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GM shelves plans for Kappa II platform?

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GM shelves plans for Kappa II platform?

GM shelves plans for Kappa II platform?

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General Motors first introduced its compact RWD Kappa platform in 2006 with the launch of the Pontiac Solstice (pictured in Coupe form) and the Saturn Sky/Opel GT. Despite the platform only being in production for a little over two years, GM was working on a second-generation ‘Kappa II’ but has reportedly decided to shelve the project because of rising costs and tougher emissions regulations.

New CAFE regulations set to roll in over the next decade has already culled a number of Zeta-based large sedans for Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, but according to GM Inside News it has also killed the Kappa II program. The current Kappa design, which features an independent suspension set-up and hydroformed rails, is expensive to produce, with some claiming GM could be losing thousands of dollars on every Kappa model it sells.

The new Kappa II was set to address these problems by being loosely based on the larger Zeta architecture. GM was also planning to build its new Kappa II models in Mexico. Without a new low-cost platform, managers may be forced to nix the current range of Kappa-based cars after the current model cycle. The first generation of cars, especially the Pontiac and Saturn, are thought to have been introduced as costly image-building cars that GM could afford to lose money on for a short period.

Another reason why GM would likely drop plans for the Kappa II platform is because it is currently developing an additional RWD small car platform for a new Cadillac compact sedan. Furthermore, a non-premium version of this architecture is also expected to spawn vehicles for Holden, Pontiac and Chevrolet.
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Comments (6)
  1. I don't like seeing GM throw in the towel here and kill whats good & great and keep only the boring, vanilla products and econobox's, but I did see reports some time ago that Solstice and Sky successors would be off of the current Kappa and based on an upcoming Alpha in development, which to me makes perfect business sense. This would be a savings to share more on that common RWD platform.

    Also, regarding Zeta, which has the upcoming Camaro and G8 in the USDM, I understand Cadillac will still have a Zeta for it's DTS/STS successor (lines are merged), but the higher-end flagship is killed. Chevrolet will not get a Zeta Impala, but I heard conflicting reports about Buick.
     
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  2. I just find it amazing that now that GM is in survival mode how many money wasting projects they had floating around. I just hope they axe the employees that came up with them in the first place. Since when they do return back to having black ink in the compay ink well (and they wiil) these employees will follow the standard rule of human nature which is "past behavior dictates future behavior!".
     
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  3. To bad, it's a nce looking car.
     
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  4. I always heard Kappa was to be replaced by Alpha, since Alpha can make two seaters, sedans and 2+2 cars. Kappa however can only make 2 seaters.
     
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  5. Interesting how CAFE is the all purpose excuse for poorly run companies that are staring into the abyss. Explain to be again how a light weight rear drive platform that uses the same engines as the front drivers is an impediment to GM reaching the CAFE goals.
     
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  6. Regarding:
    "but according to GM Inside News it has also killed the Kappa II program"

    I didn't see any info on the GM Inside News that mentioned CAFE being a reason why Kappa II was killed. I suppose the impact might be indirect. If GM must spend a lot to meet CAFE standards, they don't have left over money to develop a low volume platform like Kappa II. Of course, GM doesn't have any money to waste with or without CAFE. Hopefully GM can adapt another small platform to work for Solstice/Sky. We'll see.
     
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