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The new buzzword in Detroit is "common" -- as in common components or common architectures. That's the foundation for everything GM is doing right now, and the Zeta RWD platform is the newest poster child.Engineered in Australia for global use, the Holden VE Commodore was the first Zeta vehicle, and the '08 Pontiac G8 (a rebadged Commodore) is next in line. Beginning in 2009 and beyond, we'll see Zeta appear under the new Camaro and the next Impala. The architecture is special because it can be used for anything from a ponycar to a station wagon and everything in between. GM is estimating global units of Zeta at between 500,000 and 750,000 annually. When compared with a different-chassis-for-different-regions approach, the savings generated will be between $500 and $1000 per vehicle. These savings, which can range between $250 million and $750 million annually, result from engineering efficiencies, materials cost savings, plant tooling, and vendor tooling.

Japanese automakers have leveraged common resources for a long time now, which in turn has helped contribute to their cost advantages over the domestics. With a RWD platform that works anywhere on the globe, GM is finally starting to show that they're as serious about 'common' as the competition.

[Source: AutoWeek]



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