Hummer: Not Dead Yet?
After revealing that it wasn't able to complete the sale of the Hummer brand to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company, General Motors announced that it would wind down the Hummer brand. Our inside sources say that while Hummer remains on life support, it is not dead yet, with at least a couple of companies showing interest in acquiring the brand and giving it a last minute stay of execution. It may be another month before we know Hummer's fate.
Chrysler Renews Diesel Contract With Cummins
Working together since 1989, Chrysler has once again renewed its diesel engine partnership with Cummins. Since the partnership began, Cummins has supplied over 1.7 million diesel engines for use in heavy-duty Ram trucks, and this new contract is described as a "multiyear extension." Nearly 80 percent of today's Ram HD buyers opt for the 6.7L Cummins I-6 option. We also hear that Chrysler has restarted talks with Cummins to bring the 5.0L light-duty turbodiesel V-6 to the Ram. If you recall, the original contract was voided during Chrysler's bankruptcy.
GM Announces Best-in-Class Diesel Power
Shortly after Ford revealed power ratings of 390 horsepower and 735 lb-ft of torque for its 2011 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel, GM played a game of one-upmanship by revealing that the 2011 6.6L Duramax, known as "LML," will churn out a U-joint-demolishing 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque, a jump of 32 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque over the previous "LMM" Duramax. Rumor has it that Ford may have an ECU upgrade already in the works that would increase the Power Stroke's output above the Duramax. We just love rivalries.
Fabrication Services Promotes OHV Access
With two vehicles in the 2010 Griffin King of the Hammers race, Motorsport Fabrication Services (MFS) of Lincoln, California, may not have won the race, but they insured that wheeled motorized access won big. With a race-a-thon led by MFS and BFGoodrich driver Travis Carpenter in his 4405 "Land-use" race buggy, MFS managed to raise nearly $20,000 for various land-use organizations. Much like a walk-a-thon, for every race mile logged by Carpenter and co-driver Dan Trout, individuals could pledge any amount per mile in the grueling 135-mile race. Pledges could be made to any land use organization of the contributor's choice. Carpenter managed 98 miles before a faulty fuel pump took him out of the race. The second MFS vehicle, number 4407, managed a respectable 28th-place finish. The biggest single contributors in the race-a-thon were the Tin Benders 4x4 club, whose members raised $5,500. 4-Wheel Parts Wholesalers matched the Tin Benders' pledges for a grand total of $11,000 to the Blue Ribbon Coalition, raising more than half of the total amount collected.
Land Rover Defender Replaced in 2014?
One vehicle we have always loved, but only got a taste of in the U.S., is the ubiquitous Land Rover Defender. European publication Autocar is reporting that Land Rover may replace the Defender with an all-new model in 2014. The now-62-year-old nameplate and aging platform won't meet stringent European regulations for much longer and has begun development under the code name "Project Icon." It is possible that the legendary Defender nameplate will not carry on, but some of the iconic styling cues could. Will a revitalized Defender make its way to the States? Only time will tell.
For 2011, GMC will offer a Denali version of its Sierra HD-a first for the brand.
After studying the market, Chrysler has announced that it has canceled the Ram 1500 Hybrid.
We previously reported that a 6.4L version of the Hemi would be appearing in the Ram Heavy Duty trucks, but we recently learned that this is actually the next generation SRT motor.
Spied! Next-generation colorado
Our spies captured the next-generation Colorado out cold-weather testing. This vehicle is expected to be built in Thailand and go on sale internationally at the end of the year. Following Ford's lead of abandoning the segment in the U.S., it is unlikely that this Colorado will be found in U.S. showrooms. The Shreveport, Louisiana, plant that builds the current Colorado is expected to end Colorado production by 2012.
Land Use Notes
Off-Highway Trails Threatened in 11 Western States
A U.S. Department of the Interior document indicates that the agency plans to designate 14 new or expanded national monuments in the western United States. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar provided subsequent assurances that the plans were preliminary and that the Obama Administration would not bypass input from the local communities, governors, and Congress if the plans move forward. Unlike wilderness designations, motorized recreation is permitted within national monuments. However, closing off-highway vehicle (OHV) roads and trails is a frequent byproduct when land receives the National Monument designation. The potential monuments encompass nearly 13 million acres. Targeted lands include popular OHV areas such as the San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa (Utah), Berryessa Snow Mountains and Bodie Hills (California), parts of the Great Basin (Nevada), the Otero Mesa (New Mexico), and the northwest Sonoran Desert (Arizona).
SEMA supports land-use decisions that are reasonable and enjoy local community support. However, SEMA opposes unnecessarily restrictive land-use policies. Under current law, the president may designate national monuments without congressional approval. However, legislation has been introduced in Congress to rescind this option. SEMA is urging Congress to take an active role in determining the size of monuments if such a designation is deemed appropriate, and insure that existing OHV roads and trails be specifically included within the permitted uses on such lands.