GM SUVs to be shown off at State Fair

Posted Thursday, Aug. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Texas is truck country, so wouldn’t the State Fair of Texas be a good place for General Motors to introduce the new versions of its Arlington-built SUVs?

GM apparently thinks so. The next-generation Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL will be on display at the fair, which starts Sept. 27 in Dallas, GM spokesman Craig Eppling said. The vehicles may be unveiled earlier, but the exact date isn’t being disclosed yet, he said.

Eppling’s confirmation followed an online report at The Truth About Cars, a gearhead blog that Tuesday posted an item Tuesday predicting that the automaker’s full-size sport utility vehicles will premier at the fair. It cited an unnamed source.

In July, Automotive News, the venerable trade publication, reported that the 2015 model year SUVs will hit showrooms next spring. The full-size SUVs share a frame with GM’s full-size pickups, which were redesigned for 2013 and hit showrooms this summer.

GM’s Arlington assembly plant has been undergoing a big expansion to get ready for the new models. About 3,500 people, including 1,000 added in the past year, work at the plant, which has been running three shifts.

Container Store bash

After transforming the 25,000-square-foot Borders Books store across from Central Market in west Fort Worth, the Container Store is throwing itself an opening bash Saturday featuring a performance by company co-founder Garrett Boone, a gaggle of vice presidents and other headquarters folks.

The company will also be giving away prizes, including $1,000 elfa brand closet makeovers, every hour on the hour Saturday and Sunday at the Chapel Hill Shopping Center at Interstate 30 and Hulen Street.

Special treatment will be afforded a certain “SuperFan” identified only as Debbie B. (witness relocation participant?) who won a Facebook contest by explaining why she so adores the chain.

Ms. B. will get a crown, a sash, one-time use of a decorated gold shopping cart and a package of “organization necessities” after being greeted by a reception line of 60 employees.

The store is replacing its long-standing, 14,000-square-foot location just out front of Hulen Mall.

Container Store, which also redid a Borders in Arlington and another in California, will be self-tithing — donating 10 percent of opening weekend sales to the Lena Pope Home, a local charity that works with children and families and operates a charter school.

Range fleet running on CNG Fort Worth-based Range Resources, one of the largest operators in the Marcellus Shale, said Wednesday that its vehicle fleet “is now being largely fueled by clean-burning compressed natural gas.”

It said it has 184 CNG vehicles. Chief Operating Officer Ray Walker, who has converted his own vehicle to run on CNG, said automakers General Motors and Chrysler “deserve a tremendous amount of credit for providing natural gas-powered transportation options direct from the factory.”

Those manufacturers offer CNG options on a number of large-model pickups and commercial vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and Ram 2500 that Range bought. (Ford Motor Co. said last week that it is adding optional engine modifications to accommodate CNG fuel on its popular F-150, which it says will be the only half-ton pickup so equipped.) Range estimates the payback on its investment at two years.

Range said its commercial fleet order of factory-engineered CNG vehicles is the largest single order for both Chrysler and GM.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727, sabaker@star-telegram.com; Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552, jfuquay@star-telegram.com; Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718, barry@star-telegram.com

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