Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV Starts Production in Thailand

Trailblazer is a traditional body-on-frame American truck designed and developed in Brazil.

The first production Chevrolet Trailblazer SUVs are now coming off the assembly line at the General Motors Rayong plant in Thailand. A loaded LTZ model with a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine was celebrated by the facility’s 5,200 employees, some key suppliers and Chevrolet dealers from across the country. The Rayong plant is the first in the world to build the new midsize Trailblazer, which will be sold in Thailand and exported to more than 50 markets in Southeast Asia and beyond.

In the U.S., the old body-on -frame Trailblazer was discontinued after 2009, and replaced by the unit-body Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. The Aisan Trailblazer is a traditional American truck, although it was developed along with the all-new Chevrolet Colorado pickup by GM in Brazil, another setback for U.S. white collar jobs in the no jobs Obama Administration.  A Chevrolet spokesperson told AutoInformed that no U.S. sales are planned at this time.

GM’s launch and engineering costs are crucial issues facing the U.S.’s largest automaker as it tries to improve earnings and decrease debt after taxpayers bailed it out with $50 billion in funds. This year and next are challenging since a complete revision of GM’s full-size pickup trucks and the SUVs derived from them will debut along with a continuing roll out of slightly smaller mid-size pickup trucks in the U.S.

Trailblazer’s exterior styling was created by the GM South America Design Center in São Caetano do Sul, Brazil. Not surprisingly, TrailBlazer shares a number of design cues with its sister vehicle, the Chevrolet Colorado, which will be built in the U.S.

Exterior design highlights include a “body in-wheels out”  look that delivers high approach and departure angles, which are good things when traversing off road. Higher-mounted dual projector headlamps are positioned beneath the hood.

Also evident is the Chevy dual-port grille – so prominent that it approaches a parody of the ever increasing in size small truck grilles – at Ford and Dodge Ram, too – that emulates those of class 8 tractors, where the large air intake is actually needed for cooling. Here, it just creates unnecessary drag, decreasing fuel economy.

Inside, the seven-passenger interior has three-row tumble and/or fold-flat seats and what’s said to be best-in-class spaciousness in the third row.

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About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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