Automobile production is an outrageously expensive endeavor, and without proper resource management, waste can quickly pile up. As such, General Motors streamlines the process through parts sharing, just like every other major automaker out there. However, modern GM parts sharing practices are a bit different from those of the past, as outlined in the following GM Authority Exclusive.
Indeed, the GM of today has come a long way from the GM of the past. The old GM was notorious for badge engineering, or rather, slapping a new badge on a vehicle and calling it something completely different. Just a few examples include the Chevrolet Aveo and Pontiac G3, as well as the Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT.
Luckily, things are different these days, as The General now makes a greater effort to differentiate vehicles that include some GM parts sharing. For instance, a casual observer would be hard-pressed to tell that the new Chevrolet Blazer rides on the same platform as the GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT5, or Cadillac XT6.
To explain GM’s thinking on the matter, we spoke with sources involved in GM’s product planning operations, who succinctly summed up the modern GM parts sharing strategy in a single sentence: “Share the stuff that the customer can’t see.”
The most obvious application of this strategy is with regard to the mechanical bits, such as the engines and transmissions, as well as the electrical system or any other “hidden” vehicle feature.
Meanwhile, the “seen” features, such as the exterior and interior, are typically more differentiated. A good example of this would be the C1 platform crossovers already mentioned, or the Alpha platforms vehicles, which include the Cadillac ATS and CTS, as well as the Chevrolet Camaro.
What are your thoughts on modern GM parts sharing? Is it more hidden now than it was at times in the past? Let us know by posting your opinions in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for ongoing GM news coverage.