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    William Maley

    Five factories are on the chopping block

    This morning, General Motors announced an overhaul of its operations in 2019 which will involve cutting more than 10,000 workers and possibly closing five plants by the end of the year. GM said the cuts should boost cash flow by six billion by the end of 2020.
    “The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future. We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in a statement.
    The plants up for possible closure are,
    Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan - Home to Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Volt. Lordstown Assembly in Ohio - Home to Chevrolet Cruze. Oshawa Assembly in Ontario, Canada - Home to Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala, and finishing production of last-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Baltimore Operations in Maryland (Propulsion) Warren Transmission Operations in Michigan Hints of this announcement came out last night when reports from CTV and The Globe and Mail in Canada reported the closure of Oshawa.
    The plant closures also mean a number of models being dropped - including the LaCrosse, CT6, Impala, and Volt. The Cruze will be built in Mexico for other markets.
    It was expected GM was going to make some changes to address the underutilization of its plants. Dara from the Center for Automotive Research says GM represents 1 million of the 3.2 million units of underutilized capacity in the U.S. through October.
    This announcement comes on the eve of negotiations with the UAW next year and Unifor in 2020. The UAW has announced that it will challenge GM's decision "through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership."
    The announcement has brought pushback from politicians. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed "deep disappointment" with the decision. U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio express frustration with the possible shutdown of Lordstown.
    One group not disappointed with the news is Wall Street. GM stock rose 6.18 percent to $38.00 per share at the time of this writing.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, Reuters, Twitter, General Motors

    General Motors Accelerates Transformation
    Transforming the global enterprise to advance the company’s vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion Taking cost actions and optimizing capital expenditures to drive annual run-rate cash savings of approximately $6 billion by year-end 2020 DETROIT – General Motors (NYSE: GM) will accelerate its transformation for the future, building on the comprehensive strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, capitalize on the future of personal mobility and drive significant cost efficiencies.
    Today, GM is continuing to take proactive steps to improve overall business performance including the reorganization of its global product development staffs, the realignment of its manufacturing capacity and a reduction of salaried workforce. These actions are expected to increase annual adjusted automotive free cash flow by $6 billion by year-end 2020 on a run-rate basis.
    “The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”
    Contributing to the cash savings of approximately $6 billion are cost reductions of $4.5 billion and a lower capital expenditure annual run rate of almost $1.5 billion. The actions include:
    Transforming product development – GM is evolving its global product development workforce and processes to drive world-class levels of engineering in advanced technologies, and to improve quality and speed to market. Resources allocated to electric and autonomous vehicle programs will double in the next two years. Additional actions include: Increasing high-quality component sharing across the portfolio, especially those not visible and perceptible to customers. Expanding the use of virtual tools to lower development time and costs. Integrating its vehicle and propulsion engineering teams. Compressing its global product development campuses. Optimizing product portfolio – GM has recently invested in newer, highly efficient vehicle architectures, especially in trucks, crossovers and SUVs. GM now intends to prioritize future vehicle investments in its next-generation battery-electric architectures. As the current vehicle portfolio is optimized, it is expected that more than 75 percent of GM’s global sales volume will come from five vehicle architectures by early next decade. Increasing capacity utilization – In the past four years, GM has refocused capital and resources to support the growth of its crossovers, SUVs and trucks, adding shifts and investing $6.6 billion in U.S. plants that have created or maintained 17,600 jobs. With changing customer preferences in the U.S. and in response to market-related volume declines in cars, future products will be allocated to fewer plants next year. Assembly plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include: Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit. Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio. Propulsion plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include: Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland. Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan. In addition to the previously announced closure of the assembly plant in Gunsan, Korea, GM will cease the operations of two additional plants outside North America by the end of 2019.
    These manufacturing actions are expected to significantly increase capacity utilization. To further enhance business performance, GM will continue working to improve other manufacturing costs, productivity and the competitiveness of wages and benefits.
    Staffing transformation – The company is transforming its global workforce to ensure it has the right skill sets for today and the future, while driving efficiencies through the utilization of best-in-class tools. Actions are being taken to reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 percent, which includes 25 percent fewer executives to streamline decision making. Barra added, “These actions will increase the long-term profit and cash generation potential of the company and improve resilience through the cycle.”
    GM expects to fund the restructuring costs through a new credit facility that will further improve the company’s strong liquidity position and enhance its financial flexibility.
    GM expects to record pre-tax charges of $3.0 billion to $3.8 billion related to these actions, including up to $1.8 billion of non-cash accelerated asset write-downs and pension charges, and up to $2.0 billion of employee-related and other cash-based expenses. The majority of these charges will be considered special for EBIT-adjusted, EPS diluted-adjusted and adjusted automotive free cash flow purposes. The majority of these charges will be incurred in the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019, with some additional costs incurred through the remainder of 2019. 

    Blake Noble
    G. Noble
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 10th, 2012
    Yesterday evening, we reported on a few statements GM North American President Mark Reuss made to Australia’s GoAuto at this month’s New York Auto Show. Reuss briefly discussed with GoAuto concerns about the Zeta platform’s viability and what could be in store for the Australian Holden Commodore sedan. As it turns out though, GoAuto wasn’t the only auto-centric Aussie establishment itching to get a crack at Reuss.
    Australian car magazine Drive spoke to Reuss shortly after he introduced the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala large sedan at the Big Apple show. During the course of their conversation, Reuss hinted to Drive about the Commodore’s return to the US market as a new Chevrolet sports sedan that would also spawn a NASCAR version that would replace the current stock car based around the tepid outgoing Impala. The possibility of a double-edged large sedan attack from Chevrolet is certainly interesting then, given that buyers aren’t buying as many big cars as they used to these days.
    However, Reuss’ response, when asked if he thought big cars had a future around the world, was “absolutely.”
    “You’ve got technology inside these cars that give you close to 36, 37 miles per gallon on it. So it’s no longer a big fuel economy badness,” he said. “We don’t see fuel spikes happening right now, either. It’s a much more gradual move, which is much more palatable because people can adjust to the way they live to it.” He then continued: “So you’ve got those two dynamics and you’ve got the efficiency and the technology coming it to displace it and so it’s fueling demand to get a car that’s at a better operating cost and I think that’s only going to continue.”
    Reuss added that more sensible running costs will secure the future of large sedans. It seems he may be right when you consider that there are plenty of big cars these days that get decent fuel economy. While it’s unknown what figures the new Impala will achieve, its rivals — the Ford Taurus and Dodge Charger — all boast fuel economy numbers hovering near or at the low 30s on the highway. It’s reasonable to expect the next-generation of large sedans will boast numbers even better than that.
    “It’s a very naïve discussion to talk about big cars and small cars, it’s what kind of car do you want to get. The operating costs are going to be very good on these things as you go over time.”
    As for the Commodore’s return to America since it first came here as the Pontiac G8? Some insiders suggest the Commodore-cum-Chevy-cum-stock car is a done deal and will be here in 2013. It bears repeating that Chevrolet has confirmed a new model is coming to NASCAR next year that isn’t based on any current model or nameplate. Reuss said that he wants the race car to be in sync with the road going version — much like what Ford has done with the Fusion and what Dodge has done with the Charger — a statement that may point to a new V8, rear-drive model.
    So then it seems Zeta isn’t going anywhere and, after years of butting heads and gnashing teeth here on Cheers and Gears about the issue, cars of its ilk might be here to stay. Enthusiasts rejoice; it’ll be raining cars for a while yet.
    Source: Drive

    William Maley

    How many vehicles does GM have sitting around?!

    General Motors is dialing back on production as it currently has too many vehicles in inventory. The Detroit News reports that General Motors at the end of November had 874,000 vehicles sitting around - a number that hasn't been seen since the 2008 financial crisis. Compared to the same time last year, the number of vehicles has increased by 182,000 units. More worrying is that compared to October, the number of unsold vehicles rose by 40,000.
    Despite strong sales, more consumers are going with crossovers, SUVs, and pickup trucks. GM even increased incentives on a number of models to help relieve this glut, all to no avail.
    According to Autodata, this is amount of passenger vehicles GM had sitting,
    110 day-supply of the Cadillac CT6 119 day-supply of the Cadillac ATS 121 day-supply of the Chevrolet Cruze 132 day-supply of the Cadillac CTS 168 day supply of the Buick LaCrosse 170 day-supply of the Chevrolet Corvette and Spark 177 day-supply of the Chevrolet Camaro Because of this, General Motors is cutting back on production at some of their plants. As we reported last month , GM is cutting a shift at their Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan (home to Cadillac ATS, CTS, and Chevrolet Camaro) and a shift at Lordstown, Ohio plant (home to the Chevrolet Cruze). General Motors will also be shutting down five plants according to Reuters in January. The plants include,
    Detroit-Hamtramck (Three weeks) Fairfax, KS (Three weeks) Lansing Grand River (Two weeks) Lordstown, OH (One week) Bowling Green, KY (One week) Source: The Detroit News, Reuters

    William Maley

    GM's Upcoming Diesel For Their Midsize Trucks Go Under Further Scrutiny

    The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon Diesels are feeling the backlash of the Volkswagen diesel scandal. According to Automotive News, General Motors has been told by EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) will not certify the trucks until they have undergone tests in the lab and on the road.
    “The EPA and CARB told us they are going to do on-road testing," said Scott Yackley, assistant chief engineer for Chevrolet Trucks.
    GM says the additional testing could push back the launch of the diesel trucks, which are expected to launch in the fourth quarter. But GM is confident that the trucks will pass the tests.
    “Part of our development process is on-road and off-road [laboratory] testing,” said Yackley.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    The sale of Opel/Vauxhall was only the beginning

    General Motors seems being in a cutting mood as it drives to improve its profit margins and stock price. Last week saw the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group and it's only the beginning said GM CEO Mary Barra.
    Automotive News reports that GM is considering reducing investments in North American cars and "select" international markets according to a chart that was shared during a conference call with analysts last week. The chart says these two earned a spot on the chopping block due to low profit potential and weak strength in franchises.
    "There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets. Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital," Barra said on the conference call. 
    Barra and GM President Dan Ammann declined to go into details about these plans.
    GM has already made significant changes in terms of their international operations by ending or reducing operations Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Thailand. The automaker has also scaled back plans in India. The comments made during the call suggest more cuts could take place here and possibly elsewhere.
    As for 'reducing investments in North American cars', this likely means GM is taking a hard look at various segments in passenger car segment. With consumers trending towards utility vehicles and trucks, sales of passenger cars have been falling precipitously. As of March 1st, dealers had four month's worth of inventory of cars, compared to an 81-day supply for light trucks and less than 60-days for full-size SUVs. GM could walk away from certain segments such as compacts or full-size sedans, or delay investments in certain models.
    These moves will allow GM to funnel money into models that make more money, and returning capital to shareholders.
    "That's an immediate opportunity for us to reward shareholders without changing the risk profile of the company or our ability to manage through a downturn," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said.
    Analysts are mixed on GM's plans.
    "It takes a lot of discipline to shift away from a volume-is-king kind of mentality," she said. "In the end, that's going to make a better GM -- a longer-standing company that's not only more profitable but more relevant," said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book to Automotive News.
    John Murphy, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn't so sure about this plan.
    "It appears that GM's recent decision-making has become much more short-term-focused and, in our opinion, could create challenges for the company in the coming years," Murphy wrote in a report.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    June 8, 2012
    Ford has been having a resounding success with the EcoBoost option one the F-150 pickup truck. With new full-size trucks on the way, you would think GM would be heading down the same route.
    Not so fast.
    "I wouldn't say that's a huge priority. I think there are other answers to that, which they don't have, for us that make a lot more sense," said GM North America President Mark Reuss.
    Reuss believes the full-sized pickup can't be all things to all buyers. He figures that fuel economy isn't that big of a concern for people who rely on them for a living.
    He puts its this way: if GM was to downsize from the current V8 engines used in the Silverado/Sierra while still offering power and towing capacity, GM would have to significantly reduce the truck's weight and powertrain.
    "So what have you really done? You've made a mid-sized pickup," Reuss said.
    GM's strategy is to offer a mid-size (Colorado) and a full-size truck (Silverado/Sierra).
    However, Reuss didn't say no the idea of a turbocharged V6 for its next generation pickups. GM is rumored to be developing one, but no one knows if that is to be the case or what vehicles this engine will go in.
    Regardless if the turbo V6 is part of the lineup or not, the next generation of GM pickups will be on a diet, get the next-generation small block V-8 engine with direct injection, and a eight-speed transmission.
    Source: Autoweek

    William Maley

    Three Chevrolets, Two Cadillacs, and A Buick

    General Motors has been seeing sales of their passenger cars take a sharp drop as buyers latch on to crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. The first half of 2017 has seen GM's passenger car sales drop 19 percent. In June, passenger cars went into freefall with a 36 percent drop. This has General Motors making some drastic decisions in terms of products and production sites.
    "We are talking to (GM) right now about the products that they currently have" at underused car plants such as Hamtramck in Michigan and Lordstown in Ohio, and whether they might be replaced with newer, more popular vehicles such as crossovers, said Dennis Williams, president of the UAW.
    According to sources, GM is considering dropping six models after 2020. The models include,
    Buick LaCrosse Cadillac CT6  (See Update Below) Cadillac XTS Chevrolet Impala Chevrolet Sonic Chevrolet Volt Four of the vehicles listed (LaCrosse, CT6, Impala, and Volt) are built GM’s Hamtramck plant in Detroit. According to suppliers, Hamtramack's production output for the first half of 2017 is less than 35,000 vehicles, down 32 percent when compared to the same time last year. Other GM plants are able to produce 200,000 - 300,000 vehicles in a year, putting Hamtramck in a dangerous spot.
    GM must "create some innovative new products" to replace slow-selling sedans "or start closing plants," said Sam Fiorani, vice president of AutoForecast Solutions.
    A possibility of a new product is replacing the Volt with some sort of utility vehicle boasting a plug-in hybrid powertrain according to sources.
    Source: Reuters
    UPDATE: “There is absolutely, if I could speak all capitals now, they’d be coming out of my mouth. There is absolutely no plan, at all, to cancel the CT6,” said Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen to Jalopnik when asked about this report from Reuters.
    “That report came as a surprise to me, too.”
    de Nysschen said the brand is planning to invest more into the CT6 in the coming years as it will play an important role in the coming years.
    “The [CT6] forms a very important part of our product strategy going forward for the brand,” de Nysschen said. “The car also has a very major contribution to make to the shaping of brand perceptions, and the transformational process that Cadillac is undergoing as far as that is concerned.”
    Source: Jalopnik

    William Maley

    GM Heads To Trial Over A Faulty Ignition Switch Next Month

    General Motors will be heading to court on January 11th to face the first of several planned 'bellwether' cases over its defective ignition switch.
    On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan rejected GM's claims to dismiss the case as the plaintiff provided sufficient evidence to justify letting a jury hear whether or not the switch caused or enhanced injuries in a crash.
    The case in question was brought to court by Robert Scheuer who crashed into two trees in Oklahoma on May 28, 2014. The Saturn Ion he was driving did not deploy the front airbags, which he says is a result of a defective ignition switch.
    Furman's decision "paves the way for the jury to have an unfettered and full view of GM's behavior in covering up this defect," said Bob Hilliard, lawyer for Scheuer in a statement.
    "We are fully prepared to go to trial, and introduce evidence showing that the ignition switch issue did not cause the injuries in this accident, or cause the airbags not to deploy," said GM spokesman James Cain in a phone interview with Reuters.
    This case is important as it is the first of six 'bellweather' cases being brought to trial. These cases are sometimes used in product liability litigation where hundreds or thousands of people have a similar case. The results of the six cases will help those decide whether or not to continue with their case or settle.
    Source: Reuters

    Drew Dowdell

    ...no concerns of being left behind...

    Fresh on the news that Ford invested $500 million into electric truck startup Rivian in order to gain access to the startup's EV platform, General Motors CE) Mary Barra confirmed that General Motors is working on an EV pickup of their own.
    This was during an investors earnings call when Barra said GM has "an industry-leading truck franchise as well as EV capability" and that the company "would not cede our leadership on either front".
    Talks between Rivian and GM were rumored to have broken down over GM's insistence that they have exclusive access to the platform.  If that is the case, then there is a possibility that Ford may not be the only manufacturer other than Rivian to use the skateboard platform.
    Any EV from GM will likely use GM's new BEV3 platform that it plans to unveil in 2021.  GM plans for at least 20 all-electric or fuel-cell vehicles by 2023.

    William Maley
    General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke yesterday at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York. During her talk, Barra said the company expects to make a profit off electric vehicles once they launch their next-generation EV platform.
    “We are working to provide desirable, obtainable and profitable vehicles that deliver a range of over 300 miles. There’s a lot of really creative things we’re doing to achieve that profitability point for that new platform,” Barra said to investors.
    The next-generation modular platform, due in 2021 will play a pivotal role in GM's plan to launch 20 all-new electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. The platform will help drop the total per-unit cost by 30 percent or more. It will be used across a number of GM brands and various segments.
    GM is also working on a new battery system that will cut the per-kilowatt-hour from $145 to under $100 by 2021.
    Before these two launches, GM will be introducing four new EV and hydrogen vehicles. Two of those will be launch by April 2019 according to a GM spokesman. At least two vehicles will be small crossovers according to Automotive News. It is expected the electric models will use the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Bolt.
    The company has a set a goal of a million electric vehicles by 2026 - with most happening in China due to their strict production quotas for EVs. 
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 5, 2012
    Today, General Motors announcing pricing for the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Spark.
    The Spark will start at $12,995 (includes destination) for the base LS model. The base LS includes 10 airbags, air conditioning, power windows, OnStar and 15-inch alloys. Next up is the 1LT trim, costing $14,495. The 1LT will include seven-inch color touchscreen, USB connectivity, satellite radio, keyless entry, power mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth, visor mirrors, and floor mats. The top level 2LT, costing $15,795 will include a unique set of 15-inch wheels, sportier body-color fascias, fog lamps, exterior brightwork, heated, leatherette-covered seats, and a leather-wrapped wheel.
    All models will come equipped with a 1.2L Ecotec four-cylinder and a five-speed manual. A four-speed automatic is optional.
    The Spark arrives at Chevrolet Dealers sometime later this year.

    As for the Cadillac XTS, its base price starts at $44,995 for the base, front-wheel-drive model. The base model includes dual exhaust, 10-way power front seats, passive keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, perforated leather upholstery, eight-speaker Bose stereo, Sapele wood trim, "cut and sew" dash and trim, high-intensity-discharge headlights, rear parking sonar and 19-inch aluminum wheels.
    Also on the base model XTS is Cadillac's new CUE multimedia system with a standard 8-inch touch display. Magnetic Ride Control, a rear air suspension, and Brembo brakes.
    Instead of offering model trims, the XTS will offer "option collections". The "option collections," are Luxury, Premium and Platinum. AWD will also be available.
    The XTS will debut in May.
    Press Releases are on Page 3 & 4
    2013 Spark Packs Technology and Features into Small Price
    Mini car comes in three trim levels starting at $12,995 including destination

    DETROIT – Chevrolet is taking the guesswork out of the car-buying process with a new, simpler approach to pricing and packaging for the 2013 Spark. When the mini car goes on sale later this year, Spark will be available in three well-equipped trim levels starting at $12,995 including destination.
    Spark is a sporty, fuel-efficient, four-passenger, five-door hatch designed to excite first-time car buyers and city dwellers with bold styling, attention-grabbing colors – including Salsa, Jalapeno, Denim, Lemonade and Techno Pink – engaging driving dynamics, the personalized connectivity of MyLink, and the safety of 10 standard air bags.
    Spark also offers more passenger and cargo room than other mini cars such as the Fiat 500, Smartfortwo and Scion IQ.
    “With the Spark Chevrolet has the opportunity to connect with a new generation of car buyers who expect more from every product they purchase,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Global Marketing. “So we wanted to make the process of choosing a Spark as simple as possible by reducing the number of stand-alone options and providing more standard content to each trim level at a competitive price.”
    Spark LS starting at $12,995 includes:
    Standard 1.2L Ecotec engine and five-speed manual transmission
    Standard convenience features including air conditioning, power windows, rear window wiper, auxiliary input jack, outside temperature display and trip computer
    15-inch alloy wheels
    60/40 split flip-and-fold rear seat
    Comprehensive safety package including 10 air bags, electronic stability control with traction control and brake assist
    OnStar Directions & Connections plan standard with six-month introductory subscription

    Spark 1LT starting at $14,495 includes LS standard content and adds:
    Standard 7-inch color touch radio with Chevrolet MyLink, Bluetooth connectivity for select phones, steering wheel audio controls, USB port and Sirius XM Radio with three-month trial subscription
    Other standard convenience features include power door locks with remote keyless entry, theft deterent system, outside power mirrors, floor mats, visor mirrors, and cruise control

    Spark 2LT starting at $15,795 includes all 1LT standard content and adds:
    Unique 15-inch alloy wheels
    Fog lamps
    Exterior appearance enhancements including silver painted roof rails; chrome lift gate handle, exhaust outlet and beltline molding; body-color lower rocker molding; front and rear body-color sport fascias with unique front upper and lower grille inserts

    On the interior, leatherette seats and heated front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel
    A 4-speed automatic transmission is available on all models for $925. The only other available options include an engine block heater for $75 and Black Granite paint for $195.
    Chevrolet MyLink in the Spark will include Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio apps. Later in the model year, the recently introduced GogoLink – an embedded smartphone application that delivers full-function navigation including live traffic updates – will be available. Pricing for GogoLink will be announced later.
    Spark is the only car in its segment to provide the added value of a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and the safety and security of OnStar.

    High-tech Cadillac XTS is New Definition of Luxury

    CUE, new in-car user experience, and Magnetic Ride Control standard

    DETROIT –The 2013 Cadillac XTSluxury sedan, Cadillac’s most technologically advanced car yet, will be available at U.S. dealerships later this spring with a starting price of $44,995 including destination
    The all-new XTS is the only car in its class with standard Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s-fastest reacting suspension technology. Also standard and making its debut in the XTS, is CUE, Cadillac’s breakthrough in-vehicle user experience for control and connectivity.
    Three option collections will be offered on the XTS: Luxury, Premium and Platinum. The XTS Platinum model represents the highest level of technology and luxury, including a unique front appearance, wheels and interior colors, materials and trim. An advanced all-wheel-drive system, using Haldex technology to transfer power front-to-back, and side-to-side along the rear axle, will be offered on all three trim levels above the standard model.
    “The all-new XTS redefines our approach to the luxury sedan by combining advanced technology, stunning design and confident performance,” said Don Butler, vice president Cadillac marketing. “XTS brings new and exclusive technology, while still delivering the space and elegance that is Cadillac’s DNA.”
    Cadillac is preparing for the debut of CUE first automotive use of capacitive touch, the technology used by many of today’s best tablets and smartphones.
    A new CUE iPad Application, which replicates the center screen that is the hub of the system, is being used to familiarize dealers with the experience as well as provide videos and information. The App will be opened to the public via the App Store in May as the XTS launches.
    “We're taking advantage of the fact that CUE is parallel technology to tablets,” Butler said. “CUE is intuitive, in part because its control and command structure aims to be consistent with popular devices millions of people already use. The App adds to this by literally putting CUE into your hands, even before you can get into the car.”
    Cadillac also will use OnStar to provide live assistance to XTS owners for CUE questions. And Cadillac dealerships will contain certified technology experts to familiarize shoppers and drivers with the system.

    William Maley

    That's a bit of rude awakening 

    General Motors got a rude awakening if they picked up a copy of the Detroit Free Press or Detroit News. Right on the front page is a large ad by Canadian union Unifor accusing GM executives of having the lack of support toward Canadian and U.S. plant workers after announcing certain products would be "unallocated" and bringing up the possible worry of plant closures.
    One ad says, "U.S. and Canadian workers made GM," that follows with the question, "Why should our jobs and our products go to Mexico? Keep our plants open."
    Automotive News notes that the ads weren't in any Candian papers. The most likely reason for that is that Unifor officials would be meeting with GM today at the Renaissance Center.
    “GM needs to know that we are not accepting their announcement. It is crystal clear to myself and the leadership of the union that GM is leaving Canada. The newspaper ads are to let them know we are dead serious,” said Unifor president Jerry Dias.
    Dias said the ads are to show GM that it will have “a real problem” selling new vehicles to consumers on either side of the border starting next year.
    “GM has betrayed consumers in Canada and the United States. People are finally saying to GM, ‘You have gone too far.’ This is going on on both sides of the border,” he said.
    GM in an emailed statement to Automotive News said, "The GM restructuring decisions are extremely difficult for all of us in Oshawa, but we believe the best approach is to work together to support our employees including support for local training and transition initiatives in the Durham Region. We remain strongly committed to Canada and will continue to engage in dialogue with Unifor."
    GM also confirmed the meeting with Unifor but declined to provide any details about it.
    Kristin Dziczek, vice president of Industry, Labor & Economics at the Center for Automotive Research said Unifor faces an uphill battle with GM as their negotiations don't till 2020, a year after the UAW does theirs.
    "The UAW is going to go after any new product allocations for their two plants that are set to close and others that are underutilized," she said.
    "If there's product to be got, the UAW is going to go after it first."
    Dziczek also notes that Unifor's ads have "somewhat have a point" regarding GM's plants in Mexico, which are more utilized than many plants in Canada and the U.S.
    "They have to look like they're fighting like mad, and there are lots of ways of doing that. This is one way."
    We have a picture of the ad from the Detroit Free Press below if you're interested in what it looks like.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    The future of GM's Oshawa plant will be a topic of focus for auto workers during this round of union contract talks

    This week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, and General Motors begin talks with Unifor, Canada’s auto workers union for new agreements. GM will likely have the most contentious talks as workers at GM's Oshawa plant don't know what the future holds after 2018.
    The plant has already lost a third shift and about 1,000 jobs when it moved production of the Camaro to Lansing last year. Next year will see the end of production of the Chevrolet Equinox, leaving just the Buick Regal and Cadillac XTS. GM has said time and time again for the past two years that it needs to know labor costs before making any decisions on the plant, only causing the worry to increase.
    “The company in the past have had feasibility studies or launch teams if we are going to get product. This year, there’s no feasibility studies going on, no launch teams,” said Colin James, president of Unifor Local 222 to The Detroit News.
    “Of course, it’s led to a lot of our members in the plant asking questions. There’s uncertainty: ‘Why is there no launch team?’ ‘Are they planning on closing the facility?’ General Motors is basically not answering that question.”
    Yesterday at a news conference in Toronto, Unifor president Jerry Dias said workers at Oshawa will not sign a contract unless there are plans for production.
    “We are not going to leave negotiations until we have a firm commitment from General Motors on product,” said Dias.
    “We firmly believe General Motors will exit Oshawa unless we have a firm commitment.”
    But GM has said that it will not make any commitments on investments until there is an agreement in place.
    “We won’t be in a position to make a competitive investment decision until after we are through the negotiations,” said David Paterson, GM Canada’s vice-president of corporate affairs.
    “We understand that there is a lot of anxiety about Oshawa," Paterson said. He went onto say that GM's focus during the talks is to work on an agreement that is "mutually beneficial and economically competitive."
    Whether or not GM and Unifor are able to work an agreement before September 19th remains to be seen. We'll be keeping a close eye on this.
    Source: The Toronto Star, The Detroit News

    William Maley

    Succeeds Dan Ammann who will be heading up Cruise Automation

    Aside from announcing fourth-quarter sales numbers, General Motors had another big announcement today. GM's Product chief Mark Reuss will succeed Dan Ammann as the company's president. The appointment is effective immediately according to the company. 
    “I am very proud to have spent my entire career at General Motors, and to now take on this new role is truly a great honor. With our current lineup of outstanding cars, trucks, and crossovers around the world, I’m looking forward to keeping our momentum going at full speed,” said Reuss in a statement.
    In November, GM announced Ammann would step down as GM President to take charge of GM's Cruise Automation unit.
    Reuss will still be overseeing GM's Global Product Group and Cadillac, but will also add the responsibility for GM's quality organization. He will also be tasked with building out a product development team that will focus on autonomous and electrified vehicles.
    Source: General Motors

    Mark Reuss Named General Motors President
    DETROIT — General Motors (NYSE: GM) today announced the appointment of Mark Reuss as company president, effective immediately. Reuss currently leads the Global Product Group and Cadillac and will now assume responsibility for the Quality organization.
    “Mark’s global operational experience, deep product knowledge and strong leadership will serve us well as we continue to strengthen our current business, take advantage of growth opportunities and further define the future of personal mobility,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Mark has played a critical role in leading the development of the company’s award-winning vehicles while transitioning his team to prepare for growing electrification and autonomous technologies.”
    According to Reuss, “I am very proud to have spent my entire career at General Motors, and to now take on this new role is truly a great honor. With our current lineup of outstanding cars, trucks and crossovers around the world, I’m looking forward to keeping our momentum going at full speed.”
    Reuss added responsibilities for Cadillac and global portfolio planning in June 2018. Since then, he has been building an integrated product development and Cadillac organization to support an accelerated product and technology launch cadence and the brand’s global growth plans. Cadillac will be introducing a new vehicle every six months through 2021.
    Reuss has also been leading the transformation of the company’s global product development workforce and processes to drive world-class levels of engineering in advanced technologies and improve quality and speed to market. He is doubling the resources allocated to electric and autonomous vehicle programs in the next two years.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...two forming a new company for EV charging station infrastructure...

    General Motors and Bechtel are teaming up to form a new company to deploy a widespread fast-charging network. Neither company plans to put any money into the project, outside investors are being solicited.  The network will help General Motors, which plans to introduce 20 new EVs by 2023.  It will also help other manufacturers of EVs. 
    General Motors will provide data to help decide where to locate the EV charging stations and Bechtel will use its own experts for the engineering and building of the stations. Much of the data will come from GM's OnStar system to help learn where people tend to park.  Data from both electric and gasoline powered vehicles will be used.
    Additional fast-charging infrastructure is seen as a requirement to increasing electric vehicle sales. According to a survey by AAA, one of the biggest concerns Americans have about EVs is having enough locations to charge them.  
    The network built by Bechtel and GM will not be limited to interstate highways where most fast charging stations have been located so far.  The company will also locate chargers in urban areas targeting apartments and condos where drivers cannot have a home charger of their own. 
    The new venture joins major initiatives from Electrify America, a Volkswagen funded EV station program, and Tesla with Supercharging, to build out a nationwide network of charging stations. 

    William Maley

    More crew cabs are expected to be rolling off the production line

    When the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra begin rolling off the assembly line sometime later this year, there will be a larger number of crew cabs.
    GM's vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss tells Automotive News that the company has been "constrained' when it comes to the output of their crew cab pickups, a segment that has seen its popularity increase in recent years. Reuss said the company is planning to increase capacity for crew cabs with their next-generation pickups.
    A Chevrolet spokesman said that crew cabs have grown from more than 50 percent of GM's truck sales in 2013 to more than 60 percent.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    ..Slow sales caused the demise of the diesel option..

    There will be one less engine option for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain come the 2020 model year. The Car Connection first reported the news on the Equinox yesterday morning, while Autoblog followed with the Terrain news later in the day. Both stories reported the same reason for cancellation, they didn't sell.
    "We did discontinue the diesel engine option in the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox due to low demand," said Chevrolet spokesman Kevin Kelly.
    The news doesn't come as a shock to us. Diesel engines have gotten a bad rap since the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal came to light, causing sales to drop. The value argument was also tough for both models. A diesel Equinox started at $30,795. But only for $100 more, you could have gotten into the 2.0L turbo-four that offered better performance. Over at the Terrain, the diesel cost around $2,000 more than the 2.0 turbo-four. Diesel fuel is more expensive than its gas counterpart as well.
    That will leave the upcoming Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D as the only diesel option in the compact crossover class. But as we have noted previously, the diesel option is quite expensive (begins at $42,045) and fuel economy figures are disappointing (27 City/30 Highway/28 Combined).
    Source: The Car Connection, Autoblog

    William Maley

    At the moment, GM can't make a case for a pocket rocket

    It seems a month can't go by without another automaker announcing a new pocket rocket. Currently we have the Ford Fiesta and Focus ST; Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX and WRX STI; Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, and Volkswagen GTI. So that leaves us and a number of enthusiasts wondering - where is GM's contender?
    General Motors' vice president of product development tells Automotive News that at the moment, there isn't a business case for one.
    "Capital is not a black hole. On those cars, the price point begins to approach the segment of the next car up. We would spend a lot of money and resources, and what are we really doing?" said Reuss.
    AutoPacific Inc. analyst Dave Sullivan agrees with Reuss' reason, stating that the added cost and complexity of fitting a bigger engine and manual transmission into either the Sonic or Cruze is prohibitively expensive. But Sullivan does point out that they can pull items and help from their European division. Case in point is the Opel/Vauxhall Astra OPC/VXR with a turbocharged 2.0L four with 276 horsepower.
    For the time being, Reuss says that the company is offering a wide selection of accessories to boost performance for not that much cash. Case in point is the $995 performance stage kit and exhaust package for the Sonic. But if you press Reuss, he says a production pocket rocket could be in the timeline.
    "The real question is: Is that a big priority? For now, no. Forever? I wouldn't say that."
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    For the fourth time, GM is calling back older vehicles with the 3.8L V6 for fires

    General Motors has ordered a recall on 1.4 million older vehicles equipped with the 3.8L V6 for a fire risk again. The affected vehicles include,
    1997 - 2004 Buick Regal 2000 - 2004 Chevrolet Impala 1998 - 1999 Chevrolet Lumina 1998 - 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1998 - 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue 1997 - 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

    The problem deals with valve covers that degrade and can leak oil. The leaking oil can fall onto the exhaust manifold under hard braking and catch fire. Now the Detroit News reports this is the fourth time that GM recalled vehicles with this problem since 2008. GM says the previous recalls haven't worked because of the "aging and wear to the valve cover and valve cover gasket".
    Now the bad news is that GM hasn't figured out a fix for this problem. But in the meantime, they are contacting owners about this problem.
    Source: The Detroit News, General Motors
    Press Release is on Page 2

    General Motors is recalling 1,283,340 older sedans and coupes in the U.S. from the 1997 to 2004 model years because drops of oil may be deposited on the hot exhaust manifold through hard braking, which can cause engine compartment fires. GM is working on a remedy. The company is aware of post-repair fires in some vehicles but no crashes or fatalities. There have been 19 reported minor injuries over the last six years. These vehicles with 3.8-liter V6 3800 engines are affected: 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, 1998-1999 Chevrolet Lumina and 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2004 Buick Regal. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total population is 1,411,332.General Motors is recalling 1,283,340 older sedans and coupes in the U.S. from the 1997 to 2004 model years because drops of oil may be deposited on the hot exhaust manifold through hard braking, which can cause engine compartment fires. GM is working on a remedy. The company is aware of post-repair fires in some vehicles but no crashes or fatalities. There have been 19 reported minor injuries over the last six years. These vehicles with 3.8-liter V6 3800 engines are affected: 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, 1998-1999 Chevrolet Lumina and 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2004 Buick Regal. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total population is 1,411,332.

    Drew Dowdell

    Revenue and Income both up strongly

    GM reported an income of $2.5 Billion for the third quarter of 2018 today with strong showings in North America, China, and GM Financial.  Automotive operating cash flow was up by $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion. Overall earnings per share diluted was $1.75.
    In North America, margin is up to 10.2% driven mostly by sales of all-new full-size trucks and continued good sales of crossovers, China reported equity income of $0.5 billion, while GM Financial reported revenues of $0.5 billion. 
    During the period, GM delivered nearly 700,000 vehicles in the US with average transaction prices of $36,000.  In China, sales were up 10% year to date to nearly 836,000 vehicles. In China, Cadillac continues to do well, up 4% year over year and up 20% year to date.  Bolt EV production is being increased by 20% to meet growing demand.
    Source:  General-Motors-Q3-2018-Earnings-Press-Release.pdf

    William Maley

    If you see a Chevrolet Bolt with loads of equipment operating in Metro Detroit, it is likely an autonomous test vehicle

    Almost a week after the state of Michigan signed into law a series of bills that allow for the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads, General Motors announced today that it would begin testing them immediately. The plan will see GM beginning to test vehicles on road the company's technical center in Warren, MI. In due course, the testing will move to the metro Detroit area. During a press conference today, CEO Mary Barra said Detroit would be GM's primary test area for snow and cold-weather driving.
    “Revolutionizing transportation for our customers while improving safety on roads is the goal of our autonomous vehicle technology, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to making this vision a reality. Our autonomous technology will be reliable and safe, as customers have come to expect from any of our vehicles,” said Barra in a statement.
    Along with this, General Motors is assigning the Orion assembly plant to build the next-generation autonomous testing vehicles. They'll be based on the Chevrolet Bolt EV and come equipped with LiDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware required for full autonomy. The vehicles will be used in Detroit, San Francisco, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Currently, GM has 40 test vehicles operating in San Francisco and Scottsdale.
    Source: General Motors
    Press Release is on Page 2

    GM to Start Autonomous Vehicle Manufacturing and Testing in Michigan

    DETROIT — On the heels of the signing of the SAVE Act legislation to support autonomous vehicle testing and deployment in Michigan, General Motors will immediately begin testing autonomous vehicles on public roads. GM also announced it will produce the next generation of its autonomous test vehicles at its Orion Township assembly plant beginning in early 2017. 
    “Revolutionizing transportation for our customers while improving safety on roads is the goal of our autonomous vehicle technology, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to making this vision a reality,” said General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Our autonomous technology will be reliable and safe, as customers have come to expect from any of our vehicles.”
    Testing is already underway on GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan, and with the passage of the SAVE Act legislation will now expand to public roads on the facility’s outskirts. Within the next few months, testing will expand to metro Detroit, which will become GM’s main location for the development of autonomous technology in winter climates. 
    Workers at the Orion Township assembly plant will build test fleet Bolt EVs equipped with fully autonomous technology. The plant currently manufactures the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Sonic. The new equipment will include LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware designed to ensure system safety, leveraging GM’s proven manufacturing quality standards. 
    The test fleet vehicles will be used by GM engineers for continued testing and validation of GM’s autonomous technology already underway on public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as part of the Michigan testing fleet.
    Since the beginning of 2016, GM has taken significant steps in its development of autonomous vehicle technology.
    In January, the company announced the formation of a dedicated autonomous vehicle engineering team and a $500 million investment in Lyft to develop an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the U.S. In March, the company announced the acquisition of Cruise Automation to provide deep software talent and rapid development expertise to help speed development. 
    In June, GM began testing autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs on the public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale. The company has more than 40 autonomous vehicles testing in the two cities.

    William Maley

    A mix of electric and hydrogen vehicles

    General Motors is the latest automaker that is preparing for an emissions-free future. Today at GM's technical center in Warren, MI, the company announced plans to introduce 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023. The first two models of this plan will launch in the next 18 months and will be "based off learnings" from the Chevrolet Bolt.
    “General Motors believes in an all-electric future. Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain in a statement.
    Those who were at the technical center got a preview of three clay models featuring the next-generation electric powertrain - a Buick crossover (Encore replacement?), Cadillac wagon, and a pod-looking vehicle.
    GM is also working on building out vehicles using hydrogen powertrains.
    "General Motors believes in an all-electric future... Our electric solution cannot be 'one size fits all.' We believe you need two different flavors of electrification — battery electric and fuel cell electric."
    GM showed off SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) which takes the idea of the skateboard hydrogen chassis from the Hy-Wire concept and makes it quite larger - about the size of a commercial truck chassis.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Green Car Reports , Roadshow, GM
    Press Release is on Page 2

    GM Outlines All-Electric Path to Zero Emissions
    DETROIT — General Motors announced today how it is executing on a major element of its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, recently announced by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
    “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs.”
    In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. They will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that will launch by 2023.
    Given customers' various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification — battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements.
    GM also introduced SURUS — the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure — a fuel cell powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame that’s driven by two electric motors. With its capability and flexible architecture, SURUS could be used as a delivery vehicle, truck or even an ambulance — all emissions free.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 5, 2012
    General Motors and Ford Motor Company are butting heads over a commerical to air on tonights Super Bowl. Today, Ford sent GM cease and decease order to take down the "2012" commercial for the Chevrolet Silverado. Ford also pressured NBC to not air the ad tonight.
    The ad shows the Mayan prediction that the world will end on December 21, 2012 comes true. With a disastrous looking landscape, the only remaining object to survive is a new Silverado truck. The driver and his dog drive around in the wasteland till they come across a group of other Silverado owners. The group talks about a fellow friend that did not make it because he drove a Ford truck.
    “We stand by our claims in the commercial, that the Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road. The ad is a fun way of putting this claim in the context of the apocalypse. We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize. In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away,” said General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick.
    For now, GM has said the ad will still air during the first quarter.
    *UPDATE* Ford spokesman Mike Levine confirmed to Motoramic that Ford did send GM a letter asking them to take the ad down, saying Ford disagreed with several of GM's claims, "particularly around durability." Levine also said GM's "longest-lasting" claims are false due to Ford having more trucks on the road with 250,000 miles or more than any other make.
    "Claims are made in advertising frequently by every auto manufacturer. This type of ad protest happens from time to time...We'll always defend our products."
    Levine said any decision on what to do after the ad airs will come from Ford's legal team.

    Source: Motoramic
    Press Release is on page 2

    Chevy Response to Ford on Silverado 2012 Super Bowl Ad

    DETROIT – Last evening Chevrolet was asked by Ford Motor Co. to stop showing its Super Bowl commercial for the Silverado, the longest-lasting, most-dependable full-size pickup on the road.
    The good-humored ad, called “2012”, shows the Silverado navigating a completely over-the-top, outrageous version of the devastation and destruction predicted to occur this year by the Mayan calendar includes giant attack robots, meteors and frogs falling from the sky.
    A group of friends, who are Silverado owners, makes its way to the designated meeting spot but notice one of their buddies is missing. The missing friend, however, did not drive a Chevrolet. Instead, he drove a Ford and doesn’t appear to have made it to the meeting point.
    “We stand by our claims in the commercial, that the Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road. The ad is a fun way of putting this claim in the context of the apocalypse,” said General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. “We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize. In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away.”
    The Silverado ad will run in the first quarter of the Super Bowl and is one of five spots that Chevrolet is debuting on Super Bowl Sunday. To see all of the spots visit: http://www.youtube.c...Chevrolet/home.

    William Maley

    Mary Barra Says GM Is A Leader In Autonomous Vehicles..

    Mary Barra, General Motors' CEO tells USA Today in an interview that the company is "among the leaders" in the development of self-driving cars. Now this claim seems a bit dubious since the only pieces of self-driving technologies that GM is working on is the Super Cruise system that will be debuting on the Cadillac CT6. and the company disclosing that it's running a fleet of driverless Volts at the Warren Technical Center. The remaining efforts are being kept confidential at the moment.
    "Things are moving quickly in autonomous (cars) because there's so many different pathways and the standards aren't even set. A lot of people can claim leads because people are making advancements in different areas," said Barra.
    We recommend you check out the rest of the article as Barra talks about Apple, Tesla, and the current relationship with NHTSA.
    Source: USA Today via Detroit Free Press

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 11, 2013
    A new report from Reuters cites France's La Tribune story that General Motors is in talks with PSA Peugeot-Citroën about possibly selling vans in the United States. The report doesn't say which vans are in consideration, only saying that van would be sold under ofne of GM's brand, most likely Chevrolet.
    This news doesn't come as a surprise. GM currently has some of the oldest full-size vans on the marketplace and with fresh models coming in from Europe, GM could use all the help they can get. Also, GM recently struck a deal with Nissan to sell the NV200 as the Chevrolet City Express.
    Source: Reuters
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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