Company hopes fleet of engineers, new powertrains can bolster reputation.
Sharon Terlep - Detroit News - Aug. 25, 2007
With upcoming technology like the “VOLT”, the Sleeping Giant has finally awaken. And none to soon ...
MILFORD -- Dozens of General Motors Corp. engineers clad in look-alike polo shirts stood like an army at the ready Friday in the center of an intricate, science-fair-like display of model engine blocks and transmissions.
The technicians are GM's front line in a campaign to win a reputation as an auto industry technology leader -- an image the company says it needs to survive in the brutally competitive U.S. auto market.
"We know that our success in the future is contingent on delivering technology that is meaningful to society," said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM's hybrid technology, who was among the team of engineers at GM's Milford Proving Grounds Friday to showcase the automaker's new powertrain technologies. "The whole spirit of the company is driven to do this."
GM thinks it can leverage its substantial research and development clout to change the American mindset that the automotive technology advantage goes to Japan. The automaker is hiring 400 specialized engineers to help with the mission.
A few years ago, those bragging rights were less coveted. But increasingly savvy consumers are looking for vehicles that not only boast speed, power and looks, but use less fuel and inflict less damage on the environment.
The Prius hybrid, in addition to being a sales success, was a public relations coup for Toyota Motor Corp., solidifying consumer perceptions that Toyota is years ahead of other automakers in the race for fuel efficiency … [Read More]