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    Drew Dowdell

    About 46,000 hourly employees to walk off the line at 11:59 tonight...

    The UAW declared a national strike against General Motors, a first since 2007, after GM failed to reach a deal with union leaders over wages and benefits.  A union spokesman said it was a unanimous vote to strike and that the status of the negotiations are unclear. 
    General Motors said that its offer to the UAW included more than $7 billion in U.S. investments, jobs, higher pay, and improved benefits.  It included an offer for more than 5,400 jobs, the majority of which would be new.  The offer would allocated an electric truck to Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and Lordstown would be reopened as a battery assembly plant. 
    The UAW's previous contract with General Motors expired on Saturday at midnight, but workers were told to continue to show up to work under the terms of the prior contract while negotiations were ongoing.  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Company have extended their current contracts while the GM talks are happening.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...A vacuum pump failure could make it harder to stop...

    General Motors announced a recall Wednesday of 3.46 million GM trucks and SUVs for a braking issue that has been linked to 113 accidents and 13 injuries.  The problem arises from a vacuum pump issue where the pump make less vacuum over time, thereby increasing the braking effort. The pump is lubricated by engine oil and can accumulate debris and oil sludge lessening the pump's effectiveness.
    The recall covered model years 2014 - 2018 of Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, and Tahoe, and GMC Sierra and Yukon. 
    GM told the NHTSA that the pump design was only used during those years of manufacture. 
    In a smaller recall, GM is recalling 177,000 2018 Chevrolet Malibus with the 1.5-liter Turbo engine where an error in the engine control computer could disable the fuel injectors. 

    Drew Dowdell

    "Okay Google!"...

    General Motors will be using Google Software for its embedded infotainment systems starting in 2021. This is in contrast to the Amazon Alexa capability found in some new Ford vehicles starting this year.
    The systems from GM will offer Google assistant, Google Maps, and certain other applications that are available in the Google Play app store in all of its brands except those in China.
    GM and other automakers have resisted demands by consumers for this type of software built in out of a fear of losing control of data and the possibility that the Silicon Valley brands eclipse their own. Consumer demand has forced the manufacturers’ hands however.
    Google will not have access to any of the data regarding driving style or vehicle maintenance needs, so consumers need not fear tracking or monetization by Google based on vehicular data.
    Through Google Assistant, GM hopes to offer additional services such as scheduling service appointments. Some of the services Google Assistant supplies are duplicates of offerings by GM’s own OnStar service. However, OnStar still is able to respond to an accident whereas Google Assistant cannot. Furthermore, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will continue to be offered.
    Expect the Google Assistant packages to be an additional cost item, and prices will be released closer to launch date. The agreement with Google allows for the installation in up to 3.6 million vehicles annually, the number of vehicles sold outside of China last year.
    Other manufacturers using Google’s systems are Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Volvo.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Workhorse revenue and stock plummet...

    Back in early May, we reported that electric truck maker Workhorse was in talks with General Motors to buy the shuttered Lordstown Assembly plant that formerly built the Chevrolet Cruze.  The plan seemed founded more on hopes and dreams rather than actual financial reality.  Workhorse's only model, the W-15 is a truck with an 80 mile range and a built in range extender, has not exactly been climbing the sales charts.   In fact, the company booked only $6,000 in sales in the 2nd quarter of 2019, roughly $70 per day.  Following that report, the company's stock plunged 35%. Deliveries of the truck are currently on hold and will resume in the 4th quarter this year. There is currently a $70 Million backlog of orders to fill.
    Hopes of a solution for Lordstown coming from Workhorse are dim, but there is one thing that could save the deal: a $6.3 Billion contract from the US Postal Service to build the next generation of mail trucks, though Tom Colton, a spokesman for Workhorse said that the Lordstown deal isn't contingent on the contract from the USPS. 
    Under the proposed Lordstown deal, a new company would be formed called Lordstown Motors Corp. which would license the Workhorse technology to produce vehicles based on the W-15 model.  Workhorse itself would own a minority stake in the company. 
    The UAW is still in talks with General Motors to reopen the plant and assign new product to it.

    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

    Drew Dowdell

    ...promises a new level of diesel refinement...

    GM released power figures today for the new inline 6-cylinder diesel engine that will be available in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.  Available at the same price as the 6.2 liter model, GM promises the new engine will change perceptions about diesel performance and refinement.  GM recently announced the delay of the 3.0-liter diesel until the 2020 model year due to emissions certification delays. 
    Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the diesel produces an SAE-certified 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque with 95 percent of that torque being available at just 1,250 RPM.  Torque peak comes at 1500 rpm and peak horsepower at 3750 rpm.
    The powertrain is setup to offer diesel exhaust braking to help slow the vehicle when the truck is in tow-haul mode, limiting the number of applications of the brakes to save on brake wear. The engine also has a user selective start-stop function to save additional fuel in city driving. 
    2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3.0L DURAMAX TURBO-DIESEL SPECIFICATIONS
    Type:
    Duramax 3.0L DOHC Turbo Diesel I6 
    Bore & Stroke (in. / mm):
    3.30 x 3.54 inches (84mm x 90mm)
    Block Material:
    Aluminum
    Cylinder Head Material:
    Aluminum
    Compression Ratio:
    15.0: 1
    Firing Order:
    1-5-3-6-2-4
    Valvetrain:
    Dual-overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder
    Air Delivery:
    Single variable-geometry turbocharger; intercooling system. 42.8-psi / 2.95 bar max boost
    Fuel Delivery:
    High-pressure, common-rail direct injection (36,250 psi / 2500 bar); electronic throttle valve
    Ignition System:
    Compression
    Max Engine Speed:
    5100 rpm
    Additional Features:
    Continuously variable oil pump; engine oil cooler, automatic stop/start, Active Thermal Management,
    Emissions Control:
    Low-pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR); Selective Catalyst Reduction on Filter (SCRF)
    Horsepower
    (hp / kW @ rpm):
    277 / 204 @ 3750 (SAE certified)
    Torque
    (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
    460 / 624 @ 1500 (SAE certified)
    Manufacturing Location (of globally sourced parts)
    Flint, Mich.  
     
     
    Chevy Press release on page 2


    2020 CHEVROLET SILVERADO’S NEW, ADVANCED 3.0L DURAMAX TURBO-DIESEL REDEFINES EXPECTATIONS
    No-compromise engine delivers refinement, performance and efficiency
    2019-06-03
    DETROIT — The all-new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado’s available 3.0L Duramax inline-six turbo-diesel engine adds choice and versatility for full-size truck customers, offering class-leading torque and horsepower in addition to focusing on fuel economy and capability. It is the first-ever inline-six turbo-diesel offered in Chevrolet’s full-size light-duty trucks.
    Chevrolet engineers started with a clean-sheet design and developed an all-new engine that leverages the efficiency and refinement advantages of the inline six-cylinder architecture and incorporates advanced combustion and emissions technologies to optimize performance and efficiency. It is priced identically to the 6.2L V-8 as a $2,495 premium over a 5.3L V-8 model or $3,890 over a 2.7L Turbo model.
    “From the moment the engine is started, to its idle, acceleration and highway cruising, the 3.0L Duramax performance will change perceptions of what a diesel engine can offer in refinement,” said Nicola Menarini, director for Diesel Truck Engine Program Execution. “With advanced technologies that draw on global diesel expertise, it’s a no-compromise choice for those who want the capability and driving range of a diesel in a light-duty truck.”
    Available on LT, RST, LTZ and High Country models, the 3.0L Duramax diesel rounds out the new Silverado’s range of six propulsion choices, each tailored to suit customers’ needs for performance, efficiency, technology and value. It is rated at an SAE-certified 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque delivering 95 percent of peak torque at just 1,250 rpm. Peak torque is sustained from 1,500 rpm through 3,000 rpm, providing a powerfully smooth and satisfying driving experience.
    The 3.0L Duramax is paired with GM’s 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission, featuring a centrifugal pendulum absorber torque converter that reduces vibrations to improve smoothness, reinforcing its performance, efficiency and refinement. This combination also offers exhaust braking, which uses the diesel engine’s compression to help slow the vehicle, requiring fewer brake applications by the driver when in Tow Haul mode.
    Innovative Engine Technologies
    The inline six-cylinder architecture offers inherent efficiency and refinement, but the team expanded with smart technology choices to help improve efficiency and weight while optimizing the truck experience. A lightweight aluminum block and cylinder head reduce overall mass, and Active Thermal Management enhances efficiency and cold-weather warm-up. Ceramic glow plugs also help with shorter heat-up times and a quicker cold start, meaning the engine block heater is not needed until -22 degrees F.
    Towing is an important part of owning a truck, and customers can gain additional confidence thanks to the exhaust brake available in tow-haul mode. The water charge air cooler, coupled with low pressure EGR, reduces time to torque. The variable geometry turbocharger helps provide a greater balance of performance and efficiency, and an electronically variable intake manifold helps optimize performance across the rpm band.
    Inherently efficient and balanced
    Compared to a DOHC V-6, the inline-six architecture offers greater efficiency from the reduced friction of operating only two camshafts and their associated valvetrain components. The I6 configuration offers the perfect balance of primary and secondary forces, without the need for balancing shafts.
    “In addition to reduced friction, the architecture enables smooth operation,” Menarini said. “The new Duramax 3.0L elevates the 2019 Silverado with one of the most refined and efficient diesel engines in the segment.”
    Along with supporting elements such as a tuned air induction system and other noise-attenuating elements, the 3.0L Duramax delivers exceptional quietness and smoothness at all engine speeds.
    All-aluminum construction and tough rotating assembly
    The 3.0L Duramax cylinder block is made of a cast aluminum alloy that provides the strength required to support the high combustion pressures that occur within a diesel engine, while also offering an approximately 25 percent mass savings over a comparable cast iron engine block. Iron cylinder liners are used within the aluminum block to insure truck durability.
    There are seven nodular iron main bearing caps that help ensure the block’s strength under those high combustion pressures, while also enabling accurate location of the rotating assembly. A deep-skirt block design, where the block casting extends below the crankshaft centerline, also contributes to the engine’s stiffness and refinement. It’s complemented by a stiffness-enhancing aluminum lower crankcase extension attached to the main bearing caps.
    The rotating assembly consists of a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods and hypereutectic aluminum pistons. The alloys in the respective castings for the rods and pistons make them lightweight and durable. Silicon is blended with the aluminum for heat resistance and tolerance within the piston cylinders, which enhances performance and makes the engine quiet.
    A thick piston crown — the top of the piston — and reinforced top ring add strength to support the tremendous cylinder pressures enabled by turbocharging and the engine’s high 15.0:1 compression ratio.
    DOHC Cylinder Head and Rear Cam Drive
    Overhead camshafts offer a direct, efficient means of operating the valves, while four valves per cylinder activated by maintenance-free finger followers with hydraulic lash adjusters increase airflow in and out of the engine. This arrangement is integrated on the Duramax 3.0L’s lightweight aluminum cylinder head, which is topped with a lightweight composite cam cover that incorporates the crankcase ventilation and oil separation systems.
    A pair of lightweight, assembled camshafts actuates 28.35 mm diameter (1.12-inch) intake and 24.55 mm diameter (0.97-inch) exhaust valves. The camshaft drivetrain is uniquely located at the rear (flywheel side) of the engine, for greater refinement and packaging considerations for the comparatively long inline-six. A crankshaft-driven chain drives the high-pressure direct-injection fuel pump, while a chain driven by the fuel pump drives both intake and exhaust camshafts. A smaller belt drives the variable flow oil pump from the crankshaft.
    Additional Technology Highlights
    Variable geometry turbocharging enables the Duramax 3.0L engine to deliver class-leading horsepower with minimal effect on overall efficiency. The system uses closed loop controlled vanes position and sophisticated electronic controls to automatically adjust boost pressure to the desired value based on engine running conditions and instantaneous power demand. The liquid-cooled turbocharger features a low-friction ball-bearing shaft and is mounted close to the exhaust outlet of the engine for quicker spool-up of the turbine and quicker light-off of the exhaust catalyst. A water-to-air intercooling system produces a cooler higher density air charge for greater power. Maximum boost pressure is 43,5 psi (300 Kpa) absolute.
    Low-pressure EGR: The Duramax 3.0L utilizes new low-pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation to optimize performance and efficiency. The EGR system diverts some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixes it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is drawn into the cylinder head for combustion. That lowers combustion temperatures and rates.
    Traditionally, EGR systems in diesel applications recirculate exhaust gases between the two high-pressure points, the exhaust manifold(s) and intake manifold. However, it generally requires efficiency-robbing assistance from the turbocharger or other supporting elements to achieve the pressure differential required for sufficient EGR flow rates.
    The new low-pressure system adds to the high-pressure system, supporting continual adjustment of exhaust backpressure for more efficient operation. It recirculates gases between the low-pressure points in the exhaust system (downstream of the particulate filter) and after the compressor inlet.
    When the low-pressure EGR is activated by an electronically controlled valve, the engine burns exhaust gas that has already passed through the particulate filter. That increases the turbocharger’s efficiency, which helps overall vehicle efficiency without deteriorating the rate of particulate matter emitted by the engine.
    A variable intake manifold offers dual air intake pathways for each cylinder. Electronically controlled flaps — one for each cylinder — shorten or lengthen the airflow to each cylinder. This optimizes the airflow into the engine and improves performance and responsiveness across the rpm band, particularly at lower engine speeds.
    A variable-pressure oiling system with a continuously variable-displacement vane oil pump enhances efficiency by optimizing oil pressure as a function of engine speed and load. With it, the oil supply is matched to the engine requirements rather than the excessive supply of a conventional, fixed-displacement oil pump. The engine uses low-friction Diesel Dexos 0W20 oil.
    Oil jets located in the block are employed for performance and temperature control. They target the inner core of the piston with an extra layer of cooling, friction-reducing oil. The jets reduce piston temperature, allowing the engine to produce more power and enhance long-term durability than engines without the technology.
    Active Thermal Management helps the engine warm up quickly to achieve and maintain its optimal engine temperature for performance and efficiency over the entire engine operating range. The system uses a three-actuator rotary valve system to distribute coolant through the engine in a targeted manner. It sends heat where it’s needed to warm up the engine to reduce friction and heat the passenger cabin or cools when needed for high-power operation. The Duramax 3.0L also features split cooling between the block and head.
    Common rail direct fuel injection of 2,500 bar (36,250 psi) helps generates class-leading horsepower and torque. The system’s pressure is generated by an engine-driven twin-piston pump sending fuel to solenoid-activated injectors with nine-hole nozzles that support precise metering of the fuel for a smooth idle and lower combustion noise. The fuel system is capable of multiple injections per combustion cycle — up to 10 times per injector — for more consistent and stable combustion performance that translates into smoothness and refinement, particularly at idle.   
    Electronic throttle valve: The Duramax 3.0L features an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to optimize exhaust gas recirculation rates. It also contributes to a smooth engine shutdown via a more controlled method of airflow reduction.
    Ceramic glow plugs used in the Duramax 3.0L heat up more quickly and hotter than conventional metal-based glow plugs, helping the engine start and heat up more quickly in cold weather. The Duramax 3.0L achieves unassisted and assisted starting temperatures of -22 F (-30 C) and -40 F (-40 C) respectively.
    Stop/start technology helps optimize efficiency in city driving. The driver-selectable system shuts off the engine at stoplights and other stop-and-go situations. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes their foot off the brake.
    ABOUT CHEVROLET
    Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
    # # #
    2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3.0L DURAMAX TURBO-DIESEL SPECIFICATIONS
    Type:
    Duramax 3.0L DOHC Turbo Diesel I6 
    Bore & Stroke (in. / mm):
    3.30 x 3.54 inches (84mm x 90mm)
    Block Material:
    Aluminum
    Cylinder Head Material:
    Aluminum
    Compression Ratio:
    15.0: 1
    Firing Order:
    1-5-3-6-2-4
    Valvetrain:
    Dual-overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder
    Air Delivery:
    Single variable-geometry turbocharger; intercooling system. 42.8-psi / 2.95 bar max boost
    Fuel Delivery:
    High-pressure, common-rail direct injection (36,250 psi / 2500 bar); electronic throttle valve
    Ignition System:
    Compression
    Max Engine Speed:
    5100 rpm
    Additional Features:
    Continuously variable oil pump; engine oil cooler, automatic stop/start, Active Thermal Management,
    Emissions Control:
    Low-pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR); Selective Catalyst Reduction on Filter (SCRF)
    Horsepower
    (hp / kW @ rpm):
    277 / 204 @ 3750 (SAE certified)
    Torque
    (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
    460 / 624 @ 1500 (SAE certified)
     

    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. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...a hiccup on emissions...

    GM is delaying the launch of the new inline-6 diesel engine bound for the GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.  No longer available for ordering on the 2019s, GM has pushed the availability into the 2020 model year. 
    According the GM, the emissions certification process on the engine is taking longer than normal.   Customers who ordered a 2019 Silverado or Sierra with the diesel engine will have their orders canceled and will need to resubmit the order for a 2020 model year vehicle once they become available for order.  GM has yet to open orders for 2020 truck models with the diesel engine, but a GM spokesperson said that it will be "soon".
    Assuming the current pricing holds, the 3.0 liter Duramax diesel will be priced $2,495 over a 5.3 liter V8 and $2,890 over the 4-cylinder 2.7-liter turbo. 
    Meanwhile for 2020, GM is expanding the availability of adaptive cruise control and the 10-speed automatic across the lineup.  At Chevy, the Silverado will now have the optional 6.2 liter V8 on five out of the eight trim levels.  The 6.2 V8 will be paired with the 10-speed automatic and available on the Custom Trail Boss, RST, LT Trail Box, LTZ, and High Country. At GMC, the CarbonPro box will be available at no additional cost when paired with certain other packages on the Sierra AT4 and Sierra Denali, while the double cab Sierra Elevation Trim will now also be available in a crew cab. 
     

    William Maley

    ...Maven? Maven who?...

    Maven, General Motors' car-sharing service launched in 2016 will be ceasing operation in several cities in the U.S.
    The news was first broken by the Wall Street Journal on Monday and has been confirmed by a GM spokeswoman. Eight out of the seventeen markets that the service operates including Boston and Chicago will be closed down within the next few months. According to the spokeswoman, the shutdown is due to GM wanting to "concentrate on markets in which we have the strongest current demand and growth potential." Those markets in question include Detroit, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
    Another possible reason is the lack of awareness of Maven in the eight markets being shut down. There isn't enough demand for people wanting to use car-sharing or wanting to allow the use of their vehicles.
    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required), Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Possible sale as part of a global restructuring...

    Among General Motor's restructuring and cost slashing activities of 2018, GM was apparently in talks to sell their headquarters in Detroit.  GM bought the Renaissance Center in 1996 for $70 million and has made substantial renovations over the years.   The RenCen, as it is also known, was originally built by Ford in 1971 who later sold it in the 1980s.
    The potential buyer was billionaire Dan Gilbert.  Talks fell through rather early because the aging structure requires expensive upgrades to its heating and air conditioning systems along with other renovations. There does not appear to be another buyer in talks with GM at this time.
    News of the potential sale follow a year of cost cutting measures by the company that include closing five North American plants and cutting up to 14,000 jobs.  The company hopes to have $6 Billion in annual savings by 2020. 

    dfelt

    Software is the Next Battleground in the auto war and GM is ready to win it with a new electrical platform.

    “General Motors has developed an all-new digital vehicle platform necessary for its next-generation of vehicles, EVs, active safety, infotainment and connectivity features, and the evolution of the Super Cruise driver assistance feature.” To quote their press release.


    GM-2020-ElectricPlatform.mp4 We have heard that GM has their next EV platform that will cover multiple new auto’s and that GM has their global ICE auto platform. The one thing that no one has talked about is the nervous system that is underneath these new autos.

    Tesla has proven that technology can sell and that the younger generation is wanting an auto to stay current much like their smartphone and yet not be a challenge to upgrade such as some OEMs have done with requiring you to come in and get them to flash the Powertrain with a USB thumb drive or the NAV system with a new expensive DVD update.

    GM has their mission and vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. To achieve this in both auto’s meant GM needed a new electronic platform.


    The 2020 Cadillac CT5 will be the start of the Generals 3 year roll out to have all GM built global autos on a single new powerful electric platform. This new platform is not a thing that dealerships will be selling as most people will not care about the fact that starting with the CT5 this car will be capable of processing 4.5 Terabytes of data per hour, a five-fold increase over GM’s current electrical architecture. Depending on the system in the auto, every auto will have 100Mbs, 1Gbps and 10Gbps ethernet connections both internally and externally.

    With this new electric platform, GM has also built in an encrypted Cybersecurity as a key pillar of this new architecture. The Cybersecurity has multiple protective features at both hardware and software levels reflecting GM’s push for safe and secure autos.

    GM is among the first automakers with a dedicated and integrated Product Cybersecurity organization. This group is focused on insuring that every new auto GM puts out will be protected against unauthorized access to the vehicle and customer data.

    GM is also chairing the Auto-ISAC (Automotive Information Sharing & Analysis Center), a public and private-sector of partners that share and analyzes intelligence about emerging cybersecurity risks for the auto industry.

    GM like the Smartphone industry will make standard all software updates for their auto’s over the air enabling adoption of functionality upgrades throughout the lifespan of the vehicle with no need to come to the dealership to get them.

    GM autos will have a new Nervous system, a new electric system that for some would could cause concern that things would get overly complicated. This is where GM empowered the new engineering team to think outside the box and clean sheet what it would take to for the long future road of auto tech.

    According to the magazine Wired, after GM press announcement on their new electric platform, GM’s director of electrical components and subsystems Al Adams talked with Wired. Mr. Adams says this is the little-appreciated, tucked-away guts of an auto that is not noticed till it does not work. This new electrical system will roll out over the next 36 months to standardize GM’s 56 models across four brands

    Mr. Adams says this is equal to having an original iPhone and trading it in for an iPhone 7 in terms of the power it will add to the autos.  This will allow a standardization of Super Cruise and other safety features to be rolled out throughout the whole global product lines.


    The biggest benefit that Mr. Adams says this will do is to simplify the auto’s which today have 30 to 40 separate computers controlling a wide range of feature / functions. This is double what it was only 10 years ago. This new electronic platform will bring it back to a single enterprise multi-core computer running the whole auto. This new platform ended up reducing the amount of multiple wire strands being run reducing a noticeable amount of weight in the autos.

    300 electrical engineers and computer scientist filed more than 100 patents and benchmarked the new auto cybersecurity system against defense and aviation systems with a focus on message authentication. This allows the cruise control system to know that the radar is really talking to it when it says the road is clear ahead and not some external source. Millions of miles of testing have gone into this new robust platform to ensure that the auto’s being built will last for decades through any type of weather.

    To quote Mr. Adams, “Software is the Next Battleground!” in the auto war.


    William Maley

    ...There are some very good reasons why people are very skeptical about this deal...

    When General Motors announced that it would be potentially selling its Lordstown plant to electric car start-up Workhorse Group Inc, there was a fair amount of head-scratching. The company is best for their W-15 range-extended pickup (which has been delayed) and electric vans. They are also known for the Surefly octocopter drone their former CEO Steve Burns is trying to sell.
    Why the skepticism? Workhorse isn't looking so good on the financial sheets. Back in March, Trucks.com published a report talking about the various financial setbacks the company has been facing. From their story,
    The news hasn't gotten any better in 2019. Their most recent financial statement to the SEC reveals the company has $2,847,936 of on-hand cash at the end of March. They also reported a net loss of $6,264,172.
    "Workhorse appears to be a very slow-moving venture that has a lot of risk, and no massive amount of funding. Lordstown is a massive facility, and despite some investments over the years, I don't believe it would be easily converted to build electric pickups without substantial investment," said Jeff Schuster, an industry analyst for LMC Automotive to The Detroit News.
    But Workhorse has a plan for this. Both the News and Trucks.com report that “newly formed entity” would be created and Workhorse would be a minority stakeholder. The entity "would own Lordstown and use Workhorse technology and intellectual property to build a vehicle." Where would the business get the capital to this is unclear. Workhorse spokesman Tom Colton declined to comment when asked about possible funding sources.
    “There’s got to be some big contract behind this because Workhorse’s financials and forecasts just don’t merit a plant that makes 450,000 units a year,” said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group for the Center for Automotive Research.
    There is also the issue of utilizing all of that space that Lordstown offers - 6.2 million square feet. Analysis done by LMC says Workhorse would need to produce 410,000 trucks and vans per year to reach full capacity. At the moment, LMC forecasts Workhorse producing between 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles.
    Again, Workhorse may have a solution. Here is GM Spokesman Jim Cain speaking to The Detroit News,
    As mentioned earlier, Workhorse is one of the five finalists on building new trucks for the U.S. Postal Service. They are teamed up with VT Hackney - a company that builds specialized bodies for work trucks - Emergency services and Beverage trucks to give some examples. The contract is worth $6.3 billion. But Jalopnik reported yesterday that the post office truck would not be built in Lordstown.
    As it stands, there are a lot of questions and unknowns about this possible deal.
    Source: The Detroit News, Trucks.com

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Trump announced the sale in a series of tweets...

    In a series of tweets today, Trump announced that General Motors will be selling their Lordstown plant to electric truck maker Workhorse.  Lordstown was shut down in March of this year and formerly built the Chevrolet Cruze.  The details of the plant sale have not yet been announced.
    Workhorse is a Cincinnati based company who builds EV pickups with a built in range extender, similar in concept to the Chevrolet Volt.  Workhorse's sole model is the W-15, capable of driving up to 80 miles on a charge before a gasoline powered range extender kicks in. It uses two motors to provide all-wheel drive. The only configuration available is an extended cab with 6.5 foot bed. They can tow up to 5,000 lbs and have a payload of 2,200 lbs.  Pricing starts at $54,500 before tax credits. 
    Workhorse intends to start production for the retail market sometime in 2019.  Fleet orders have already started. 
    GM is not denying any of the information in the tweets from Trump. 
    Update: General Motors has confirmed that talks are ongoing.

    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.

    Drew Dowdell

    .... GM takes the light-duty diesel power crown.

    The GMC Build and Price tool has let the details slip on the power ratings of the upcoming inline-6 diesel due to be released in the Sierra and Silverado in a few weeks.  The 3.0 liter turbo diesel will produce 277 hp at 3,750 rpm and 460 lb-ft at a mere 1,500 rpm. The only transmission choice will be the 10-speed automatic. These numbers are SAE certified and verified by GM. The diesel motor will be available on LT and above trims on the Chevy and on all GMC trims except the base.
    These numbers make the GM six more powerful than Ford's V6 Powerstroke diesel which runs at 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque.  The New Ram 1500 still hasn't gotten a diesel unit, but it will probably be the same rating as the 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque in the Jeep Gladiator.
    One area still unknown on the GM unit is fuel economy. The Ford F-150 Powerstroke is EPA estimated for 30 mpg highway/25 combined/22 city. 
    The GM diesels 1500 trucks will be at dealerships this summer. 
    Related:
     

    Drew Dowdell

    ...move will bring 400 new jobs to Orion

    GM Announced this morning that the company will be investing $300 million and adding 400 jobs at its Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant.  The investment will go towards facilities to produce a new electric vehicle for the Chevrolet brand.
    The new vehicle will be the second such vehicle, after the Cadillac EV Crossover, to be built on GM's new BEV3 platform, an advance version of the same platform that underpins the Chevrolet Bolt EV.  
    The Orion plant currently builds the Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Bolt EV, and the Cruise AV test vehicles. There are about 880 hourly and 130 salary employees working there.
    Along with the investment announcement for Orion, GM is announcing another $1.8 billion in U.S. manufacturing. This comes on the heels of the closure of the Lordstown assembly plant in Eastern Ohio.  The plant was the subject of a series of tweets by the President in an attempt to get GM to either sell the plant or quickly reopen it.  GM has said that it has 2,700 job openings available for the 2,800 employees that have been displaced by the recent idling of 5 of its facilities. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...demands selling it or reopening it quickly.

    Trump posted multiple tweets regarding the closure of GM's Lordstown Ohio plant today.  In those tweets he says he has spoken to GM CEO Mary Barra about his displeasure over the closing of the facility.  He said he demanded swift action on either the selling of the plant or reopening it.   He further stated the Ms. Barra blamed the UAW for the closure.
     
    In a further series of tweets, Trump mentioned that GM and the UAW will be starting talks in September of this year, but that he is impatient with that timeline.  Claiming that we have one of the best economies in history, he wants to see the plant opened or sold to another car company.  While Lordstown has shuttered on reality, on paper it still needs to negotiate its closure with the UAW during contract negotiations later this year. 
     
     
    In a report last week, it appears that General Motors has something in the works for the Lordstown plant that Governor DeWine said could be a possible sale of Lordstown. 
    Some have pondered why Trump is focusing on the Lordstown facility out of all 5 GM plant closures and the answer seems to be in Ohio's status as a presidential election swing state. 
    UAW 1112 President David Green has sent multiple letters to Trump asking for his assistance to help save the facility, but at last report has not heard back from the administration.

    Drew Dowdell

    An announcement could be coming in four to six weeks.

    After announcing the closure of 5 plants back in November, General Motors ended production of the Chevrolet Cruze at the Lordstown Ohio assembly plant last week.  Now, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has said that in his discussions with General Motors, that the company has plans to make an announcement in about 4 to 6 weeks.  DeWine said that it is his understanding that GM is looking to sell the plant, but that he doesn't know who GM is talking to. 
    While he reiterated his uncertainty, he said
    The governor stated he or his office is in contact with GM at least twice a week. 

    Drew Dowdell

    CT6 and Impala live on to January 2020; Lacrosse and Volt ended February 15th.

    The Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt have entered that great used car lot in the sky as of February 15th according to a GM announcement.  The Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala were originally scheduled to end production in June of 2019 but have now had their production schedules extended until January 2020. GM states that the reason for the extension is to allow for continued availability of the CT6-V, Blackwing Twin-Turbo V8, and Super Cruise. The Cadillac CT6 is also built in Jinqiao, China.
    GM had announced the closure of 5 plants back in November, including Hamtramck.  Lordstown Ohio will be the first plant to be unallocated with production stopping March 1st.  GM has stated that this restructuring would boost company cash flow by $6B by the end of 2020. 

    Drew Dowdell

    Transmissions and Traverses.

    GM has announced total investments of $56M for capacity expansion to be spread over two of its existing manufacturing plants GM said in a press statement.  
    $20M will be going to its Romulus Michigan propulsion plant to expand capacity of 10-speed transmission manufacturing. The investment will be used to purchase additional machining equipment.  GM 10-speed is used in their full-size rear-wheel drive SUVs and trucks. The Romulus plant currently employs about 1,350 people and also builds V6 engines. Expansion of the Romulus plant implies GM is preparing to expand the transmission to more models. 
    An additional $36M in investment will go into its Lansing Delta Township plant to expand production and get ready for the refreshed Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave crossovers. Built in 2006, Lansing Delta Township is GM's newest manufacturing facility. 

    Drew Dowdell

    Starting price 2,800 €

    General Motors is launching a new brand to sell electric bikes in Europe. The brand, ARĪV (pronounced Arrive) will launch first in German, Belgium, and the Netherlands, countries where lithium-ion powered bikes are already popular.
    Two models will be offered, the Meld at 2,800€ and the foldable Merge (shown above) at 3,400€.  
    Both bikes include Bluetooth technology for riders to track metrics such as speed, distance, battery level, and more. A USB port is included to help charge riders phones while underway.
    GM's experience in automotive EV technology was used for developing the powertrain on these bikes. The motor provides top of the segment torque for its size and enables speeds of up to 25 kph. The ARĪV battery charges from empty in about 3 1/2 hours with up to a 40-mile range on a single charge.
    Shipments of the bikes are scheduled to begin in Q2 of 2019.

    William Maley

    Expected to take a couple of weeks

    Today is not a pleasant day if you're a white collar employee at General Motors. Last Friday, reports came out that GM would begin significant layoffs on their white-collar workforce. 
    Back in November, GM announced that it would be slashing 8,000 white-collar workers as part of plans to reduce costs. Already, 2,250 workers have agreed to voluntary buyouts. This leaves 5,750 workers waiting to be cut. But a GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said the number of people being laid off will be roughly around 4,000 people. Morrissey also confirmed that the layoffs will take around two weeks to complete.
    "This will be implemented staff-by-staff and location-by-location over the next couple of weeks. We’re not going to get into which departments and when and where it’s happening. Some staffs have already implemented this over the last few weeks, but there’s more of it this week and next week," said Morrissey to the Detroit Free Press.
    Various unnamed GM employees have told the Free Press they have been told about the cuts either by leadership or through email. One unnamed employee said the cuts were to begin at 9:30 A.M. and continue till 6:30 P.M.
    The severance package being offered to workers will depend on how long they worked at GM. According to Automotive News, those who have worked at the company for 12 or more years will get a similar package to those who took the voluntary buyouts late last year - executives got a full- year of pay, while non-executives got six months. Health care benefits would be continued as part of the package.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Detroit Free Press

    William Maley

    Remember how we said it may get ugly? Yeah..

    "Yesterday, General Motors met with representatives with Canadian union Unifor - the second in less in two weeks. Talks centered around Oshawa with Unifor pleading to reconsider plans of phasing out products at the plant to keep 3,000 jobs. But those talks went nowhere as GM is moving forward with their restructuring plans.
    "Unfortunately, all Unifor’s proposals would involve substantial incremental costs and a further deterioration of GM’s competitive position. Having completed an analysis of Unifor’s proposals, GM has determined that it cannot pursue them because they would not combat the declining economic and market factors that must be addressed," wrote GM's vice president of manufacturing and labor relations Gerald Johnson and president of GM Canada Travis Hester to Unifor president Jerry Dias in a letter.
    Unifor had proposed a number of ideas to GM keep Oshawa open including "continuing production of older trucks while the company looks for a longer-term option," according to The Detroit News. GM said no to the various ideas, but will support "retraining opportunities for Oshawa employees and working with businesses in the region to help facilitate relocation when the plant phases out production."
    Dias wasn't too happy with the result of talks, saying at a press conference yesterday that GM leaders "in my opinion haven’t reached deep enough or far enough to find a solution. We are not accepting the closure of our Oshawa facilities under any circumstance."
    Workers at Oshawa's afternoon shift staged a sit-down protest yesterday starting around 5:00 P.M. and lasting till 9:45 when GM decided to send them home. Photos and videos posted to Unifor Canada show workers sitting at their stations and buzzers sounding off. Automotive News reports that a second sit-down protest took place this morning for 90 minutes at 8:00 A.M.
    “We understand our union’s frustration but need to now work together to deliver support, transition and training for our employees for new opportunities over the coming year,” GM Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Wright.
    It is unclear if the protests will continue or how much production was lost. What is certain is that Unifor will hold a mass rally in Windsor on Friday.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 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.

    William Maley

    Joining Tesla in the 200,000 EV sales club

    We've known for some time that both Tesla and General Motors would soon be reaching the 200,000 sales mark for electrics, meaning that $7,500 tax credit would begin phasing out. Yesterday, we reported Tesla cut prices on their 2019 model year vehicles to soften the blow. But what about GM?
    A source told Reuters that GM hit the 200,000 model milestone during the fourth quarter of last year - most likely happening in December. This begins the 15-month phase-out which will see the credit drop to $3,750 in April, $1,875 in October, and then disappear next April. GM declined to comment about this, but we're likely to find out later this morning as the company will be announcing fourth-quarter sales.
    Source: Reuters

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