Jan 31

GM’s advanced powertrain research consolidated at Pontiac Campus

 

By Philippe Crowe

General Motors announced today it is consolidating four powertrain engineering locations to help speed advanced propulsion development.

The company said it will invest $200 million into its Global Powertrain Engineering Headquarters to build a new 138,000 square-foot test wing, which is expected to be completed during the second half of 2014.

The plan is part of GM’s previously announced commitment to invest $1.5 billion in its North American facilities in 2013.

According to GM, the expansion will enable the company to consolidate work being done at four locations remote to the Pontiac campus, helping to reduce development timing for GM’s next-generation of advanced propulsion technologies.

Once the moves are complete, GM will have added approximately 400 jobs to the Pontiac campus.

Under the expansion plan, engineering development work currently being done at leased facilities in Wixom, Mich.; Castleton, Ind. and Torrance, Calif., will move to Pontiac.

GM Research &Development’s Propulsion Systems Research lab in Warren, Mich. will also relocate to the Pontiac campus.

GM previously announced that work being performed at its hydrogen fuel cell facility in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., would be consolidated in Pontiac in mid-2013.

“These moves will help our entire Powertrain team work more effectively across the organization to develop the powertrain technologies we need to build the world’s best vehicles for our customers around the world,” said Sam Winegarden, GM vice president of Global Engine Engineering.

In addition, GM said the Performance Build Center, currently located at the Wixom facility, will move to GM’s Chevrolet Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky., by the first quarter of 2014.

The new test wing in Pontiac is part of GM’s Powertrain Development Center, used by engineers to bring fuel-saving powertrains to market faster and less expensively because they take less development time. According to GM, the 450,000 sq.-ft. facility is one of the largest and most technically advanced powertrain development centers in the world.

The work GM conducts at its Wixom Advanced Engineering Lab, including electric motor engineering development and performance engineering, will be transferred to Pontiac by mid-2015. The company stated electric motor design and production is a core business for GM in the development and manufacture of electric vehicles.

The Torrance Advanced Technology Center’s work on electric motor and power electronics engineering development will be transferred to Pontiac by the end of 2014. GM considers these technologies key to the future of sustainable transportation.

Heavy-duty transmission, power electronics, hybrid and battery electric drive unit development work done at Castleton will be transferred to Pontiac by mid-2014. GM’s work on heavy-duty transmissions is core to its pickup truck development.

And GM R&D’s Propulsion Systems Research Lab will be relocated to Pontiac during the second half of 2015. GM considers this work critical to providing industry-leading technologies for the company’s engines, transmissions, and hybrid systems.

This wave of Powertrain Engineering consolidation will allow GM to cut 640,000 square feet of floor space and eliminate three leased facilities in the United States.

Ironically, the future of GM powertrains lies in a research campus bearing the name of a former brand it killed a few years back.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 71


  1. 1
    Loboc

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (6:05 am)

    The risk is less innovation due to less diversity. California , for example, has a higher tech vibe than Michigan.


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    James McQuaid

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (6:56 am)

    Those who have clamored for quicker EV roll out should note that this consolidation of engineering efforts will allow for new technology deployments from G.M. Powertrain at a faster pace and less expensively by reducing logistics expense and development time. Electric motor and power electronics engineering development will continue to be staffed by engineers recruited from around the world (including California). Cost cutting through consolidation will enable G.M. to bring less expensive electric vehicles to market.


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    Dave G

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (7:01 am)

    Good move. Getting everyone in the same physical location does make people work together better. There’s more exchange of ideas. I’ve seen many cases where different locations within the same company perceive each other as competitors.


  4. 4
    James McQuaid

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (7:12 am)

    On a completely unrelated note, on January 31st G.M.’s Opel Division plans to officially announce that Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann will become the new Opel CEO. Neumann will begin officially as Opel’s CEO on March 1st. This is of interest here because Neumann is the former chief officer for electric traction for Volkswagen Group of America (where he nurtured driverless cars at the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory at Stanford University). Another good recruitment for G.M.


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    Steve

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (7:13 am)

    Not so good news for the areas losing the jobs. Might be good for R+D, might not.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (7:21 am)

    James McQuaid: Electric motor and power electronics engineering development will continue to be staffed by engineers recruited from around the world (including California).

    This got me to thinking…

    The 2013 Chevy Volt sticker says:

    FOR VEHICLES IN THIS CARLINE:
    U.S./CANADIAN PARTS CONTENT: 45%
    MAJOR SOURCES OF FOREIGN PARTS CONTENT:
    JAPAN 18%
    KOREA 17%
    NOTE: PARTS CONTENT DOES NOT INCLUDE FINAL ASSEMBLY, DISTRIBUTION, OR OTHER NON-PARTS COSTS.
    FOR THIS VEHICLE:
    FINAL ASSEMBLY POINT:
    DETROIT, MI U.S.A.
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
    ENGINE: UNITED STATES
    TRANSMISSION (ELECTRIC DRIVE UNIT): JAPAN

    Is this right? If so does anyone know who makes the Volt’s electric motors?


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    WVhybrid

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (7:22 am)

    Having lived through such R&D relocations, there well may be improvements over the long term. However, over the short term most of the relocated shutdowns will suffer disruptions. For instance, will many folks from California really relocated to Pontiac? My guess, there will be up to a year lost to some programs as new labs are brought up to speed and new people hired.

    Probably less than 50% of the personnel will transfer to the new location.

    WVhybrid


  8. 8
    Dave G

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (7:44 am)

    WVhybrid: Having lived through such R&D relocations, there well may be improvements over the long term. However, over the short term most of the relocated shutdowns will suffer disruptions.

    Right. This move verifies that GM believes advanced power trains are important over the long term.


  9. 9
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (7:48 am)

    I see good news for the consolidation of resources for the research, development, and testing of new electrical powertrains. But, as one who presently lives in a tropical paradise, I have visited and driven in Michigan, and personally felt the cold winters (especially this winter) that it and other north-central states suffer. I know and understand that the people being relocated from California or other warmer states may not like or even survive this change, and may not want to relocate. The worst situation is a resignation of a valuable employee because of unavailability or denial to relocate.

    GM doesn’t need to physically relocate every resource. We now have virtual meetings and remote sharing of information (I give IBM as the world’s biggest example) such that ideas, decisions, and even salutations may flow across our huge wired and wireless networks. Using remote services actually saves money, because there is no travel or physical movements. I strongly recommend GM to reevaluate the personnel relocation, especially for employees with children and other special needs, and use remote services instead.

    Raymond


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    Jim Fallston Md.

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:06 am)

    GM has been building an annex to the Allison transmission plant in White Marsh Md. that is slated to build electric motors for the EV products. It may even be up and running by now.


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    James

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:13 am)

    Safety is an ultimate concern, but when a battery exploded at a GM Warren, Mich. test center I took
    it as a positive sign that GM was working hard, moving forward and pushing the envelope in lithium
    battery development. I think we all here know this is necessary – to take EREVs, PHEVs and BEVs to
    the next level and insure a long future of air our kids can breathe and the end of dependency upon
    other countrys for our well-being.

    Today’s news is another strong sign to me that GM may just be serious about developing cars that use less petroleum, make friends of it’s customers and become relevant ( again ) as a leader and
    not follower ( Ford ) in automotive transportation science. Relocating engineers and specialists,
    researchers and developers of new technology is a must. Sorry, but telecommuting and teleconferencing never took the place of hands-on development of any technology. Consolidation
    and local experimentation is a hands-on must. It’s crucialfor GM to develop light hybrid vehicles that can compete with Hybrid Synergy Drive which is the most cost-effective system out there today that middle-class North Americans can actually buy to get away from high fuel costs. GM has nothing to compare today with HSD and that
    price/performance category, which is the sweet-spot for fuel conservency.

    This test center can become a hub from which much progress can be made towards
    industry leading cars, trucks and industrial vehicles ( and military vehicles ) – perhaps
    a Silicon Valley of modern transportation. Toyota and Ford are kicking GM’s butt in these
    markets and GM needs this to become competitive.

    ( Plug In ) Power To The People! ,

    James


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    Tim Hart

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:25 am)

    I especially liked “electric motor design and production is a core business for GM”–music to my ears!


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    kdawg

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:48 am)

    Raymondjram: But, as one who presently lives in a tropical paradise, I have visited and driven in Michigan, and personally felt the cold winters (especially this winter) that it and other north-central states suffer. I know and understand that the people being relocated from California or other warmer states may not like or even survive this change, and may not want to relocate.

    Hey what are you sayin’ about Michigan? Below is a picture from this morning’s commute.

    Seriously though, to each their own. My sister grew up in Michigan, but has lived 20 years in Florida now, misses the seasons. One of my friends relocated from California 10 years ago and he loves it here. Winters can be cold, but the summer is perfect. (jeeze I sound like a “Pure Michigan” ad)

    Winter_zpsca3dcdf4.jpg


  14. 14
    Charlie H

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:55 am)

    Dave G: Right. This move verifies that GM believes advanced power trains are important over the long term.

    This particular move? Not really. It could be that they’re simply trying for an R&D budget reduction. Or, maybe they think centralizing facilities allows them some leverage in terms of productivity or fixed-cost reductions that can be plowed into people and tech. But they will suffer in the short-term (I’ve seen this done, and the work suffers) and recovery might take a very long time.

    It could also be that the centers being closed are doing things that GM thinks will not be particularly productive or useful in the long term or that they’re doing something that doesn’t need to be one of GM’s core competencies. Maybe GM has determined that they’ll just go on the market and purchase certain technologies (batteries, fuel cells, whatever) and focus on making cars out of certain parts sourced elsewhere.


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    Raymondjram

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (9:04 am)

    James:
    Relocating engineers and specialists, researchers and developers of new technology is a must. Sorry, but telecommuting and teleconferencing never took the place of hands-on development of any technology. Consolidation and local experimentation is a hands-on must.

    James

    I stand behind my point of view. I mentioned IBM because they are the largest computer manufacturer (being in business for 100 years), so they have the world’s largest research team in over 100 countries. IBM was the pioneer in many devices that we take as granted, but were first applied in their large systems, such that every computer that exists has an IBM idea inside them. You all know that the Volt has IBM software inside (ask GM if you don’t believe me).

    So IBM did have to take in consideration their vast range of resources, covering the entire world. Every day IBM employees and contractors communicate with every electronic means in existence, and they don’t travel much. They often give support and service remotely to their customers through the networks, saving money and travel. Only a part replacement is when travel is used (mostly for the part, not the IBM engineer).

    GM knows this, and we know that most new technology is developed and tested on computers, which can work anywhere. So if I were a GM engineer, most of my work can be done one my local or on any remote GM computer, using IBM’s example and their products (both software and hardware). The Chevy Volt is one example where GM used IBM software to develop its control systems, and I can certify that most was done remotely.

    The final step is testing, and that may need physical test. This may be the only reason where a physical contact of the engineer is required with the system he/she developed. But it proves that personnel relocation is not always needed.

    Would anyone here visit Jeff Cobb in person to summit their comments in a written form on paper? See how efficient telecommunications is for us? Same goes for any business that works with technology. Remote research, management, and development does work.

    Raymond


  16. 16
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (9:22 am)

    kdawg,

    Thanks for the cold reminder. I am originally from Manhattan, New York, so I went through many NYC winters, suffering the cold morning walks to school (a mile on foot) and tugging my younger brother and sister with me. I have also visited many American cities in winter and tasted cold there, too. I stayed a week near Novi for a Tandem Computer training in 1989, so I did drive in Michigan winter for six days. I drove to Detroit the seventh day and toured the city before returning home.

    Now I live in one of America’s tropical paradises and I visit NYC once every decade. My last winter experience was in 2005, and I missed seeing the entire Intrepid Museum because snow covered the deck. I do not miss the snow!

    But I do feel for you fellow members who are traveling and driving in the snow this winter because I have done it.

    Raymond


  17. 17
    kdawg

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (9:30 am)

    Raymondjram: You all know that the Volt has IBM software inside (ask GM if you don’t believe me).

    They used the “Rational” software to whip the Volt out in 29 months
    http://www-01.ibm.com/software/rational/announce/volt/

    This was a new precedence for fully developing a car. I wonder what the new timeline goals will be with this consolidation?

    Raymond, I understand your point, and I think it is a good one when talking about IT and other related jobs. However I have to side with face to face, elbow to elbow, interaction when it comes to engineering things like cars (and car plants from experience). Note, GM is a global company and does many, if not all the things you describe, involving telecommuting. But I like the idea of all the ‘brains” under one roof regarding advanced powertrain. No more waiting 3 hours so you can call California, or California having to wait till the next morning to call because the East coast went home already. And no more useless email chains. If you need to talk to someone, you walk 20ft to their office and settle the matter.

    This is just my personal experience dealing w/engineering automation, and working with auto manufacturers. Much more gets solved at face to face meetings than 100 emails/phone calls. Our IT dept on the other hand is remotely logging in from everywhere to solve issues, and I don’t think they would benefit as much from being located next to other IT people.


  18. 18
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (9:30 am)

    kdawg @ 13

    LOL!


  19. 19
    Dave G

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (9:51 am)

    kdawg: However I have to side with face to face, elbow to elbow, interaction when it comes to engineering things like cars (and car plants from experience).

    Yes, but it’s not so much the planned meetings. You can do that remotely.

    It’s walking down the hall and overhearing a conversation that may involve you. Or maybe you’re at your desk and you hear someone’s voice, and that makes you remember you need to talk with them about something else. Putting people physically together encourages communication that may not have taken place otherwise.


  20. 20
    James

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (10:40 am)

    A $200 R&D wing just might be a nice magnet to attract young, fresh thinking recruits from institutions of learning worldwide with talented minds interested in a career at such
    a facility.

    I live a stone’s throw from Redmond, WA, home of Microsoft. I remember the swift expansion
    of the many Microsoft “campuses” in the Seattle area and reading how the newness and
    new thinking was attracting the best minds and how the workplace was structured to be
    open, casual with all the amentities, so workers felt comfortable working incredibly long
    hours – generally, volunteering for the “team”. We remember the new terms being coined
    for such recruiting of young minds – they called Microsoft “The Velvet Sweatshop”.

    Today, Microsoft is filled with Indian engineers, you can see them everywhere. When I stop
    and ask them, it’s Microsoft’s current policy of “insourcing” of foreign talent, which is
    cheaper for them to provide careers, housing and a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
    This is the world today – take it or leave it. You’ll notice all the news today about
    ” creating pathways to citizenship”. Microsoft has been doing this for years now. Basically
    it’s cheaper to recruit from abroad than hire young American kids.

    GM may be taking note.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  21. 21
    James

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (10:41 am)

    * $200 million ….

    Note: There is no editing feature today – I’m using Explorer.


  22. 22
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:15 am)

    Raymondjram: I stand behind my point of view.I mentioned IBM because they are the large

    There’s a big difference between software and hardware. Software can be developed on a very diverse campus……and so can hardware. It’s just a lot more inefficient.

    Case in point:

    When I was an ME at Honeywell in commercial APU’s my job was modeling the APU’s performance. My job was also to compare the tested engines performance with the computer model and make adjustments to the model and to the hardware.

    So I spent a lot of time in the test cell too.

    When my office was located within walking distance of the test cell it was perfect. Very efficient…….but then:

    Engineering was relocated blocks down the street and not within walking distance. This meant I either had to drive my car or take the company shuttle back and forth between my office and the test cell. I would say that each trip increased my time of transpotation by about 20 minutes.

    2 trips then was 40 minutes out of an 8 hour day for a total loss in productivity of at least 10%


  23. 23
    Charlie H

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:17 am)

    Tim Hart: I especially liked “electric motor design and production is a core business for GM”–music to my ears!

    I don’t know about that. It’s GM’s business to run, of course, but I don’t know that this should be one of their strategies, perhaps electric motors should not be a core competency. Here’s a few things that should be considered:

    - They’re already highly efficient, GM could put a lot of money into improving efficiency but every other electric motor manufacturer on the market would like to improve efficiency and is probably actively pursuing that. It would likely take GM a while to ramp up expertise to match other vendors.
    - There are many sources, so prices on the open market should be competitive.
    - Manufacture of electric motors is significantly different than, say, an ICE or a body-stamping; it will take time for GM to match the manufacturing investment, expertise and cost management of the outside vendors. There is a risk that they may never catch up.
    - I’m sure GM would like motors uniquely tailored to their use but are these unique differences significant enough to make it infeasible to source them on the market?

    GM may think there’s significant technological or manufacturing leverage to be gained here but, given the maturity of the electric motor industry, it’s hard to imagine what that might be.


  24. 24
    Zeede

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:36 am)

    I dunno, if GM was paying for the move, I know a lot of people who would relish the thought of getting out of California.

    Sure, the weather is awesome, but we have ridiculously high taxes, awful traffic, insane gun laws and some of the worst politicians to walk the earth.

    The worst is San Francisco, who had a governor that ignored a direct-injunction against him, and a DA who apparently doesn’t know about the 4th Amendment.


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:53 am)

    Zeede: Sure, the weather is awesome, but we have ridiculously high taxes, awful traffic, insane gun laws and some of the worst politicians to walk the earth.

    I’ll drink to that!!!!

    Many large companies and millionaires have left brokeazz California because of the high taxes, regulations, etc…….

    @DaveG #6, Last I heard the electric motors were built in Japan.

    /I could be wrong.


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    Noel Park

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:54 am)

    WVhybrid: For instance, will many folks from California really relocated to Pontiac?

    #7

    Having toured the Torrance facility, I met several engineers there who came to GM years ago from Hughes. I’s hard to see them going to MI for the reasons Raymond mentions. On the other hand, I’m sure that housing prices are a LOT cheaper. Anyway, we will miss them.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:56 am)

    James: It’s crucialfor GM to develop light hybrid vehicles that can compete with Hybrid Synergy Drive which is the most cost-effective system out there today that middle-class North Americans can actually buy to get away from high fuel costs. GM has nothing to compare today with HSD and that
    price/performance category, which is the sweet-spot for fuel conservency.

    #11

    I’ve long felt that way as well. +1


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:57 am)

    kdawg: (jeeze I sound like a “Pure Michigan” ad)

    Damn!
    kdawg got madd Photoshop Skillz!!!


  29. 29
    kdawg

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:18 pm)

    Charlie H: – They’re already highly efficient, GM could put a lot of money into improving efficiency but every other electric motor manufacturer on the market would like to improve efficiency and is probably actively pursuing that. It would likely take GM a while to ramp up expertise to match other vendors.

    I don’t think it about efficiency. Its about matching performance to the application (full control of the design/product). GM is already doing this, no catching up required. And have already increased results over “commercial” motors.

    http://gm-volt.com/2011/10/28/gm-shows-off-electric-motors-for-spark-ev-and-more/
    101_PM_All_Chevy_white-1024×688.jpg

    Charlie H: – There are many sources, so prices on the open market should be competitive.

    Electric motor design is a proprietary/custom component. I don’t think you want one from Ebay. They could work w/a vendor, but in this case, they have decided to do it themselves. I think this is smart because electric motors are becoming the new ICE. GM would not let others design their ICE’s.

    Give GM engineers some credit.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:27 pm)

    Zeede: I dunno, if GM was paying for the move, I know a lot of people who would relish the thought of getting out of California.

    The worst is San Francisco, who had a governor that ignored a direct-injunction against him, and a DA who apparently doesn’t know about the 4th Amendment.

    LOL, my friend just relocated last week from Michigan to SF. He was shocked at the price of rent/houses.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:30 pm)

    kdawg: (jeeze I sound like a “Pure Michigan” ad)

    #13

    Yeah, kinda, LOL. +1

    It is nice to see GM’s loyalty to MI in bucking the trend toward sort of “de-industrialization”. Yours too, come to that.


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    kdawg

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:31 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: Damn!
    kdawg got madd Photoshop Skillz!!!

    Wish I could claim credit for that one.

    Here’s another popular Michigan pic that goes around. (yes this is an actual city in MI)

    hell_freeze_zps182b7e39.jpg


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:32 pm)

    kdawg: I think this is smart because electric motors are becoming the new ICE. GM would not let others design their ICE’s.

    Give GM engineers some credit.

    #29

    Amen. 1


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:33 pm)

    kdawg: They could work w/a vendor, but in this case, they have decided to do it themselves.

    Are you sure? The Volt’s stciker says the “electric drive unit” is made in Japan. See my post #6.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:33 pm)

    Noel Park: Amen. 1

    #33

    “+1″ !@#$%^ no edit!


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    nasaman

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:46 pm)

    kdawg: Zeede: I dunno, if GM was paying for the move, I know a lot of people who would relish the thought of getting out of California.

    The worst is San Francisco, who had a governor that ignored a direct-injunction against him, and a DA who apparently doesn’t know about the 4th Amendment.

    LOL, my friend just relocated last week from Michigan to SF. He was shocked at the price of rent/houses.

    Hey, guys, I’m an eye witness to multiple 100′s of key engineers living in California then relocating to Florida after they’d spent a week or more at KSC and became aware that Florida is a viable answer to the great-climate/housing-cost issue. Walt Disney was among among the first, but certainly not the only one to realize this. (And I’m not as biased as you might think, having lived half my career in Florida and the other half in California.) To me and many others, Florida W/ NO STATE INCOME TAX & FAIRLY CHEAP HOMES, really IS the “New California”! (BUT DON’T TELL ANYONE —WE’RE ALREADY GROWING AT AN INSANELY FAST RATE!)


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    kdawg

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (12:55 pm)

    Dave G: Are you sure? The Volt’s stciker says the “electric drive unit” is made in Japan. See my post #6

    Yeah, i saw it. That’s the Volt’s drive unit (not sure if that includes the traction motor too, but the motor could be made in Korea for all I know). The Maryland batteries are for the Spark and can spin off into any of the other motors in a car (maybe the Volt eventually). Cars can have 100 electric motors in them, so there’s lots of options.

    Here’s a good Forbes article of an interview with Jon Lauckner. He talks about how they will do in-house development/patenting on products that are more likely to turn into innovation, and use vendors & outside partners for other R&D (mentions LG Chem for batteries/motors/electronics). This may explain the consolidation in today’s post, and dumping a bunch of real-estate scattered around the US.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2013/01/13/how-gm-lost-and-found-the-path-to-innovation/


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:00 pm)

    nasaman: WE’RE ALREADY GROWING AT AN INSANELY FAST RATE!

    Meanwhile, Michigan is the only state to lose population in the last decade.
    (interestingly the movie industry has picked up a lot here, weird)

    mipop_zpsa21ab277.jpg


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    BLIND GUY

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:01 pm)

    Alittle OT: I watched an excellent doc. On Henry Ford on PBS a couple of days ago. I found the building of the Ford Empire very fascinating and well worth watching. I found myself admiring H.F. and despising him at the same time.


  40. 40
    Kent

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:01 pm)

    nasaman: To me and many others, Florida W/ NO STATE INCOME TAX & FAIRLY CHEAP HOMES, really IS the “New California”! (BUT DON’T TELL ANYONE —WE’RE ALREADY GROWING AT AN INSANELY FAST RATE!)

    OJ realized this too!


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:03 pm)

    Zeede:
    I dunno, if GM was paying for the move, I know a lot of people who would relish the thought of getting out of California.

    Sure, the weather is awesome, but we have ridiculously high taxes, awful traffic, insane gun laws and some of the worst politicians to walk the earth.

    The worst is San Francisco, who had a governor that ignored a direct-injunction against him, and a DA who apparently doesn’t know about the 4th Amendment.

    CaptJackSparrow: I’ll drink to that!!!!

    Many large companies and millionaires have left brokeazz California because of the high taxes, regulations, etc…….

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!


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    kdawg

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:07 pm)

    kdawg: not sure if that includes the traction motor too

    Talking to myself here, but looks like the motors are considered part of the drive unit.
    ————-
    Positioned under the hood, the electric drive unit packages a pair of electric motors and a multi-mode transaxle with continuously variable capability. Inside the drive unit, a large electric drive motor propels the vehicle while a smaller, second electric motor serves as a generator to keep the battery pack at its minimum charge level and assists the drive motor with propulsion, based on performance, speed and efficiency requirements.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:53 pm)

    James: Basically it’s cheaper to recruit from abroad than hire young American kids.

    I don’t think it’s cheaper, it’s just that there aren’t enough American kids wanting to be engineers.

    This is a cultural thing. In America, engineers are called nerds, geeks, etc. American movies generally depict engineers as being psychologically unbalanced. Many other jobs pay better in the U.S. than engineering.

    In India, engineers are like doctors and lawyers, highly respected and highly paid, so it’s no surprise many more Indian kids want to be engineers.

    With a shortage of American engineering graduates, American companies can either:
    1) Hire foreigners, or
    2) Move the jobs oversees


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    Charlie H

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:55 pm)

    kdawg: I don’t think it about efficiency. Its about matching performance to the application (full control of the design/product). GM is already doing this, no catching up required. And have already increased results over “commercial” motors.http://gm-volt.com/2011/10/28/gm-shows-off-electric-motors-for-spark-ev-and-more/Electric motor design is a proprietary/custom component. I don’t think you want one from Ebay. They could work w/a vendor, but in this case, they have decided to do it themselves. I think this is smart because electric motors are becoming the new ICE. GM would not let others design their ICE’s.Give GM engineers some credit.

    I give GM’s engineers a lot of credit. This, however, is an exectuvive decision. Those guys, I don’t trust so much.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:56 pm)

    kdawg: Talking to myself here, but looks like the motors are considered part of the drive unit

    If anyone hasn’t seen it, here’s a sample 2013 Volt sticker:
    2013ChevyVoltSticker_zpsa4a0fcc6.jpg


  46. 46
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    Jan 31st, 2013 (1:58 pm)

    Dave G: I don’t think it’s cheaper, it’s just that there aren’t enough American kids wanting to be engineers.This is a cultural thing. In America, engineers are called nerds, geeks, etc. American movies generally depict engineers as being psychologically unbalanced. Many other jobs pay better in the U.S. than engineering.In India, engineers are like doctors and lawyers, highly respected and highly paid, so it’s no surprise many more Indian kids want to be engineers.With a shortage of American engineering graduates, American companies can either:1) Hire foreigners, or2) Move the jobs oversees

    A family member is an engineer (EE/CSEE Master’s degree). He had a difficult time finding an engineering job and the one he found doesn’t pay all that well.

    From this desk, it looks like companies hire abroad because they can get the labor for 60 to 75 cents on the dollar.


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    Kent

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (2:12 pm)

    Charlie H: A family member is an engineer (EE/CSEE Master’s degree). He had a difficult time finding an engineering job and the one he found doesn’t pay all that well.

    From this desk, it looks like companies hire abroad because they can get the labor for 60 to 75 cents on the dollar.

    I’m not arguing with you but I tend to see the opposite. I’m an accountant but since 1994 I’ve been working in high-tech or bio-tech companies in the Silicon Valley and the engineers that we recruit are treated as Gods! They have the highest salaries outside of Executives and they get the best equipment. The engineers are the bread-and-butter of these businesses and the companies usually have to pay top dollar to retain/recruit them. When we recruit from overseas, not only do we pay them high US/Silicon Valley salaries, but we sponsor their H-1 visas, pay to relocate their families and many times even pay for private schooling for their kids.

    As for not having any American engineering students/graduates, that’s probably because we can’t get in to the classes that we need to complete the education. My kids and nephews have friends that are in engineering programs at the CA State Universities and it’s taking them 7-8 years to graduate with what should normally be a 4-year degree. Like Cap’n Jack says, we’re broke as hell but yet somehow our universities seems to find the funding to grant scholarships to undocumented immigrants.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (2:22 pm)

    Charlie H: I give GM’s engineers a lot of credit. This, however, is an exectuvive decision. Those guys, I don’t trust so much.

    Yeah, I hear you.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (2:53 pm)

    Dave G: If anyone hasn’t seen it, here’s a sample 2013 Volt sticker:

    And on the 2011 and some 2012′s the engine was from Austria.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (3:56 pm)

    Dave G,

    Dave G,

    kdawg,

    I didn’t quite follow what you guys concluded about the electric motors in the Volt. I thought they were Remy (or Delco Remy ) Motors made in the US by Remy but what did you guys conclude??


  51. 51
    Steve

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (4:16 pm)

    Dave G: I don’t think it’s cheaper, it’s just that there aren’t enough American kids wanting to be engineers.

    This is a cultural thing.In America, engineers are called nerds, geeks, etc.American movies generally depict engineers as being psychologically unbalanced.Many other jobs pay better in the U.S. than engineering.

    In India, engineers are like doctors and lawyers, highly respected and highly paid, so it’s no surprise many more Indian kids want to be engineers.

    With a shortage of American engineering graduates, American companies can either:1) Hire foreigners, or2) Move the jobs oversees

    The instability of many engineering jobs make many leave the field. When an industry goes through a downturn and lays off bunches of engineers, student think twice about studying engineering. Hence next cycle you have a “shortage” of engineers… Look at the employmnet situation in Florida for aerospace. Lots of talented people looking for work while we pay the Russians to fly our astronauts to the ISS in large part built by us.

    Been there done that. have now been in an entirely different field for as long as I worked as an engineeer. Being self-employed, I don’t worry about layoffs. I know quite a few others that left the field to do something else.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (4:25 pm)

    nasaman,

    I know that is true. My mother, sister and brother moved there to Ft. Lauderdale. My Dad still lives in Laredo, TX, and I stayed in Puerto Rico. But I travel a lot to Florida. My first trip was on April 13, 1981 (after the first Columbia launch) and I plan to visit Florida again soon.

    Raymond


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (4:51 pm)

    Steve: The instability of many engineering jobs make many leave the field. When an industry goes through a downturn and lays off bunches of engineers, student think twice about studying engineering.

    Sometimes you just have “The Knack” :)

    Classic Dilbert

    “I’m afraid your son has….. the knack”

    “The knack? Can he lead a normal life?”

    “No, he’ll be an engineer.”

    http://youtu.be/CmYDgncMhXw


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (4:54 pm)

    George S. Bower: I didn’t quite follow what you guys concluded about the electric motors in the Volt. I thought they were Remy (or Delco Remy ) Motors made in the US by Remy but what did you guys conclude??

    I don’t think we concluded anything?

    Jeff – there’s an investigative assignment for you: where are the traction motors sourced from? (unless some one here knows for certain). My guess is Japan.


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    Noel Park

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (5:15 pm)

    Kent: OJ realized this too!

    #40

    LOL. +1

    But he’s back in Nevada now!


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (5:45 pm)

    Noel Park: #40

    LOL.+1

    But he’s back in Nevada now!

    Not by choice…


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:08 pm)

    kdawg,

    I’ll see how easy this is to find out …


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:16 pm)

    nasaman,

    If NASA engineers move from California to Florida, they should agree to a pay cut. I don’t want to pay for more Teslas and Fiskers, which they might buy with their savings on housing, etc. They get paid with taxpayer money, you know.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:19 pm)

    George S. Bower: I didn’t quite follow what you guys concluded about the electric motors in the Volt. I thought they were Remy (or Delco Remy ) Motors made in the US by Remy but what did you guys conclude??

    2013ChevyVoltSticker2_zpse4472b0d.jpg


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:22 pm)

    Kent: Not by choice…

    #56

    Yeah, courtesy of the Las Vegas PD, LOL. So much the better. Speaking as a SoCal resident, I hope he stays there for a good long time.


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    Kent

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:23 pm)

    OT: What’s up with these annoying pop-up ads??


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:23 pm)

    Dave G,

    Do we know who makes it in Japan? Just curious.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:26 pm)

    Kent: OT: What’s up with these annoying pop-up ads??

    #64

    No s**t! +1

    They have gone berserk today for sure. ANNOYING is being very polite. Pain in the a*s is more like it .


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:29 pm)

    Kent: OT: What’s up with these annoying pop-up ads??

    I’m glad somebody else is getting those. I thought maybe I had an infection of some type.


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    Roy_H

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (8:34 pm)

    Charlie H,

    You obviously are NOT an electrical engineer. You write a technical opinion based on almost no knowledge and come to the wrong conclusions.

    The electric motor industry had not seen any significant improvement for over 50 years until automakers, particularly GM got involved in the 1990s. The high efficiency you talk about for a “standard” electric motor is only true at a specified rpm and load. At other conditions the efficiency drops off dramatically. GM motors, Tesla, and a few others are vastly superior in power to weight (at least 4 to 1) Old fashion 100 hp motors weighed tons!

    The Volt motor may be built in Japan, but it was designed in Michigan by GM engineers. GM has a lot of knowledge about electric motors and is quite right to make it core competency.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (9:28 pm)

    BLIND GUY:
    Alittle OT:I watched an excellent doc. On Henry Ford on PBS a couple of days ago.I found the building of the Ford Empire very fascinating and well worth watching.I found myself admiring H.F. and despising him at the same time.

    That was “American Experience,” was it not? I felt a lot of sadness on behalf of his son, Edsel. The old man did incredible things during his life, but really went megalomaniac in the latter half of his life, didn’t he? And what was up with all that hyperparanoid anti-semitism?

    For those interested, the entire 2-hour show is available on PBS’ website, on demand. Link:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2329934360


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (9:35 pm)

    Noel Park: #64

    No s**t!+1

    They have gone berserk today for sure.ANNOYING is being very polite.Pain in the a*s is more like it .

    Not to mention the javascript and .EXEs execution attempts. Avast has already blocked several for me, which it categorized as Trojan Horse attempts.

    JEFF… I strongly suggest you have a talk with your advertisers ASAP.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (10:23 pm)

    Noel Park: Do we know who makes it in Japan?

    No idea.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (10:48 pm)

    BLIND GUY: Alittle OT: I watched an excellent doc. On Henry Ford on PBS a couple of days ago. I found the building of the Ford Empire very fascinating and well worth watching. I found myself admiring H.F. and despising him at the same time.

    Ford’s Model T changed everything. It wasn’t so much the car itself, it’s the way it was made. The Model T didn’t introduce dramatic new technology for the engine, brakes, etc.. Manufacturing engineering transformed the car industry.

    Today, 100 years later, I think we’re in a similar situation. Many believe new battery technology will lower costs for plug-ins. They’re waiting for some research guy to cost reduce batteries. I don’t think so. I think it will be more like the way Henry Ford did it, through manufacturing engineering. Specifically, I think we’ll see big cost reductions in Li/Ion batteries, mostly due to signifncant changes in the way they’re manufactured at every step, from extracting raw materials to assembling the packs.


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    Jan 31st, 2013 (10:57 pm)

    kdawg,

    I don’t know for certain but I recall hearing that the Volt motors are from Japan largerly due to the tight timing of the first generation Volt. However going foward GM does plan to design and build their own EV motors. The Spark EV motor is/will be designed and built by GM in the US.


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    gary

     

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    Jan 31st, 2013 (11:09 pm)

    My sticker says engine: united states
    transmission (electric drive unit): United States.

    The 2012 Chevy Volt sticker says:

    FOR VEHICLES IN THIS CARLINE:
    U.S./CANADIAN PARTS CONTENT: 46%
    MAJOR SOURCES OF FOREIGN PARTS CONTENT:
    KOREA 17%

    NOTE: PARTS CONTENT DOES NOT INCLUDE FINAL ASSEMBLY, DISTRIBUTION, OR OTHER NON-PARTS COSTS.
    FOR THIS VEHICLE:
    FINAL ASSEMBLY POINT:
    DETROIT, MI U.S.A.
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
    ENGINE: UNITED STATES
    TRANSMISSION (ELECTRIC DRIVE UNIT): UNITED STATES