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Old 03-11-2009, 10:47 AM   #1
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GM postpones 4.5L Duramax Diesel

GM postpones 4.5-liter diesel engine for pickups: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:51 AM   #2
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First link worked, then didn't, then did, so here is another just in case:

GM Indefinitely Postpones 4.5-liter Duramax Light-Duty Diesel Engine - PickupTrucks.com News
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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So much for fuel efficiency.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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They're fighting to keep the lights on, trying to keep money flowing to necessary programs. It's probably a very tight business case for this diesel, as desirable as it would be to some buyers.

I get a feeling you're going to see several manufacturers back away from their plans to bring diesels here. Honda/Acura's diesel seems to be on hold, and not much has been heard recently about the Kia Borrego's proposed 2010 diesel.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:09 AM   #5
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Sad, but not surprising. Thanx for the link.

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Old 03-11-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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Too bad, diesel is clearly the way of the future.
The first to put a diesel in a little 1/2 ton will have a distinct advantage. This is not a good time to stop investing in technology...

Thanx for the link

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Old 03-11-2009, 12:11 PM   #7
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Go to Europe you drive an oil burner, but you would never know it. It's not that market that has diesel higher, it's the guys who need GM and F to make gas burners that need diesel higher, otherwise things would change. Sell gas for less and diesel is higher. I also like the opportunity to support the govt by paying extra tax on diesel. Don't hold your breath waiting for electric or NG or Propane engines as a major part of production either. My next car will be a diesel, looks like it will have to be BMW, Mercedes, or VW. Can you image the "alternative" energy gurus if GM said they were going to oil burners as the standard equipment.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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Go to Europe you drive an oil burner, but you would never know it. It's not that market that has diesel higher, it's the guys who need GM and F to make gas burners that need diesel higher, otherwise things would change. Sell gas for less and diesel is higher. I also like the opportunity to support the govt by paying extra tax on diesel. Don't hold your breath waiting for electric or NG or Propane engines as a major part of production either. My next car will be a diesel, looks like it will have to be BMW, Mercedes, or VW. Can you image the "alternative" energy gurus if GM said they were going to oil burners as the standard equipment.
The CNGs won't be production but the "death star" is planning a significant investment in CNG and electric vehicles. The electric ones could be factory built.

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/03...g-to-atandt-f/

I agree, diesel is a great engine. Very efficient and I fully understand why they (GM and others) postponed it. The engines are a bit more expensive and the feeling is hybrids and electric will pay greater dividends, when now, they need every penny they can uncover. I've read these engines have a $5k premium if they were to roll off the lines now and in this econ, few would spend an extra $5k on a vehicle. You can buy a lot of gas in the short term for $5k, even if the diesel does outlast the gasser by 100s of thousands of miles.

Their reasoning makes perfect sense, though I don't particular like the news, cause I heard this is what was going to be put into the Suburban!
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:06 PM   #9
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They don't get it

This tells me they don't seriously have a survival plan. And that their current management team doesn't have the guts (insert other parts of male anatomy) to get them out of the hole they're in. Dorks!
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:15 PM   #10
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It's just a tough time for GM to invest in the equipment to build the engines etc., plus they just are not selling many trucks and would have an even hard time at the higher prices that diesels would command.

I own two diesels, one is a VW Jetta TDI. Sold my Audi A6 and purchased it for my 100 RT commute. Drives great and Fifty mpg is sweet (plus it is cheaper to keep than my Audi, which BTW was a great car and very reliable, just expensive to maintain). There are times when I am cruising on the highway that I miss it, but the Jetta does fine. However, last year the higher fuel prices (diesel vs. gas) wiped out a lot of my savings (which likely aided GM's decision too. Now diesel is settling down and I have read stories where it will be at or below the price of regular gas by April, time will tell, but I am saving moo laa again. Of course when the world economy starts to recover, the same pressures we had before will start to drive fuel prices up again. Although, as I understand it a number of refineries are increasing their capacity to produce diesel, so maybe that will help to keep prices in line. Believe it or not, one of the reasons I purchased the TDI was worries about fuel shortages and the facts that; 1. I can go more miles on a tank and spend less time in lines if that came to pass and 2. I could more safely store (hoard?) diesel if need be, than the more volatile gasoline.

My other diesel is my TV, a Chevy Duramax. I always tell people, don't purchase a diesel pickup for the gas mileage, unless you are running a lot of miles it will take a long time to makeup the price differential over a gasser. Instead purchase it for it's pulling power and subsequent ease for towing etc. I think this goes back to making the numbers work on a 1/2 ton diesel truck. Few will be purchasing those for a towing workhorse, instead I think most at that price point would "step up" to a 3/4 ton truck with the V8 diesel. So then that brings up fuel savings, if you do the math, at current prices, it just doesn' work due to the higher initial cost and that is likely another reason that GM stepped back for now. However, the domestics need to wring every mile out that they can to meet the Federal Mileage requirements on their "fleets", hence the pressure to bring a diesel 1/2 ton to market.

One other point, why does the price difference have to be so high ($5k?). Is a lighter duty diesel that much more expensive to build than a gasser? Are the heavier castings that much more? Seems like the fuel systems would be all that more expensive, cooling systems are bigger, a bit heftier suspension to support the weight of the engine....but $5k? Just seems like a bit much, even for the larger engines like the Dmax.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:28 PM   #11
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I recall looking at the 6.6L Duramax back around 2003 and 2004. Back then it was a $5k upcharge for the Duramax/Allison combo. Recently (about 6 months ago), I was on the Chevy site once again, just window shopping when I found the current Duramax/Allison combo was slightly over $7k upcharge. Now mind you these are retail based prices.

I know that diesels may cost more to produce because inherently they have far more robust components do deal with the much higher compression. Are the components $5k or $7k in value depending on engine? I really don't know, but I think the costs include development and engineering as well as part costs, but again, I'm no engineer, I'm just providing my most uneducated guess.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:32 PM   #12
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Neither GM or the Government will ever get off the dime and cause anything to happen. They have no reason to. However ATT just announced today that they are going to.

Att announced to convert their fleet to CNG over the next 5 years.

If Government wanted to reduce imported oil they would have come out with plans to convert the post office fleet, local police fleets, and other limited radius fleets to CNG years ago. The cost saving of fuel, longer engine life and the fact we have it here all justify the change. Government will never vote for such a change until they find a way to tax by the mile rather than by the gallon.

GM's latest plan for survival presented to Congress include such giant steps as removing wall clocks and turning the hall temperature down to 68 degrees in Detroit. That should produce savings somewhere in the 3rd. or 4th. dismal place
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:51 PM   #13
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I suspect, and this is my personal, uninformed, and quite possibly wrong opinion, that diesel engines in passenger cars are kind of on the way out.
Having driven a diesel Mini-Cooper, Accord, and E-Class Merc, I wish it were not so - they were great.

But there are three things, I think, going on that will make it happen.

First, in my opinion, the high price of oil last year was in part due to demand from booming economies (e.g. China, much of the West, & India). Ergo, in 3-5 years we'll see prices pop up toward that level again. (Hold on to this thought for a moment).

Second, emissions regulations are not getting less stringent. Even small compression-ignition engines will need particulate filters and/or other devices to meet them in the 2015 time frame. In the short term, it works well for passenger cars, I think, because the amount of CO2 is somewhat less, but in the long term... maybe not so much.

Third, combine those two data points. If we think about the things where diesel engines excel: construction, moving freight, and other high load areas, if fuel becomes tight again, it makes the most sense to use diesel for vocational purposes and other fuels for recreational or basic transport. The cost of any needed extra emissions equipment will be easier to justify for commercial uses than for pulling a camping trailer for even 40,000 miles/year, let alone the more typical 5000.

Wild cards include bio fuels, the net cost of shale or NoDak fuels once that settles down, and the shape of future emissions regulations.

Further, looking deeper into my crystal ball, I'll be very surprised if the pick-up truck doesn't start heading back to its roots as a very basic mode of transport, and the next generation Suburban/Expedition don't look more like the Traverse or Flex than the truck-based thing we've grown accustomed to.

Finally, I'll venture waaay out onto an OT limb and predict that Class A motorhomes will become something of a specialty item, found only in the garages of people with names like "Aerosmith" or "Smashmouth."
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #14
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This tells me they don't seriously have a survival plan. And that their current management team doesn't have the guts (insert other parts of male anatomy) to get them out of the hole they're in. Dorks!
They may or may not have a viable survival plan. That they have one is not debatable.

It costs money to tool a plant. It costs money to certify an engine for emissions. It costs money to add the option to the order list.

If your product is selling at a satisfactory level, you predict fuel prices will stay in the $2-3 range until 2012-2013 (Autoblog last year said Ford calculated that truck sales fell off the cliff at $3.50), your product focus is heading away from trucks, and you don't have the tens of millions (it's more likely hundreds of millions) to bet on this, you don't make the bet.

So it seems to me to be a very prudent sort of thing.
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