The speculation over what will happen at the NUMMI plant post-Vibe is already rampantEnlarge Photo
Earlier this week news broke that General Motors would in fact be discontinuing the Pontiac Vibe, built alongside the Toyota Matrix at the California New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) the two carmakers share. Since then, speculation as to what sort of joint GM-Toyota project might emerge from the void has run wild.
Earlier reports, originating before the announcement of the Vibe's discontinuation, indicated that Toyota and GM were already in talks about a model to replace the Vibe
. No further developments in those discussions have been made public, however.
Instead, pundits and analysts have turned to guessing games, suggesting that one possibility could be a licensed hybrid using Toyota's Synergy Drive system found in the Prius. But GM's president of North American operations, Troy Clarke, shut that rumor down in a chat on the company-run GM Fastlane Blog
today, reports Edmunds
Clarke said in response to a question about the potential for licensing Toyota's hybrid tech, "We are not in current discussions with Toyota on licensing their synergy drive. I would point out that we are working like crazy on our own hybrid technology."
That last reference to GM's own hybrid technology no doubt refers to both the Volt extended-range electric vehicle and the two-mode hybrid powertrain
GM may be rolling into the next-gen Buick Enclave.
The Buick angle in particular was part of Clarke's discussion. "I will tell you that you will be pleasantly surprised at the product line up we have for the new Buick. It will go places product wise we haven't gone with Buick before," said Clarke.