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    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

    Blake Noble
    G. Noble
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 9th, 2012
    Despite its limited application as the basis for the Australian Holden Commodore sedan and Chevrolet Camaro coupe, GM North American President Mark Reuss says the rear-wheel drive Zeta platform is still a relevant global architecture for cars. Speaking to Australia’s GoAuto at this month’s New York Auto Show, the former Holden boss defended what has been called an “orphaned” platform, saying that Zeta would continue as long as sales in Australia would support it and exports remained healthy, and that it currently still figures in GM’s global strategy.
    “It’s still a global rear-wheel drive architecture, so we leverage it on Camaro, we do lots of things,” Reuss said. “I mean, you guys (Holden) still export things. There’s all that.” He then continued: “I’m not sure that changes unless the market tells us to change it. If the market tells us to change it, we’ll change it.”
    While it’s good news that it seems Zeta won’t be going anywhere any time short-term, Reuss also claimed he couldn’t make any long-term predictions about its future.
    “I don’t know because the volume comes out of Australia,” he said. “And if the [Australian] economy says that we’re going to keep making it, we’ll keep making it.”
    During GM’s perilous restructuring efforts a few years ago, the company assigned what it called a “homeroom” status to certain branches of itself — for example, GM Europe (aka Opel AG) would be the homeroom for small to medium front-wheel drive car platforms, mainly handling their development. Although GM Holden was assigned as the homeroom for rear-wheel drive platforms and cars, the only Zeta platform spin-off has been the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, whose version of the Commodore architecture is known as Zeta II. Because Zeta has only birthed two different versions of itself focused solely on two different markets, some folks are quick to say it isn’t a true global automotive architecture.
    Some of those people will also point out other factors which work against Zeta. For example, the Camaro’s sales numbers suggests its more of a “niche” player and, overall, it’s a lower volume platform. There’s also the curiosity of GM North America developing GM’s newest global rear-drive platform dubbed “Alpha” and used beneath Cadillac’s new BMW 3-Series competitor, the ATS.
    Reuss had something to say about most of that. He was quick to bring up that Camaros were sold all over the world and that he thought GM was “kicking ass with it.” He maintained that it doesn’t matter that Zeta doesn’t have the sales volumes of Delta II small car platform or the medium car-sized Epsilon II.
    “No, but so what? I don’t care as long as we’ve already paid for it, it’s all done,” he said.
    Mark Reuss is currently championing the return of the Commodore to the U.S. as a rear-drive Chevrolet sports sedan. GM has confirmed that some sort of new top-dog Chevrolet is coming and that it will woo millions of Budweiser-swillin’, lawn chair-sittin’, salad-hatin’ NASCAR fans at racetracks next year. What remains to be seen, however, is if it will in fact be related to the Commodore or the new ATS, since some industry analysts claim that, on the contrary, Zeta no longer fits into GM’s plans for big rear-drive cars and a upsized version of Alpha will succeed it.
    Source: GoAuto

    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
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 13, 2012
    If you been shopping for a Chevrolet Equinox or GMC Terrain with a four-cylinder and been wondering why there is a lack of them on dealer lots, blame a supplier.
    Automotive News reports that for the past two months, GM has put order limits on the four-cylinder Equinox and Terrain. That's due to a tier 2 supplier having problems with certain parts for the 2.4L four-cylinder engine.
    GM spokesman Jim Cain said dealers were told by GM the constraint on the four-cylinder is temporary, but didn't say when it would be resolved.
    So what do you do if you want an Equinox or a Terrain? If you're willing to give up some MPGs, GM is putting $1000 on the hoods of 3.0L V6 Equinox and Terrain. However, if your heart is set on the 2.4L four, Cain says GM is working with with suppliers to get the supply up to meet demand.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter- CheersandGears.com
    March 7, 2012
    Last week, General Motors and PSA announced a new alliance that would have the two sharing components and give stronger purchasing power for both. The deal is "an additional tool to the toolkit in Europe" said GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky to reporters. When asked what would come next in GM's plan to save Opel, Girsky declined.
    "We can't tell you what our play is in Europe. We will tell you when it plays out over the next period of months and years ... I don't see the play in Europe showing up in one big bang."
    This has everyone worried about what the next move will be for Opel. Currently, European production capacity is estimated to be 20% higher than needed to keep companies profitable in a weakening market.
    "Excess capacity is not a GM issue, it's an industry issue," Girsky argued.
    Also, GM is keeping quiet on whether it will post a thirteen year of losses in the European market. This comes on the heels of Ford announcing a $500 to $600 million dollar loss in Europe this year due to an 8.5% drop in European auto sales.
    "It's not just investors who hate uncertainty. It's the workers, it's the employees. People are working really hard on this," Girsky said.
    However, analysts aren't liking the silent treatment from GM. Michelle Krebs, analyst with Edmunds.com told Reuters that GM was taking risk with investors and consumers by saying they have a plan and not reveal any specifics. Also, the PSA deal doesn't solve the whole excess capacity problem.
    "It's not solving their problem, which is stemming the losses, and they are basically asking us to trust that the payoff will come in the future," said Krebs.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 29, 2012
    The rumor of GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën creating an alliance for the past couple of weeks is now true. Today, the two announced a new global alliance in which GM will buy a 7% stake in PSA.
    The alliance would have GM and PSA sharing vehicle platforms, components and modules. Plus, the alliance would give both stronger purchasing power for sourcing components, raw materials and other goods and services. The vehicle platforms in question are will be small and midsize passenger cars, MPVs and crossovers, with the first one arriving by 2016.
    GM says that results from the alliance will save approximately $2 billion annually within about five years.
    Still, analysts and investors are still wondering why GM & PSA are teaming up.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën Create Global Alliance

    Long-term strategic pairing to leverage combined scale and strengths

    NEW YORK – General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën today announced the creation of a long-term and broad-scale global strategic alliance that will leverage the combined strengths and capabilities of the two companies, contribute to the profitability of both partners and strongly improve their competitiveness in Europe.
    The alliance is structured around two main pillars: the sharing of vehicle platforms, components and modules; and the creation of a global purchasing joint venture for the sourcing of commodities, components and other goods and services from suppliers with combined annual purchasing volumes of approximately $125 billion. Each company will continue to market and sell its vehicles independently and on a competitive basis.
    Beyond these pillars, the alliance creates a flexible foundation that allows the companies to pursue other areas of cooperation.
    In connection with the alliance, PSA Peugeot Citroën is expected to raise approximately €1 billion through a capital increase with preferential subscription rights for shareholders of PSA Peugeot Citroën, underwritten by a syndicate of banks and including an investment from the Peugeot Family Group, as a sign of its confidence in the success of the alliance. As part of the agreement, which includes no specific provision regarding the governance of PSA Peugeot Citroën, GM plans to acquire a 7 percent equity stake in PSA Peugeot Citroën, making it the second-largest shareholder behind the Peugeot Family Group.
    “This partnership brings tremendous opportunity for our two companies,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. “The alliance synergies, in addition to our independent plans, position GM for long-term sustainable profitability in Europe.”
    Philippe Varin, chairman of the managing board of PSA Peugeot Citroën, declared, “This alliance is a tremendously exciting moment for both groups and this partnership is rich in its development potential. With the strong support of our historical shareholder and the arrival of a new and prestigious shareholder, the whole group is mobilized to reap the full benefit of this agreement.”
    Under the terms of the agreement, GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën will share selected platforms, modules and components on a worldwide basis in order to achieve cost savings, gain efficiencies, leverage volumes and advanced technologies and reduce emissions. Sharing of platforms not only enables global applications, it also permits both companies to execute Europe-specific programs with scale and in a cost-effective manner.
    Initially, GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën intend to focus on small and midsize passenger cars, MPVs and crossovers. The companies will also consider developing a new common platform for low emission vehicles. The first vehicle on a common platform is expected to launch by 2016.
    This alliance enhances but does not replace either company’s ongoing independent efforts to return their European operations to sustainable profitability.
    The purchasing cooperation defined in the agreement allows the companies to act as one global purchasing organization when it comes to sourcing commodities, components and services from suppliers, taking full advantage of the joint expertise, volume, platforms and standardized parts. Combining GM’s robust global processes and organizational structure with best practices from PSA Peugeot Citroën will bring significant value and efficiencies to the purchasing operations at both companies.
    Additionally, the alliance is exploring areas for further cooperation, such as integrated logistics and transportation. To this end, GM intends to establish a strategic, commercial cooperation with Gefco, an integrated logistics services company and subsidiary of PSA Peugeot Citroën, whereby Gefco would provide logistics services to GM in Europe and Russia.
    The total synergies expected from the alliance are estimated at approximately $2 billion USD annually within about five years. The synergies will largely coincide with new vehicle programs, with limited benefit expected in the first two years. It is expected the synergies will be shared about evenly between the two companies.
    The alliance will be supervised by a global steering committee that includes an equal number of senior leader representatives from each company.
    Its implementation is subject to requisite regulatory approvals in certain jurisdictions as well as notification to the appropriate workers councils.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 28, 2012
    Last Wednesday, we reported on talks between General Motors and Peugeot-Citroën on a possible alliance. Now, Reuters is reporting the talks have gone into advance stages and General Motors could be buying up a small share.
    Reuters has learned from a couple sources at both companies that General Motors would purchase 5% of Peugeot-Citroën as part of their alliance deal. The stake could be worth $240 million dollars at Peugeot's current market value of $4.8 billion.
    Sources say the deal could be announced within the next few days, but caution that an agreement has not been reached and the talks could still fall apart.
    When asked for comment, GM and Peugeot-Citroën didn't respond.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 22, 2012
    Question: What do GM's European arm and Peugeot-Citroën have in common? The answer; both are in dire financial straits and are trying to turn their fortunes around. GM's European arm announced a $562 million loss in 2011. Meanwhile, Peugeot-Citroën's announced a loss of $121 million in 2011 and has cut 6,000 jobs.
    It seems fitting then that GM and Peugeot-Citroën are talking about an alliance. Reuters is reporting that the two are in talks about a possible alliance. The alliance would have Opel/Vauxhall and Peugeot-Citroën cooperating on projects ranging from developing engines and transmissions to complete models that each brand could sell. No shares for either company would change hands.
    French newspaper La Tribune says the talks have been going on for the past few months and is entering the final stage of negotiations.
    When asked for comment, GM spokesman Johan Willems said,
    "We routinely talk with others in the industry, but have no comment beyond that."
    PSA, Peugeot & Citroën's parent company said in a statement,
    "In the context of its globalization strategy and improving its operational performance, PSA Peugeot Citroen looks at potential cooperations and alliances, There can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in any agreement."
    Source: Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    GM Announces 2011 Results

    By William Maley, in GM News,

    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 16, 2012
    Today, General Motors announced their results for 2011 and forth quarter.
    The company announced a profit of $7.6 billion for 2011, a large increase from the $4.7 billion profit in 2010.
    However, forth quarter results were not as impressive. Net income for the forth quarter was only $472 million, or about the same as Q4 2010. While this makes it eight straight quarters of positive growth, the earnings were weighed down by losses of $562 million in Europe.
    There were also a number of one-time events that affected earnings in the fourth quarter. Take those events out and GM says the profit would have been around $900 million.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    GM Reports 2011 Net Income of $7.6 Billion

    Full-year EBIT-adjusted of $8.3 billion, up $1.3 billion from 2010
    Fourth quarter net income of $0.5 billion and EBIT-adjusted of $1.1 billion

    DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today announced 2011 calendar-year net income attributable to common stockholders of $7.6 billion, or $4.58 per fully diluted share, up from $4.7 billion, or $2.89 per fully diluted share, in 2010.
    Revenue increased 11 percent to $150.3 billion, compared with $135.6 billion in 2010. Full-year earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted was $8.3 billion, compared with $7.0 billion in 2010.
    “In our first full year as a public company, we grew the top and bottom lines, advanced our global market share and made strategic investments in our brands around the world,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO. “We will build on these results as we bring more new cars, crossovers and trucks to market, and make GM a far more efficient global team. This includes reducing our break-even level in Europe and South America and driving higher revenues around the world.”
    Overview (in billions except for per share amounts)

    Q4 2010

    Q4 2011

    Full-year 2010

    Full-year 2011






    Net income attributable to common stockholders





    Earnings per share
    (EPS) fully diluted





    Impact of special items on EPS fully diluted










    Automotive net cash flow from operating activities





    free cash flow





    Fourth Quarter Results
    Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011 increased 3 percent to $38.0 billion, compared with the fourth quarter of 2010. GM’s fourth quarter 2011 net income attributable to common stockholders was $0.5 billion, or $0.28 per fully diluted share, including a net loss from special items of $0.2 billion or $0.11 per fully diluted share.
    In the fourth quarter of 2010, GM’s net income attributable to common stockholders was $0.5 billion, or $0.31 per fully diluted share, including a net loss from special items of $0.4 billion or $0.21 per fully diluted share.
    EBIT-adjusted was $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth quarter EBIT-adjusted for 2011 includes the impact of restructuring charges of $0.3 billion.
    GM’s fourth quarter 2011 special items include impairment charges related to goodwill and GM’s investment in Ally Financial, and gains related to the Canadian Health Care Trust (HCT) settlement, the reversal of deferred tax asset valuation allowances in Australia and the extinguishment of debt.
    Regional Results
    GM North America (GMNA) reported EBIT-adjusted of $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with $0.8 billion in 2010. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was $7.2 billion in 2011 compared with $5.7 billion in 2010. Based on GMNA’s 2011 financial performance, the company will pay profit sharing of up to $7,000 to approximately 47,500 eligible GM U.S. hourly employees. The full payout will be paid to employees who had 1,850 or more compensated hours in 2011.
    GM Europe (GME) reported an EBIT-adjusted loss of $0.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, including $0.2 billion of restructuring costs, matching last year’s results. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was a loss of $0.7 billion in 2011, an improvement of $1.3 billion over 2010.
    GM International Operations (GMIO) reported EBIT-adjusted of $0.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with $0.3 billion in 2010. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was $1.9 billion in 2011 compared with $2.3 billion in 2010.
    GM South America (GMSA) reported an EBIT-adjusted loss of $0.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, including $0.1 billion in restructuring costs, compared with EBIT-adjusted of $0.2 billion in 2010. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was a loss of $0.1 billion in 2011 compared with EBIT-adjusted of $0.8 billion in 2010.

    Cash Flow and Liquidity
    For the fourth quarter of 2011, automotive cash flow from operating activities was $1.2 billion and automotive free cash flow was $(0.9) billion, which includes the previously announced $0.8 billion contribution to the HCT.
    GM ended the year with strong total automotive liquidity of $37.5 billion compared with $33.5 billion in 2010. Automotive cash and marketable securities was $31.6 billion compared with $27.6 billion at the end of 2010.
    U.S. Pension Update
    GM’s U.S. defined benefit pension plans earned asset returns of 11.1 percent in 2011. They ended the year 88 percent funded, largely unchanged from 89 percent funded a year ago.
    The company also announced today that it is taking further steps toward its goals of de-risking and fully funding its U.S. pension plans. Effective Sept. 30, 2012, GM will freeze its defined benefit pension plan for U.S. salaried employees, who instead will receive contributions to a defined contribution plan, or 401(k). This initiative will affect GM's U.S. salaried employees hired prior to Jan. 1, 2001. Salaried employees hired after that date are already covered by a defined contribution plan.
    2012 Outlook
    Looking forward, GM expects to increase its top-line revenue year-over-year in an expanding global automotive industry. In addition, GM expects continued pricing improvement with cost inflation well contained, while product mix and pension expense are expected to be unfavorable.
    Capital spending in 2012 is expected to be in the range of $8 billion as the company continues to aggressively invest in new products and technologies.
    “We are executing an aggressive product plan that will give customers around the world even more reasons to purchase a General Motors vehicle,” said Dan Ammann, senior vice president and CFO. “Behind the scenes, we are working hard to eliminate complexity and cost throughout the organization to increase margins in all of our regions, and return Europe and South America to profitability. Overall, we have made good progress and we have more work to do.”

    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
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 2, 2012
    GM’s Arlington, Texas plant, the place where the current Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL is going under some renovations. GM announced a new $200 million stamping facility that will produce large stamping components for GM’s next-generation full-size SUVs. The facility will save the company $40 million in logistics and will come online in 2013.
    Since we’re talking about Arlington and next generation SUVs, Motor Trend has uncovered some information about the next generation. All of the SUVs will stick with the underpinnings from Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM will use more high-strength steel as well as other alloys to keep weight down. Also being talked about for the next generation SUVs are direct-injected small-block engines, eight-speed transmissions, and a updated two-mode hybrid system.
    The new SUVs are due out sometime in late 2013.
    Source: Motor Trend
    Press Release is on Page 2

    GM Will Build $200 Million Stamping Facility in Texas

    ARLINGTON, Tex. – General Motors will start construction next week on a new $200 million stamping facility that will create approximately 180 jobs. The new facility, part of the company’s Arlington manufacturing complex, will produce large stamping components for the next generation of full-size Chevrolet Tahoes, Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades.
    "Our investment in GM's Arlington plant is one more example of GM strengthening the economy and creating jobs throughout the many U.S. communities where GM does business," said GM Manufacturing Manager Larry Zahner.
    Currently, Arlington receives stamped components from several GM plants, with some parts coming from more than 1,000 miles away. The new facility, which comes on line in 2013, will save about $40 million a year in logistics cost. The new facility is in addition to a $331 million investment to purchase tooling and equipment and expand the Arlington Assembly Plant that was announced along with 110 additional jobs in May 2011.
    “Today’s announcement is further evidence that the U.S. auto industry is back. An important goal for the UAW is to increase the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States and we are pleased that General Motors has decided to make this investment in Arlington,” said Joe Ashton, vice president of the UAW representing the GM department. “We look forward to more good news in 2012 as our workers continue to build the world’s best vehicles.”
    Tuesday’s announcement is the first manufacturing investment by GM in 2012. Since June 2009, the company has announced more than $6.9 billion of investment to upgrade or expand operations in 12 states, creating or retaining more than 17,600 jobs.
    “This investment is possible because of the teamwork among GM, the UAW, the Arlington community and the great State of Texas,” said Zahner. “We truly appreciate the support we have enjoyed from the Arlington community over the years.”

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 25, 2012
    Today, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending (gesundheit!) held its hearing on the Chevrolet Volt and investigation done by NHTSA. The hearing titled - "Volt Vehicle Fire: What did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It?" showed the committee led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wasn't here to mess around.
    First to testify was NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. Strickland defended the agency's decision not to talk about the fire in a crash-tested Volt for more than five months, saying that it would have been "irresponsible" to disclose the fire before the agency had determined whether the Volt posed a risk to safety.
    Strickland also said replicating the initial fire was "difficult" and took a "tremendous amount of engineering" to produce a second fire in laboratory conditions.
    Next to testify was General Motors CEO and chairman Dan Akerson testified to the committee that the Volt is a safe vehicle and it has become "political punching bag."
    "We engineered the Volt to show the world the great vehicles we make at General Motors. Although we loaded the Volt with state of the art safety features, we did not engineer the Volt to be a political punching bag. Sadly that is what it's become." Akerson said.
    Akerson also told the comittee that GM never asked the White House to keep the Volt Fire that happen in June a secret and never had disscussions with the White House about the Volt.
    When asked how he got to hearings, Akerson said he drove a Volt.
    Issa said after the hearings he's satisfied with GM's response but now plans to focus on NHTSA.
    "We are disappointed. NHTSA could have been a much better job both in transparency and speed. When you have a new vehicle, it's better to take a pause," said Issa.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 24, 2012
    The UAW has scheduled a strike authorization vote for Thursday after workers at GM’s Fairfax, Kansas assembly plant voted last Friday to reject a proposed contract at the plant.
    On Friday, 66% of production workers and 58% of skilled-trades workers voted against a contract.
    "The UAW is working through issues with the company and is optimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement,” said UAW spokeswoman Michele Martin.
    George Ruiz, president of UAW Local 31 said the strike authorization vote is part of the negotation proces. The vote helps gives the UAW more leverage during negoations.
    Ruiz said the UAW and GM have taken a break, but expects negoations to resume after the vote is taken. Ruiz wouldn't go into details to what the issues are.
    GM and the UAW negotiate separate contracts at each of its plants that cover issues like work rules and other items.
    When asked for comment, GM Spokeswoman Kim Carpenter declined.
    GM employs 3,400 workers at the Fairfax, Kansas plant which builds the Buick La Crosse and Chevrolet Malibu.
    Source: Detroit Free Press

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 23, 2012
    GM's Lambda Trio; the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia are still selling very well (sales were up 5% in 2011), but there is no hiding the face that these three models are growing long in the tooth. Outside, the three are still very handsome. But, jump inside or drive one and you realize how old the three are. That will soon change as GM is readying updated models of the Enclave and Acadia, as shown here via some new spy shots.
    From what the pictures show, the overall shape remains the same. The Enclave gets a new, larger front end and headlights. The Acadia receives similar updates, but judging from the pictures, the grill outline shows designers are attempting to visually tie it to the smaller Terrain.
    Expect bigger changes under the skin for the two vehicles. The interior of both vehicles were heavily camouflaged, suggesting big changes are in store.
    GM's 3.6L DI V6 is expected to stay on, but rumors point to turbocharged four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines.
    We'll likely see both vehicles make their appearance sometime this year, with GMC Acadia appearing at next month's Chicago Auto Show.
    Source: Motor Trend

    V.V. Haldavnekar
    Administrator - Cheers and Gears
    January 19, 2012
    After turning in profits for consecutive quarters of 2011, General Motors regained the global sales crown for 2011. Buoyed by an upswinging Chevrolet brand that saw growth in many of global markets, GM reported sales of more than 9 million units, a gain of over 7% compared to last year's sales. Chevrolet brand accounted approx. 4.8 million units. General Motors reports that it gained the global market share by 4th of a percent during 2011 to 11.9 percent.
    Hit the jump to read the full article.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 15, 2012
    Tom Stephens, the Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer for General Motors is retiring on April 1st, ending a 43-year career that included leadership of GM's global powertrain and product development organizations.
    Stephens started at GM back in 1969 as part of a student program. From there he would hold positions at Cadillac, Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Division, and GM Powertrain.
    Highlights for Stephens include leading the development of the first Cadillac Northstar engine and spearheaded the creation of GM’s advanced propulsion technology strategy.
    “Tom Stephens is an engineering icon within our company and within our industry. We have all benefited greatly from his passion, wisdom, and commitment to product excellence. His talent and contributions to GM are deeply appreciated and his expertise will be missed,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson in a statement.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    GMViceChairman and Chief Technology Officer to Retire

    Tom Stephens caps 43-year powertrain and product development career April 1

    DETROIT – General Motors Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer Tom Stephens has elected to retire effective April 1, capping a 43-year career that included leadership of the company’s global powertrain and product development organizations.
    In his most recent role as CTO, Stephens led the company’s product technology arm, working to identify and develop advanced and game-changing technologies for integration in future GM vehicles. He also focused on building closer relationships with external and internal technology partners. His successor will be named later.
    Stephens, 63, served as Vice Chairman, Global Product Operations from April 2009 through February 2011. He was Group Vice President of Global Powertrain from July 2001 to March 2008, when he was promoted to Executive Vice President of Global Powertrain and Global Quality.
    His GM career began in 1969 as an hourly employee at the Chevrolet Engineering Center in Warren, Mich., under the University of Michigan Student Co-op Program. Stephens held several engineering positions at Cadillac Motor Car Division and a series of engineering leadership posts with the Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Division before being chosen to lead the newly created GM Powertrain Division.
    “Tom Stephens is an engineering icon within our company and within our industry,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “We have all benefited greatly from his passion, wisdom, and commitment to product excellence. His talent and contributions to GM are deeply appreciated and his expertise will be missed.”
    Key highlights of Stephens’ career include leading the development of the first Cadillac Northstar engine, GM’s premier dual overhead cam performance engine, which won numerous industry and engine awards. He also spearheaded the creation of GM’s advanced propulsion technology strategy, which guided the company’s development of a wide range of advanced engine technologies, hybrid vehicles, and the Chevrolet Volt.
    Stephens led the globalization of powertrain engineering, leveraging global centers of expertise to speed engine development. He also championed the use of computational tools and common parts in GM engineering and product development processes to increase quality and efficiency.
    After retirement, Stephens will continue to serve on the board of directors of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Foundation and the board of trustees for the Detroit Science Center. He is a member of the Engineering Advisory Council for the University of Michigan School of Engineering and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2007 for his contributions to powertrain engineering.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 12, 2012
    GM is retiring one of their workhorse engines. The 2.4L four-cylinder found under the hoods of the Buick Regal and Verano, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Terrain will say farewell. In it’s place will be a new 2.5L DI four-cylinder.
    The new four-cylinder will make its debut in the regular Chevrolet Malibu, due out this summer. The engine is rated at 190 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. This is a decent size bump in power compared to the 2.4L’s 169 hp with port injection and 182 hp from the direct-injected version.
    The changeover will happen within the next twelve months. GM hasn’t said if the 2.5L will also take the place of the 2.4L in its eAssist hybrids.
    Source: Car & Driver

    Blake Noble
    January 3rd, 2011
    by "black-knight"
    Good news doesn't always mean great news, especially if you're in GM's shoes right now. Despite the fact GM is closer to snatching Toyota's global sales crown away, Chevrolet is very close to eclipising its all time sales record, and more new models are on the way, GM's stock has been trading somewhere between $20 to $21 bucks a share the last few days. Compare that to around this time last year when one share of GM's stock would have set you back about $36 dollars a pop or back in October when shares skyrocketed to about $43 dollars a piece.
    When you do all of the math, it adds up to a decrease of 46.1 percent, which sadly makes GM's stock the automotive industry's worst performing stock of 2011. By comparison, Ford's stock decreased by 37.3 percent throughout the course of last year -- which still isn't anything to celebrate about.
    So why has GM's stock taken such a nosedive in light of the major progress GM has made over the course of last year? Blame GM's European operations, which are still running in the red thanks to the Euro's rapid approach to meltdown status, and the U.S. Treasury still holding on to a big chunk of GM's shares.
    However, if the Motley Fool is to be believed, this might also be a good time to snap up a few of GM's shares if you think they are a wise investment since they are, after all, trading for less than five times of GM's earnings.

    I am a huge Disney Parks fan - My favorite attraction to visit at Epcot in WDW happens to coincide with my passion for all things General Motors - the GM Test Track (formerly GM's World of Motion pavilion).
    Mouseplanet's weekly WDW news update reports that the GM Test Track attraction is scheduled to be closed from April 15 through September 21, 2012 for an upgrade to include a name change -Test Track presented by Chevrolet:
    …Our friends over at TouringPlans.com are reporting that Test Track may close from April 15 through September 21, 2012 to get an upgrade and to also change the official sponsor from General Motors in general to GM's Chevrolet brand in particular. It's likely that the changes to some of the attraction's vehicles are a preview of some of the new look. We'll have more once this closure is confirmed.
    TouringPlans.com also reveals a possible logo change for the attraction, seen below.

    The ride will feature new vehicles designed by GM's own research and development team rather than Disney's Imagineering unit who previously did the cars. Essentially, the ride will be gutted to the point where only the track path and vehicle chassis remain with a new ride built on the skeleton. The theme is going to be highly futuristic to mesh with the rest of Epcot .
    So, what's your take on this news? Is it a good idea for GM to concentrate on only one of it's brands in such a widely seen place?
    Source: Mouse Planet, TouringPlans.com, epcyclopedia.com

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 26, 2011
    With GM's next generation pickups just around the corner, GM is planning a 21 week vacation for their truck plants to update them.
    GM spokesman Chris Lee told Automotive News the company will begin idling their Fort Wayne assembly plant for nine weeks from January to October. Following Fort Wayne will be Flint assembly which will be idled for seven weeks from June to November. GM’s Arlington assembly is scheduled to shut for five weeks from June to December.
    GM's next generation pickups will arrive in 2013.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    General Motors Corp., which was 103 years old and was once America's largest company quietly died on Dec. 15, 2011. There were no ceremonies or anyone present to mark the company's passing.
    General Motors Corp. was founded in 1908, acquired more than 20 other companies in its life, including Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Opel, and Oakland. It would become the world's largest Automaker from 1931 until 2008 when it was eclipsed by Toyota. For much of the century it was the world's largest company, and at one point employed more than 600,000 people.
    In its final years it was known as "Old GM", although it had been been officially renamed "Motors Liquidation Co. when it went into bankruptcy in 2008. "Old GM" became the bad assets and debts of General Motors Corp. Some assets were sold to startup automakers Tesla and Fisker. The remaining assets, including some 65 building spanning 14 states and 40 million square feet are being transferred to four trusts, which includes The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Trust (owner of those 65 buildings).
    In some ways the passing of Old GM is more symbolic than it is substance. General Motors Co., born from the bankruptcy, and free of the debt and bad assets still uses the same trademarks, brand names, and email addresses.
    In other ways it was a painful end of an era. Once having over 1 million stockholders in the 1960s, Old GM canceled stock during bankruptcy and made significant cuts on pension plans recipients Bondholders were only paid part of what they were owed and GM walked from with many bills.
    However, while the chapter closes on General Motors Corp. and new one is being written for General Motors Co. New GM earned 7.1 billion in the first nine months of 2011, and is a leaner, more efficient company than it was before.
    "It's the end of an era," said David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research. "But new GM is a phoenix rising from the ashes."

    William Maley
    Back in September, we reported that GM and BMW were in talks about an alliance. The possible alliance would have General Motors looking at BMW's lineup of gas and diesel engines, while BMW is looking at the Voltec powertrain. Now, a report from German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche says there could be more to this alliance.
    Wirtschaftswoche reports the two are in talks about jointly developing fuel cell technology for vehicles. The plan would allow BMW to access GM's fuel cell tech. In return, BMW would help pay research costs.
    When asked about this, a BMW spokesman said,
    "We are speaking to GM about various future technologies but we are not saying anything more beyond that."
    GM declined to comment.
    Source: Reuters
    Rumorpile: GM & BMW To Team Up?

    William Maley
    With Detroit only a month away, news has began to come/leak out of what will be premiering. Late last week, GM’s senior vice president of global product development, Mary Barra told the Automotive Press Association in Detroit the new ATS would make it's debut at Detroit.
    But that's not all, Chevrolet will be showing a production version of the Sonic RS and two concept vehicles from their GM North Hollywood Design Center. Buick will have the brand new Encore, a small crossover based on GM’s front-wheel-drive Gamma II platform there as well.
    Source: Automobile Magazine, Left Lane News

    William Maley
    General Motors might have figured out what caused the Volt to catch on fire in a NHTSA storage yard back in June.
    A source tells the Associated Press the cause of the fire is the coolant used in batteries to help keep them cool. The coolant didn't catch on fire, but crystallized and caused a short circuit.
    But just as that information was coming out, Reuters learned from a couple sources that GM is closing in on a package of proposed fixes for the battery pack. The fixes include laminating the circuitry in the Volt's 400-pound battery pack, reinforcing the case surrounding the lithium-ion battery and better protecting the coolant system from leaks in a severe crash.
    The fixes could cost less than $9 million, or about $1,000 per Volt, the sources say.
    Sources: Associated Press, Reuters
    Chevrolet Volt Fire Prompts Investigation Into Batteries
    NHTSA Opens Investigation Into Volt Batteries
    GM Offering Free Loaner Cars to Volt Owners During Battery Investigation
    Chevy Volt Tops Consumer Reports Owner Satisfaction Survey
    GM May Redesign The Volt's Battery *UPDATED*
    A "couple dozen" Chevrolet Volt Owners Take Up GM's Buyback Offer
    House Committee Planning A Hearing Into The Volt Fire

    William Maley
    Last week, GM's CEO Dan Akerson said in a interview with the Associated Press that the company would be willing to buy back Volts from concerned owners.
    Well some owners are taking GM up on that offer. Today, GM told The Detroit News that a "couple dozen" Volt owners have asked the company to buy back their Volts.
    "For those few who have requested repurchase, we're going to move fast" if their concerns can't be met any other way, said Greg Martin, GM spokesman.
    GM is currently working with Volt owners individually to understand their concerns and offering loaner vehicles to those owners during the NHTSA investigation.

    The Detroit News

    GM May Redesign The Volt's Battery *UPDATED*

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