GM to Manufacture Saturn Hybrids in Mexico

Vue mild hybrid may also be available for sale in Mexico.

Published: 05-Dec-2007

General Motors Corp on Friday unveiled the first hybrid vehicle to be manufactured in Mexico for export to the United States and possible domestic sale in the future.

The Saturn Vue, a medium-size sports utility vehicle that runs on both gasoline and electric power, has already rolled off the assembly line in the northern state of Coahuila and is being readied for export, GM officials said at a joint news conference with President Felipe Calderon.

The SUV will allow consumers to use an average of 27 per cent less gasoline, General Motors de Mexico spokesman Mauricio Kuri said. The company will have the capacity to export about 6,500 of the vehicles a year, said Kevin Williams, president of GM's Mexico division.

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The vehicle utilizes a hybrid power train based on a 1500cc, 3-cylinder turbo charged diesel engine coupled with two high-efficiency permanent-magnet electric motors.

The driver of the Zytek dual-mode diesel hybrid can choose from standard or high regenerative braking and can also select one of three driving styles: Economy, Drive or Sport.

The vehicle's 288V lithium-ion battery, developed by Lithium Technology, can be charged by either the internal combustion engine, by using regenerative braking or by being plugged in and topped up overnight using off-peak power.

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