An expanded and upgraded Arlington, Texas, paint shop should deliver a better finish and improved corrosion resistance on the next-generation 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, General Motors said last week.
The improvements might translate into a need for additional care from aftermarket collision repairers and painters. Otherwise, customers might notice cosmetic issues — or worse, corrosion.
Following a dunk in the electrodeposition (e-coat) tank, the next-generation Suburban and Tahoe proceed to an underbody sealing station. Here, robots “precisely and consistently apply liquid material to the seams and body-panel overlaps on the bottom of the body assembly,” Chevrolet wrote in a Dec. 10 news release. The OEM called the procedure new and intended to improve corrosion resistance.
So it’ll be important that shops follow OEM procedures and best practices to deliver the best corrosion resistance available from the aftermarket’s end on the popular vehicles.
GM has sold nearly 122,000 Tahoes and Suburbans in the first nine months of the year. The 2021 Tahoe and Suburban will reach dealerships in “mid-2020,” Chevrolet wrote.
Chevrolet said it switched the actual painting of the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban from the solvent-based system formerly used at the Arlington plant to a “waterborne top-coat system.”
The switch is more eco-friendly but had a more concrete business case as well. “It also requires less time and less material than solvent-based paints,” Chevrolet wrote.
GM also now paints the fenders and hood “in line with the rest of the body,” which means “the integrated front-end assembly has a smoother overall appearance,” Chevrolet said.
“We are now able to perform a single, continuous paint application across the body,” paint shop project lead Benito Garcia said in a statement. “The more consistent color spray-out creates a more consistent finish, from front to rear. It’s a big win for the paint-finish quality of the new Tahoe and Suburban.”
“Vision-system cameras are used to verify various color and paint finish-quality characteristics,” GM also wrote.
GM prepares the steel and aluminum Tahoe and Suburban body to receive paint prior to all of this using a new “thin film” process.
“It’s a more environmentally-friendly process than the previous method, which used more caustic material to etch the metal,” Chevrolet wrote.
Chevrolet said in another news release Dec. 10 it will offer the Tahoe and Suburban in nine colors, three of which will be new: “Cherry Bomb Tintcoat,” “Darkmoon Blue Metallic,” and “Empire Beige Metallic.” It said some colors will only be available as options.
In other color/aesthetic details:
- The fascias and/or grilles are unique on the High Country, Z71 and RST trims. The RST trim level has a “black ice finish” on the grille and a “unique front fascia,” according to Chevrolet. The Z71’s fascia “not only signals ruggedness, it also has a higher approach angle to aid off-road capability.” The High Country trim has a “unique grille with bronze accents and High Country badging.”
- Black and “black-chrome” trim also will appear on the exteriors of the Z71 and RST.
Chevrolet, Dec. 10, 2019
Chevrolet, Dec. 10, 2019
Inspection occurs on a General Motors Arlington, Texas, underbody sealing line. (Copyright General Motors)
General Motors workers at the company’s Arlington, Texas, plant inspect the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe body before it receives paint. (Copyright General Motors)
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe RST is shown. (Copyright General Motors)