GM’s new unified platform technique makes its debut with Buick Encore GX, Chevy Trailblazer

The longer term for Basic Motors’ automobiles and crossovers started Wednesday with the introduced 2020 Buick Encore GX and Chevrolet Trailblazer crossovers.

That is as a result of the 2 crossovers, which will likely be constructed at GM’s facility in Korea, will likely be underpinned by frequent platform elements that will ultimately comprise the framework for tens of millions of automobiles and crossovers by the following decade.

The Trailblazer and Encore GX are the primary automobiles to reach with GM’s new unified frequent elements, dubbed Car Set Technique. The elements that feed into 4 major platforms, which ought to ultimately embrace front- and rear-wheel drive automobiles, crossovers, and body-on-frame vans and SUVs, had been introduced 5 years in the past as a cost-saving measure that might save GM billions in manufacturing and growth expenditures. Final yr, GM introduced that VSS and devoted EV platforms would function the idea for greater than 75 % of its automobiles early subsequent decade.

VSS will function the idea for 4 major platforms that can use comparable elements, similar to HVAC, electrical structure together with infotainment, and substructures. The VSS-R platforms would be the foundation for rear-wheel drive automobiles such because the next-generation Camaro. The VSS-F platforms will likely be used for front-drive automobiles such because the Malibu. VSS-S will likely be used for crossovers together with the Encore GX and Trailblazer, and VSS-T will underpin body-on-frame automobiles such because the Sierra 1500 and Yukon.

GM hinted Wednesday that the frequent elements had been versatile sufficient to scale up or down inside automobile lessons and between manufacturers and provides GM distinctive architectures for seemingly associated merchandise. A spokeswoman for Buick mentioned that the Encore GX will likely be constructed on a Buick-specific platform not shared with some other model, together with the seemingly associated Chevy Trailblazer. GM sometimes doesn’t touch upon platforms and future merchandise and declined to remark for this story.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

The transfer to a standard construction or household of constructions echoes comparable efforts from many different international automakers together with Volkswagen, Renault, and Toyota, which made the transfer for a lot of of their automobiles earlier this decade.

“It is a normal development throughout the trade. The trade is in one among its most capital-intensive durations (that) it ever has been, and discovering scale is vital,” mentioned IHS Markit Principal Analyst Stephanie Brinley. “The extra you’ll be able to share amongst your automobiles the inexpensive they’re to provide.”

The preliminary danger to maneuver to VSS for GM was substantial. In accordance with varied studies, GM CEO Mary Barra made the push shortly after she took over the automaker in 2014 and labored to persuade buyers that the billions in up-front prices could be realized when the automobiles hit the streets early subsequent decade. In 2015, GM used 26 platforms globally to construct roughly 9 million automobiles at dozens of web sites all over the world. If lower considerably to fewer than half, GM may save billions.

2020 Buick Encore GX

2020 Buick Encore GX

Brinley mentioned lots of the frequent elements included within the architectures will not be in locations patrons will ever see, and goes nicely past “model engineered” automobiles of yesteryear.

“On the finish of the day, the patron will get a greater product. You possibly can take a look at GM’s product lineup and their model differentiation is healthier than ever. The concept isn’t to throw one other badge on prime of the automobiles,” she mentioned.

Progress for automakers utilizing new frequent elements has moved pretty rapidly. As a substitute of tooling one platform and churning by means of 1000’s of automobiles, VSS and different frequent elements piece collectively comparable items like Legos, Brinley mentioned.

“It is not in regards to the body actually, it is extra about elements,” she mentioned.

For the brand new Encore GX and Trailblazer, that will imply higher separation than the GMT360 platform that served as the idea for the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Buick Rainier may’ve ever delivered lower than 15 years in the past.

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