We have little idea what a new Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, or Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban will look like, but we now know this: the new SUVs will have some components stamped at a new, $200 million facility in Arlington, Texas.
Arlington is undergoing some serious changes, what with an already existing $331 million upgrade going on to expand production there. The new $200 million stamping facility will come online in 2013; thanks to its proximity to the assembly line in Arlington, it promises to save GM about $40 million in logistics in the making of its Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL.
As for the SUVs themselves, we know just a little bit: the SUVs will keep their underpinnings in common with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which means they’ll keep their position as the only SUVs made by GM that don’t use unibody architecture. To keep weight low, it’s expected that GM will graft in more high-strength steel as well as other alloys. Topping it all off, there’s talk of new eight-speed automatic transmissions and even direct injection for the small-block engines underhood. For green-minded people with enough scratch, an updated version of the GM two-mode hybrid (perhaps some sort of rumored four-mode system) may come as well.
The next crop is due sometime late in 2013 (for the 2014 model year), which would roughly coincide with the new crop of Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks. Considering the closure and retooling at the plants that handle both the trucks and SUVs are scheduled for this year, we should see at least something more serious about the trucks soon.
Source: General Motors