By on May 6, 2008

tahoe.jpgGeneral Motors has stopped production of the lion's share of their 2008 truck line-up. Automotive News [AN, sub] reports that GM's told its dealers that "the allocation volume for the Dealer Order Submission Process cycles beginning May 8, 2008, and May 15, 2008, have been canceled." Translation: the American automaker will no longer fill orders for the vehicles listed above. The General blames the shutdown on the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike at American Axle, which has caused a paucity of parts. The situation could be worse for GM, but it's hard to see how. Even thought the strike and resulting shutdown provide a convenient excuse for GM to cut production on an entire genre of vehicles– vehicles that can't be sold at a profit, or, indeed, sold– GM's cash burn demands some kind of cash flow. From one perspective, there is no end in sight to General Motors' North American profit drought. "If the [American Axle] strike continues, there might be additional production cuts," GM spokeswoman Susan Garontakos admitted to AN. From another perspective…

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31 Comments on “GM Stops Building GMC Yukon, Denali, Sierra, Heavy Duty; Chevrolet Tahoe...”


  • avatar

    A blessing in disguise, for GM and for the planet.

  • avatar
    rtz

    Supply and demand. If you want one, you’d better hurry before they are all gone!

    `08 is almost half way over anyways. Get the lines setup for the `09 models. The ones that don’t use any American Axle components in them.

    I think ArvinMeritor makes that kind of stuff.

  • avatar
    turbosaab

    Crazy. You’d think they’d be having a Manhatten Project type effort to figure out how to build the parts they need themselves. (or have someone else do it)

  • avatar
    NickR

    there might be additional production cuts

    What? The Corvette?

  • avatar
    jthorner

    How is it that independent supplier issues are taking big hits out of GM and Chrysler whilst Ford seems to be whistling past that grave yard. Are the Dearborn folks that good, or just lucky?

  • avatar
    mel23

    jthorner, just guessing, but maybe the CEO of Ford’s supplier didn’t dictate a 50% cut in worker’s wages after giving himself a raise of $1 million plus.

  • avatar
    Kman

    Good riddance.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    The local Chevy dealer is in no immediate danger of running out of Tahoes. I think they have a lifetime supply of them as it is.

    I also noticed a hybrid Tahoe on the lot. I’d go look at it but I’d like to avoid a close encounter with a Chevy sleazeperson.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Ah yes…things are going exactly as planned. Good on ya Rick! Clever fellow indeed! But what about all those autoworkers who were stuffing the coffers with profits for ya for years? Oh well, all’s fair in love and war or something like that, eh Rick?

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Maybe GM can turn it’s dealerships into Used SUV Superstores!

    Frustrated owners try to unload their guzzlers

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/05/06/frustrated_owners_try_to_unload_their_guzzlers/

    Fads always end. Gangsta Rap and the Monster Truck era are over.

  • avatar
    alexdykes

    Sounds like GM is being forced to do the right thing. Now if only they could step up and produce something that would sell, or if they want to really be novel, something that would sell at a profit.

  • avatar

    That decision wasn’t so hard to make:

    “Which cars should we cut, then?”
    “Let’s just get rid of those named after landmasses. Should be a good start.”

    At least they never made a GM Pangea, but they got close.

  • avatar

    The Yukon – a dinosaur that should have faced extinction a long time ago.

  • avatar
    Adonis

    A step in the right direction. Now, only a dozen more to go. You can do it, GM! If not, have no fear, the government will bail you out (again).

  • avatar
    Airhen

    I’d like to agree that strike is a blessing for GM, however that would be giving too much credit to the UAW.

  • avatar
    RoweAS

    I can’t help but feel a little smug as I drive my ’06 xB. Plenty roomy, I can still haul stuff and has not lost any value to speak of. Good enough on gas for me amd fun to drive. Good riddance to those rolling pieces of crap.

  • avatar

    RoweAS, I also have an 06 Xb, I sneaked a peek at a recent auction price results and a low mileage Xb wholesale price sold for 12,000 and a high mileage 50,000 mile one went for 10,000. Naturally the retail prices would be correspondingly higher.

    Where I work (350 union) there are including my Xb a total of 4 1st generation Xbs, we all bought ours in 2005 and 2006 before the high run up in gas prices, Even then the car just made too much sense for those of us that had long commutes.

    I purchased mine specifically because I needed to carry and haul a lot of stuff for my rental properties and my old car a 2000 Accord wasn’t big enough.

    So far 57,000 trouble free miles in a little over 2 years, my plan is to keep it for at least 200,000 miles.

  • avatar
    geeber

    jthorner: Interesting article, but the fellow at the end of the article who is selling his paid-off Acura MDX isn’t being too smart.

    Even with the higher cost of gasoline, it makes more financial sense to keep the paid-for Acura MDX. He will be paying for gas, insurance and maintenance. With a new car – even a more economical one – he will be adding car payments to the mix, and that will easily eat up any savings from better gas mileage (and then some), unless the price of gas REALLY skyrockets.

  • avatar
    brettc

    That boston.com article says Herb Chambers has a one year waiting list for Smart cars! That’s insane. I think the concept of the Smart car is good, but I wouldn’t pay $20000 for one. The sad part is, only the Smart car, the Prius, and VW TDIs will manage to acheive 40 MPG or more.

    There’s room for a lot of efficient vehicles in North America. I don’t understand why the manufacturers don’t understand this. Americans are slowly turning to high efficiency vehicles, but the choices still suck compared to what’s available everywhere else in the world.

    Oh yeah, this post was about GM. I’ll just say again that GM needs to offer their Opel Saturn Astra with the diesel engine that Europe gets. Clue in GM. It wasn’t hard to see any of this coming.

  • avatar
    menno

    Just glancing at the May 5, 2008 Automotive News, and to quote:

    “GM’s marketing share was a piddling 20.5 percent for its domestic brands in April. Ford Motor’s domestics fell back to 15.1 percent, and Chrysler LLC had to make do with only 11.8 percent. By comparison, Toyota Motor Sales checked in with a rousing 17.4 percent share, and American Honda had 10.8 percent.”

    Surprisingly, the Ford F series was still the nation’s top seller in April 2008, at 44,813, which was about 10 percent above #2, Toyota Camry. #3 was Chevy Silverado, #4 Honda Accord, #5 Toyota Corolla/Matrix, #6 Honda Civic, #7 Chevrolet Impala, #8 Dodge Ram (!), #9 Ford Focus, #10 was Nissan Altima.

    Detroit “brands” are at 47% of the market, a new low.

    Toyota Prius sales is up 66.6 percent, Toyota Yaris is up 58.1 percent, Ford Focus is up 43.5 percent and Hyundai Accent is up 41 percent, according to the article entitled “A dreary April in Detroit”.

  • avatar
    Mj0lnir

    brettc :
    May 7th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Clue in GM. It wasn’t hard to see any of this coming.

    If it was so self-evident, how come so many americans, including TTAC posters, own SUV’s?

    How come Toyota just released mammoth-sized new Sequoia’s and Tundra’s with engines that swallow gas like a frat-boy at a kegger?

    How come AMG has a whole line of vehicles devoted to turning gasoline into forward momentum?

    How come the new Accord is larger and heavier than the last model without significant improvement in economy?

    I think you’re getting hindsight and foresight confused, and I don’t think the domestics are the only manufacturers caught with their pants down.

  • avatar
    Mj0lnir

    I’d also like to point out that, 3 news items above this one, Farago is geeked about the new Infiniti FX50.

    Now there’s a fuel sipping econo-box to please the masses if ever one was made.

    If the current fiscal and energy straits we find ourselves in were so predictable, and if every american is simply aching for the opportunity to buy a ForTwo, are this site’s creator and Nissan out of touch with reality, or are some of the posters here divorced from reason?

  • avatar
    menno

    Perhaps brett should have said – clue in, auto manufacturers. It wasn’t difficult to see any of this coming.

    But then perhaps I just try to pay attention to future trends more than average.

    I’m on my 2nd Prius. I’ve been buying fluorescent light bulbs for almost a decade (the early ones were awful – dim for five minutes – we used to joke about how we should have turned on the light in a room 5 minutes before we walked in, so we could see where we were going).

    Right now, I’m having a professional contractor give me a price on installing an instant tankless hot water heater (natural gas). The electric tank water heater in our house is 9 years old, so time for a replacement. We had them in the UK and the work very well. Tank hot water heaters are analagous to running your car all day and all night just in case you might want to drive it.

    And BTW global warming is total bunk! It’s the SUN stupid! We’re very likely going into a global cooling period due to lack of solar flares, which may last to about 2085. Just as happened four times in a row from about 1350 to 1850, and which was called the little ice age.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    So will we have to endure a decade or two of old men and women pining for their beloved, long-gone SUVs like I did as a kid listening to the adults lament their past glorious Detroit land-barges?

    Keep ’em, just keep in the garage for occasional use.

    Are the SUV folks so close on funds that the price of fuel is the deal killer for ownership?

    I would have thought the $40K pricetag and the $700 sets of tires would have been more noticable.

    FWIW I did some quick math last night. Assumptions: $3.40 per gallon, 15K miles per year. 17 mpg costs $40K in fuel over 200K miles, small 34 mpg car half that.

    Still a shock to consider my little car costs $20K to haul me around for a decade…

    Frankly I’d rather spend the cost of transportation on my house or something.

  • avatar
    netrun

    I’m convinced that the UAW strike on the Malibu plant in Kansas was done at the request of GM management. Had they run out of parts GM would have had to pay those workers to sit home. This way they save the variable labor and variable manufacturing costs while having a convenient excuse for not selling as many of the not-so-“hot Malibu’s”.

  • avatar
    menno

    Well, busbodger, you see it’s like this. We humans can compartmentalize things. “Yeah, I can afford $xxx per month on a car payment.” Fine. “Yeah, I can afford $xx per fill up and that’s just part of the enjoyment of driving and having the freedom to get to work, etc.” (all subconsiously thought out).

    But when the second scenario moves from $xx to $xxx on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, it’s like someone stuck their hands in a fireplace. Instant reaction.

    I’m complaining to my wife about the cost when we fill up her 28 mpg car, which probably 75% of the American public would be pleased to be blessed with, because most of the time we carpool in our 48 mpg Prius. But if I stop to think it through, the Sonata is not so bad!

    Better than a Tahoe which might take three or four times the money to fill compared to the Prius.

    BTW, does anyone else wonder if these vehicles are going to be “temporarily discontinued” in the same way that Studebaker “temporarily discontinued” car production in South Bend, Christmas 1963? (And yes, I know that for a further 30 months, a Canadian plant built a few Studebakers).

  • avatar
    DetroitIronUAW

    netrun :
    May 7th, 2008 at 1:43 pm
    I’m convinced that the UAW strike on the Malibu plant in Kansas was done at the request of GM management. Had they run out of parts GM would have had to pay those workers to sit home. This way they save the variable labor and variable manufacturing costs while having a convenient excuse for not selling as many of the not-so-”hot Malibu’s”.

    Woah, that’s over the deep end even for me. I’m always for gouging management, but come on.

  • avatar
    geeber

    menno: BTW, does anyone else wonder if these vehicles are going to be “temporarily discontinued” in the same way that Studebaker “temporarily discontinued” car production in South Bend, Christmas 1963? (And yes, I know that for a further 30 months, a Canadian plant built a few Studebakers).

    When Studebaker made the announcement that it was shutting down production in South Bend in December 1963, it was clear that the closure was permanent. And everyone understood that it basically meant the end of Studebaker cars, because the company was also shutting down its styling and engineering sections, too, and the Canadian plant did not have the capability to produce engines (which is why Studebaker bought Chevrolet engines for those final cars).

    I doubt that GM is going to permanently pull the plug on these vehicles. The SUV market is not going to go away completely – it will shrink to what it was in the 1970s. GM was making Suburbans (both Chevrolet and GMC models) then.

    Given that its big SUVs are some of the best examples of the genre, I would expect that they will be among the last ones standing in this segment – provided that the parent corporation survives to build them.

  • avatar
    Tredshift

    I can’t believe anyone would consider buying one of these dinosaurs, and good luck tying to sell it on the used market.

    “That boston.com article says Herb Chambers has a one year waiting list for Smart cars! That’s insane. I think the concept of the Smart car is good, but I wouldn’t pay $20000 for one.”

    Speaking of the “Smart Car”….I’ve actually seen 2 of them around here in the last week and they have to be possibly the MOST RIDICULOUS looking vehicles EVER produced. And the price, for that joke of a car? Maybe you could get over the embarrassment if this thing only cost $6 or 7 thousand.

    You can buy a number of actual cars that get basically the same mileage that the “Smart Car” gets. So what is the advantage?????

    I’ve been to Europe many times and I’ll never forget the first time I saw one of these things in Rome. I could not get over just how tiny it was.

  • avatar
    Mj0lnir

    Tredshift :
    May 7th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I can’t believe anyone would consider buying one of these dinosaurs, and good luck tying to sell it on the used market.

    I’m hoping they get cheap enough on the used market that I can buy one.

    A year-old Suburban/Denali XL with two years and 20,000 miles of warranty left for ~$12k to $14k would be perfect.

    I’ll take a huge hit on my current Suburban, but the new ones get better mileage and it’ll be nice to have another 130,000 miles before worrying about repairs.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    Tredshift: I’ve been to Europe many times and I’ll never forget the first time I saw one of these things in Rome. I could not get over just how tiny it was.

    I’m ALL for fuel efficiency but I’m not seeing any real advantages to it’s size in the USA. Well, maybe it’s diminutive size is a good thing in Manhattan but in the other parts – who needs the diminutive size when you can get better mileage out of larger vehicles?

    I think they are cool looking but two seats eliminates it from being in my “fleet” otherwise I’d be cross shopping the Miata, MR2, Saturn Sky, etc.

    Having lived in Italy tiny cars are still an advantage…

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