ehaase

Zeta Returns as RWD Option for GM

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http://www.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=54443

Since there is a copyright on this article and it is only available for subscribers, I will just quote the following three paragraphs:

"Six months after General Motors halted plans to use its Zeta rear-wheel-drive car architecture in North America, the company has revived the program. "

"Queen said initial plans for Zeta stretched the architecture beyond its limits for some North American vehicles. "We needed to reassess and reconfigure the program," he said."

"A GM spokesman said no product plans have been approved and that GM still is studying design themes, performance characteristics and variants for Zeta vehicles."

Cars may debut by 2009 or 2010. No 2007 or 2008 Camaro. Edited by ehaase
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you need to be a subscriber to view the article, but part of the blurb they had also stated this...

Engineered at GM's Holden subsidiary in Australia, Zeta was expected to be the basis of the next-generation Pontiac Grand Prix and GTO; the Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo and a new version of the Camaro; and other vehicles.

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Just in time to introduce a Camaro at this years auto show. I wonder if they'll do a Caprice wagon. ^_^
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Here it is: GM reverses course, says revised version of Zeta rear-drive architecture is back on track JASON STEIN | Automotive News Posted Date: 9/12/05 DETROIT - Six months after General Motors halted plans to use its Zeta rear-wheel-drive car architecture in North America, the company has revived the program. In an interview with Automotive News last week, Jim Queen, GM's vice president of global engineering, said a revised version of Zeta is back on track. Engineered at GM's Holden subsidiary in Australia, Zeta was expected to be the basis of the next-generation Pontiac Grand Prix and GTO; the Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo and a new version of the Camaro; and other vehicles. Vehicles in the program were expected to debut as early as 2006. Queen did not discuss vehicles on the new version of Zeta or timing. Some vehicles that could be in the Zeta program include the next-generation Pontiac GTO as well as a Chevrolet coupe and sedans. They could debut by the 2009 or 2010 model year, say one company source and one industry analyst. Queen said initial plans for Zeta stretched the architecture beyond its limits for some North American vehicles. "We needed to reassess and reconfigure the program," he said. "As we started counting who was in and who was out of Zeta, we realized too late" that Zeta would not work in North America, Queen said. Part of GM's reasoning in slowing Zeta's development was to focus on pulling forward its full-sized SUVs and pickups. GM's next-generation SUVs will debut early next year. At the time, GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz wrote on GM's FastLane blog that GM had "canceled … plans to build rear-wheel-drive vehicles off the Zeta architecture." "But that does not mean we've canceled plans to build rear-drive vehicles altogether," Lutz wrote. "We are simply reallocating resources (human and financial) to pull some other programs ahead and get other vehicles to market sooner." The revised Zeta program is being developed in GM's Australian engineering center. The vehicle line executive on the program is Gene Stefanyshyn, the former vehicle line executive for GM's Epsilon, or mid-sized cars, in North America. A GM spokesman said no product plans have been approved and that GM still is studying design themes, performance characteristics and variants for Zeta vehicles. GM uses the term "architecture" to signify a common set of components, performance characteristics, a common manufacturing process, a range of dimensions and connecting points for key component systems
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So I guess there will be NO U.S. BUILT ZETA's?? Even though they dont really say (THIS) they only refered to Australia in the artical. Will they build a new/or retrofit an old factory here? Or will they build them all down under?--------I WONDER!! <_< Eather way WE NEED THEM!!
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I think when the article mentioned the Camaro, it was detailing the previous, canceled plans. " . . . Vehicles in the program were expected to debut as early as 2006 . . . "

It's funny how different stories put somewhat different spins on why the Zetas were delayed ("more money for GMT-900s," "can't figure out how to profitably make RWD cars," and now "Zeta stretched the architecture beyond its limits"). I hadn't previously heard the latter reasoning.
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Or was it no to that the Holden was Americanized and brought over to GMNA as a way for GMNA to have a RWD program without starting from scratch. I do not think you can say no to that for these reasons:

1. GM has gone to global development and this would be a terrific way for GM to save money by using something that is already there (RWD Holden) instead of starting from scratch.

2. GM put its extra money and cancelled the RWD program as to speed up the GMT 900. After doing that, Chrysler scored a huge advantage with there RWD vehicles. GM realizing they needed to compete, but with limited resources, went to Holden, which is popular in Australia, so popular, the NBA top pick, Andrew Bogat was given one for free. GM figured they could Americanize and get to the market faster with something already in place than to start from scratch.


Hmm, Evok, doesnt this article somewhat support what I was saying. And also, here is another article to support me. I am just glad I dont feel so crazy anymore.

GM: Global Plan Means Big Savings
Automotive News

By Jason Stein
Sept.12, 2005


DETROIT -- General Motors executives say the reorganization of the company's product development is saving money.

GM is consolidating the development of global vehicle programs under six different executives. The automaker says cost savings are being realized in vehicle programs. And GM has established an appeals court - a sort-of Supreme Court of General Motors - to resolve regional gripes and keep everyone in line.

As a result, GM executives say the automaker is:

Saving more than 20 percent on components
Achieving a 40 percent reduction in development and prototype costs
Reducing its number of architectures by 50 percent
Cutting as much as $200 million of costs on specific vehicle programs, such as the next-generation Saturn Vue.

Saddled with the skyrocketing burden of health care and pension costs, GM says it is saving money by standardizing its vehicle designs and engineering workload globally. Development work is assigned to engineering centers in the United States, Asia and Europe. But there is a risk: GM has to avoid building cookie-cutter vehicles.

The company has been here before.

Less than a decade ago, GM attempted to produce a number of global variants on its Delta architecture, a small-car, fwd platform. But Delta never worked globally because it became too costly, Jim Queen, GM's vice president for global engineering, said in an interview with Automotive News last week. (See story at right.)

So what's different?

This time, GM says there are multiple checks and balances to ensure that its regions place their stamp on local products but do not create variants that are not within the range of specifications of a particular program. GM's four global regions are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America/Africa/Middle East.

Six global vehicle line executives have authority over programs and are responsible for staying within the specifications. The goal is plug-and-play components. Achieving that will save money and allow different vehicles to be assembled in different regions from the same components.

Regional variations derailed global products in the past, Queen says. "Everybody did their own thing and walked away from the principles of each architecture," he said.

"We would start walking away by silly millimeters. It was very frustrating."

The current Saab 9-3 convertible is a key example. Though the Saab and the Pontiac G6 convertible are on the Epsilon mid-sized car architecture, Pontiac couldn't use Saab's convertible specifications because they varied from the U.S. version of Epsilon.


Where vehicles do not compete in the same market, GM will create "look-share" opportunities, rebadging the same product in two different markets. For example, GM is sharing design themes between Opel and the next-generation Saturn mid-sized vehicle.

GM's checks and balances will govern efforts at differentiation, Queen says.

Engineers cannot release specifications to a supplier without the approval of a vehicle line executive or chief engineer in each region. If one region wants to change the parameters on a program, it must appeal to GM's Automotive Product Board, a Supreme Court inside the company created this year.

"If someone really wants a different A-pillar, they can petition the company to change that," Queen said.

Jon Lauckner, GM's vice president for global program management, said GM already is seeing a 25 percent savings in engineering and investment on GM's next-generation Epsilon, or mid-sized, cars.

"Those are very encouraging early results," Lauckner said. "Engineering and manufacturing will have reduced costs as we eliminate duplication and engineering development cost. And we will have greater opportunities to do that in the future."
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Now if GM would EXPAND this idea into the way they ENGINEAR their platforms they would REALLY HAVE SOMETHING! Like bringing back their idea they had with the Buick Bingle. The TRANSMISION ahead of the Engine moveing the front axel line forward on FWD cars. With this they could build them ALL to be FWD/RWD/AWD on the same platform. Design them all that way FROM THE BEGINING so that with the axel line forward when compaired to todays FWD cars the spaceing would allow for more space under the hood for the FWD RWD AWD configuration. It would be REVELUTIONARY and it would WORK!!
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Hmm, Evok, doesnt this article somewhat support what I was saying. And also, here is another article to support me. I am just glad I dont feel so crazy anymore.

[post="13030"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Please go back and read exactly what I said.

Let me reitterate my initial comments.

I have said that the spy photos were not:

1) An Americanized Holden that will be imported into the US/NA.

2) And, the prototype was not a GTO.

Because your speculation was wrong, I chose to nip the rumour in the bud. Please do not put words into my mouth. I wrote nothing about GM's Global Vehicle Development Process.


BTW: The globalization of GM is not news. This has been in the works now for about 10 years or so. That was the intent behind the "greek letter" architectures. The problem was what was planned as common turned out different. All that has happened over the past couple years with Global VDP has been GM as an organization put safe guards in place to assure that what is needed to be common will stay common and that different engineering centers will not take liberty with programs to deviate off the mark. Also different global engineering centers will be responsible for different architectures.

Here is an example of how the organization was flawed. Holden was to use Sigma for there VE cars. Sigma was too expensive for their market and Holden decided to develope their own architecture fitting their own needs and not use what was to be the global rwd architecture. Hence zeta as we know it was born. The global VDP process will prevent that from happening again that is unless it is given the blessing from GM corporate. The safe guard is Holden would now have to ask the global strategy board approval to do what they did.

One of the MANY reasons zeta was axed this past winter was that zeta did not conform to the global bill of process for manufacturing. Just like the problems with epsilon. This is going to take a full product cycle to work out. I do not know for certain as to the specifics behind the NA zeta architectural symantics at this time but it would be my guess, that it is not the Holden zeta that is discussed in the article. Edited by evok
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evok: Are you sure you quoted the right guy? :) I made no reference to you, made no speculation, put no words in your mouth, didn't mention GM's Global Vehicle Development Process, and certainly would never intentionally offend you (or anyone else). I believe the brief remarks I wrote are accurate, so I must stand by them and think you quoted the wrong person.
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evok: Are you sure you quoted the right guy? :) I made no reference to you, made no speculation, put no words in your mouth, didn't mention GM's Global Vehicle Development Process, and certainly would never intentionally offend you (or anyone else).  I believe the brief remarks I wrote are accurate, so I must stand by them and think you quoted the wrong person.

[post="13067"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Wildcat: Sorry about the mix up. I corrected my post.
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I wish I could hold my breath.
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probably nothing--i don't know that there would be a good reason to test a concept Camaro that will show at NAIAS on public streets. And the production version is to far away to be doing official testing on public streets either. sorry
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I'm guessing that Zeta is not back, just the cars that were on it. If Zeta was too expensive 6 months ago, how is it that now it's not too expensive? It's not like GM is out of trouble yet. I'm thinking it's a cheapened Zeta or Sigma Lite, not Zeta.
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WOW just think! By the time i'm ready to retire GM may bring back some rear drive cars like the Camaro or Caprice or even a rear drive Buick sedan. I want these cars now not in 10 years.
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I'm guessing that Zeta is not back, just the cars that were on it. If Zeta was too expensive 6 months ago, how is it that now it's not too expensive? It's not like GM is out of trouble yet. I'm thinking it's a cheapened Zeta or Sigma Lite, not Zeta.

[post="13177"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Maybe your right, maybe it's not the zeta we knew? but a different one?
Or is it Zeta-Lite or Sigma-Lite?

Well i'm no insider, this is totally speculation...
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I'm guessing that Zeta is not back, just the cars that were on it. If Zeta was too expensive 6 months ago, how is it that now it's not too expensive? It's not like GM is out of trouble yet. I'm thinking it's a cheapened Zeta or Sigma Lite, not Zeta.

[post="13177"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Are you sure they were deemed to expensive? Or were they to expensive to do right now? They would have taken engineering and money away from GMT900 pre-production which is now done. Guess that money is now available.
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I thought they were going to be too expensive to compare with the 300 and Charger in price. I guess I phrased it wrong; Zeta wasn't too expensive to design/develop/build, it was too expensive to use as the chassis of the cars it was going to go under. The business case just wasn't there. That's why Mark Reuss has been talking about decontenting Sigma for the Camaro. It's not that Sigma is too expensive to build, it's that Sigma is too expensive at the price point of a Camaro. Then again, maybe GM was just blowing smoke, but why would they have said "it's cancelled?" That made everyone mad and confused. They could have said "we are delaying Zeta to roll out the GMT900s faster and are going to resume Zeta later."
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I thought they were going to be too expensive to compare with the 300 and Charger in price.

I guess I phrased it wrong; Zeta wasn't too expensive to design/develop/build, it was too expensive to use as the chassis of the cars it was going to go under. The business case just wasn't there. That's why Mark Reuss has been talking about decontenting Sigma for the Camaro. It's not that Sigma is too expensive to build, it's that Sigma is too expensive at the price point of a Camaro.

Then again, maybe GM was just blowing smoke, but why would they have said "it's cancelled?" That made everyone mad and confused. They could have said "we are delaying Zeta to roll out the GMT900s faster and are going to resume Zeta later."

[post="13324"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

They did say they were delaying the program to pull ahead the 900s. But they also said they cancelled the Zeta program. But what was Zeta more than a name?
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I feel like IM on a mother freaking merigoround YES OR NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :angry:
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