From Chevy Wiki
|Parent company||General Motors Canada|
|Production||1988–2004 (United States & Canada)|
|Successor||Chevrolet Equinox (U.S. & Canada Only)|
|Car classification||Mini SUV, Economy car|
|Car body style||4-door Wagon|
|Automobile layout||Front-engine design, Rear-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
Geo/Chevrolet Tracker is a Mini SUV produced by Chevrolet and Geo (automobile)
The Geo (automobile) Tracker was a Mini SUV introduced in late 1988 as a 1989 model. It was developed by CAMI which was a joint venture between General Motors of Canada and Suzuki. North American Models were to be built in Cami's Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada plant alongside its almost identical twin the domestic-built Suzuki Sidekick (Escudo). All 1989 and some 1990 Trackers were built in Japan and imported to the US because of delays at the CAMI factory in Canada. In 1990 production began in Ingersoll and all Trackers were now being built there.
The Tracker was different from most other light SUVs on the market in that it is based on a rugged light-truck chassis. Although it appeared to be a comfortable passenger SUV, it was bolstered by a sturdy off-road 4-wheel drive system with a conventional light truck engine and transmission coupled to a hi-lo, 2-4 transfer case. The Tracker had a strong front suspension with a rugged recirculating ball steering box. The conventional front differential was rigidly mounted ahead of the engine, with U-jointed drive-shafts connecting the coil-spring front hubs to the differential case. The rear axle was a conventional light truck unit on coil springs. As a result of the truck-like underpinnings, the Tracker had a fairly truck-like ride, but the benefit was its notable durability in harsh conditions.
The production of the first generation model of the Tracker (and Sidekick) came to an end in Ontario after 1998 in order to make way for the second generation of Tracker/Vitara. However the first generation Siedekick continued in production in other countries until 2004. Mechanical components of the first generation Tracker were also incorporated into similar types such as the 1997-2002 Kia Sportage.
In 1999, the Sidekick was discontinued, and a second generation Tracker was introduced. This time, it was a rebadged Suzuki Grand Vitara which is still sold by GM in Latin American countries as the Chevrolet Grand Vitara. In Mexico, the second-generation Tracker remained in production and was sold there as Chevrolet Tracker. The Tracker series was discontinued in the United States and Canada in 2004, but all models including the LJ80/Jimny are still in production in other Suzuki plants. Some Trackers and Sidekicks were made at a Suzuki plant in Kosai, Shizuoka, Japan.
The later (1999 and up) Tracker models reverted to a lightweight automobile-type rack and pinion steering, and thus were nowhere near as popular with rural and off-road users since the rack and pinion is easily damaged (and expensive to repair). The 1st generation Tracker was sold as the Chevrolet Vitara in Mexico, and the 2nd generation Tracker is sold as the Chevrolet Grand Vitara in Latin American countries. In North America, the first generation Tracker was sold as a Chevrolet in 1998 after GM discontinued the Geo brand. In late 2004, production of the Chevrolet Tracker was discontinued at the CAMI plant in Ontario and replaced with the Chevrolet Equinox.
Tracker in Mexico
The Tracker will be finally replaced by the Straight-4 versions of the already introduced Chevrolet Captiva Sport (Saturn Vue in the U.S and Canada) in the summer of 2008 because sales are dropping very fast due to its old design.
According to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Two-wheel drive models of the Geo Tracker manufactured between 1991 and 1993 received the worst safety rating of all vehicles tested, with a reported 3.2 driver deaths per 10,000 vehicles. This was 290% above the average of 1.1 deaths per 10,000 vehicles.
- ↑ "Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Status Report, Vol. 32, No. 10". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 14 October 1995.
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