USA: Dayton gears up for stretched GM SUVs
A General Motors factory in Dayton, Ohio, is gearing up to build seven-seat versions of popular new mid-sized (outside the USA, read "large") SUVs, Associated Press (AP) said.
The plant will begin producing pilot Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL vehicles in early April, with dealer-ready models expected later that month, AP said, adding that full production will be reached by late May.
Production of the new SUVs will not result in more jobs at the 4,100 worker plant GM officials told AP.
AP said that the TrailBlazer EXT and Envoy XL are 16 inches longer than the standard models and have a third-row seat that boosts seating capacity to from five to seven passengers.
They also add 20 cubic feet of cargo space, and have a larger rear door, a modified second-row seat that allows easy access to the back of the vehicle and a separate heating and air conditioning system for rear passengers, AP added.
Plant spokeswoman Janell Smith told AP that initially about 22 percent of production will be dedicated to the extended versions. The plant makes 1,200 SUVs per day, AP said.
This autumn, AP said, the plant will begin to also assemble the Isuzu Ascender, replacing the long-serving Japanese-built Trooper.