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The Coronavirus Has Frozen The Auto Industry In Place, And Suppliers Are Begging To Receive Memos

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The COVID-19 coronavirus catastrophe has automakers like on the back foot doing everything they can to save money. It was made public that they would close plants and adjust worker pay, but with all of these facilities closed, these measures are likely also affecting vehicle development. Per The Detroit News, our suspicions are confirmed. General Motors is sending notices to its suppliers to stop work on tooling and other deliverables ahead of the planned product rollouts that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The most significant of which is the refresh of the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks.

The decision also effects plans for the Chevrolet Camaro, for reasons not entirely clear (perhaps the minor 2021 Camaro updates discovered recently). A future variant of the Corvette will also will be delayed, at least slightly. It’s likely to be in reference to the C8 Z06.

“All our development teams around the globe are looking for opportunities to conserve resources by adjusting program timing and deferring spending,” GM told the newspaper.

However, certain vehicle programs are deemed too valuable to suspend. Work on vehicles such as the T1 utility vehicles (2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, 2021 GMC Yukon family and 2021 Cadillac Escalade) will be done however possible, although the launch timeline will be pushed back due to plant closures. GM’s future electric vehicle programs will also keep to schedule. This includes the upcoming Hummer EV pickup truck and SUV, as well as their “Ultium” battery technology.

2021 GMC Yukon
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The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are scheduled to receive much-needed interior updates that are expected to resemble the cabins of the all-new Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.

The Trump Administration extended CDC guidelines until April 30 as of Monday March 30. These recommend against gatherings larger than 10 people, suggest people work at home, and urge older people and anyone with existing health problems to stay home.

Other automakers will likely be dealing with similar vehicle program delays.

GM has not provided an estimate on when it will resume production and vehicle development. The automaker has otherwise been moving as fast as it can to tool and produce much-needed ventilators in collaboration with Ventec Life Systems at cost in Kokomo, Indiana. Separately, it will also be making masks at a facility in Warren, Michigan. General Motors has also mandated an austerity plan for salaried workers that consists of a 20 percent pay cut for those working from home. Salaried workers involved in manufacturing that otherwise can’t do their jobs outside of their respective facilities have been docked 25 percent. GM says it plans to repay workers on the other side of this, with six percent interest on top of it.

2020 GMC Sierra Denali

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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