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    • By William Maley
      After a month-long strike and threat earlier this week, General Motors and Unifor Local 88 have reached an tentative agreement for workers at the CAMI assembly plant. Last night, Unifor Local 88 made the announcement via email to its workers. Details of the agreement are being kept under wraps until a ratification vote is held on Monday. If the agreement is approved, workers will return to the plant starting at 11 PM Monday night.
      "We have addressed job security which will be in this deal. I think it's a fair agreement  ... and everybody is looking forward to going back to work and making vehicles their customers want, knowing there will be some sort of job security there," said Mike Van Boekel, the union's plant chair at CAMI to CBC News.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      After a month-long strike and threat earlier this week, General Motors and Unifor Local 88 have reached an tentative agreement for workers at the CAMI assembly plant. Last night, Unifor Local 88 made the announcement via email to its workers. Details of the agreement are being kept under wraps until a ratification vote is held on Monday. If the agreement is approved, workers will return to the plant starting at 11 PM Monday night.
      "We have addressed job security which will be in this deal. I think it's a fair agreement  ... and everybody is looking forward to going back to work and making vehicles their customers want, knowing there will be some sort of job security there," said Mike Van Boekel, the union's plant chair at CAMI to CBC News.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News
    • By William Maley
      The news isn't getting any better at General Motors' CAMI plant where workers have been on strike for a month after the automaker and Canadian union Unifor were unable to reach an agreement. Already, the strike has caused GM to make adjustments and idle some of their plants in North America, and there are concerns about the shrinking stock of Chevrolet Equinoxes. 
      But now the stakes have been raised. According to Reuters and Automotive News, General Motors issued a warning to leaders at Unifor that it will start winding down production of the Equinox at CAMI unless the strike is called off. Unifor leader Jerry Dias was told by GM officials that the automaker would begin ramping up Equinox production at the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plants if the strike was not called off.
      "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico. They have declared war on Canada," Diaz told Reuters.
      GM had no immediate comment on Dias' statement when reached by Reuters.
      According to a source at GM, the discussions between them and Unifor have been going nowhere and there is "a high degree of frustration." Because of this, GM is planning to study how quickly key suppliers for the Equinox could move their operations down to Mexico. No final decision on CAMI's fate has been decided according to the source, but the time frame for getting a deal done is narrowing.
      Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts.
      The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift.
      “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister.
      “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The news isn't getting any better at General Motors' CAMI plant where workers have been on strike for a month after the automaker and Canadian union Unifor were unable to reach an agreement. Already, the strike has caused GM to make adjustments and idle some of their plants in North America, and there are concerns about the shrinking stock of Chevrolet Equinoxes. 
      But now the stakes have been raised. According to Reuters and Automotive News, General Motors issued a warning to leaders at Unifor that it will start winding down production of the Equinox at CAMI unless the strike is called off. Unifor leader Jerry Dias was told by GM officials that the automaker would begin ramping up Equinox production at the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plants if the strike was not called off.
      "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico. They have declared war on Canada," Diaz told Reuters.
      GM had no immediate comment on Dias' statement when reached by Reuters.
      According to a source at GM, the discussions between them and Unifor have been going nowhere and there is "a high degree of frustration." Because of this, GM is planning to study how quickly key suppliers for the Equinox could move their operations down to Mexico. No final decision on CAMI's fate has been decided according to the source, but the time frame for getting a deal done is narrowing.
      Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts.
      The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift.
      “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister.
      “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
    • By William Maley
      General Motors has brought back a concept idea from their past for the modern era. This is SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) which takes the hydrogen skateboard platform from the GM Autonomy and Hy-Wire concepts from the early 2000s and supersizes it.
      The platform uses GM’s new Hydrotec fuel cell system that is comprised of a gen 2 fuel cell, storage tank that can provide a range of 400 miles, electric drive units, and a lithium-ion battery. This is placed onto a commercial truck chassis that will allow it handle various tasks and terrains such as military transport or a mobile medical unit in an area after a natural disaster. The platform also features autonomous tech.
      “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments. General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business.
      GM will be showing off SURUS fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from October 9th to 11th.
      Source: General Motors
      Press Release is on Page 2


      GM Outlines Possibilities for Flexible, Autonomous Fuel Cell Electric Platform

      Washington, D.C. — General Motors aims to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. The company will display its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11, 2017. The commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use.
      SURUS leverages GM’s newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times. 
      Fuel cell technology represents a key piece of General Motors’ zero emission strategy. It offers a solution that can scale to larger vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over longer distances. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis. The SURUS platform is equally well-suited for adaptation to military environments where users can take advantage of flexible energy resources, field configurability and improved logistical characteristics.
      GM is evaluating multiple applications for SURUS, such as:
      Utility trucks Mobile and emergency backup power generation Flexible cargo delivery systems Commercial freight Light- and medium-duty trucks, improving upon the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that has been evaluated by the U.S. military under guidance of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and is undergoing testing on bases Future military-specific configurations SURUS will deliver highly mobile autonomous capability and agility in unpredictable terrain. Operating multiple vehicles in a leader-follower configuration could reduce manpower needed. For future potential military uses, the system’s inherent low heat signature and quiet operation offer benefits in environments to reduce detection and risks. TARDEC has been in discussions with GM evaluating the commercial SURUS concept as a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications.
      “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. “General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers.”
      The SURUS platform leverages GM’s vast experience in fuel cell technology, high-voltage batteries and electric drive systems, autonomous driving and vehicle manufacturing. The platform boasts:
      Two advanced electric drive units Four-wheel steering Lithium-ion battery system Gen 2 fuel cell system Hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range Advanced propulsion power electronics GM truck chassis components An advanced, industry-leading suspension Hydrotec Technology
      The SURUS commercial platform draws on GM’s more than 50 years of research and development of fuel cell technology. The scalable and adaptable technology enables land, sea and air applications across commercial and military environments.
      Since April 2017, the Army has been testing the commercial Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 on its U.S. bases to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in military mission tactical environments. The vehicle has been operating in off-road conditions to evaluate its power generation, reduced odor, acoustic and thermal signatures, high wheel torque, extended operating range and the potential to use the byproduct water.
      Military testing has shown the ZH2 reduced acoustic non-detection distance by 90 percent compared to current military vehicle in operation. This means the ZH2 can get 10 times closer before being detected. Leaders also observed the potential advantages for stationary power generation over diesel generators, including a significant reduction in idle noise and fuel use. Testing will continue through spring 2018.
      Partnerships remain an important part of GM’s electrification strategy. Last year, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) for testing purposes that leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2.
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