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Big Changes At Arlington Plant As GM Unveils New Tahoe And Suburban SUVs

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) - It looks like workers in Arlington will be busy for a long time. General Motors has unveiled all-new versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban.

The biggest changes make the two popular large SUVs even longer and roomier than before.

The big SUVs are important to the automaker's profits. The Tahoe and Suburban account for more than 40% of America's non-luxury full-size SUV market, according to data from Kelly Blue Book.

The Suburban is identical to the Tahoe except that it's always been longer. That's still true in these new versions, but they are now closer in size. The 2021 Tahoe is 6.7 inches longer than the current one. The new Suburban is 1.3 inches longer than the Suburban's now on sale. Both also have longer wheelbases.

Thanks, in part, to that extra length, these new SUVs have more cargo space and 10 inches more legroom for passengers in the third row seats, according to GM. The new Tahoe, for example, has 66% more cargo space behind the seats.

Chevrolet Tahoe - CHevy Tahoe
The new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is revealed by General Motors on December 10, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The new SUVs also have independent rear suspension that should improve handling and ride quality. Until now, these large SUVs have had solid rear axles. That's similar to the rear suspension of GM's pickup trucks.

The Tahoe and Suburban will be available with either of two V8 gasoline engines, one producing up to 355 horsepower or a larger one producing up to 420. A six-cylinder diesel engine is also available, the first time a diesel has been offered in these models. To save fuel, the V8 engines can shut off anywhere from one to seven cylinders when full power isn't needed. The engine can also shut off automatically when the vehicle stops, then restarts as soon as the brake pedal is released. GM has not released fuel economy ratings for these vehicles yet.

GM officials say the new Tahoe and Suburban will go on sale in the middle of 2020. Pricing hasn't been announced yet but the Tahoes and Suburbans at dealerships now start at around $50,000.

The General Motors Assembly plant in Arlington is the automaker's sole producer of full-size SUVs - including the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

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