GM Investing $73 Million in Shreveport, La. Truck Plant for Production of HUMMER HT3
General Motors today confirmed that it will invest approximately $73 million into its Shreveport, La. truck assembly plant to prepare the plant for production of the all-new HÚMMER H3T.
'GM's $73-million investment in Shreveport is further proof that the community remains an important part of GM's manufacturing plan,' said Troy Clarke, GM Group Vice President and GM North America President. 'The H3T is unique for HÚMMER because it is the brand's first true pickup. Like every HÚMMER model, the H3T delivers capabilities unparalleled in the marketplace and will carve out a new niche in the truck market. I'm happy to say that the men and women of Shreveport will be a big part of this new growth.'
Cal Rapson, ÚAW vice president and director of the GM Department, also voiced strong support for the project.
'This investment is a testament to the members of ÚAW Local 2166 for their hard work and commitment to build high quality products,' Rapson §äid. 'ÚAW members at the Shreveport plant are an important part of the team that is bringing this exciting new GM vehicle to the market.'
Larger than a midsize truck, smaller than a full-size, the H3T delivers attitude, versatility and capability. And more important, with a fully functional truck bed and one of the industry's broadest range of personalization accessories, the H3T provides a new level of lifestyle functionality to the HÚMMER portfolio and will draw new customers into the brand. The H3T is scheduled to arrive in dealerships by third quarter 2008.
'I am delighted that GM has once again chosen to increase investments in Louisiana by expanding operations in Shreveport,' Governor Blanco §äid. 'Louisiana looks to partner with companies interested in doing business in our state who will not only positively impact the region's economy with their activity, but will also provide quality jobs with good benefits to our workers. Thank you for helping us move Louisiana forward.'
In the last several years, GM has invested approximately $1.5 billion in the Shreveport facility. This investment along with the plant's annual payroll of $160 million and annual taxes of $4.5 million, demonstrates that GM will continue to be an economic force in the local community and state of Louisiana for years to come.
Shreveport Assembly has built trucks since 1981, beginning with the Chevy S-10. The plant presently produces the HÚMMER H3 and Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickup trucks. Shreveport Assembly employs approximately 2,100 employees.Source - GM
No matter the size or configuration, a vehicle adorned with the HÚMMER name must deliver the best-in-class capabilities that have made the brand the standard against which other off-road vehicles are measured.
That's certainly the case with the dynamic H3T, a midsize truck that infuses all of HÚMMER's military-derived DNA into an efficient, refined package and carves a new niche in the midsize truck market.
HÚMMER introduced the ruggedly refined H3T concept vehicle at the 2004 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, providing a glimpse at a growing family of expressive, versatile vehicles.
'The H3T concept expresses a vision of the potential of future HÚMMER vehicles, targeted at enthusiasts who desire the HÚMMER image and capability, but in a smaller, non-SÚV configuration,' said Clay Dean, design director for small trucks and HÚMMER. 'It also provides a visual clue to the evolution of HÚMMER's design.'
Innovative features abound in the H3T: The pickup box incorporates side-access doors, along with drop-down assist steps that also double as weather-tight storage compartments. The H3T's unique tailgate forms an unbroken load surface when down, contributing to the H3T's versatility.
There's also a large, power-operated folding canvas sunroof and drop-down rear window that combine to offer an open-air driving experience.
There wouldn't be a HÚMMER badge on the H3T if it didn't have the capability to dive into twisty terrain that would leave lesser 4x4s spinning their wheels. Its wheels-at-the-corners stance, along with 34-inch-tall tires and 11.5 inches of ground clearance, gives the H3T a 51-degree approach angle and a 50-degree departure angle - critical measures on HÚMMER's internal 'off-road performance metric' of capabilities.
And while the H3T delivers on the promise of its familial looks, it does so with a youthful, masculine flair.
'Regardless if you're a man or woman, it brings out a rebellious side to you that harks back to younger days,' said Dean. 'It's an irreverent vehicle - a bad boy in a black tie.'
Riding on a 118.6-inch wheelbase and measuring 74.5 inches wide, the H3T embodies the classic HÚMMER proportions - wide stance, low roofline, and wheels at the corners - that have made the H1 and H2 instantly recognizable around the world. And like the H1 truck, the H3T incorporates the cab and bed in a single structure for enhanced strength and an integrated appearance.
'This is a different size vehicle, but it's a HÚMMER throughout,' said Dean. 'The cab configuration is personal and the smaller size makes the H3T more manageable and less intimidating to some drivers than larger vehicles. The smaller size also gives the H3T a more sporting and dynamic driving sensation.'Design collaboration
To complement the H3T's solid structure with a 'go anywhere, do anything' aesthetic, GM and Nike designers collaborated on several key aspects of the vehicle's design.
The H3T's tires evolved from discussions between GM Design and Nike Design regarding the question of off-road performance footwear influencing off-road performance tires. The result is the innovative ACG TA tire, which addresses multiple traction environments with sand paddles, traction pads and multiple durometers of rubber defined by different-color breakouts - much like the design of Nike's ACG trail and hiking shoes. BFGoodrich partnered to engineer and build the striking, groundbreaking tires.
Nike's influence on the interior includes the use of its Sphere material on the H3T's seats. The lightweight material, used by Nike in specialized clothing, can cool or warm the body without mechanical means. It also conveys a technical aesthetic that looks perfectly at home in the H3T. The seats also are enhanced by Nike Epic backpacks, which are integrated into seat-back clamshells and released with elastic bungees.
'The Nike collaboration is unique and exciting,' said Dean. 'It allowed us to share ideas and thoughts, while comparing our design process with a world leader in design innovation. The experience has enhanced the whole H3T project.'
The H3T's classic proportions reflect its off-road ability, but also symbolize HÚMMER's expressive styling - an American design that says as much about driver freedom as HÚMMER's off-road experience.
'It's a minimalist approach that conveys purpose,' said Dean. 'The H3T represents the continual approach to HÚMMER's overall design theme - simple in appearance yet strong to the touch. From parts like the door handles to the dashboard details, the H3T looks and feels as if it's been milled from a solid billet of steel or aluminum.'
That purposeful appearance is delineated from the HÚMMER H1's military roots.
'We evolved the HÚMMER design language with the H2,' said Dean. 'But we're continuing that vision and progressing the brand.'
The H3T's purposefully premium interior environment includes a rugged shifter handle that folds completely forward and military-inspired toggle switches for various controls. An altimeter, compass and inclinometer also are mounted on the dashboard.
The technical leather and Nike-designed Sphere seat fabric continue to support the athletic, performance theme of the H3T, as do the chamois, petrol and paprika orange interior colors.
'It's not necessarily a luxury environment in the classic sense - it's a new type of luxury,' said Dave Lyon, interior design director for body-on-frame vehicles. 'The expression of quality through the use of specific materials conveys a premium look without the use of traditional luxury appointments like wood or leather.'
The same goes for the H3T's exterior, which features high-tech, yet durable, LED headlamps and taillamps, an integrated winch and tow hooks, as well as front and rear skid plates that are stamped out of aluminum and joined with side 'rock sliders.' There also are control arm and rear axle skid plates, along with a carbon fiber skid plate/belly pan, which protects the vehicle when off the road and aids aerodynamic efficiency on the highway.
A brush guard is integrated with the front skid plate and the taillamps have integrated lens protectors. Driving/marker lamps are built into the side-view mirrors.
The exterior colors, Petrol Blue Metallic and Satin Titanium Alloy, fuel the H3T's theme of a rugged vehicle with serious attitude. The forward-opening hood is aided by trigger-operated latches, which integrate into the trademark HÚMMER hood louvers. An exposed radiator is another classic HÚMMER styling cue and a camera mounted on the hood can be used to record off-road excursions in DVD format.
At the rear, the tailgate features exposed hinges (with integrated gas struts) and cantilevers to provide an unbroken load platform for the bed. The bed is more than 4 feet wide and has very small fender intrusions.
'The H3T supposes a new realm of rugged, yet premium choices for drivers who find larger vehicles don't fit their needs,' said Lyon. 'With the H3T, a whole new group of driving enthusiasts benefits from the relevance of HÚMMER's unflappable capability. There simply is nothing like it in the midsize truck market.'Purposeful powertrain
The H3T is built on a modified GM midsize truck platform, including the coil-over front and rear suspensions. Fox remote-reservoir shocks are used for the ultimate in off-road dampening. An automatic transfer case locks the vehicle into four-wheel drive when needed.
The locking front and rear axles on the H3T are borrowed from full-size GM trucks. Braking is accomplished with four-wheel discs from Alcon. The 15-inch-diameter rotors are clamped down upon with Baer six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. Nineteen-inch wheels are mounted at all corners.
A 350-horsepower, turbocharged version of GM's new Vortec 3500 inline five-cylinder engine powers the H3T, and it's backed by the heavy-duty Hydra-Matic 4L65-E electronically controlled four-speed transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The turbocharged five-cylinder produces more power than most six-cylinder engines, but is more compact. The engine also makes 350 lb.-ft. of torque, which helps the H3T tackle steep terrain with ease.
Fuel-saving variable valve timing technology, which is available on some of GM's four-, five- and six-cylinder engines, boosts the five-cylinder's efficiency by varying valve timing, lift and duration. It also improves emissions and overall performance.
Although currently a concept vehicle, the H3T was built with production-type components, including chassis and suspension components that were leveraged from existing GM truck architectures.
'Everything about the H3T says HÚMMER,' said Dean. 'The package may be a little smaller, but the personality, functionality and, most importantly, the off-road superiority is all there.'Source - GM Media
NIKE and BFGoodrich® Tires Team With GM for HUMMER H3T Concept
When HÚMMER designers teamed with NIKE® to create distinctive new 'shoes' for the HÚMMER® H3T concept vehicle, they turned to BFGoodrich® Tires to deliver their vision.
Dubbed the 'BFGoodrich ACG T/A®', the new 275/70R19 concept tires combine the premiere athletic shoe styling of NIKE with the aggressive design and off-road racing experience of BFGoodrich Tires.
The BFGoodrich ACG T/A tires required some innovative approaches and new resources to turn the original designs into actual tires.
The original designs by Hummer design staff and Nike were first translated into BFGoodrich data files for the tire mold design, a critical step in tire production.
The molded tires left significant tread areas available for separate materials to be added in a later step.
Grey rubber pieces molded in the Nike texture pattern were then installed in the main tread blocks.
Red/orange rubber materials were created and installed to form a series of paddles down the center of the tire.
The sidewall design features a BFG mark at the top and the Nike ACG (All Conditions Gear) graphic and logo followed by the brand T/A at the bottom.
The tires showcase an aggressive design featuring multiple colors and tread patterns, patterned after the design elements found in many of NIKE's most popular ACG athletic shoes.
'This is a first for BFGoodrich Tires and NIKE,' said Bob Massa, concept project leader for BFGoodrich Tires. 'Never before have a tire company and an athletic footwear company teamed up to produce an actual tire. We have enjoyed working together on this project to show people what can be achieved with a little creativity and initiative.'
This project represents the first time that NIKE has been involved with the design of a vehicle and tire. A team from NIKE's 'Innovation Kitchen,' expert designers based in Portland, Oreg., worked side-by-side with engineers and designers from BFGoodrich Tires and GM on the design and production of the tires.
BFGoodrich Tires is known for designing and manufacturing some of the world's most popular and successful off-road tires for use both on the road and the race course. With 18 consecutive wins in the world's most challenging desert race, the Baja 1000, BFGoodrich Tires has proven that it builds its racing success into every off-road tire that it produces.
BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering high-performance tires for every type of vehicle from ultra-high performance tuner vehicles, sports cars and SÚVs to the hottest sport trucks, pick-ups and rock-crawling rigs in the world.
For more than 30 years, BFGoodrich has used motorsports as a proving ground. Success on the street begins with winning on the track and BFGoodrich is involved in every type of racing, including oval, road, drag, desert and extreme rock-crawling. With 18 consecutive Baja 1000 wins, the most rock-crawling wins in history and an unmatched record on pavement, BFGoodrich Tires has proven the only records it breaks are its own. Visit BFGoodrich Tires online at www.bfgoodrichtires.com.Source - BFGoodrich Media