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    William Maley
    For the first half of this year, General Motors posted a profit of $6.3 billion, making it the best start in over two-decades. However, GM CEO Dan Akerson wants the company to do better.
    $6.3 Billion is nothing to scoff at, but Akerson points out that figure equates to a 6% margin. He wants to see GM beat out the 7% margins realized by Ford & Volkswagen.
    So how will GM do it? By cutting. GM has put forth plans to have just 14 global architectures by 2018, a dramatic drop from the 30 architectures in use. Also, GM will cut down their engine platforms from 20 to 10 in the same time frame.
    Akerson is also targeting the company’s marketing efforts to help cut costs. GM's Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick wants to have 10 agencies for the whole group.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    GM Considers More Diesels For Its Lineup

    General Motors took a surprising step a few years ago when they introduced a Cruze with a diesel engine for the U.S. The model gets 46 MPG on the highway and is meeting the sales expectations the company has set. Well according to Steve Kiefer, GM’s vice president of global powertrain, there could be more diesel options coming to the U.S.
    “The Chevrolet Cruze diesel will be the first of many diesel-powered passenger cars General Motors will offer in the United States,” said Kiefer to an audience at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars. “We will continue to introduce more diesels as appropriate and as the market accepts them.”
    Kiefer said that diesels in cars and light trucks could grow up to ten percent by 2020. He also dropped a possible hint of what GM has in mind for their next diesel application. Automotive News reports that Kiefer said that torque, not horsepower will be the more important measure of performance in the coming years. Torque is key thing for pickup trucks as its a key part in performance figures for acceleration and hauling/towing heavy loads. We know that a four-cylinder turbodiesel is coming for the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and AN speculates it could be the light-duty trucks next.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    GM Will Still Be Under the Close Eye of NHTSA for Another Year

    Last May, General Motors agreed to a consent order from federal safety regulators over its decision on waiting too long recall 2.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. Part of the order was to disclose detailed safety issues and meet with officials from NHTSA monthly. This could be extended up to three years. Well after a year of being under scrutiny, NHTSA has decided to extend it one more year.
    The Detroit News obtained a letter from NHTSA to GM dated on May 14th. The letter, written by Timothy H. Goodman (a lawyer for NHTSA) to GM North America general counsel Lucy Clark Dougherty said the agency would be extending the order. Now this isn't because NHTSA is disappointed in how GM handling recalls now. But "to continue the dialogue those requirements have facilitated on important safety issues," as the agency has seen this to be a productive tool.
    "GM learned a hard lesson last year. We expect to see the improvements they've made continue and that their new approaches are applied to every GM safety issue and every recall. Today's action will help keep them on the right track," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.
    Source: The Detroit News

    William Maley

    You Might Find the Volt's Powertrain Under A Rival Automakers Hood In the Future

    Imagine a future where the powertrain from the Chevrolet Volt is found under the hood of another automaker's vehicle. This might actually become reality if General Motors global powertrain chief Dan Nicholson gets his wish answered. Speaking to Automotive News, Nicholson said he was open to sharing the Volt's powertrain.
    "We want to be the partner of choice in propulsion system development in this complex and turbulent era we are approaching," said Nicholson.
    If this idea is given the green light, it would pay dividends for GM and the other automaker. For GM, giving the Volt powertrain to another automaker would drive costs down due to larger economies of scale. The other automaker wouldn't have to spend so much on research and development for a powertrain like the Volt.
    Whether this happens or not is a wait and see matter.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 1, 2013
    2013 has been the year of the pickup truck with sales reaching levels that haven't been seen since the recession. If you're a truck manufacturer, the last thing you want to have happen is a hiccup when you're launching a new pickup. Unfortunately that is happening with General Motors.
    According to Bloomberg, General Motors is facing a shortage of the 5.3L V8 for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra due to a unnamed supplier not being able to keep up with demand. This is causing GM to restrict the number of V8 pickups that Chevrolet and GMC dealers can order.
    Now General Motors is saying this is a temporary thing, but doesn't give a range of when they should be back to normal. This is a critical time since just over the horizon is the new Ford F-150.
    Source: Bloomberg
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    General Motors Has Some Criminal Wrongdoings

    Last year, federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the F.B.I. opened an investigation into General Motors into its handling of the ignition switch defect. The investigation focused on whether the automaker failed to comply with federal safety laws stating that an automaker must disclose vehicle defects in a timely fashion and misleading federal regulators on the full extent of problem. The result of their investigation showed that GM did commit criminal wrongdoing.
    The New York Times reports investigators from the Justice Department have found criminal wrongdoing in the failure of GM of disclosing a defect tied to at least 104 deaths. People briefed on the inquiry say the two parties are negotiating what misconduct the company would admit to and a settlement. The Times says the amount will eclipse the $1.2 billion paid by Toyota last year for not disclosing its problem with unintended acceleration. Now the settlement will include a so-called 'cooperation credit' as GM helped out in the Justice Department's investigation.
    “We are cooperating fully with all requests. We are unable to comment on the status of the investigation, including timing,” said GM in a statement.
    Also under investigation are former GM employees, some who were dismissed last year could face criminal charges.
    Source: The New York Times

    Blake Noble
    Revealed! 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer Concept

    By "black-knight" C&G Editor/Reporter

    9th November, 2011

    Dinosaurs. Sabre-Toothed Tigers. Megalodons. Cheap V8-powered, mid-sized muscle coupes. Large, rear-drive Cadillacs. Truck-based mid-sized SUVs. These are all things that have wound up extinct or virtually endangered to the point of complete extinction.
    But once in a rare while, sometimes a species can save itself and rise triumphantly from the point of sinking completely into the primordial ooze (organic, automotive, or otherwise). Out of the groups mentioned above, one may just do that.
    Of course, I'm talking about truck-based mid-sized SUVs and one small, Bowtie-based faction of the species may be making a small comeback.
    As we reported last month, the new Trailblazer reconnects with its old S10 Blazer roots and forsakes a unique platform this time, instead choosing to share it with the new Colorado. Nostalgic indeed. Powertrains are expected to be the same as what will be offered in the Colorado.
    Previously, GM has stated there are no current plans to bring the new Trailblazer Stateside, which means it will only see duty in Asia and South America. However, there are rumblings it may eventually find its way here, if not in Chevrolet guise then as a GMC. However it gets here doesn't matter. What's important is that shows up to throw a big middle finger in the face of CAFE (and smug Prius driving women).
    More information on the new Trailblazer will be released throughout the day, so stay tuned.
    Source: Car Adivce
    More Photos:
    Album: 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer Concept
    4 images

    William Maley
    The current Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are getting shown up by Ford’s F-Series and Ram truck lineup with their improved interiors, ride, and powertrains. But GM is busy at work on the next generation pickup to steal back some of the spotlight.
    This week, Inside Line got some spy shots of the new Sliverado/Sierra undergoing some testing. The biggest difference between the current trucks and the one featured in the pictures is a new greenhouse. Also, the truck looks to sporting more cues from the current GM HD trucks with it’s larger front end and less rounded shape.
    Also, the new trucks are expected to be 500 lbs less than the current Siverado/Sierra.
    Source: Inside Line

    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

    Some Good News for GM's Midsize Trucks

    Buyers can't get enough of GM's midsize trucks. The company says that the Chevrolet Colorado only sit on dealer lots for an average 12 days before being snapped up. This is causing dealers to asking to ask for more trucks. GM's Wentzville, Mo plant is already pumping out as many as they can. But GM has a found a few ways to wring out a few more models.
    Automotive News reports that the plant has recently instituted a broader schedule reshuffling which saw a unpaid lunch break be cut to eliminate a six-minute production lull which means an extra 18 minutes of production in a three shift day and more importantly - an extra 3,500 trucks per year. GM is also hiring as many as 1,000 'flex' workers to fill weekend shifts which should boost production by more than 2,000 trucks per month. This comes after the plant brought on a third shift in March to help with the massive demand.
    With this increase in truck production, something had to be cut. In this case it was GM's full-size vans. For every two trucks built, one van rolls off the production line.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Why is GM expanding their diesel offerings?

    Despite the dark cloud that diesel has gotten due to the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal, General Motors sees a bright future for it.
    “The outlook for diesel in the U.S.A. is actually promising. We definitely see certain segments reaching 10 percent penetration and yes, an upside potential of 10 percent overall,” said Dan Nicholson, GM’s vice president of global propulsion systems to The Detroit News.
    Case in point, nine percent of Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks sold are equipped with a diesel.
    General Motors already has six vehicles available with a diesel (Silverado and Sierra HD: Colorado, Canyon, Express, and Savana). But they are planning to add three more diesel models in the coming year - Cruze, Equinox, and Terrain.
    Why? A lot of it comes down to the upcoming CAFE mandate that an automaker's fleet average must meet 54.5 mpg by 2025. GM sees diesel as a way to help reach this goal. Also with the ongoing Volkswagen mess, GM sees an opportunity to possibly draw former Volkswagen TDI owners to one of their models.
    Source: The Detroit News

    William Maley

    Mixed Results Are Coming In As GM-UAW Members Vote on the Tentative Agreement

    Voting on the new contract for UAW workers at General Motors started this weekend and the early results are mixed.
    The Detroit News reports that two plants, Lansing Grand River Assembly and Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, voted over the weekend. Workers at Lansing approved the contract with 57 percent saying the contract should be ratified. Meanwhile at Fairfax, production and skilled worked voted no by 63 and 66 percent respectively.
    While these results don't indicate the fate of the tentative contract, it does put some worry as to how the other plants will vote.
    We'll be keeping an eye on the voting as it progresses.
    Source: The Detroit News

    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

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 25, 2012
    In a not surprising announcement yesterday, General Motors and PSA Peugeot-Citroen said they will be co-developing four new platforms that are part of the Global Strategic Alliance between the two. The platforms will primarily be for Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot, and Citroën. Those four platforms are,
    A new low-emissions city car
    Midsize car (sedan, hatchback, and wagon)
    Small Multi-Purpose vehicle
    Joint program for compact MPV for Opel/Vauxhall and a compact CUV for Peugeot

    GM and PSA say the launch of the first models of this joint venture will happen in 2016.
    The two also announced the Global Strategic Alliance will establish a new joint purchasing operation, to help lower costs. This is currently on hold while two wait on antitrust regulatory approval. GM says the alliance could save about $2 billion in five years for the companies.
    Source: GM
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    PSA Peugeot Citroën and General Motors Confirm Key Steps

    in Global Strategic Alliance

    Four common vehicle platform development projects
    Next steps in joint purchasing organization
    Synergy target of $2 billion annually confirmed

    DETROIT/ PARIS/ RUSSELSHEIM – PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors today confirmed important steps toward the execution of their Global Strategic Alliance. Consistent with terms of the Master Agreement signed Feb. 29, the Alliance partners have selected four vehicle projects and confirmed the next steps in joint purchasing organization.
    Four Common Vehicle Platform Development Projects
    The four common vehicle projects selected to move to the next step encompass the following segment entries for both groups:
    A joint program for a compact-class Multi-Purpose Van for Opel/Vauxhall and a compact-class Crossover Utility Vehicle for the Peugeot brand.
    A joint Multi-Purpose Vehicle program for the small car segment for Opel/Vauxhall and the Citroen brand.
    An upgraded low CO2 small car segment platform to feed Opel/Vauxhall’s and PSA’s next generation of cars in Europe and other regions.
    A joint program for mid-size cars for Opel/Vauxhall and the Peugeot and Citroen brands.

    The Alliance aims to launch the first vehicles on these common programs by the end of 2016.
    All four projects will be developed combining the best platform architectures and technologies from the Alliance partners.
    Next Steps in Joint Purchasing Organization
    The Alliance partners also confirmed the next steps in their joint purchasing organization. This collaborative effort will draw on the combined purchasing reach of both companies to realize purchasing synergies benefitting both companies. The joint purchasing organization will be subject to customary antitrust approvals.
    Synergies Confirmed
    Based on the above programs and the joint purchasing organization, both companies confirm the previously stated synergy target of $2 billion annually achievable within five years.
    With the common vehicle development projects and next steps in purchasing organization now confirmed, the teams will work to finalize the associated definitive agreements in addition to exploring other cooperation opportunities.

    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

    General Motors Steps Up and Announces That It Will Fix Up The Damaged Corvettes

    Back on Wednesday, we reported that the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky had a sinkhole open up and take with it eight Corvettes; two of those on loan from General Motors. Now, GM is stepping and saying it will fix all of the Corvettes.
    In a statement, GM says the damaged Corvettes will be shipped to the GM Motors Design facilities in the Warren Tech Center where they will get a look over and be fixed. GM's vice president of global design, Ed Wellburn will look over the process.
    “There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development.
    Before the vehicles can be shipped, they first need to be extracted out of the sinkhole. During a press conference today at the National Corvette Museum, contractor Mike Murphy says it will take two to three weeks to stabilize the sinkhole area. Once stabilized, Murphy says it will take four to six days for the vehicles to be extracted.
    Source: General Motors, Automobile Magazine
    Pic Credit: National Corvette Museum
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Chevrolet to Oversee Restoration of Historic Corvettes
    Museum cars damaged in sinkhole collapse will be shipped to Warren Mich.

    DETROIT – To help the National Corvette Museum recover from the massive sinkhole that opened under the facility this week, Chevrolet will oversee restoration of the Corvettes damaged. General Motors Design in Warren, Mich., will lead the project.
    “The vehicles at the National Corvette Museum are some of the most significant in automotive history,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of General Motors Global Product Development. “There can only be one 1-millionth Corvette ever built. We want to ensure as many of the damaged cars are restored as possible so fans from around the world can enjoy them when the Museum reopens.”
    Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, will oversee the restoration.
    When the cars are recovered, they will be shipped to the Mechanical Assembly facility, a small specialty shop within GM Design, where the best restoration approach will be determined. Mechanical Assembly has been part of GM Design since the 1930s, and today maintains and restores many of the vehicles in the GM Heritage Collection and GM’s historic concept cars.
    The National Corvette Museum is independently owned, and supported solely by charitable donations from enthusiasts. It is currently accepting donations on its website to assist in refurbishing the facility. Donations are tax-deductible.

    William Maley

    How many people have filed a claim for GM's compensation fund?

    It has been almost two months since General Motors announced a compensation fund for families who either lost a loved one or who were injured because of a problem due to the ignition switch. According to the Detroit Free Press, almost 300 people have filed a claim.
    100 people who have filed a claim said their loved ones were killed because of defect, while 184 people said their injuries come as a result of the problem. These numbers come from Amy Weiss, a spokeswoman for fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg.
    The Detroit Free Press says each person who has filed a claim has to provide evidence that it was the defective switch that was the cause of the injury/fatality. If the person is able to prove this, Feinberg will will use actuarial tables and medical cost data to determine individual payouts.
    Source: Detroit Free Press
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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

    William Maley

    Could take on services like Turo

    If you happen to be an owner of a General Motors vehicle and are looking to earn some cash, then a new pilot program might be of interest. Bloomberg has learned from sources that GM is planning to launch a program where owners can rent out their vehicles when they aren't driving them - think AirBnb for cars. This will be launch through GM's Maven car-sharing service sometime this summer. A GM spokesman declined to comment.
    This appears to be another part of GM's plan to transition from manufacturer to mobility provider. GM already has their car-sharing service Maven and invested $500 million into ride-hailing service Lyft.
    This idea of allowing owners to rent out their vehicles isn't new. Companies like Turo and Getaround have been doing the same thing for a number of years. But Alexandre Marian, a director in the automotive and industrial practice at consultant AlixPartners LLP said GM could have one big advantage, having a huge network of vehicle owners that could be part of the service.
    But there is a big risk for owners who decide to offer their vehicles up for rent, what happens if they get into an accident? Maven provides liability coverage for its renters. If you offer your vehicle through Turo have the choice of adding commercial coverage through their own insurance or one of the insurance companies that have partnered with the service. We're expecting GM to have some solution in place if they decide to go forward with this program.
    Source: Bloomberg

    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

    A California Only Special With 700 Trucks Being Built

    Whenever someone brings up hybrid and GM's pickups, we're reminded of the two-mode hybrid system GM installed on the last-generation Silverado and Sierra that only delivered negligible gains in fuel economy. But GM is giving the hybrid truck another go with the introduction of an eAssist powertrain on the Silverado and Sierra.
    The eAssist system comprises of a small electric motor (13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque) and 0.45-kWh battery pack. This is paired with the 5.3L V8. Power figures stand at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque (no increase in horsepower, but an increase of 3 pound-feet). The system only adds an additional 100 pounds to the overall weight.
    In terms of overall fuel economy, GM says the eAssist boosts fuel economy from 16 City/22 Highway/20 Combined mpg to 18 City/24 Highway/20 Combined mpg. Other pluses for the eAssist include a stop-start system, the ability to run the engine on four-cylinders for a longer time, and regenerative brakes that can feed power to various accessories.
    The eAssist powertrain only adds $500 to the price of a Silverado or Sierra.
    All good news? Not exactly. The only way you can get the eAssist system is by either ordering a two-wheel drive version of the Chevrolet Silverado 1LT crew cab or GMC Sierra SLT crew cab with the SLT Premium Plus package. Also, GM is only offering this in California. Finally, GM is only building 500 Silverados and 200 Sierras with the eAssist. GM says this is test and "will monitor the market closely... and adjust as appropriate moving forward."
    Source: Chevrolet, GMC

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Chevrolet Introduces 2016 Silverado With eAssist
    New mild-hybrid system delivers 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, based on EPA city estimates

    DETROIT – Chevrolet announced today that a select number of 2016 Chevrolet Silverados will be offered with eAssist technology. The new mild-hybrid electrical system leverages many of the technologies and components from Chevrolet’s lineup of innovative electric vehicles – including battery cells from the Malibu Hybrid and software controls developed for the Volt. As a result, Chevrolet can deliver a low-volume, affordably priced hybrid pickup that delivers uncompromised capability and up to 13 percent better fuel economy in city driving.
    “Silverado already leads the full-size truck segment in V8 fuel economy,” said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevrolet Trucks. “For customers and small-business owners who use their trucks for more urban driving, the addition of eAssist can further reduce their fuel costs without sacrificing the utility they expect in a full-size truck.”
    The compact, lightweight system increases curb weight by approximately 100 pounds, and delivers an additional 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque from the electric motor.
    The eAssist propulsion system, including the 8-speed automatic transmission, will be a $500 premium over a comparably equipped two-wheel drive Silverado 1500 crew cab in 1LT trim.
    Initially, Chevrolet will offer approximately 500 Silverado eAssist trucks for the 2016 model year, exclusively through California dealers. Based on feedback from these initial customers, Chevrolet will adjust production for 2017 model year.
    The eAssist Silverado adds another piece to Chevrolet’s growing electrification portfolio - from all-electrics like the Chevrolet Spark EV and Bolt EV (slated to begin production in late 2016), to extended-range electrics like the Chevrolet Volt, to full-hybrids like Malibu Hybrid, and mild-hybrids like Silverado eAssist.
    Technology developed from new Malibu Hybrid and Volt
    The eAssist system pairs a compact lithium-ion battery pack with the Silverado’s 5.3L EcoTech V-8 and 8-speed automatic transmission to provide:
    Electric Power Boost: The on-board electric motor provides up to 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of supplemental power during acceleration and passing. The electric motor also enables the Active Fuel Management system on the 5.3L V-8 engine to operate in 4-cylinder mode for longer periods, resulting in additional fuel economy benefits. Stop/Start capability: Added fuel savings are achieved by seamlessly turning the engine off when stopped at a traffic light or in congested traffic and turning the engine back on when the accelerator is pressed. Regenerative Braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system. These features deliver a 13 percent improvement in city fuel economy, based on EPA estimates. The 2016 Silverado eAssist will have an EPA estimated 18 mpg city, a 2 mpg improvement over the equivalent Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L V-8 and 8-speed automatic. EPA estimated highway fuel economy for the Silverado eAssist is 24 mpg, while the combined rating is 20 mpg.

    Power for the eAssist system is supplied by a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the center console (or front bench seat) that uses the same battery cells as the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. It weighs nearly 15 percent less than the previous generation eAssist system, yet provides up to 15 kW of power to the electric motor.

    A reengineered power inverter module is now liquid cooled and moved underhood for improved packaging and performance. The software used to control the battery system is based off a modified version of the software for the Chevrolet Volt.
    The compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides peak regen capability of 15kW resulting from advanced software controls based off those used in the Volt. The motor, which features a stator design leveraged from the Volt and Malibu Hybrid, acts like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb.-ft. (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high-load situations.
    This new generation of eAssist is also more modular than the previous system, meaning it could be more easily used in front-wheel or rear-wheel drive drivetrain configurations and it’s capable of using more or fewer cells, based on power needs for each vehicle application.
    GMC Introduces 2016 Sierra with eAssist
    Technologically advanced premium truck offers greater efficiency, capability

    DETROIT – Building on GMC Sierra’s advanced powertrain technologies, new eAssist technology enhances its position as one of the industry’s most innovative and capable trucks, helping it achieve up to 13 percent greater city fuel economy – and solidifying its segment-best ranking for V8 efficiency.

    Starting this spring, the new eAssist system is exclusively available on the already well-equipped 2016 Sierra 1500 SLT crew cab 2WD model with the SLT Premium Plus package. For 2016, we will monitor the market closely, producing 200 Sierra eAssist models for California, and adjust as appropriate moving forward.
    “Innovative technology that enhances capability is at the core of everything we do at GMC and the new Sierra with eAssist takes it to a higher level,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Its advantages are delivered in a compromise-free package that enables real-world fuel savings with premium content that provides a very high level of refinement, comfort and connectivity.”
    Compared to a comparable Sierra 1500 with a 5.3L/eight-speed powertrain, the Sierra with eAssist offers an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city – a 2-mpg improvement – while highway fuel economy improves 2 mpg to 24 mpg. The combined estimate improves 2 mpg to 20 mpg. The 5.3L eAssist V8 has a GM estimated 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.
    The new eAssist powertrain is available in the Sierra SLT crew cab with the up-level Premium Plus package, a package that is also available with the standard 5.3L non- eAssist engine and the 6.2L V8 engine. The SLT Premium Plus package includes an extensive list of premium technologies and features:
    High-performance LED headlamps, LED taillamps and thin-profile LED foglamps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone) IntelliLink with navigation and 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen Bose premium audio system Wireless phone charging Heated and vented leather-appointed seats Heated steering wheel Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert IntelliBeam headlamps Front and Rear Park Assist Rear Vision camera. The max trailering rating is 9,400 lbs. and the Eaton locking rear differential is standard, for sure-footed traction on slippery surfaces.

    eAssist details
    The Sierra’s eAssist powertrain is a light electrification system leveraging General Motors’ latest electrification technologies. It builds on the advanced technologies of the 5.3L V8 engine, including direct injection, variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), complementing them with a compact lithium-ion battery pack to enhance efficiency through:
    Stop/Start capability: Additional fuel savings are achieved by turning off the engine when stopped at a stop light or heavy traffic and restarting the engine when the driver lifts his or her foot from the brake pedal Electric power boost: The on-board electric motor provides a power boost during acceleration and passing, while enabling the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods, for additional fuel savings Regenerative braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system Aero enhancements: A 6 percent improvement in aerodynamics contributes to fuel economy due to a standard soft tonneau cover and automatic grille shutters, which can close at speeds over 30 mph in order to further reduce drag and fuel consumption.

    The eAssist system includes a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, located under the center console (or front bench seat). It adds only about 100 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight.

    A compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides 15 kW of peak regenerative capability, thanks to advanced software controls based on the Chevrolet Volt. It performs like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high load situations. There’s also a liquid-cooled power inverter module located under the hood.

    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

    General Motors To Ford: We Can Play The Aluminum Truck Game As Well

    Ford pulled off a bit of coup at the Detroit Auto Show last month with the introduction of the 2015 F-150 which features an all-aluminum body to help meet the upcoming fuel efficiency standards. Now, another truck maker looks to be following in the footsteps of the blue oval.
    The Wall Street Journal has learned from sources familiar with the matter that General Motors is working on making the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have aluminum bodies. The company has secured contracts with with Alcoa and Novelis Inc. to supply aluminum for the next-generation trucks, due out in late 2018.
    GM's global product development chief, Mark Reuss hinted at the company possibly going towards aluminum with their trucks last month.
    "We need to see how much aluminum is in it, not what they say is in it but what is actually in it. We are going to look at what they advertise as the weight savings from it and then we are going to go back and do some math.…We can play this game real easily."
    Sources tell WSJ that GM will use a patented method of where multi-ringed electrodes are used to weld the aluminum panels. This eliminates a number of rivets used in the assembly of the trucks and allows the company to build a lighter and stronger truck.
    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Declining sales cause GM to do layoffs at some their plants

    As sales of compacts and sport cars begin declining, automakers are faced with tough decisions as to what in terms of production and workers. General Motors made the difficult decision to lay off 2,000 workers at two plants.
    Bloomberg reports that GM will be cutting the third shift at their Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan (home to Cadillac ATS, CTS, and Chevrolet Camaro) and a shift at Lordstown, Ohio plant (home to the Chevrolet Cruze). GM spokesman Tom Wickham said the company is treating the layoffs as permanent, although some workers will be able to transfer to other plants.
    The layoffs are due to sales of compact and sports cars going down due to consumers buying more crossovers. Sales of the Chevrolet Cruze dropped 20 percent through October, while the Camaro has seen a drop of 9 percent.
    On the same day, General Motors announced a $900 million investment for three plants - Toledo Transmission Operations, Bedford Casting Operations in Indiana, and Lansing Grand River. Wickham said this investment would not add any new jobs.
    Source: Bloomberg, General Motors
    Press Release is on Page 2

    General Motors today announced initiatives to strengthen and align its production output at key U.S. manufacturing operations. The plans include investing more than $900 million in three facilities — Toledo Transmission Operations in Ohio, Lansing Grand River in Michigan and Bedford Casting Operations in Indiana —  to prepare the facilities for future product programs.
    GM also announced plans to align production output with demand for cars built at the Lordstown, Ohio, and Lansing Grand River, Michigan, assembly plants. As the customer shift from cars to crossovers and trucks is projected to continue, GM will suspend the third shift of production at both facilities in the first quarter of 2017. 

    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

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