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    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 15, 2013
    When General Motors introduced their next-generation full-size SUVs last month, some people were expecting some major changes to the powertrains. What was introduced were the next-generation of V8 engines and that was really about it. However, GM's chief engineer for trucks says changes are coming.
    "We've got some interesting powertrain technologies coming on the SUVs over the next few years," said GM's executive chief engineer for trucks, Jeff Luke.
    For example, Luke hinted that the Escalade's current six-speed automatic will give way to a higher-geared transmission in the future. Under consideration is the return of a hybrid model and the introduction of a diesel model.
    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.

    Drew Dowdell

    Most GM vehicles with Apple CarPlay now can get a a free update to support Android Auto.

    GM's four North American brands announced today that as of now, most 2016 vehicles that currently have Apple CarPlay compatibility can be brought to their dealers for a free update to the infotainment system to add Android Auto.
     
    Android Auto requires a phone running Android Lollipop 5.0 or higher and require various apps to be installed on the phone. You can find apps compatible with Android Auto here.
     
    Vehicles eligible for the updates are as follows:
     
    Chevrolet - 2016 models with 8" MyLink eligible for Android Auto Update:
    Malibu (Excluding Limited)
    Impala
    Volt
    Camaro coupe and convertible
    Corvette coupe and convertible
    Colorado
    Silverado 1500 and HD
    Tahoe
    Suburban
    All 2016 models with 7" MyLink screen are already Android Auto capable and do not require an update.
     
    GMC - 2016 models with 8 inch IntelliLink eligible for Android Auto Update:
    Canyon
    Sierra
    Yukon
     
    Buick - 2016 models with 8 inch IntelliLink eligible for Android Auto Update:
    LaCrosse
    Regal
    *Envision and Encore will gain Android Auto in 2017 Model year
     
    Cadillac - All 2016 and newer models except SRX

    William Maley

    Three Chevrolets, Two Cadillacs, and A Buick

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

    William Maley

    Wire-Fraud Charges Could Be Hitting GM

    The Department of Justice is currently evaluating whether or not to charge General Motors with criminal wire fraud due to the company's failure to recall vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The Wall Street Journal has learned from sources federal prosecutors in New York are zoning in the wire-fraud charge due after it was determined that GM made misleading statements and concealed information about the faulty switch.
     
    Sources go on to say the DOJ hopes to reach a settlement by late summer or early, though that could change. Prosecutors are also looking into other kinds of possible criminal charges.
     
    When asked about the report, CEO Mary Barra said,
     
    “It is their timeline. We are going to continue to cooperate to the fullest extent we can. But beyond that, I think anything else is pure speculation and it does no one any good.”
     
    Barra confirmed that she spoke and fully cooperated with DOJ investigators last year about the ignition switch defect.
     
    Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required), The Detroit News

    William Maley

    GM expands their already big recall concerning faulty ignition switches

    Two weeks ago, General Motors announced a massive recall that involves 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalts built between 2005 to 2007 and Pontiac G5s built in 2007 because of a faulty ignition switch that slip out of the run position if jostled or if any weight was applied to the key in the cylinder. Now this problem has caused 22 accidents and claimed the lives of six people since the air bags didn't deploy since the key was turned away from the run position. Now a GM spokesman pointed out at the time that the lack of air bags weren't the only factor in these fatalities; high speed, alcohol, not wearing a seat belt, and going off the road played a role in the six different fatalities.
    At that time, GM told owners to remove non-essential items from their key rings and get to their nearest dealer for a free replacement of the switch.
    Well today, GM has expanded the recall to an additional 588,000 vehicles bringing the total amount to over 1.6 million vehicles. The vehicles announced in this additional recall are,
    2003-07 Saturn Ion
    2006-07 Chevrolet HHR
    2006-07 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky

    Along with the addition of the vehicles to the recall, the number of crashes and fatalities has increased to 31 and 13 respectively.
    In a statement, General Motors says they have begun the process of letting owners owners of the affected vehicles know. But it will go further by reaching out to social media and its customer care centers.
    But this may be only the beginning of problems for GM. Last week USA Today got their hands on documents in a court case concerning the death of pediatric nurse Brooke Melton. In 2010, she got into a accident with her 2005 Cobalt, killing her. A dump of the vehicle's black box showed that before the crash, the key was not in the run position, thus turning off the vehicle and causing the vehicle to lose control. During the trial, a GM engineer said the problem appeared when testing the Cobalt before went on sale.
    This was confirmed by documents filed by GM to safety regulators yesterday. Engineers were able to replicate the problem and an inquiry was opened. However, no action was taken after lead time, cost and effectiveness of potential solutions were taken into account.
    The paperwork goes on to say that in 2005, GM started getting reports that Cobalts were losing power when a driver inadvertently hit the key or the steering column. The company issued a service bulletin telling dealers that the likely cause came down to a heavy or large key ring. Dealers were told to notify customers to remove non-essential items from the key ring. During the 2007 model year, GM transitioned to a new ignition switch.
    But it was a few years ago that GM started getting reports of accidents in Cobalts where the airbag didn't deploy. It was discovered that the key was turning into the accessory position.
    With this, GM has opened itself up to the potential of lawsuits.
    "The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been. Today's GM is committed to doing business differently and better. We will take an unflinching look at what happened and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward," said GM North America President Alan Batey.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), USA Today, (2), General Motors
    Press Release and GM's Filing is on Page 2
    GM Expands Ignition Switch Recall
    Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Ion and Sky included
    Company Launches Process Review

    DETROIT – General Motors is expanding the recall of certain 2003-2007 model year vehicles to correct a condition with the ignition switch that may allow the key to unintentionally move or switch to the "accessory" or "off" position, turning off the engine and most of the electrical components on the vehicle.
    In addition to 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada only, GM is separately recalling 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky models. The affected U.S. vehicle population, including those vehicles recalled Feb. 13, totals 1,367,146.
    This expanded vehicle population raises the number of reported incidents involving frontal crashes, in which the recall condition may have caused or contributed to the non-deployment of the frontal airbags, to 31 involving 13 front-seat fatalities.
    As part of the recall, GM is taking steps to address customer concerns and working with its suppliers to increase parts production and accelerate availability.
    GM will notify all affected customers that in addition to recalling their vehicles and performing repairs at no charge to them, GM and its dealers will work with customers on an individual, case-by-case basis to minimize inconvenience associated with the recall.
    "Ensuring our customers' safety is our first order of business," said GM North America President Alan Batey. "We are deeply sorry and we are working to address this issue as quickly as we can."
    Going beyond required written notification, GM, through its customer care centers and social media teams, is using customer records and communications channels to notify affected customers of the recall and additional actions the company is willing to take to relieve their concerns and minimize inconvenience.
    GM is recalling these vehicles because the ignition switch torque performance may not meet GM specifications. If the torque performance is not to specification, and the key ring is carrying added weight or the vehicle goes off road or experiences some other jarring event, the ignition switch may inadvertently be moved out of the "run" position.
    The timing of the key movement out of the "run" position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the airbags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes.
    Dealers will replace the ignition switch to prevent the unintentional or inadvertent key movement. Until this correction is performed, customers should use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring. As always, customers should drive responsibly and use their safety belts.
    On Monday, the company submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a detailed chronology associated with its initial recall of the ignition switch torque performance condition in Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s and Pursuits. The chronology outlines events that happened during the time that elapsed between receiving the first field reports and issuing a recall.
    "The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been," said Batey. "Today's GM is committed to doing business differently and better. We will take an unflinching look at what happened and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward."


    William Maley

    What does GM plan on doing in Europe after Opel and Vauxhall head off to PSA?

    As General Motors begins to close the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group, there are questions as to what GM will do in the European market afterwards. According to Automotive News, GM is planning to become a niche brand with selling Cadillac models, along with the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette.
    “That is the plan at this time, to continue with those models and brands in Europe. We continue to grow the Cadillac brand. We’ll continue to do that in a very disciplined fashion,” said GM CEO Mary Barra on a conference call this morning.
    Cadillac has been trying to make end roads into Europe for a decade with middling success. Last year, Cadillac's 45 dealers in Europe (mostly in Germany and Switzerland) sold 781 vehicles, up 33 percent when compared to 2015. The brand has the goal of selling 5,000 vehicles yearly in Europe by the end of this decade. This includes sales of the Camaro and Corvette which are doing much better - more than 1,800 models sold last year. 
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    GM's Spring Hill assembly has been quiet since production of Chevrolet Traverse moved in 2009, with the plant building powertrains and other components. Now, a car is returning to Spring Hill.
    Today, GM announced a $244 million investment into Spring Hill that will create one of the industry's most flexible production lines. The assembly line will open in the second half of next year building the Chevrolet Equinox, which will help supplement production in Canada. But GM says the plant will be capable of assembling any car from its portfolio should increased demand require another production site.
    GM says the investment will bring forth 594 hourly jobs and 91 salaried positions in the next half of next year. Out of the $244 million, $183 has been reserved for “future midsized vehicles,” a move that will eventually bring around 1,090 hourly workers and 106 salaried jobs.



    Press Release is on Page 2
    Spring Hill Assembly Reborn as Ultra-Flexible Operation

    Additional production of Chevrolet Equinox to begin in second half of 2012
    $61 million investment and 685 jobs for flexible operation
    $183 million for future midsize vehicles and 1,196 jobs

    SPRING HILL, Tenn. – General Motors will invest $61 million to bring its idled Spring Hill assembly plant back to life as one of the world’s most-flexible manufacturing facilities capable of building any GM car or crossover based on customer demand or manufacturing need.
    The investment will create 594 hourly jobs and 91 salaried positions for the flexible operation scheduled to begin with the hot-selling Chevrolet Equinox in the second half of 2012. The additional production will supplement Equinox production in Canada, the main assembly sites of the midsize crossover vehicle and its sibling the GMC Terrain.
    The Equinox has been so popular – U.S. sales were up 18 percent in October – that GM has increased production three times since it went into production in 2009.
    GM also announced Monday a second investment of $183 million for future midsize vehicles to be built at Spring Hill, located about 40 miles south of Nashville. Timing was not announced, but that investment is expected to create an additional 1,090 hourly and 106 salaried positions.
    “Spring Hill has a history as one of GM’s most innovative and flexible plants,” said Cathy Clegg, vice president of GM Labor Relations. “We’re pleased that, working together with the UAW, we were able to build on that history and develop a plan to resume production at Spring Hill.”
    The potential for Spring Hill’s future role was discussed as a part of negotiations for a four-year national labor agreement ratified in October.
    "Our number one priority in auto negotiations this year was jobs," said UAW President Bob King. "We asked the company to bring jobs back to America , and that’s what this collective bargaining agreement represents. Together, we are bringing 1,800 jobs to Tennessee, and a total of 6,400 new GM jobs, which translates to nearly 60,000 good, auto-related jobs in the United States."
    Equinox production is only the start for Spring Hill Flex. Operators will be capable of building a variety of products on a range of platforms – covering for plants being retooled for new products and also allowing real-time reaction to sales spikes in a given car or crossover.
    Spring Hill powertrain and stamping operations, part of the integrated complex that was the home to the former Saturn brand from 1990 to 2007 and the Chevrolet Traverse large crossover into 2009, are still operating. In fact, GM has invested $515 million in the engine operations in the last 14 months for current and next-generation Ecotec 4-cylinder engine production.
    "The re-opening of Spring Hill is a testament to the value of collective bargaining," said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union's General Motors Department. "Collective bargaining works for companies, for workers and for America. Collective bargaining is what brought good jobs to Tennessee. It is what built our middle class. It is how workers and communities have a voice in corporate decision-making. Bargaining is what gives the working class a seat at the table."

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

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 11, 2012
    CBS Detroit affiliate WWJ reports that the GM Tech Center in Warren was rocked by an explosion earlier this morning.
    Deputy Fire Chief Gary Wilkinson said the explosion happened around 8:50 a.m. at the Alternative Energy Center research center. The cause of the explosion is likely a lithium-ion battery. Wilkinson also said two people have been rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, although a statement released by GM says one has been sent.
    GM spokesman Greg Martin told The Detroit News, "We’re aware of an incident this morning at one of our labs at the GM Tech Center that required a fire and emergency response. All employees are accounted for, and we’re trying to learn more details and we’ll share them when we can.”
    We'll update this story as soon as we get more information.
    UPDATE: Green Car Reports published a statement from GM about the explosion. GM says the explosion was unrelated to the Chevrolet Volt or any other production vehicle, instead saying it was a prototype battery undergoing extreme testing.
    Source: CBS Detroit, The Detroit News, Green Car Reports

    William Maley

    But not in the way you might expect

    Tripower is one of General Motors' most revered names. Used on Pontiac V8 engines from 1957-1966, Tripower referred to the use of three two-barrel carburetors on top of the engine. GM is bringing back the name for the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. But in this case, Tripower carries a very different meaning.
    At the CAR Management Briefing Seminars yesterday, Mike Anderson, GM's executive director of global transmission and electrification hardware engineering said Tripower will now "refer to a suite of technologies that boosts horsepower and fuel economy" for the new 2.7L turbo-four. According to Automotive News, Tripower will include cylinder deactivation, intake valve lift control, and active thermal management.
    The new engine is expected launch sometime after the new trucks begin arriving at dealers this fall.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    The Hot Water GM is Currently in Over the Ignition Switch Recall Has Just Gotten Hotter

    Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced they would open a formal investigation into the timeliness of GM's ignition switch recall. The recall affects over 1.6 million vehicles which are,
    2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt
    2006-07 Chevrolet HHR
    2005-07 Pontiac G5
    2006-07 Pontiac Solstice
    2003-07 Saturn Ion
    2006-07 Saturn Sky

    In a statement, NHTSA says “opened an investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls.”
    This investigation could cost GM dearly. The Detroit News reports NHTSA could issue a maximum fine of $35 million if it failed to recall the vehicles because of a safety defect within five days. Documents filed by GM to federal regulators this week say they knew about the problem back in 2004 as the 2005 Cobalt was hitting dealerships.
    "We deeply regret the events that led to the recall and this investigation. We intend to fully cooperate with NHTSA, and we welcome the opportunity to help the agency have a full understanding of the facts. Today’s GM is committed to learning from the past while embracing the highest standards now and in the future," said GM in a statement.
    The Detroit News also reports that GM has hired an law firm to conduct a full review. The review will look at the decisions made by GM concerning their handling of this problem.
    Source: The Detroit News, (2)
    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's Compensation Fund Begins Sending Out Settlements

    When we last checked in on General Motors' Ignition Switch Compensation Fund, almost 300 claims were filed by families due because they were effected by the ignition switch problem. Now according to the Detroit Free Press, some of the claimants are starting to see settlements.
    The Detroit Free Press reports that Compensation Fund Administrator, Kenneth Feinberg has approved nineteen claims made by families who said the ignition switch caused the death of a loved one. This up from the thirteen deaths that General Motors and federal safety regulators have identified.
    Feinberg has also approved four claims of those who were seriously injured and eight claims of those who were slightly injured by the ignition switch problem.
    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

    GM Begin Shipping The Colorado and Canyon To Dealers

    Starting today, General Motors is beginning to ship their new midsize trucks to dealers across the U.S. GM says demand for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon is very high, with 30,000 orders alone for the Colorado. GM has claimed that over 100,000 configurations of the two models have been created since the the "build your own" features went live on September 3rd.
    To help cope with this initial demand, GM has added 750 employees at their Wentzville, Mo. assembly plant to accommodate a third shift of production.
    Source: General Motors
    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

    Colorado and Canyon Start Shipping to Dealers
    New midsize trucks making their way to dealerships nationwide

    WENTZVILLE, Mo. – The two newest entries in the midsize truck segment are one step closer to being on the road, with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon shipping to dealers today.
    Consumers have created more than 100,000 configurations of the trucks since the Colorado Build Your Own and Canyon Build Your Own websites went live on Sept. 3.
    “The Colorado was designed to meet the demands of the modern midsized truck buyer, and now we’re fulfilling the demand they’ve placed on us,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet. “Chevrolet and everyone at the Wentzville plant has worked hard to get the truck out on time to fulfill as soon as possible the orders our dealers have placed.”
    Said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of GMC: “We have heard our customers loud and clear – they want a modern midsize truck that’s refined and capable. We’re excited to introduce them to the Canyon. We’re confident the Canyon will redefine the segment, with the latest technologies and premium materials throughout.”
    Both the Colorado and Canyon benefit from technologies like cabs and frames made with more than 72 percent high-strength steel, available active aero shutters to make the truck as aerodynamic as needed, and available OnStar with 4G LTE, creating a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven mobile devices to connect to the Internet.
    The duo’s available 3.6L V-6 engines return 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway in 2wd form, making them the most fuel efficient V-6s in their class, offering three to five mpg better than their competitors.
    For the 2016 model year, Colorado and Canyon will add a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel to the engine lineup. Technical details and EPA fuel economy estimates will be available closer to launch.
    With the introduction of Colorado and Canyon, Chevrolet and GMC will offer customers more pickup choices than any other brand, including midsize, full-size light duty and heavy-duty pickups.WENTZVILLE, Mo. – The two newest entries in the midsize truck segment are one step closer to being on the road, with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon shipping to dealers today.
    Consumers have created more than 100,000 configurations of the trucks since the Colorado Build Your Own and Canyon Build Your Own websites went live on Sept. 3.
    “The Colorado was designed to meet the demands of the modern midsized truck buyer, and now we’re fulfilling the demand they’ve placed on us,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet. “Chevrolet and everyone at the Wentzville plant has worked hard to get the truck out on time to fulfill as soon as possible the orders our dealers have placed.”
    Said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of GMC: “We have heard our customers loud and clear – they want a modern midsize truck that’s refined and capable. We’re excited to introduce them to the Canyon. We’re confident the Canyon will redefine the segment, with the latest technologies and premium materials throughout.”
    Both the Colorado and Canyon benefit from technologies like cabs and frames made with more than 72 percent high-strength steel, available active aero shutters to make the truck as aerodynamic as needed, and available OnStar with 4G LTE, creating a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven mobile devices to connect to the Internet.
    The duo’s available 3.6L V-6 engines return 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway in 2wd form, making them the most fuel efficient V-6s in their class, offering three to five mpg better than their competitors.
    For the 2016 model year, Colorado and Canyon will add a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel to the engine lineup. Technical details and EPA fuel economy estimates will be available closer to launch.
    With the introduction of Colorado and Canyon, Chevrolet and GMC will offer customers more pickup choices than any other brand, including midsize, full-size light duty and heavy-duty pickups.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 12, 2012
    The Detroit News is reporting the explosion that happened yesterday at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren was caused by gases venting from an experimental battery pack.
    The explosion which happened yesterday morning in a battery lab was liken to a natural gas explosion. Gases from experimental battery gathered in the room during extreme testing and ignited.
    The explosion caused damaged to the at least part of the global battery lab inside the Alternative Energy Center and injured five people. GM spokesman Alan Adler said one employee was kept kept overnight at a hospital for observation.
    Source: The Detroit News

    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


    2012-01-31
    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
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 29, 2012
    Automotive News reports General Motor's global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick is leaving. The reason according to General Motors is Ewanick didn't meet expectations.
    GM hired Ewanick back in May 2010. Prior to this, he worked at Nissan for two months. Before Nissan, Ewanick worked at Hyundai where he was the chief of marketing and is credited with creating Hyundai Assurance, which allowed owners that lost their jobs to return their vehicles.
    During his tenure, Ewanick led a consolidation of marketing and advertising agency work at GM. The biggest consolidation to place last spring when Chevrolet's marketing was moved from many agencies to just one, Commonwealth of Detroit.
    Ewanick has also been in the spotlight for some controversial decisions and statements. Back in September 2010, Chevrolet launched the "Chevy Runs Deep" tagline. Critics have said the tagline doesn't really give Chevrolet a narrative. The tagline has been under review since then.
    Then in May, Ewanick expressed concern about the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook and comfirmed that GM would pull their advertising from the site. Also, Ewanick revealed that GM would not be advertising during next year's Super Bowl. Both of these comments caught officials off guard and caused GM to go into damage control.
    Ewanick's interm replacement is Alan Batey, GM's Vice President of U.S. Sales and Service.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Twitter, 2
    Updated: July 30, 2012:​ Bloomberg reports that GM executives asked for Ewanick's resignation after a review of a sponsorship agreement that failed to meet company policies.
    "It has been a privilege & honor to work with the GM Team and to be a small part of Detroit's turnaround. I wish everyone at GM all the best," Ewanick said on his twitter account last night.
    Source: Bloomberg, Twitter

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    June 5, 2013
    The U.S. Treasury said today it plans to sell an additional 30 million shares of General Motors stock (about 12 percent) in anticipation of GM's return to the S&P 500 on Thursaday. In addition, the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust announced they would be selling 20 million shares.
    During the first three months of the year, the U.S. Treasury sold off about 20 percent of its remaining GM stake. Currently, the Treasury holds 16.4 percent of GM, down from a 60.8 percent share in 2009.
    The Treasury has said previously they plan to sell off all of their shares by 2014. But with this announcement this week, analysts think the Treasury is accelerating their plan.
    "The sale is opportunistic given the recent S&P500 inclusion announcement, which we estimate requires a 85.4mm share buy. The accelerated sell-down by the government should be viewed positively. We believe (the Treasury exit) could be quicker — perhaps by the end of the year," said RBC Capital analyst Joseph Spak.
    Source: The Detroit News
    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
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 22, 2013
    Last week, General Motors announced they would be raising the prices on the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra by as much as $1,500. This week, dealers are giving the company a piece of their mind with this decision. They say sales of the two trucks are getting beaten up by discounts and rebates being offered by Ford and Ram to clear out their stock of 2013 models.
    "We all know that it's a great truck. But [GM's] position is that the vehicle stands on its own and it doesn't need a bigger rebate. That's not what the market is telling us," said W. Carroll Smith, president of Monument Chevrolet in Pasadena, Texas.
    Part of the problem for GM is that its trucks are arriving at the time when the current F-150's is reaching the end of its lifecycle, a fact that Ford has taken advantage of by offering massive discounts. Dealers want GM to fight back by offering more incentives. GM is sticking to its guns however.
    "You don't ever want to let the oldest trucks in the market dictate strategy for the newest and best truck in the market," said GM spokesman Jim Cain.
    Dealers and analysts do believe that the price disadvantage on GM's new trucks is only temporary and sales will climb back up when Ford and Ram's supply of 2013 models is depleted. However, some dealers believe this move could hurt sales in the long run.
    "It looked like we're finally going to get into the game. Then they raise the prices. It's like it kicks you in the head," said Rox Covert, dealer principal at two Chevrolet dealerships and two Buick-GMC stores in the Austin, Texas, area.
    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

    The sale of Opel/Vauxhall was only the beginning

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

    Drew Dowdell

    PSA claims GM misrepresented Opel's emissions troubles

    PSA Group is demanding a refund from General Motors of between $711 million and $948 million stemming from the purchase of Opel by PSA.  PSA is claiming that GM misrepresented Opel's emissions reduction strategy during the due diligence negotiations.  
    EU Emissions regulations for 2021 set a target reduction of 130 g/km to 95 g/km.  Regulators can fine manufacturers $113 per vehicle per gram over the limit. Any vehicle at the 130 g/km limit today would see fines of $3,955 per car sold. 
    PSA claims that GM's plan for reaching that target relied on unrealistically high sales of the Opel Ampera-E, the European model of the US built Chevrolet Bolt EV, and extra rosy forecasts of diesel sales.  Opel loses $11,850 per Ampera-E sold. PSA has already cut sales of the Ampera-E in Norway and raised its price at least $6,700 for the rest of Europe.  Adding to the trouble are falling diesel sales in Europe as consumers move to less efficient gasoline engines. 
    Even during the sale negotiations, PSA was was aware that GM was forecasting Opel to miss the 95 g/km target by 3.7 grams.  Take the Ampera-E forecast of 20,000 vehicles out out of the picture and that number jumps to 6 g/km. Adjusting for falling diesel sales and Opel will miss its target by 10 grams. Such a large miss could result in fines approaching the entire purchase price of Opel ($1.54 billion).
    PSA is now speeding into production electric or plug-in hybrid variants of Opel's mainstay cars, with the entire lineup being converted to PSA platform architecture by 2024.
    PSA must now go through GM lawyers and arbitration to determine if they will get any refund from GM.
     

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 23, 2013
    The alliance between General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen was supposed to help out the two companies with number of new vehicles and powertrains, and lower costs. But since the alliance was announced last year, it has been fraught with disappointment. Now it appears the alliance is scaling back a bit.
    According to Automotive News, the two companies are slimming down the alliance as the two companies pursue other ways to reverse losses. Part of this slim down is due to the planned joint platform for subcompact cars was nixed. This platform was the heart of the alliance.
    "Further analysis showed that the business model just wasn't there," said a PSA spokesperson.
    But there a couple other items at play. For one, sources say PSA Peugeot Citroen is in talks with Chinese automaker Dongfeng about a new partnership. The automaker plans to increase capital by about 3 billion euros, with Dongfeng and the French state possibly each taking stakes of about 20 percent. Now GM could pull out of the alliance since Dongfeng is a competitor to SAIC, GM's partner in China.
    The other item is that GM has been taking its own path for recovery in Europe. GM's new Europe chief, Karl-Thomas Neumann has been making a number of changes. He has moved some of the production of the Opel Mokka from Korea to Spain and recently got GM's Russian operations under his control. GM is also stepping up their efforts of using their platforms globally.
    "It certainly seems GM has no focus on the alliance with Peugeot any more. They don't want to be partnered with a struggling company, and they have alternative methods to turn things around," said Kristina Church, analyst with Barclays.
    But the alliance isn't coming to a close. The two still have two vehicle projects which happen to be compact minivans and crossovers and a joint purchasing program.
    "We are moving forward with the implementation" of the projects which have already been agreed upon, said GM spokesman Ulrich Weber.
    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

    General Motors gets a major blow in terms of the ignition switch scandal

    One of the groups that haven't been able to take any legal action against General Motors over the faulty ignition switch were those who bought the affected vehicles before the company announced bankruptcy in 2009. Last year, a bankruptcy judge said that New GM was shielded from liabiliites over the actions taken by Old GM.
     
    But today, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan reversed that decision. In the ruling, the court stated that New GM must face some of the claims from owners that arose from their actions before their bankruptcy.
     
    “We are reviewing the ruling and its impact. Even if some claims are ultimately allowed to proceed, the plaintiffs must still prove their cases," said GM spokesman Jim Cain in an email to the Wall Street Journal.
     
    This decision could expose GM to additional costs as it tries to move away from this mess. According to the ruling, the protection given to GM shielded them from up to $10 billion of liability claims.
     
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    NHTSA Issues 107 Questions To GM Over The Ignition Switch Recall

    General Motors' problems with the 1.6 million vehicle recall over a faulty ignition switch are growing. This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has sent a 27 page document with 107 questions asking about the recall and the timeline. Questions range from how the investigation process on the ignition "was not as robust as it should have been" to when GM decided to start investigating crashes with the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007 Pontiac G5 where the air bag did not deploy.
    NHTSA has also requested documents ranging from complaints from owners to lawsuits involving GM vehicles in the recall.
    "We are a data-driven organization, and we will take whatever action is appropriate based on where our findings lead us," NHTSA said in a statement.
    "In addition to getting NHTSA the information they need, we are doing what we can now to ensure our customers' safety and peace of mind. We want our customers to know that today's GM is committed to fixing this problem in a manner that earns their trust," said GM in a email statement to Automotive News.
    General Motors has until April 3rd to comply with the document.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), NHTSA
    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 and NHTSA's Special Order document is on Page 2
    "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued General Motors LLC a Special Order as part of a Timeliness Query investigation of the automaker. The Special Order is part of the agency’s ongoing investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls. General Motors’ response to this Special Order must be provided to NHTSA by April 3, 2014. We are a data-driven organization, and we will take whatever action is appropriate based on where our findings lead us."


    William Maley

    Hiding in plain sight

    When General Motors decided to study the Ford F-150 to help make the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, they sent engineers to the front door of where the F-150 is built. 
    According to Reuters, engineers went on a public factory tour of Ford's Dearborn truck plant to study how Ford was building them. Special attention was paid to workers attaching aluminum body panels to the trucks. After watching and timing the fitment of parts with stopwatches, GM engineers found some problems.
    “They had a real hard time getting those doors to fit,” said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer for GM truck programs.
    Focusing on the doors, engineers bought F-150 doors as parts and took them apart. What they realized is that they could cut weight in their trucks with a combination of aluminum and thinner high strength steel for a lower cost. 
    GM could have gone all-aluminum with their trucks. Herrick said the debate at the company “was a really hotly contested item for us.” But at the end of the day, the decision to use mixed metals will allow for a larger profit on the trucks.
    “We think we have thousands of dollars advantage (over Ford) just in the aluminum costs. It’s big,” said Herrick.
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    Another Twist In The GM Ignition Switch Recall Saga

    Another twist in the General Motors' ignition switch recall story. Automotive News reports that the company may have a possible legal shield from lawsuits stemming from the recall. During the restructuring process, GM negotiated with state attorney generals and consumer groups to carry product liability on vehicle faults after it left bankruptcy in 2009. Those faults prior to 2009 would need to take it up with old GM. So far, any lawsuits brought against the company for pre-2009 faults have gone nowhere.
    "It is true that new GM did not assume liability for claims arising from incidents or accidents occurring prior to July 2009.Our principle throughout this process has been to the put the customer first, and that will continue to guide us," said GM spokesman Greg Martin in a email.
    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.

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