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Oracle of Delphi

GM to close Ohio SUV plant 2 years ahead of plan

30 posts in this topic

David Barkholz

Automotive News

October 3, 2008 - 4:30 pm ET

DETROIT -- General Motors is ending production of its slow-selling mid-sized SUVs on Dec. 23, two years earlier than announced in June.

GM is pulling ahead the closure of its Moraine, Ohio, assembly plant because of market conditions, said GM spokesman Chris Lee. Moraine builds the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer SS, GMC Envoy and Envoy Denali and Saab 9-7X.

In June, GM said it would close Moraine in 2010 or sooner, Lee said. The closing will idle about 1,100 hourly workers represented by the IUE-CWA electrical workers union. An additional 100 salaried employees work there, Lee said.

U.S. sales of TrailBlazers fell 30.8 percent in September and 27.9 percent for the year to date. Envoy sales were down 19 percent in September.

GM will run production at Moraine in December after earlier deciding to idle production for the month. Workers were told of the new closing date today.

Lee said negotiations are under way with the union to determine whether workers would be offered buyouts and retirement incentives that were offered to employees in June.

GM bought the Moraine plant in 1981 from an appliance maker. It has built vehicles since.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...p;rssfeed=RSS31

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I always preferred the Olds Bravada of any of the others, with the GMC Envoy coming in 2nd.

Does anyone know what the cost difference was between the Isuzu Ascender and the GMC Envoy,

since they are the same truck. Was the warranty better on the Isuzu or was it better on the GMC?

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man that bravada was ugly. hehe

In that color red, any GMT-360 is. Bravada actually was one of the better-looking ones IMO.

Me? I won't miss the 360s. They were so much wasted potential, with great exterior styling...but the interiors were absolute $h!, and they had a lot of electrical gremlins (brake lights not working !!) and poor reliability of basic components (AC, radio, seats, etc).

It's absolute piles of $h! like those that almost make me think GM is getting what it deserves right now...but then I remember all the truly good cars it has and continues to build.

PS, I had a Trailblazer EXT as a rental for a cross-country trip, and an Explorer for an identical cross-country trip, same model year, same general level of equipment...yea anyone who bought the Trailblazer over the Explorer did so out of massive incentives, or by inserting their head up their rectum.

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The Saab was the best-looking, with the Bravada next.

I always preferred the Olds Bravada of any of the others, with the GMC Envoy coming in 2nd.

Does anyone know what the cost difference was between the Isuzu Ascender and the GMC Envoy,

since they are the same truck. Was the warranty better on the Isuzu or was it better on the GMC?

The only thing the Isuzu Ascender had going for it was the better warranty, 3 year/50,000 miles plus a 7 year/75,000 mile powertrain warranty versus 3 year/36,000 miles.

The TrailBlazer debuted with a bunch of recalls. However, it drove better than its closest rival, the Explorer. The interior was subpar. The Saab version fixed most of the problems, but the entire line needed upgrades. Too bad GM couldn't afford more updates to keep them competitive.

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Multiple Lambdas are taking over from multiple GMT360s. I'd still like to see a 5-seater Lambda, but I guess the redone Thetas will be pushed on customers who don't need 3 seats. Of course this also signals an industry-wide abandonment of BOF, truck-style SUVs. Edited by ocnblu
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I'd still like to see a 5-seater Lambda, but I guess the redone Thetas will be pushed on customers who don't need 3 seats.

The new Equinox will be sufficient for those buyers.

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In that color red, any GMT-360 is. Bravada actually was one of the better-looking ones IMO.

Me? I won't miss the 360s. They were so much wasted potential, with great exterior styling...but the interiors were absolute $h!, and they had a lot of electrical gremlins (brake lights not working !!) and poor reliability of basic components (AC, radio, seats, etc).

It's absolute piles of $h! like those that almost make me think GM is getting what it deserves right now...but then I remember all the truly good cars it has and continues to build.

PS, I had a Trailblazer EXT as a rental for a cross-country trip, and an Explorer for an identical cross-country trip, same model year, same general level of equipment...yea anyone who bought the Trailblazer over the Explorer did so out of massive incentives, or by inserting their head up their rectum.

The only three warranty problems I experienced with my 2005 GMC Envoy SLT 4wd during the 34 months I leased it was that the front passenger window came off track once right after we got it, the left rear door weatehrstripe/molding came loose and was reinstalled, and the idler pulley needed to be replaced back in December of '07. My sister leased a 2005 Envoy XL SLT 4wd six months before I got mine and had absolutley no problems with it (they wanted to buy it at lease-end, but the buy-out price was too high compared to the market price of other used Envoys and GMAC played hardball and wouldn't renegotiate - they ended up leasing a new '08 Honda Pilot instead because of the deal Honda was giving on them :rolleyes: ) I work with people that own 2002-2006 Envoys and Trailblazers (there's about 6 of them) and they all love their SUVs witht he exception of the gas usage & prices this past year. Maybe in 2001 when they were introduced there were problems, but I think GM fixed them as time went on.

The new Equinox will be sufficient for those buyers.

Let's hope so, and because of the loss of the GMT-360s in December, let's pray that GM moves up introduction of the Equinox & Terrain to Spring of 2009 instead of Fall/Winter 2009.

On a sad note, December 23rd is my BIRTHDAY and I am not happy to see that they choose this date to close the plant. Especially since it's two days before Christmas and those families will not have a joyful holiday (thinking of the children). How could GM be so cruel???

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Especially since it's two days before Christmas and those families will not have a joyful holiday (thinking of the children). How could GM be so cruel???

If they receive the buyouts offered before (as mentioned in the article), they'll probably have a very nice Christmas. They'll eventually have to find new jobs, but the bills will be paid for quite some time.

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About time GM killed these dinosaurs. The Saab version is a shame as it is actually a nice looking truck with the best interior of the 360s, but it came out a few years too late.

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The TrailBlazer debuted with a bunch of recalls. However, it drove better than its closest rival, the Explorer.

Maybe the regular TrailBlazer drove better than the EXT, but the EXT was awful. What was also surprising was how poor the space-efficiency was compared to the Explorer. With the Explorer, we could fit all of my furniture and suitcases easily in the rear because it was shaped like a big box. In the TB EXT, the rear opening was a lot smaller than the overall rear interior, the cargo area got progressively smaller the farther back it went, the wheel wells intruded terribly, and it was a complete PITA to get the same stuff into it (in EXT form no less!) than in the standard Explorer.

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Owning a Buick Rainier, I can say that they were good trucks, but not really nice. Mine is a 2004 bought 2 years ago used. It's been a nice vehicle, but I have to say the interior was not up to snuff for a $45000 vehicle when it was released. Besides it was competing with the same vehicle at Chevy ,GMC and Isuzu. I've always found it hard to believe it makes sense to sell the same vehicle at nearly the same price on so many different brands. I thought Bob Lutz said badge engineering was over, but then I see the Enclave, Acadia, Outlook, Traverse quartet and have to wonder.

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These vehicles (including the almost palatable Bravada) had the fugliest interiors in their class, almost out of the gate. These vehicles represent the worst of GM's old-think. They spent money on the drivetrains, the cool gizmos, the ride engineering, etc., but the interior fit and finish would have looked more at home in a Hyundai than a $40k vehicle.

What's worse, they never bothered to fix it. Maybe in '01 they could have justified the cheap plastics and sea-of-monotone-grey (or putrid brown) interiors, but 7 years later and it is the same ugliness.

These trucks were passable at birth but are an embarassment today. I hope the Traverse can undo the damage done.

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I remember when these came out back in 2002 (or whenever it was) I was actually pretty psyched about them. At the time, the interior didn't bother me too much, although I do remember thinking that GM could have done something totally different than what they had been doing (they were basically the same interiors as my 98 Jimmy). But as time wore on, and Jeep upgraded their Cherokee and Toyota changed the 4Runner, GM did absolutely nothing to these vehicles - which I always thought was completely insane. But whatever. I really hate Toyota, but I must say the 4Runner is better looking and has a much more contemporary and modern interior, which hands down makes these GMT-360s just really bad in comparison unfortunately.

I like the newest GM cars and trucks a lot, almost all of them are hands down better than these. But in their current form, they truly have no business being part of the GM lineup these days.

It's a shame that GM kept the old school, 90s looking interiors in these. It may or may not have helped sales, but it at least would have been fun for me to see a mid size rear drive SUV from GM that could really go toe to toe on looks and interior quality with the 4Runner and Cherokee. We can argue the the H3 kind of did, but Hummer gut such a bum rap overall for GM (over time), that Hummer being competitive with anything in the 4x4/off road/old school SUV world has been almost irrelevant to GM since about late 2006.

But I digress - as the economy tanks, and as people think practical and MPG, even the best of this class could soon see the exit door.

Edited by gmcbob
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I remember when these came out back in 2002 (or whenever it was) I was actually pretty psyched about them. At the time, the interior didn't bother me too much, although I do remember thinking that GM could have done something totally different than what they had been doing (they were basically the same interiors as my 98 Jimmy).

ORLY??

GMC Jimmy dash (circa 1998-2001):

01gmcjimmy12.jpg

GMC Envoy dash (circa 2002-2009):

scanlan_052204_1_400.jpg

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ORLY??

GMC Jimmy dash (circa 1998-2001):

01gmcjimmy12.jpg

GMC Envoy dash (circa 2002-2009):

scanlan_052204_1_400.jpg

Okay, maybe they didn't quite look the same, but they used similar materials, stalks, switchgear, coloring schemes, etc, etc..The GMT-360s were more Jimmy-like on the inside than say, the 2008 Vue that I just bought.

I'll admit, I actually kind of liked them, and I sort of think having a new 6.0L TrailBlazer SS would be kind of bad ass...but they sort of make me think of the old, out of touch GM.

Edited by gmcbob
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gmcbob, I'm not trying to pick on you, but I had both a 2001 Sonoma (column shifter vs. console shifter) and the 2005 Envoy and I's say those interiors were lightyears apart from each other! I get your point though that GM should have spent just a few bucks more to make the Envoy top-notch and and just not "better" than the Jimmy's dash materials & layout. I was hoping that with the 2006 refresh (ha!) the interior would have received an upgrade (more than just the new window switches and loss of the 3rd lighter plug). What a disappointment!

If the radio system was updated for 2009 (black tie radios as in the Sierra/Yukon/Acadia), the transmission was upgraded to the 6-speed auto for better fuel economy, and the remote start option was offered, I would likely consider buying one this spring. As such, the truck will be off my shopping list (unfortunately). I really liked the ride, turning radius, and power of the 4200 I-6 a lot.

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