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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM considers expansions to Mexico plant

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Automotive News | 1:31 pm, July 11, 2007

Stephen Downer

MEXICO CITY — General Motors could bring hybrid vehicles and other new programs to its Ramos Arizpe operations in northern Mexico, the president of GM’s Mexican operations said Monday.

Speaking to an industry gathering here, GM Mexico President Kevin Williams said the 26-year-old Ramos Arizpe complex is “undergoing extensive changes in preparation for new global vehicles.”

“Significant potential growth plans are being evaluated for new product programs, new engine and transmission combinations and new technologies like hybrids and advance propulsion systems,” he said.

Williams, 45, described Ramos Arizpe as critical for GM North America. The complex, opened in 1981, employs 4,600 and makes the Chevrolet C2, Chevy HHR and Saturn Vue. It produces 3.4- and 3.5-liter engines along with transmissions.

GM also is gearing up a new assembly and stamping complex in San Luis Potosi in central Mexico. Williams said the plant will be “one of the most flexible and efficient in the world” when it opens next June.

The lean manufacturing operation will incorporate the “most advanced execution of our global manufacturing system, with stamping, body, paint, assembly and powertrain operations,” Williams said.

He said plans call for producing small and compact cars there for Mexico, “but that plan is still under evaluation.”

Addressing other GM Mexico locations, Williams said the automaker’s 12-year-old Silao assembly plant was undergoing a “radical expansion.” That project includes a transmission plant under construction.

“A significant technology upgrade in virtually every area of the plant has recently been completed,” he added. “We see Mexico as a critical resource for our future growth.”

Williams also said production operations in Toluca, near Mexico City, were receiving “significant new investment.” The Toluca plant, launched in 1964, makes the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. Toluca also has a regional engineering center with more than 800 product engineers working on interiors; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and other areas.

Williams also touted GM’s new Mexican proving grounds in Cupuan, in the state of Michoacan. “This is a state-of-the-art hot-weather testing facility for GM’s global product programs,” Williams said.

“Cupuan was selected because of its peculiar weather conditions, allowing GM engineers to perform the most rigorous test of air-conditioning, engine cooling and thermal systems virtually year round.”

Williams said early testing of the road systems began in late 2006. He said the proving grounds will open this fall.

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Here, here - let's' move all production to Mexico and Korea. That way we don't have to deal with paying fat, lazy Union workers and can afford to build V-8 powered, RWD monstrosities that will retail for $10k, get 12 mpg and have fit tolerances measured in nanometers.

[sARCASM INTENDED]

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GM cars are more "foreign" content than Toyotas nowadays, no big deal IMO so long as they can keep their head afloat...

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GM cars are more "foreign" content than Toyota's nowadays, no big deal IMO so long as they can keep their head afloat...

Erm, NO.

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Actually - and several people have posted a schmear of links attesting to it - Toyota 'domestic' parts content is lower than the majority of American domestics. Even Mexican-assembled domestics have a higher domestic parts content.

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Some of the new Toyotas are over 70% are they not? I don't mean as a WHOLE, but certain models. Toyota Avalon for instance. 70% domestic content is it not?

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Some of the new Toyota's are over 70% are they not? I don't mean as a WHOLE, but certain models. Toyota Avalon for instance. 70% domestic content is it not?

You can't go off just using ONE vehicle. Most Toyota's are STILL made in Japan or are mostly Japanese content and "built" here.

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Some of the new Toyotas are over 70% are they not? I don't mean as a WHOLE, but certain models. Toyota Avalon for instance. 70% domestic content is it not?

I do remember the Avalon being the highest of all foreign cars at the time with 70%. I think it was MSN that compared it to a PT Cruiser for percentage fun, but comparing the Avalon to other fullsizers reveals that the US/Canadian parts content of cars like the Lucerne are somewhere around 90% US/Canadian content.

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You can't go off just using ONE vehicle. Most Toyota's are STILL made in Japan or are mostly Japanese content and "built" here.

Fair enough. I think Toyota as a whole has 50ish precent, or just under, and GM was 74% or so..? Pretty surprising even at those numbers though. Who woulda thought in the 60's and 70's those would be the domestic content numbers..?

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Some of the new Toyotas are over 70% are they not? I don't mean as a WHOLE, but certain models. Toyota Avalon for instance. 70% domestic content is it not?

That doesn't matter! What does matter is, if you buy one, whether built here or not, your money goes back to Japan. That's what matters.

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Addressing other GM Mexico locations, Williams said the automaker’s 12-year-old Silao assembly plant was undergoing a “radical expansion.” That project includes a transmission plant under construction.

Wow, 12 years has gone by already. I was there when Silao assembly came online, and was there 2.5 years before it did. I worked for General Motors de México for 3 years in total. Then I did one year at General Motors del Ecuador S. A., based in the city of Quito. It was a fun time in my life.

Here is the GM website in México.

http://www.gm.com.mx/content_data/LAAM/MX/...rate/index.html

Ecuador's GM website.

http://www.chevrolet.com.ec/content_data/L...TE/default.html

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That doesn't matter! What does matter is, if you buy one, whether built here or not, your money goes back to Japan. That's what matters.

MY money?

hahaha

Not my money, I have owned/driven imports galore, I steer clear of them now. Although the Consumer Reports type rags gave them GLOWING reviews for years and years I SOMEHOW always had a contradictory experience in an import. Premature catastrophic failures more times than I care to print.

We have a Toyota Camry in our family, it would make a GREAAATTTT Toyota commercial.

LOL

Thanks, but no thanks!

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