GM Hybrid Trucks, Here and Then Gone? ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: GM Hybrid Trucks, Here and Then Gone?

Monday, June 23, 2008

GM Hybrid Trucks, Here and Then Gone?

GM is taking the two-mode hybrid system the co-developed with BMW and Chrysler and putting it into the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado sometime this fall. And they are planning on building the new hybrid trucks in Canada at the Oshawa, Ont plant in Canada.

But that plant is scheduled to be closed in 2009.

To say this makes me wonder about GM's long term plans in building hybrids would be an understatement.

GM, when it decided to get into the hybrid game, decided to go the large hybrid route. They would build mild hybrids (see the Aura and Vue), then full hybrids that were larger than the others (see the Vue (again), Escalade, Yukon, Tahoe, Sierra, Silverado; which are all large SUVs or trucks (aside from the Vue)) and they would also build plug-in hybrids (see the Volt and the Vue (yes, the Vue again)).

And perhaps, that made some sense. SUVs and trucks are money makers, while smaller cars don't see as much profit. Besides which, if you're already shelling out tens of thousands for an SUV, what's a few more thousand for the hybrid system. After all, you'll get the green cred for it, right?

But with the severe downturn in trucks and SUVs, it may be GM is seeing a different light for hybrids. Like Ford before them, are we about to see GM back off of hybrid technology, except for the Volt, which they've put too much into?

ABG seems to think the plant closing will just force GM to move production elsewhere. Or, who knows, maybe they'll keep the plant open, as over two thousand plant workers hope. But, tie this news to GM not making their sales numbers for the Yukon and Tahoe hybrids, and perhaps we're seeing something more.

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