Mystery Chevrolet News Hits the Web --> Guesses?

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YSSMAN

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Very interesting...

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Vindy.com
By Don Shilling

A new contract is expected to secure Lordstown’s future for 10 to 15 years.

LORDSTOWN — General Motors is ready to give its Lordstown complex a new small car that gets nearly 40 mpg, a union leader said.

“We’re going to have longevity. This car’s going to sell,” Jim Graham, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, said at a news conference Friday about a new labor contract.

Graham didn’t provide any other details about a new model, but an industry analyst said it would be the new version of the Chevrolet Aveo, which is now made in South Korea.

Erich Merkle, an analyst with IRN in Grand Rapids, Mich., said GM plans to begin making the new model in Lordstown in 2010, to be followed by a new rear-wheel drive, mid-size model in early 2011.

He said substantial work will need to be done to the Lordstown complex to prepare for the new models.

Graham said such work will begin if workers ratify a tentative agreement on the labor contract.

“You are going to start seeing things move very rapidly toward a new product,” he said.

The plant produces the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5. GM recently tweaked some Cobalt models with manual transmission to boost highway fuel economy from 33 mpg to 36 mpg. The Aveo with a manual transmission is rated at 34 mpg.

Cobalt production began in 2004 after a $1 billion renovation of the complex. The biggest item was a new paint shop that cost several hundred million dollars.

GM’s commitment to the complex was in doubt for years before that overhaul and has been questioned again recently.

A new local labor contract, however, would secure Lordstown’s future for two or three product cycles, said Ben Strickland, Local 1112 shop chairman.

“We’re hoping not to go through these arguments for another 10 or 15 years,” he said.

Despite GM’s interest in Lordstown, it still is increasing small-car production in Mexico, Merkle said. The Cobalt will be moved there because GM wants a high-production model in a new plant it is building, he said. He added that the Saturn Astra, which now is made in Europe, also will be moved to Mexico.

Lordstown workers will vote Monday and Tuesday on the tentative agreement, which was reached Wednesday. The contract would expire in 2011.

Strickland declined to release any details in advance of informational meetings for members Saturday.

A flier issued to members Friday listed some details, such as no consolidation of skilled trades job classifications. Industry analysts have said that GM has been looking to cut costs by having skilled trades workers train for additional jobs.

The flier said an alternative work schedule for production workers could be implemented no sooner than the summer of 2010 and only for a trial period of 90 days. It didn’t describe the schedule.

Strickland declined to discuss reports that GM is considering adding a third shift to the complex. GM eliminated the midnight shift in 2006 after 1,600 Lordstown workers left the company with buyout offers.

In a follow-up buyout offer made this year, 375 workers at the assembly plant and 175 workers at the fabricating plant agreed to leave July 1, Strickland said. The complex has about 3,400 hourly workers.

Strickland said he expects GM to replace these workers with new hires and by transferring workers from other plants.

A national labor contract signed last year provides that new workers who are hired into non-production roles, such as janitorial or landscaping, would be paid about half what existing workers receive. Strickland said 393 jobs in the assembly plant have been identified as falling into that category.

Local 1714, which represents workers at the fabricating plant, already has approved a new local agreement.

And from another source...

Jalopnik
Conflicting reports are surfacing on a new Chevy small car coming to the show scene this fall, with production tentatively starting at Lordstown, Ohio early in 2009. The conflict comes in the form of what Automotive News is saying — that GM will be building this new car off of the Delta platform which carries the Cobalt and the Saturn Astra. However, the local Lordstown paper is telling us to expect a new and improved Chevy Aveo to be produced locally. Where be damned: All of this news sent us into spasms of speculation on what this new product might be.

A Chevy version of the Astra? The Daewoo Lacetti draped in a single bar grille (we admittedly kind of like that one)? A Vega for the new century? And who could forget Chevelle. Considering that it'll be built with dubious quality and high fuel economy, we've got to go with Chevette. Our favorite belonged to a buddy in high school, and sported a John Deere green body with non-matching blue rear hatch. Eventually a wheel fell off and it ended up in the ditch, where he paid the tow driver with the title in order to get it out of his sight. We can only hope this new product turns out so well.

Well, there are just a few reasonable guesses:

- The American version of the Zafira (?)
- An Americanized Astra
- The next Cobalt... Essentially the Volt minus the battery packs... Probably won't be called the Cobalt

Hard to say. I'm hearing next-gen Aveo as well. With 40 MPG being called for, its going to be small/lightweight and likely a bit slippery on the outside.

I'm going to make my choice; Delta II-based Cobalt replacement, smaller, with the 1.4L Turbo.
 

nd 4 holden spd

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What about the micro-cars they had the public vote on?

0704_z+2007_chevrolet_small_car_concepts+.jpg


Or are the ones that were chosen already out?
 
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I hope its not a next gen Aveo, that car was horrendous. They would be better off starting from the ground up on a whole new release.
 

niky

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I hope its not a next gen Aveo, that car was horrendous. They would be better off starting from the ground up on a whole new release.

+100000000000000.
 
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I can afford either of these.
What about the micro-cars they had the public vote on?

0704_z+2007_chevrolet_small_car_concepts+.jpg


Or are the ones that were chosen already out?

Dude, the Malibu fronted one is interesting, and the green one is just MEAN! I would drive that thing with 1.4L Turbo PRIDE!
 

YSSMAN

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The green one (The Beat) was approved for production, but I don't think its being produced/sold in the United States... Last I heard the Gamma cars were going to stay outside the North American market.

Most of the chatter is saying a Delta II Cobalt replacement... Which seems logical. Considering this one already gets 36 MPG, it doesn't seem too far of a stretch to get the extra 4 MPG squeezed out.
 

niky

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How come all the small car concepts look hideous? :yuck:

Hey, I actually like them...
0704_z+2007_chevrolet_small_car_concepts+.jpg


Too bad nobody agrees with me on the owl-eyed one... thought it would stand out in the market place amongst all these "me too, sharper than you" modern designs. What it really takes to get buyers to notice you is to stand out in the crowd...
 

ROAD_DOGG33J

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Hey, I actually like them...

Certainly better than Scion's offerings. Sure a box on wheels is cool but isn't that what the 80s were for?

Most of the chatter is saying a Delta II Cobalt replacement... Which seems logical. Considering this one already gets 36 MPG, it doesn't seem too far of a stretch to get the extra 4 MPG squeezed out.

Are you sure that was 40mpg highway?
 

nd 4 holden spd

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Dude, the Malibu fronted one is interesting, and the green one is just MEAN! I would drive that thing with 1.4L Turbo PRIDE!

I agree, that green one with a DI 1.4L Turbo could even generate a cult following! Imagine how agile it would be!

The green one (The Beat) was approved for production, but I don't think its being produced/sold in the United States... Last I heard the Gamma cars were going to stay outside the North American market.

Most of the chatter is saying a Delta II Cobalt replacement... Which seems logical. Considering this one already gets 36 MPG, it doesn't seem too far of a stretch to get the extra 4 MPG squeezed out.

Maybe that's the surprise of it, these microcars coming to US (and hopefully Australia!) with the 1.4L Turbo. Would be very cool, and being so small and presumably light 40+mpg should be easy enough with a 1.4L.

Hey, I actually like them...
0704_z+2007_chevrolet_small_car_concepts+.jpg


Too bad nobody agrees with me on the owl-eyed one... thought it would stand out in the market place amongst all these "me too, sharper than you" modern designs. What it really takes to get buyers to notice you is to stand out in the crowd...

I would only personally like the green one, but I could see many of the orange ones at the beaches owned by surfers.
 
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I would only personally like the green one, but I could see many of the orange ones at the beaches owned by surfers.
Yeah, and the blue one looks a bit like the new(er) xB. The green one looks just plain mean, it's got what the Aveo didn't have, this would be the car to start marketing IMO. To everyone, including North America. If Chevy built it right then it could be a better competitor with the Fit.
 

nd 4 holden spd

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Yeah, and the blue one looks a bit like the new(er) xB. The green one looks just plain mean, it's got what the Aveo didn't have, this would be the car to start marketing IMO. To everyone, including North America. If Chevy built it right then it could be a better competitor with the Fit.

With a 1.4L turbo it could go head to head with the Civic Type R hatch.