Death and Re-Birth of the Two Mode Hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Death and Re-Birth of the Two Mode Hybrid

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Death and Re-Birth of the Two Mode Hybrid

Even as we get word Chrysler is shutting down the plant that makes the Durango and Aspen, including the two-mode hybrid models, GM has just announced they will be shutting down the plants that build the Tahoe, Suburban, Escalade and Yukon. Again, that includes their hybrid versions.

Hopefully, you weren't one of the few who went out and bought these hybrids, or if you had plans to do so, you might want to think twice about it. Re-sale value for these will tank on these truck based SUVs once the plant closes.

GM Vice-President Lutz had this to say, "It would have been very difficult in today's environment to spend a couple of billion dollars to do a replacement." Or, as Edmunds correspondent put it, "Look for the classic truck-based sport-utility vehicle to completely vanish from the American landscape over the next 24 to 36 months. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent."

But this does not spell the end of the two-mode hybrid, although it will likely go on hiatus. The Saturn Vue is due to be outfitted with a two-mode hybrid system, plus Chrysler wants you to know about the Ram Hybrid. But given how little support the companies seem to be giving these programs, it'd be a wonder if customers got behind the effort and bought one.

The lone investor in the system we haven't heard from, yet, is BMW. But since they haven't released their own version of the hybrid SUV, what chances that they will after seeing what Chrysler and GM have done?

BMW, Chrysler (when it was DaimlerChrysler) and GM spent a lot of money developing the two-mode hybrid engine. Has it all been for nothing?

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