither company plans to put any money into the project, outside investors are being solicited.  The network will help General Motors, which plans to introduce 20 new EVs by 2023.  It will also help other manufacturers of EVs. 
      General Motors will provide data to help decide where to locate the EV charging stations and Bechtel will use its own experts for the engineering and building of the stations. Much of the data will come from GM's OnStar system to help learn where people tend to park.  Data from both electric and gasoline powered vehicles will be used.
      Additional fast-charging infrastructure is seen as a requirement to increasing electric vehicle sales. According to a survey by AAA, one of the biggest concerns Americans have about EVs is having enough locations to charge them.  
      The network built by Bechtel and GM will not be limited to interstate highways where most fast charging stations have been located so far.  The company will also locate chargers in urban areas targeting apartments and condos where drivers cannot have a home charger of their own. 
      The new venture joins major initiatives from Electrify America, a Volkswagen funded EV station program, and Tesla with Supercharging, to build out a nationwide network of charging stations. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      General Motors and Bechtel are teaming up to form a new company to deploy a widespread fast-charging network. Neither company plans to put any money into the project, outside investors are being solicited.  The network will help General Motors, which plans to introduce 20 new EVs by 2023.  It will also help other manufacturers of EVs. 
      General Motors will provide data to help decide where to locate the EV charging stations and Bechtel will use its own experts for the engineering and building of the stations. Much of the data will come from GM's OnStar system to help learn where people tend to park.  Data from both electric and gasoline powered vehicles will be used.
      Additional fast-charging infrastructure is seen as a requirement to increasing electric vehicle sales. According to a survey by AAA, one of the biggest concerns Americans have about EVs is having enough locations to charge them.  
      The network built by Bechtel and GM will not be limited to interstate highways where most fast charging stations have been located so far.  The company will also locate chargers in urban areas targeting apartments and condos where drivers cannot have a home charger of their own. 
      The new venture joins major initiatives from Electrify America, a Volkswagen funded EV station program, and Tesla with Supercharging, to build out a nationwide network of charging stations. 
    • By William Maley
      After 20 years, Audi will be sending off the TT coupe and convertible into the great parking lot in the sky. During the brand's annual meeting today, Audi CEO Bram Schot said a new strategy focusing on sustainability means the brand has to cut a number of models that don't make economic sense.
      “There will be lots of things that we won’t do any more in the future, or things that we do less. We focus maximum resources on our key projects,” said Schot.
      This is part of an effort to get the brand back on track in terms of sales and profit after the diesel emission scandal which culminated in the arrest of former CEO Rupert Stadler and an 800 million euro ($895 million) fine.
      Schot did reveal that the TT would be replaced by a new "emotive" electric vehicle in the same price range. No other details were given.
      The TT isn't the only model on the chopping block. The R8 sportscar is being questioned as to whether or not it fits into Audi's new focus. Also, the successor to the A8 flagship may go all-electric.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      After 20 years, Audi will be sending off the TT coupe and convertible into the great parking lot in the sky. During the brand's annual meeting today, Audi CEO Bram Schot said a new strategy focusing on sustainability means the brand has to cut a number of models that don't make economic sense.
      “There will be lots of things that we won’t do any more in the future, or things that we do less. We focus maximum resources on our key projects,” said Schot.
      This is part of an effort to get the brand back on track in terms of sales and profit after the diesel emission scandal which culminated in the arrest of former CEO Rupert Stadler and an 800 million euro ($895 million) fine.
      Schot did reveal that the TT would be replaced by a new "emotive" electric vehicle in the same price range. No other details were given.
      The TT isn't the only model on the chopping block. The R8 sportscar is being questioned as to whether or not it fits into Audi's new focus. Also, the successor to the A8 flagship may go all-electric.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (GAC) made a big splash at the Detroit Auto Show this year with a number of models destined for the U.S. The plan at the time was to begin talking with dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in March, with sales to follow early next year. But GAC has postponed plans of coming to the U.S. due to the trade war.
      In a statement issued to Bloomberg, GAC said “the escalation of China-U.S. trade frictions” and distribution “uncertainties” had made them decide to put their plans on hold. It's unclear how long this postponement will last, but it will likely be some months - maybe years.
      Many Chinese automakers have made pronouncements to sell vehicles in the U.S. for over a decade, with none coming to shore. As Automotive News notes, Chinese Automaker Zotye as recently as this month was still recruiting dealers and planning to begin sales in the U.S. late next year. Bloomberg reached out to other Chinese automakers,
      Great Wall: No immediate comment on whether or not it plans on adjusting its plans to coming to the U.S. Lynk & Co. (under the Geely umbrella): Spokesperson said they are "evaluating" plans for North America Source: Bloomberg, Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
  • Social Stream

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. CRAZY C
      CRAZY C
      (35 years old)
    2. Ergoman
      Ergoman
      (67 years old)
    3. tmp
      tmp
      (112 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...