Home » Here Are Five Times GM Developed Some Pioneering And Important Innovation Only To Fumble It And Have To Catch Up Later Like A Chump

Here Are Five Times GM Developed Some Pioneering And Important Innovation Only To Fumble It And Have To Catch Up Later Like A Chump

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General Motors is really a fascinating company. They’ve been one of the largest automakers in the world for decades, and yet sometimes they feel like they’re just coasting along, cranking out forgettable pedestrian cars to people whose main automotive dream is to not be a pedestrian. But that’s not really seeing GM for what it is: It’s an absolute engineering powerhouse, the likes of which almost no other carmaker on Earth can really match, at least not when GM really decides to flex its engineering might. But all this engineering prowess is tempered by a quality that GM has that is also unmatched in the automotive world: the ability to develop something amazing, and then completely screw up every single action after that point.

It seems that GM has managed feats of stepping on its own corporate genitals more often and with greater impact than almost any other automaker, and while other companies have also done zero with some important innovations, I think it’s worth considering some of the General’s regrettable missteps, because they’re big ones. I’ve picked five times that GM has engineered some sort of incredibly significant automotive development — something that legitimately changed the entire industry, and then somehow GM-fumbled everything, leaving the company to effectively play catch up years later.

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Look at this list we have here: each of these is a huge deal, and GM had it to market first, and yet still somehow couldn’t play it into any sort of advantage for itself, because, again, that’s what GM does. Let’s dive in:

Turbocharging

Turbos

Yes, turbocharging! An absolute staple of the modern turbo four-cylinder two-liter-ish engines that seem to be near default for the vast majority of cars you see on the roads, and GM was the first to bring a mass-produced turbo car to market. In fact, The General had two in 1962, the Oldsmobile Jetfire and the Corvair Monza. These first turbos were primarily used for performance boosts, with the turbo on the Corvair’s air-cooled flat-six engine making a damn good 150 hp and the Olds’ making 215 hp from its 3.5-liter V8, letting it get to 100 mph a full 10 seconds faster than the normally-aspirated V8.

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Unfortunately for the Oldsmobile version at least, to get the bolt-on Garret turbocharger to work, GM had to include a separate tank with a cocktail made of methyl alcohol and water, to act as an anti-knock Martini for the engine. Of course, this is too much to ask of American car owners, so there were complaints and problems, and even though the Corvair turbo setup was free of this issue and kept going a few more years and with even better power, GM lost interest in turbochargers until 1978 3.8-liter Buicks, but long after cars like the BMW 2002 picked up the idea around 1970, and by the 1980s, when the world was gripped with Turbomania, GM was just an also-ran in the turbo game, even though they pioneered the whole damn thing decades before.

What if GM stuck with it, and had turbo four cylinder Impalas in the late ’60s that got the same power as V8s but used half the gas? Think how much better prepared they’d have been for the 1973 Oil Crisis! They’d have dominated everyone, and perhaps even kept the influx of Japanese cars at bay, at least for a while longer! But, no, this is GM. That’s not how they do things.

Modern Electric Cars

Ev1

Yeah, I said it: modern electric cars. I know Tesla tends to get the credit for re-invigorating electric vehicles and dragging them from embarrassing golf carts that gave Ed Begley, Jr. erections into sleek, fast, comfortable, desirable rides. But the truth is that Tesla was beaten to the punch by GM, because when The Biggest Of The Big Three introduced the GM EV1 in 1996, it was an absolute revelation — the first time the public had gotten a glimpse of a serious, desirable, and usable electric car.

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The EV1 was a sleek two-seater that looked like the future. It was as fast as most mainstream cars were in the era with its 137 hp motor, and had better acceleration than most, because that’s how electric motors work. Early lead acid-battery versions only got about 55 miles of range – still vastly better than most of the Crap Era EVs that came before – and later nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery ones got a respectable and usable 105 miles of range. Those are numbers that beat the first Nissan Leaf, which was introduced to the market a decade and a half later, in 2010.

I talked about how the EV1 ushered in this Tesla-dominated era we’re in now a while back, if you’d like to endure that:

GM built close to 1,100 EV1s, and then, in a spectacularly GM-ish act of self-sabotage, took them all back and crushed them, despite lots of public outcry from owners, because, again, this is what GM does! They pioneer something amazing, go through all the effort of development and engineering and then don’t just not follow through on a promising start, they actually destroy all evidence that their good idea existed at all. Why? This isn’t just an act of stepping on one’s own [toe], this is going out and buying a new set of golf shoes just so you can really stomp on your own [toe], and make it hurt.

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Oh, and, even better! If this wasn’t enough, almost a decade later, in 2003, GM showed the world a revolutionary new hydrogen fuel cell EV concept called Hy-Wire:

Hywire

While hydrogen fuel cells really haven’t caught on, you know what did? GM’s revolutionary skateboard chassis design for EVs. Replace those hydrogen tanks with batteries and you effectively have the platform that all modern EVs – from Volkswagen to Rivian to Ford to Hyundai to Tesla to whomever – use today. And guess what GM did with it?

Jack. Jack feces.

It did spend a lot of money on it, though, as the LA Times notes in its 2003 article titled “GM Takes a Radical Turn With Its Hy-Wire Hydrogen-Powered Car“:

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GM has spent almost $1 billion on fuel-cell development over the last few years and says it spent more than that developing its now-canceled EV1 battery electric car.

“But spending is just part of it,” Cole noted. “Outsmarting the opposition is another part.” Indeed, Toyota, Honda and DaimlerChrysler are seen as fierce rivals to GM for fuel-cell supremacy over the long haul.

Oh, and the best quote from that article?:

But some experts say that of all the automakers, GM is racing out ahead, developing cars that not only use hydrogen instead of gasoline but also replace old-fashioned hydraulic and mechanical parts, including brakes and steering systems, with high-tech electronics.

In fact, the company has vowed to become the first carmaker to sell a million fuel-cell vehicles and expects to start putting them on the market in 2010 — five to 10 years sooner than the timetable cited by most of its competitors.

Classic GM.

Electric Pick-Up Trucks

S10ev

I’m including this one as an example of a major automotive milestone that’s happening right around us, as we speak, this very moment. We all know about the massive hype surrounding the Tesla Cybertruck and EV trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning, but the truth is when it comes to a major OEM building and selling an electric pickup truck right from the factory, GM was first, with its Chevy S-10 Electric, built and sold between 1997 and 1998.

The S-10 Electric used the same basic tech as the GM EV1, and had a 114 hp motor driven by, at first, a lead-acid battery pack that gave a meager 45-ish miles of range, but later was upgraded to a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack that allowed for a respectable 72 miles of range.

Under 500 were actually built, but these things were used in fleets and while it was something of an experiment, it was still a real, all-electric pickup truck from a major OEM, a solid three and a half decades before anything from Ford or Rivian or Tesla.

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Touchscreens

Touchscreen

You know what pretty much every modern car has inside it? A touchscreen. A big, full-color touchscreen on the center stack that controls most aspects of the car. They’re ubiquitous. These started getting common around, oh, 2010 or so, but, as always, GM was there way, way before everyone else, and then, you guessed it, gave up on it, only to watch the concept come back in a huge way, with them no longer at the vanguard. Yes, GM had touchscreens in their cars as early as 1986, starting with the Buick Riviera and then ending up in the Buick Reatta.

These were green-phosphor CRTs, like what you’d have looked at while playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II in your middle school. But they worked effectively just like modern in-dash touch screens, with different modes for different functions, all activated by your fingers poking words and images on a screen.

GM never standardized these touch screens across their lines of cars, never put them on more cars than the Riviera or Reatta, never continued to develop them, move them to LCD displays, nothing. They never did anything with them, really, even though they were a solid 30 years ahead of everybody else, and could have leapfrogged the whole industry, and made everyone else scramble to catch up to GM, since next to this, all those old knobs and dials and buttons would have looked archaic. Again, that’s just not the GM way.

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Airbags

Airbags

Airbags. Yes, airbags. How many lives have these saved over the years? Countless, because I can’t count them. And the first car that came with them right from the factory wasn’t some safety-humping V0lvo or Saab, it was an Oldsmobile Toronado, in 1973, followed the next year by Buicks and Chevrolets — all GM brands. Here’s a dealer training video about these airbags, which GM called the Air Cushion Restraint System:

At the time, these weren’t even thought of as something to be used with seat belts, but something that would work instead of seat belts, since Americans had so much stubborn resistance to wearing seat belts, which it seems, every single person hated until we all collectively changed our minds in the mid to late 1980s in the biggest mass shifting of behavior since the Great Vowel Shift.

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GM offered airbags for all of three years, getting rid of the option in 1976. About two decades later, airbags were made mandatory by the government, and once again GM was no longer a pioneer, just another automaker grudgingly adding these revolutionary safety devices to their cars, devices that they had available before anyone else, and, again, didn’t realize how important they would be.

Damn, I’m getting worked up just writing this – how does GM do this over and over again, about such massive things? We’re not talking about how it came up with seat massagers or digital clocks in 1953 — these are all significant automotive developments, and every single time they squandered their considerable lead.

Oh, GM. You’re incredible — you really are. You big brilliant idiot.

 

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Sivad Nayrb
Sivad Nayrb
8 months ago

Geez… Get over the EV1 whining already… There was ZERO infrastructure to support the car charging, and the car cost was way the f*ck more than you could afford.

GMs videogame dash displays were courtesy of their ownership of Hughes Electronics in the mid-Eighties.

Move. On.

Vee
Vee
8 months ago

GM was probably the earliest and most notable example of managerial sweep. They had a really bad culture where each division didn’t want help from the others and when the head of a department in one division changed to another division or left, their employees or replacement would scrap most of the in-development projects that were going on. When Harley Earl got replaced new methods for body casting which could cut Fisher out and increase reduce manufacturing complexity were nuked, when Chuck Jordan got replaced GM’s high tech focus for interiors got scrapped, and when Ed Cole got replaced everyone rushed to kill the H-bodies and try and make money off the B-bodies.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
8 months ago

GM screwed Holden in the end after engineering a very competent car in the last commodore / Chevy SS and refusing to market it took down the whole Australian automotive industry and indirectly 100s of thousands of jobs – one third of these people never worked again.

in Australia in the early 2000’s Australia had Toyota, Ford and Holden producing cars All had some sort of subsidy from the federal government – like every developed nation has for its auto industry. Toyota was profitable and self sustaining exporting Camrys around the world and investing in hybrid tech etc. Ford and especially Holden were having their government funding taken away by their American parent companies who would not allow us to export anywhere or develop more relevant models than large RWD cars. We had some great but niche cars that could have with a proper marketing budget and pricing done very well in the USA. But without investment and our then idiot anti union federal government calling their bluff and not negotiating on subsidies. Holden and Ford and finally Toyota all closed shop and so did thousands of part makers and related industries as it wasn’t viable to keep component factories going on two out of three manufacturers.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
8 months ago

You forgot a few…

Plug-in hybrids with the volt… At least it got a second generation in the US, but now the only hybrid sold here is the Corvette E-Ray

HCCI engines- running prototypes in the early 2000s, just to shelf the idea while Mazda continues to pursue it with SkyActivX

Nycbjr
Nycbjr
8 months ago

yep this, I went korean with my hybrid purchase, GM and (to a lesser degree) Ford has nothing I wanted.

Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
8 months ago

The Toronado also got the touchscreens! But infuriating stuff all around, GM continuously wasting its potential to be the coolest, most innovative automaker in the world in broad view of the public for decades.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
8 months ago

There are a ton of examples of this, but a few are simply a case of just being too early. As another commenter stated, touch screens weren’t of much use prior to navigation, digital media, and phone mirroring. As they say “being early is the same as being wrong” in some cases.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
8 months ago

I’ll add the Saturn experiment to the mix. The 1st gen had a few interesting innovations – polymer panels, lost-foam casting, etc. There was also the no-haggle sales approach which was great. Then they lost all of their unique character when GM started their typical rebranding. My family had 2 1st-gen sedans, and they were very reliable and got great mileage. The only bugaboo was oil consumption was a little high, so you needed to keep an eye on it.

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago
Reply to  Boxing Pistons

I agree, the Saturn sales and service experience was the big innovation. Customers liked it but existing dealers and divisions didn’t so the long knives came out.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
8 months ago

Oh so many of these things. Mass market aluminum engine block is another fun one, they messed that up twice, the Buick V8 that was the base of that Turbo Jetfire at the top, which they used the wrong coolant in, so they scraped it. Sold the tooling to Rover who used it successfully for decades. Then, a few later, they come up with the Vega motor and try to use an aluminum block with an iron head…so dumb. Mind you they had been successfully producing the Corvairs aluminum 6 in between but apparently that didn’t do them any good. So baffling.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
8 months ago

My father curses GM to this very day for setting the EV industry back decades. He was so in line for an EV1, and when GM killed it and sat on several patents, and then later SOLD THEM TO CHEVRON to further sit on them…..{speechless rage}

He used-to work for Ford, and has many reasons to curse them, but GM is where his vitriol truly lies. (He’s a Toyota fan, now.)

Ottomadiq
Ottomadiq
8 months ago
Reply to  SlowCarFast

ironic… Toyota is pretty hum drum on EVs..

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
8 months ago
Reply to  Ottomadiq

Yes, but his hybrids are offering the benefits he was seeking.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
8 months ago

GM is like the Xerox of the car world, get a cool idea, prove it works, ditch it, then Steve Jobs shuffles in and yoinks it.

I love how the comments are piling on with the also this also that, Jason may need to do a sequel article, 5 MORE times GM screwed up lol.

Hans Ammitzboll
Hans Ammitzboll
8 months ago

Soooo… The IBM of US auto manufacturing

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
8 months ago

The greatness of GM engineering is that it’s a mixture of thousands of folks working for a giant brand. This is also their weakness, as this massive behemoth needs profitability and relevance to stay a float. For all these great innovations that GM can create, they have to be able to sell them and make money.

One thing missed here was Cylinder deactivation. GM pioneered the tech with Cadillac, and damaged the brand as a whole from it. Now everyone has some form of it on their V8’s.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago
Reply to  rctothefuture

Everybody has cylinder deactivation, and Chevy is somehow still selling the worst, most unreliable cylinder deactivation system.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I remember during the height of the chip shortage GM omitting that feature. No one cried over it.

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Dodge eating camshafts says What?

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Can confirm. My 2008 Yukon dropped a lifter and wiped the cam.. this was in 2014 with then 125k miles on it, with normal maintenance, cylinder deactivation failed in normal driving. Sold it for 4k
My beater 2005 Sierra 5.3 still rocks with 260k on it, no issues, SAME MPG ugh

Gen-O Bernardo
Gen-O Bernardo
8 months ago

yes GM had many innovations. They have some of the best engineering teams in the world BUT as with MANY MANY American corporations, they are managed to maximize short term stock price, even more so back in the day. Give GM it’s due today; they make some of the best metal on the roads today.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
8 months ago

GM: What engineering giveth, accounting taketh away.

IHCDemoman
IHCDemoman
8 months ago

IHC offered a turbocharged 152 in 1961, a full year before GM.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
8 months ago
Reply to  IHCDemoman

I came to say the same thing, well that and Ford had a Ranger EV available at the same time as the S-10 EV and it lasted for 5 model years.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago
Reply to  IHCDemoman

IHC is the poster child for a thoroughly mismanaged company. The book about their downfall is used in business schools
https://www.amazon.ca/Corporate-Tragedy-International-Harvester-Company/dp/0385192096

IHCDemoman
IHCDemoman
8 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

No shit Sherlock…

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago
Reply to  IHCDemoman

Just noticed your user name. Yep.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
8 months ago

Most of these are technologies that were not ready when GM first experimented with them, and GM still led or was competitive in adopting them when they were ready for prime time.

Companies can barely correctly make airbags now, as witnessed by the recalls.

I think turbos are cool, and half my cars have them, but they still have a hard time delivering more efficiency than a well-designed modern NA engine, even one with pushrods.

Touchscreens were pretty worthless before nav, Bluetooth, streaming, and the ability to store media libraries on a compact device.

You’re effectively counting electrification twice, it’s hitting a wall now, and only one company had the vision to see electric vehicles as high-performance toys for the rich instead of compliance vehicles that may or may not have a net positive impact on the environment. And now that the other automakers have caught on that the way to market electric cars is as high-performance toys for the rich that first mover has become a flailing commodity producer challenged with things that matter in a competitive market, like fit and finish.

One area GM is currently leading, and we will have to see if they have the commitment to stick to it, is autonomous driving technology.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Marketing EV’s as luxury cars is the true genius of Tesla. EV’s are expensive to make, especially when you have to build supply chains and manufacturing from the ground up, so you have to sell them to people who have money.

Sivad Nayrb
Sivad Nayrb
8 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

But Tesla has tapped out all of the early adopters…

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago
Reply to  Sivad Nayrb

That is a good point.

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
8 months ago

Chevy S-10 Electric?
I want that now. Bring that back.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago

You want the nickel batteries that last 100 cycles and the 70 mile range too? Plus the 30hp and lack of ac?

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I want them to bring back a clean mini-truck platform, AND … I want it to be the latest in PHEV or EV tech.

Camp Fire
Camp Fire
8 months ago

Optispark was poorly implemented, even by GM standards. But the sensor itself was an innovation that provided really good spark control. Would have made a good addition to the LS engines. 720 cylinder-indexed pulses per rev instead of 24 non-indexed pulses.

Does it make a huge difference to the end consumer? Probably not. But the LT1 fired off quicker than anything else I can think of (at least, when it ran correctly). Made other engines sound archaic with their extra cranking time.

Last edited 8 months ago by Camp Fire
Spectre6000
Spectre6000
8 months ago

GM’s issue is part of the industry. Real innovation takes passion, and to make a business out of it, the sense (not necessarily GOOD sense) to get out of its way and let it flourish. GM is an absolutely enormous company with a market cap that I imagine is greater than a number of small countries. To maintain an operation like that requires bean counters. Bean counters do not have passion; it’s in the job description that they must be soulless minions waiting for computers to replace them like so many burnt out lightbulbs. Turbos, et. al. were truly great innovations with enormous potential, but the bean counters looked at the profit margins and sales figures and mumbled something about opportunity costs or some other ill conceived reaction, and the brass, lacking the correct kind of sense, went with the bean counters.

An example of a company of similar magnitude that took the opposite path would be Apple. The iPod was considered to be a boondoggle, but Jobs had passion and the right kind of sense, and pushed it through. Ditto the iPhone, and any number of similar ideas. One of these days, Mary Barra will be forced out. If GM can get someone with passion and the right kind of sense, that engineering might will stomp Toyota (a large company WITHOUT much engineering might these last few decades) to dust. Iococca had passion, but not quite the right sense; maybe not even enough passion. Mazda has had some serious passion (maybe still does), but lacks the resources to blow everyone away (kinda the thing about passion and the requisite variety of sense). I’m trying to think of any other OEMs or figures that come close to Mazda in that regard… … long pause for thinking… VW probably back in the Porsche days? Maybe? Tough to say, totally different everything (EVERYTHING) back then…

Citrus
Citrus
8 months ago
Reply to  Spectre6000

Mary Barra is honestly many times better than a lot of GM CEOs over the years. Remember Roger Smith?

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
8 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Better than crap isn’t the same as good… If she doesn’t have the sense to ignore the beancounters when they need to be ignored, it’s disqualifying for the purposes of this article.

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago
Reply to  Spectre6000

Mary Barra is an engineer and I honestly think she is doing pretty well. The worst GM CEOs are finance or sales people.

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
8 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Engineer may be, but she gives the finance/sales people too much sway. That’s the problem, and has been the problem with GM management forever. She could singlehandedly invent an over unity engine that delivers herds of horses and mountains of torque while emitting naught but rainbows, but if she lets the beancounters talk her out of letting us buy it she still fails the test.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
8 months ago
Reply to  Spectre6000

Mazda has the passion that BMW had up to around the time they went big into SUV’s. It’s been all downhill since for BMW.

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

Re: Mazda, you think so currently with the abandonment of the Zoom Zoom ethos and take up of the near luxury upmarket push? I haven’t given it enough thought to agree or disagree. I’ve always appreciated their focus on engines between the rotaries and the Skyactive program seems to be based on pushing ICE technology as far as it can go toward specific parameters.

Re: BMW, yeah… kind of have to agree there. Not sure what they’re thinking lately. Also, UGLY!

Disclosure for the purposes of this particular leg of the conversation: I have a Series 2 RX-8 and an LCI E61 (both lasts of breed) in the driveway. Both are old enough to represent past ways of thinking without giving much clue to the current strategies.

Camp Fire
Camp Fire
8 months ago

A bunch of my points have already been mentioned, but I’ll add these:

Quadrasteer. Because why would you only steer 2 wheels? And it has 3 different steering modes to fit all sorts of situations. Neat idea. Surprisingly decent execution.

In addition to the Ranger EV, the electric S10 competed with an electric RAV4. So it’s not true to say that GM beat the other OEMs by “a solid three and a half decades.” They all collectively decided to drop this idea.

Fuel injection. In 1957. Think about what GM could have done if it hadn’t squandered that 30-year lead.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
8 months ago
Reply to  Camp Fire

Was about to thrown down the Ahhctually on that too, I have a factory built 2000 Ford Ranger EV, they built from 1998-2001, and they actually built as many of them as the EV1 and S10 EV combined. But whenever I bring it to a cars and coffee or ev event nobody even knows they did it so understandable miss.

Cam.man67
Cam.man67
8 months ago

Don’t forget fuel injection. GM was the first to make a viable, mass-produced FI system as far back as ‘57, let it languish for a few years with little development, and then quietly dropped it. Sure, Bosch was doing some stuff around this time, and Chrysler had their FI disaster in ‘58, but GM made it to market first. Think about how they could have been ahead of the curve during the fuel crisis if they’d kept developing mechanical fuel injection, with the gradual change to EFI, rather than being decades behind with carburetion.

Camp Fire
Camp Fire
8 months ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

You beat me by just a few seconds! Took the words right outta my mouth.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
8 months ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

EFI is way more important than turbos and a precursor to effectively using turbos.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago

I think the more GM thing is not so much fumbling the ball as much as dropping something just as it is getting good and the world is finally accepting the dare to be different designs.

Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
8 months ago

It’s really kind of amazing. It’s as if there is a world wide cartel telling them to use more petroleum…or else…

Last edited 8 months ago by Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
8 months ago

Add this one to the list because it hits close to home: initially making the dexos1 oil specification able to be met by a semi-synthetic oil. That combined with the bean-counter mandate to have 10k oil changes in their small cars to give many an early Cruze and Encore a premature turbo failure. Savvy owners knew to do full synthetic oil changes every 5000-7500 miles. This solved the issue. A lot of owners coming from Cobalts or Cavaliers where oil changes weren’t especially critical got burned hard when they followed the way too optimistic oil life monitor and changed the oil with cheaper semi synthetic every 10k miles. In true GM fashion they did a rolling change to the OLM and changed the dexos1 spec to be full synthetic years too late.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
8 months ago

The 1.4 turbo failures I’ve seen aren’t oil related, the cast iron housing is cracked. That turbo is a real pain in the @ss to swap out too.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
8 months ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

That happens to every single one eventually. This occurred in the 2011-2013.5 model years before they changed the programming. Cars with 30-50k miles were needing turbos replaced thanks to too long recommended oil changes on oil not suited for the duration.

Agreed, that turbo is a bit of a pain. Expensive too! Mine was about $800 in parts alone and I had to purchase a few tools too. Then again I swapped out the cooling fan and some hoses since the turbo was out and used OEM parts where possible. Had it been a budget job and strictly the tur o it could have been done for about $350 in parts. Not a job I want to do again if it can be avoided.

Lokki
Lokki
8 months ago

Wanna add a new one to the list?

TOKYO, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Honda Motor (7267.T) and General Motors (GM) (GM.N) are scrapping a plan to jointly develop affordable electric vehicles (EVs), the companies said on Wednesday, just a year after they agreed to work together in a $5 billion effort to try to beat Tesla (TSLA.O) in sales.

https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/honda-shelves-plan-co-develop-smaller-evs-with-gm-bloomberg-news-2023-10-25/

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