General Motors is fixing to launch it’s all-new line of T1 platform SUV products this spring. Because when it comes to the importance of these vehicles for America’s largest automaker, the coronavirus will have to wait. Even as GM has moved mountains and parted oceans to begin the rapid production of much-needed PPE and ventilators, the fact of the matter is that the company still has to build vehicles to stay in business. And these new GM SUVs – the 2021 Tahoe, 2021 Suburban, 2021 Yukon and 2021 Escalade – are responsible for maintaining what is one of the most vital and dominant market segments GM occupies.
Rather surprisingly, GM’s Arlington Texas plant stayed open until early April, where volunteers finished production in the outgoing 2020 models and re-tooled the factory for the new models. Presently, according to The Detroit Free Press, GM is working with the UAW to implement safety protocols to get production up and running for its most important vehicles revealed this year.
Texas began to allow businesses to reopen on April 30.
The safety procedures will mainly be based off GM’s Kokomo, Indiana plant that’s currently making ventilators. Workers will be required to undergo temperature and health screening, use hand sanitizer, and put on a mask before entering the factory. Inside, the workers will have increased emphasis on physical distancing while working and on breaks. There will also be increased sanitizing throughout the work day.
But this is the price automakers must pay in today’s ever-changing world. For the all new full-size 2021 GM SUV family, getting these vehicles into production was key. The new models brought significant updates, chief among which is the switch to independent rear suspension. This frees up room for third row seating and trunk space while improving ride quality.
As if steady pricing, massive improvements in packaging and technology weren’t enough, the massive glut of unused oil set forth by the developed world freezing still – idled factories, grounded aircraft, no-sail orders for cruise ships, and far less vehicle traffic – can also play into the sales appeal of these new 2021 Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, and Escalade. These aren’t hybrids, after all.
As North America approaches what feels like the tail-end of its COVID-19 pandemic, General Motors will have a flurry of new and/or updated products hitting the market. Beyond the T1 utility vehicles, production of the C8 Corvette is set to resume soon. Come autumn a refreshed 2021 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are expected to hit the market. Delayed updates to the Camaro, Silverado and Sierra are also expected to eventually regain traction, as well. Lastly, the debut of the Hummer EV is expected to happen in some form before the year is over, one way or another.