Last week, the very last vehicle rolled off of the GM's Moraine SUV Plant production line. When the lights at the plant turned off, production of the GMC Envoy stopped for good. The Envoy is not the only vehicle that waved us good-bye. All the vehicles based on the GMT 360 platform, including the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Saab 9-7X, and Isuzu Ascender, faced the same fate.
Initially, the plant was scheduled to cease all operations only after the 2010 model year, yet due to weakening of the SUV market and slow sales, the plan was reconsidered. The reasons for the discontinuation of the platform were announced long before the plant was closed. In 2008, General Motors spokesmen Sharon Basel reported that the company decided to end up production of the GMT360 products because consumers are no longer interested in the SUVs. High fuel prices and tougher emission standards eventually resulted in shift in the auto market from trucks and SUVs toward fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. The same reasons made the GM schedule for closing three other assembly plants, including Oshawa Plant (Canada) that produces the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado; Janesville Assembly Plant (Wisconsin, United States) which makes medium-duty trucks; and Toluca Car Assembly (Mexico), which makes Kodiak medium-duty trucks.