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    • By Drew Dowdell
      It may seem a little early to those of us in the U.S., but Chevy is giving the Trax a makeover for 2017. In the U.S., the Chevrolet Trax has only been on sale for about 13 months, but for other markets it has been around since 2013.
      The refresh is mostly cosmetic. The current 1.4T 4-cylinder with 138 hp and a 148 lb-ft of torque, and 6-speed automatic carry over.
      On safety, the Trax now has available side blind-zone, rear cross traffic, lane-departure, and forward collision alerts.
      The front fascia is all new and moves the Trax in visual line with the 2016 Malibu and Cruze. The interior has been updated with a new Chevy MyLink infotainment system that includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto in a 7" diagonal screen, along with an updated gauge cluster.

      2015 was the first full year on the market for the Trax and Chevy sold 63,303 of them, making it the second best selling car in its class, right behind the Buick Encore.
      The Chevrolet Trax is sold as the Chevrolet Tracker and Holden Trax in other market, so we should expect to see those models get the same updates.

      Chevrolet Press Release on Page 2

      CHICAGO – Building on its early success and the rapid growth of the segment, Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Trax – a more expressive take on one of America’s best-selling small SUVs.
      Contemporary design elements, including an all-new front-end appearance, and a new premium interior compose the visual updates, while new available active safety features and a new infotainment system – with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility – expand its range of customer-focused technologies.
      “In the fastest-growing segment, Chevrolet Trax’s momentum is sure to continue with great design enhancements, premium details, and the latest technologies,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and four new active safety features offer customers more than most competitors – and at an entry-level price.”
      With sales of 63,303 in 2015 – its first full year on the market – the Trax quickly climbed to the second-best-selling small SUV in America. It is also ranked in the top three globally, achieving more than 400,000 sales in 73 markets since its launch in late 2012. China and the United States are its top markets.
      In the United States, more than half of Trax’s customers with a trade-in turned in something other than a Chevrolet. Trax also attracts nearly 60 percent female customers – the highest percentage in the brand’s entire lineup.
      “With the Colorado and Trax, Chevrolet and our dealers are able to offer brand-new entries in fast-growing segments, which helps bring new customers to Chevrolet,” said Majoros. “And with other new vehicles such as the Cruze Hatchback and Bolt EV, we will continue to attract new customers to the Chevrolet franchise and continue to grow market share, as we did in 2015.”
      The 2017 Trax goes on sale this fall, offered in LS, LT and new Premier trims.
      Contemporary design
      The Trax’s fresh, contemporary appearance reflects the modern face of Chevrolet around the globe. A new grille and headlamps echo the styling elements seen in new Chevrolet models such as the Malibu, Cruze and Volt.
      “It’s a more sculptural, sophisticated design,” said Steve Kim, Chevrolet Trax designer. “There’s also a sporty streak in the new styling that speaks to the Trax’s agile, fun-to-drive personality.”
      The front fascia is all-new and incorporates Chevrolet’s new proportioned dual port grille. New, sleek headlamps flow around the corners and into the front fenders. Trax LS models feature new halogen reflector headlamps and uplevel LT and new Premier models have halogen projector headlamps with LED signature lighting. Chrome also accents the outboard fog lamp bezels.
      At the rear is a new fascia and dual taillamps, with the Premier model featuring LED signature lighting. The Premier is also offered with new 18-inch aluminum wheels.
      Premium interior
      A modified instrument panel is the foundation for the 2017 Trax’s premium interior enhancements. It interprets Chevrolet's signature dual-cockpit design more expressively, with an upper dashboard hood that flows uninterrupted across the panel to enhance the perception of spaciousness.
      The redesigned center instrument panel features greater visibility of a new 7-inch-diagonal MyLink color touch screen and Galvano chrome trim on the instrument panel and console contribute to the Trax’s premium ambiance. Premier models are offered with contrasting-color instrument panel trim that matches their leatherette seating trim.
      “Customers will really notice the elevation in the Trax’s interior design and attention to detail,” said Kim. “It’s an environment that transcends segment boundaries, offering rich, premium appointments and seamless integration of the technologies they rely on most.”
      Also new for 2017 is the instrument cluster, which features a new gauge display with prominent analog speedometer and tachometer readouts along with digital displays from the standard driver information center.
      Enhanced connectivity
      The 2017 Trax offers a new 7-inch diagonal infotainment system designed to support the latest connectivity technologies, including available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.
      With the 4G LTE connection, Trax allows passengers to connect up to seven personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet. Keyless Open and Start also add to the Trax’s roster of available new technologies.
      New active safety features
      New active safety features are designed to help alert drivers to potential crash situations. They are available depending on the model and include:
      Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Cross Traffic Alert Forward Collision Alert Lane Departure Warning

      Additional crash-avoidance technologies include a standard rearview camera. Trax also features 10 standard air bags.
      Turbocharged performance
      Returning for 2017 is the Trax’s Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated at an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      With one week to go before the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the pictures will really start rolling out now. Today we got a much clearer look at the 2016 Chevrolet Volt due to be fully revealed next week.
      At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today, the 2016 Volt peeked its nose through the curtain to give us a better look at it's face. The upcoming Volt will have powertrain improvements rumored to give the EV a 12% gain in electric only range, some of that will come from a more interactive regeneration mode that is currently available on the Cadillac ELR. The regeneration mode is controlled through paddles on the steering wheel.
      Recently Mark Reuss Vice President of GM Global Platform Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain and Andrew Farah, Volt Chief Engineer took the 2016 Volt out for a spin to discuss the Volt regeneration mode feature.

      The 2016 Chevrolet Volt officially debuts on Monday, January 12th at 7:35am at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. We will be on hand to bring you all the latest news and developments from the show.

      You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
      Source: GM Media

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      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."

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      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."

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Drew Dowdell
      Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com
      General Motors announced today that starting in 2016, Chevrolet will no longer compete as a mainstream brand in Europe, instead focusing only on what GM calls "Iconic vehicles". GM's mainstream role will be carried by the Opel and Vauxhall brands.
      Most of Chevrolet's mainstream vehicles sold in Europe are produced in South Korea. GM expects Chevrolet to maintain its mainstream position in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
      The remaining Chevrolet vehicles in Chevy's EU portfolio will be models such as the Corvette and Camaro. Cadillac is continuing its 3 year plan for an expanded presence in Europe.
      GM expects a number of one-time charges in the $700 million to $1 Billion range for the final quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014.
      What do you think of GM's announcement to pull Chevy out of Europe and concentrate on Opel? Sound off below.
      Press release on Page 2

      For Release: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 3 a.m. EST

      GM Strengthens its European Brand Strategy

      · Opel/Vauxhall to compete as GM’s mainstream brands across Europe
      · Chevrolet to focus on iconic products in Europe
      · Cadillac to expand in Europe
      DETROIT – General Motors today announced plans to accelerate its progress in Europe by bolstering its brands in the mainstream and premium segments.
      Beginning in 2016, GM will compete in Europe’s volume markets under its respected Opel and Vauxhall brands. The company’s Chevrolet brand will no longer have a mainstream presence in Western and Eastern Europe, largely due to a challenging business model and the difficult economic situation in Europe.
      Chevrolet, the fourth-largest global automotive brand, will instead tailor its presence to offering select iconic vehicles – such as the Corvette – in Western and Eastern Europe, and will continue to have a broad presence in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
      This will improve the Opel and Vauxhall brands and reduce the market complexity associated with having Opel and Chevrolet in Western and Eastern Europe. In Russia and the CIS, the brands are clearly defined and distinguished and, as a result, are more competitive within their respective segments.
      Cadillac, which is finalizing plans for expanding in the European market, will enhance and expand its distribution network over the next three years as it prepares for numerous product introductions.
      “Europe is a key region for GM that will benefit from a stronger Opel and Vauxhall and further emphasis on Cadillac,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “For Chevrolet, it will allow us to focus our investments where the opportunity for growth is greatest.”
      “This is a win for all four brands. It’s especially positive for car buyers throughout Europe, who will be able to purchase vehicles from well-defined, vibrant GM brands,” Akerson said.
      Chevrolet will work closely with its dealer network in Western and Eastern Europe to define future steps while ensuring it can honor obligations to existing customers in the coming years.
      “Our customers can rest assured that we will continue to provide warranty, parts and services for their Chevrolet vehicles, and for vehicles purchased between now and the end of 2015,” said Thomas Sedran, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe. “We want to thank our customers and dealers for their loyalty to the Chevrolet brand here in Europe.”
      The majority of the Chevrolet portfolio sold in Western and Eastern Europe is produced in South Korea. As a result, GM will increase its focus on driving profitability, managing costs and maximizing sales opportunities in its Korean operations as the company looks for new ways to improve business results in the fast-changing and highly competitive global business environment.
      “We will continue to become more competitive in Korea,” said GM Korea President and CEO Sergio Rocha. “In doing so, we will position ourselves for long-term competitiveness and sustainability in the best interests of our employees, customers and stakeholders, while remaining a significant contributor to GM’s global business.”
      With the decision that Chevrolet will no longer have a mainstream presence in Western and Eastern Europe, GM expects to record net special charges of $700 million to $1 billion primarily in the fourth quarter of 2013 and continuing through the first half of 2014. The special charges include asset impairments, dealer restructuring, sales incentives and severance-related costs, and will pave the way for continued improvement in GM’s European operations through the further strengthening of the Opel and Vauxhall brands. Approximately $300 million of the net special charges will be non-cash expenses. In addition, GM expects to incur restructuring costs related to these actions that will not be treated as special charges, but will impact GM International Operations earnings in 2014.

      View full article
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