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  1. Flybrian

    Can GM make hip happen?

    Can GM make hip happen? From YouTube to Jay-Z to student stunts, the automaker works the cool factor. Sharon Terlep / The Detroit News Link to Original Article @ DetNews General Motors Corp. wants a hip replacement. So the automaker infiltrated YouTube and put pop star Gwen Stefani in an SUV. It let rapper Jay-Z create a paint color and got a bunch of college students to live for a week inside a compact car. It's all part of a campaign dreamed up by the marketing minds at GM to create an aura of cool around the vehicle lineup they're working to reinvent. But can a mega-company `like GM -- built on mass appeal and known more for trend-following than trend-setting -- really make hip happen? Marketing efforts to finesse an image of hipness, including a few from GM, have failed -- sometimes badly. Think New Coke. Strike the right chord, though, and the risk is well worth the payoff. Especially in a world where word-of-mouth spreads so fast and wide that buzz has become a multimillion dollar commodity. "Everybody wants to be young and hip," said Dino Bernacchi, GM manager of branding and entertainment. "Everybody wants to be youthful and feel good and live vicariously through these celebrities. Sure, everybody criticizes it, but then we can't get our eyes off of it." GM managed an image turnaround before, when once-stodgy Cadillac became Hollywood's hip-hop brand of choice with the Escalade SUV. Even the most astute marketing maven couldn't have predicted that. Now GM hopes to duplicate that success with other products. For all the eye-rolling criticism of corporate branding and marketing tactics, there's no doubt the efforts pay off when it comes to drawing attention to products. Take GM's star-studded celebrity car and fashion show earlier this month. The event garnered reams of media attention and landed GM models in national publications such as US Weekly magazine. "There was a day where you could manage or limit the word of mouth about what was said about your brand, but that's over," said Timothy Blett, president of the Doner advertising agency in Southfield, which created the Mazda "zoom, zoom, zoom" campaign. "If your product is considered youthful, there is going to be more press, more buzz on the Internet. Being considered hip by the youth culture creates additional PR in some of the most powerful forms of communication." Stars lead image change GM knows that changing public perception is one of the biggest battles in its North American turnaround. While much of that work is focused on vehicle quality, design and resale values, the image of GM's eight brands also is key. The task faced by the world's biggest automaker is especially tough because GM isn't a newcomer. Few Americans have not heard of GM -- and the image they have is often less than flattering. To turn that around, GM is employing tactics both conventional and unconventional. Cultivating star power has been the most noticeable approach. From having Tiger Woods unveil the new Buick Enclave crossover last year in Los Angeles to last month's fashion show to kick off the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GM has made a concerted effort to get some Hollywood-style glitz behind its brands. In the midst of rocker Stefani's video for "The Sweet Escape," the camera cuts away to the clearly recognizable grill of a taxi-yellow Chevrolet Tahoe. Meanwhile, GM's global color studio worked with Jay-Z to create a special blue color for the Denali SUV. And rapper 50-Cent made a showing at the GM exhibit at the show to check out performance models of the Pontiac G6. It's all about the air time Companies love to have the famous pitch their wares. Many pay to have their products show up in the movies or on TV, or they give stars the items for free. Celebrities often will seek out a particular vehicle to use or customize. Almost every automaker has a fleet of cars specifically for use in films and on TV, and most big productions have a team whose sole job is to find the right products. "There's just something that has people connected to celebrities and has everybody wanting more," Bernacchi said. "But there has to be a balance. They can't look like they're shilling the product." Transparent efforts tend to be shunned by the folks companies are trying to woo. Some critics joked about the omnipresence of Ford Motor Co. models in the latest James Bond flick, "Casino Royale." The Dr. Z ads featuring Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Chrysler Group parent DaimlerChrysler AG and former Chrysler CEO, fell flat. GM's has had its own missteps. The 1996 Super Bowl commercial featuring a leather-clad Cindy Crawford bombed. And the automaker generated a good amount of not-so-nice Internet commentary over a video clip that surfaced last fall on video-sharing phenomenon YouTube that showed Tiger Woods filming a TV ad for Buick. GM produced the 60-second clip, but tried to pass it off as a bootlegged video leaked onto the Web, complete with grainy images, muffled audio and unsteady camera work. The video even captured Woods making a mildly off-color wisecrack when a noisy airplane buzzed overhead and interrupted filming. "Excuse me," Woods said, cracking up bystanders. A comment from one YouTube viewer: "Very weak attempt at 'viral' marketing. It's almost as cringe-inducing as the notion of Tiger driving a Buick." Product must back the buzz Image is only part of the fight to win back consumers, since bad products can't be saved by good buzz. "You got to get hipper and trendier with the cars, and we are," GM's Bernacchi said. GM is doing its best to mount a turnaround on the product side with an aggressive new vehicle line that focuses on more dramatic designs, improved performance and quality interiors. Much of the work has garnered good reviews from analysts and critics. "You can't do all this stuff and then come out with bland products," said auto analyst Erich Merkle of IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids. "You've got to be able to back it up."
  2. Flybrian

    $30,000 Scion

    $30,000 Scion tC
  3. Flybrian

    Pontiac G6 GXP a real Halo car...

    Pontiac's G6 GXP Street Edition new 'Halo' car To be offered in a Best Buy contest September 12, 2007 - In conjunction with a dizzying array of promotions hyping the launch of Halo 3 on the Xbox 360 on September 25th, Best Buy has announced it will be handing out this Halo 3 themed Pontiac G6 GXP Street Edition to a lucky contest winner. Interested contestants need to pick up a copy of Halo 3 (not necessarily from BB so far as we can tell), then hit up this site on launch day to register. After that, 144 random winners will get a big collection of Microsoft Points. Following that drawing, one of these 144 will be selected to win the grand prize Halo 3 Pontiac. Not too bad, especially when all you have to do is register and then play the game. CLICK HERE to enter! PONTIAC IS EXPLOITING THE SERENDIPITOUS timing of the launches of the new Xbox 360 game, "Halo 3," and its own factory-tuned GXP version of the G6 car with a cross-promotional campaign that includes one of the new raft of TV spots for the GXP cars--plus events and interactive components touting the car and the game, which goes on sale midnight on Sept. 24. The new ads this fall, via Leo Burnett, Detroit-based interactive agency Digitas and Hollywood, Calif.-based Stardust Productions, include a recently launched 60-second ad and two 30-second spots. In the ads, the cars--the GXP versions of G6, Solstice and Torrent crossover--and the urban world through which they pass, are shot in black and white and appear in 2-D rendering. As the creative transmogrifies into 3-D imagery, the cars fill out and colorize, feature by feature. Each spot is tagged with voiceover from actor Matt Dillon, and features the music track "Pogo" from EMI/Virgin recording artists Digitalism. Jeff Cruz, senior vice president and creative director at Leo Burnett, says the Halo tie-in is explicit in a 30-second cut down of the "Details" spot. In that ad, the G6 is zooming through a black-and-white 2-D world, and as it goes through a transformation to 3-D, the "Halo 3" logo appears on roadside flags, light poles and on wild postings in tunnels. The car finishes with a power slide in front of a billboard for the game. The billboard then turns from 2-D to 3-D as well, becoming a full-color, animated video showing some of the footage from the new game. Finally, the spot touts a "Halo 3" promotion housed at Pontiac.com/halo3, offering a chance for consumers to play the game before it is released in stores on Sept. 25. Pontiac held an exclusive event in New York last night for a small number of people to pay the game. Also, Pontiac may run "Halo 3" content on its LED-illuminated Times Square billboards on the eve of the game's launch, which will take place at the Times Square Toys R Us. Cruz says the deal was easy to do because Digitas had worked with the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant on other initiatives. "Our car was coming out in September, they had "Halo 3" coming, so there was an opportunity to play ball together and help each other out," he says. Brad Tucker, creative director at Stardust, says the broad GXP effort is focused on bringing forth vehicle details. "They start off black and white, and slowly the chrome builds up until there's a photo-real look feature by feature, but it's a little non-linear, and the effect jumps from car to car to car," he says. "They brought us the idea and knew they wanted to build up the idea of bringing in details. We story-boarded it, showed them the look and feel." The new GXP spots will run on NCAA broadcasts, of which Pontiac is a sponsor, this fall and shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Kimmel appears in ads for GM's OnStar. Separately, Halo 3 is getting track time on Nascar's Nextel Cup circuit. Racer David Stremme's No. 40 car will wear a "Halo 3" paint scheme. Target and Microsoft are giving certain drivers the chance to play the game as well, per a joint promotion.
  4. Hey, everyone. Please feel free to use this thread to offer any suggestions or comments about our Official Design Competitions. Suggest ideas for future comps or what not as well.
  5. Flybrian

    ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS

    Lord knows I don't remember each and every one of your screennames, so to all that have joined recently... Welcome to Cheers and Gears! Hope you enjoy the little corner of the web we've assembled here and found our group friendly - if not a bit eccentric - and worth bookmarking and revisiting many, many times. Be sure to check out every section of the board to see all we have to offer. I feel pretty confident that we have a little something for everyone. And even though our focus is on the future, we love GM cars of all ages (and maybe some other other makes, too) so feel free to post about whatever you'd like. And if by chance you don't find something you were hoping to find, let us know in the Feedback Forum. That's it. Thanks for stopping by and, well, continue stopping by. Welcome to our little family!
  6. GM may eat hybrid cost Goal is to make technology affordable for consumers Jamie LaReau - Link to Original Article @ Automotive News - July 9, 2007 - 12:01 am DETROIT - General Motors might absorb some costs of a Two Mode hybrid transmission in its full-sized trucks to make the technology affordable to consumers, product chief Bob Lutz says. The automaker plans to have at least three hybrid transmissions and offer as many as a dozen hybrid models in the next few years. The Two Mode system, which has two electric motors that assist the engine, would be the premium system, Lutz said. The cost of that system is more than $10,000, sources close to the program say. Nearly every Cadillac product could feature a hybrid variant as early as the next two years, Lutz, GM's vice chairman of global product development, said in an interview with Automotive News. The program has not been approved. But, Lutz said, it's "very logical to assume" that a hybrid drivetrain would fit in nearly all Cadillac vehicles, starting with the Escalade SUV next year. GM's hybrid plans do not include the Chevrolet Volt concept car, which the automaker classifies as an electric car with a range assist. The Volt would run on electric power, with a gasoline, diesel or fuel cell engine recharging batteries.
  7. Flybrian

    C&G Member Garage

    Why not add the best picture of your vehicle to the Forum's Garage? Pictures in the Garage album are rotated and displayed as the C&G Member Garage on the Cheers and Gears homepage. Be sure to tell us a bit about it with a caption!
  8. Flybrian

    SHANGHAI: Buick Riviera Concept

    GM @ Shanghai Buick Riviera Concept Image Gallery Buick Riviera Concept - Press Release Conceptualization Interior
  9. This struck me as random and funny. Today, a really old guy (80/90ish) in my neighborhood told me my car looked "smooth as a toilet seat." I had no response to that. Awhile ago, my girlfriend drove my car and said because the overhangs are pretty large compared to her car, that my car "is a big titty and big booty car." Yeah. Anything to add?
  10. Being VenSeattle for awhile - 2003 Park Ave Ultra demo

  11. Flybrian

    Welcome to Cheers and Gears!

    Gotta get used to this.
  12. Flybrian

    Nissan Titan gets Diesel V8 for 2009

    Titan Diesel for 2009 Navistar-sourced motor for light-duty pickup By BOB GRTIZINGER | Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek | Published 06/15/07, 1:01 pm et News reports from Japan confirm that Nissan will put a diesel in its Titan full-size pickup truck by 2009, but so far the Japanese automaker shows no hint of interest in launching a truck in the heavy-duty pickup segment. Nissan reportedly will buy V8 diesel engines from International Truck and Engine Corp. Automotive News has reported that the company also may offer a low-budget V6 gasoline engine in the Titan in the future. The Titan’s only powerplant is a 5.6-liter, 317-hp, 385-lb-ft V8 gasoline engine. Nissan had hoped to sell 100,000 Titans per year when the truck debuted in the 2004 model year, but so far the model has sold at about 85,000 per year.
  13. Flybrian

    C&G Fifth Anniversary!

    Let the memories commence! November 2, 2001 July 22, 2002 November 19, 2002 March 28, 2003 August 28, 2003 December 8, 2003 June 31, 2004 July 6, 2004 May 24, 2005
  14. Suzuki's SX Appeal New compact sedan and other upcoming models help expand lineup By KATHY JACKSON | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS Thanks to the new SX4 hatchback and the redesigned XL-7 mid-sized SUV, Suzuki is headed for its second straight 100,000-sales year here in 2007. Suzuki will add a small SX4 sedan this fall and expects the SX4 nameplate to be its best-seller in the coming years. The company also will get its first pickup, a version of the Nissan Frontier. ******** Aerio: The 2007 model year is the last for the Aerio sedan. Reno: A freshening is scheduled for the 2009 model year. Suzuki is considering a high-horsepower engine for the vehicle. Swift: The Swift was last sold here in 2002. It will return to this country as a hatchback for the 2011 model year. There also may be a hybrid sedan. Forenza: A freshening is planned for the 2009 model year. SX4: A sedan will join the SX4 five-door hatchback as a 2008 model. Like the hatchback, it will be powered by a 143-hp, 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine. Unlike the hatchback, which comes with standard all-wheel drive, the sedan will be front-drive only. Awd "was good for the dealers in the Northeast, but it made the car more expensive," says Gary Linam, an Alabama dealer who is a member of the Suzuki dealer council. "A lot of dealers wanted the sedan to come with fwd." New sedan: The Verona, built by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., was plagued with quality problems and killed after the 2006 model year. Sources say Suzuki is designing a Verona-sized sedan that could be on sale here for the 2010 model year. Grand Vitara: The small SUV is due for a freshening for the 2009 model year. A hybrid version may be available by the 2010 model year. XL-7: The vehicle was redesigned for the 2007 model year; no more major changes are planned. Pickup: Suzuki's version of Nissan's Frontier small pickup goes on sale next year as a 2009 model. It will be built at a Nissan plant in Mexico.
  15. Flybrian

    LAIAS: 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5

    GM @ LAIAS 2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 2009 CHEVROLET AVEO5 AT A GLANCE: * Redesigned, sporty exterior with contemporary details * Updated, roomy "tall car" interior with the cargo flexibility of a hatchback - including up to 42 cu.-ft. (1,189 L) of cargo space * New, fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.6L DOHC engine with variable valve timing * Great EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 26 city / 34 highway (manual transmission) * Standard side air bags and dual-stage frontal air bags with Passenger Sensing System * Unexpected technologies, including standard OnStar and available XM Satellite Radio * Five-year / 100,000-mile powertrain warranty NEW 2009 CHEVROLET AVEO5 IS A SMALL CAR WITH LARGE-CAR ROOMINESS, AMENITIES AND GREAT FUEL ECONOMY LOS ANGELES - Proving that fuel solutions can be wrapped in bold, fun packages, Chevrolet unveiled the 2009 Aveo5 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The redesigned challenger to the economy segment delivers exceptional, EPA-estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway (with the standard five-speed manual transmission) - and is expected to be the lowest-priced car in America when it goes on sale in 2008. "Chevrolet is committed to fuel solutions of all types, and the new Aveo5 demonstrates that gasoline remains viable in a highly efficient, affordable package," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "It is a terrific value, with a worry-free ownership experience that has the lowest ownership cost of any vehicle on the market, yet it packs all of Chevy's fun-to-drive spirit." The new '09 Aveo5 reaffirms the brand's value position and builds on it with features expected in larger, more expensive cars - such as standard OnStar and available XM Satellite Radio - as well as its signature "tall car" design that enables surprising passenger and cargo room. It is powered by a new, fuel-sipping, 1.6L DOHC engine with variable valve timing that produces more power (107 hp / 80 kW) and strong torque (106-lb.-ft. / 143 Nm) - and has been tuned for quieter performance. "Customers will be surprised by the 'big' features of the Aveo5 - big room, big style, big refinement and, of course, big fuel economy," said Peper. "It is a flexible car that provides untold capabilities, with cargo features and flexibility that change as your needs change." Indeed, the Aveo5's efficiency and flexibility go hand in hand. With its improved fuel economy among the best on the market using regular gasoline, the '09 Aveo5 can travel more than 400 miles (643 km) between fill-ups, resulting in fewer trips to the gas station and road trips that require fewer stops. The Aveo5 goes on sale in mid-2008, joining the recently redesigned Aveo sedan. It is available in base, LS and LT trims - each backed by a "worry free" five-year/100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty, plus Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation. Bold, tall-car design The Aveo5's dynamic, contemporary styling represents the global face of Chevrolet design. Redesigned, body-color fascias and chrome accents suggest a more expensive car, along with available features - such as its large power sunroof - that are unexpected in the segment, Aveo5 retains its characteristic "tall car" configuration, enabling a spacious interior, with generous headroom that is greater than many midsize sedans. The front of the new Aveo5 features the bold, chrome-finished grille - with prominent gold Chevy bowtie - that is characteristic of all new members of the Chevrolet family, such as the Malibu. It is complemented with features that reinforce Aveo5's premium appearance, including new and distinctive chrome-finished side vents on the front fenders and jeweled-appearance headlamps. The Aveo5's sleek styling accents longer, wider and taller dimensions, with sculpted lines and a wide, confident stance. Pronounced "shoulders" over the wheel openings and body-color door sills convey the look of a larger car. A more assertive, dynamic look is accomplished with crisp, V-shaped hood edges, bold front and rear fascias with premium cues, such as larger, available front fog lamps; a rear-fascia lower grille; and a larger available rear spoiler located on the trailing edge of the roof. Ten exterior colors are available. They include: Summit White, Black Granite Metallic, Sport Red, Victory Red, Blue Moon, Bright Blue, Tahiti Green, Cosmic Silver, Medium Gray and Summer Yellow. Roomy environment The Aveo5's exterior is complemented by a quiet passenger cabin that features well-crafted details and generous standard features that enhance comfort. It is one of the most spacious vehicles in its class, with features and refinement comparable to more expensive vehicles. With its signature "tall car" design, the Aveo5's generous dimensions easily accommodate 6-foot-tall passengers in each of the five seating positions. It also is a quiet interior environment, with soundproofing technologies that complement quieting powertrain enhancements and improved aerodynamics to provide a quiet, comfortable and vibration-free ride, even at higher speed. Attention to comfort is evidenced in elements such as standard driver's seat armrests. Also, theater-style rear seating provides a commanding view for all passengers. A 60/40-split rear seat expands Aveo5's interior cargo capacity; and when more cargo-carrying capability is required, the rear seat can be flipped and folded, offering 42 cu. ft. (1,189 L) of cargo space. Refined, well-appointed interior The interior's contemporary appearance is achieved through sleek lines and the clever use of rich materials, including a new, available two-tone, charcoal/light gray design (on charcoal interiors) that provides a premium look and feel. Other premium appearance elements include technical-grain, low-gloss surfaces; wood grain, satin-chrome or carbon-fiber finishes on the instrument panel and door panels; and even perforated faux leather seating surfaces, steering wheel cover and shifter knob. Additionally, clever details abound, such as a sunglasses holder; door pockets for books and maps; and hooks that can secure shopping bags. Unexpected value is delivered through more standard and available features - features not typically found in the segment, including: Fully reclining front seats with convenience hooks Six-way-adjustable seats - plus driver lumbar adjustment Tilting steering wheel Driver information center Oil Life Monitoring System Cruise control Power windows and locks Heated, dual power body-color foldaway outside mirrors On-key (no separate fob) remote keyless entry Air conditioning with cabin filtration Large, power-operated sunroof Audio systems Aveo5 LS models offer a standard AM/FM, four-speaker radio system, 36 presets and an auxiliary input jack for MP3 devices. An AM/FM radio with CD/MP3 capability (including an auxiliary input jack) and six-speaker sound system is standard on the LT and available on LS. All Aveo5 radios are derived from GM's new family of premium radio systems, which are distinguished by upscale appearance, simplicity of operation and range of features and capabilities. Steering wheel audio controls are standard on LT models XM Satellite Radio - a popular choice among youthful customers - is standard on 1LT models and available on LS. It offers more than 100 channels of music, news, sports and entertainment. XM Satellite Radio must be activated and a subscription fee applies. Ride and handling The Aveo5 was developed for a dynamic, well-planted driving experience and fuel efficiency. It has a wide stance and long wheelbase (97.7 inches / 2,480 mm) to deliver a smooth, confident ride. A MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear suspension (with gas-charged shocks) deliver refined ride and handling characteristics. Power-assisted, variable-rate rack-and-pinion steering is standard, with the steering gear is mounted on the front suspension cross member for precise action and stability. Fourteen-inch wheels are standard, but sporty 15-inch alloy wheels are available. As a global car, the Aveo5 was tested and validated for a broad range of driving and road conditions. The suspension system is inspired by the driving experiences of European sports sedans yet tuned for contemporary American driving tastes - a combination that delivers both smoothness and a responsive, spirited driving experience. Powertrains Supporting Aveo5's responsive and economical driving experience is a new, Ecotec 1.6L DOHC four-cylinder powertrain. The sophisticated engine uses Dual Continuous Variable Cam Phasing - two continuously adjustable camshafts - to optimize the charge cycle for fuel economy and performance. As a result, this 16-valve DOHC engine delivers more horsepower than the previous engine, with ratings of 107 horsepower (80 kw)* and 106 lb.-ft. of torque (143 Nm)*, and nearly 8-percent improved fuel efficiency when compared to the previous Aveo5 model. The new, 1.6L engine features additional technology highlights to improve fuel economy, quality, reliability and durability, including: New four-in-one sheet metal exhaust manifold, with integrated catalytic converter and secondary underfloor catalytic converter Engine oil cooler and piston oil squirters New GM-corporate engine control system Electronically controlled thermostat Oil Life Monitoring System Additionally, the engine is tuned for quieter performance, with a more pleasing sound during acceleration. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission is standard and an Aisin four-speed automatic with Hold Control Mode is available. Hold Control Mode is a special feature that helps reduce wheel spin and traction loss on slick roads by allowing the driver to select and hold a higher gear, thus reducing torque. Safety features A comprehensive system of safety and security technologies is designed to meet safety standards of markets around the globe. The Aveo5's safety starts with a high-strength steel structure that creates a safety cage around the passenger compartment. The structure features strength-enhancing, tailor-welded blanks that help avoid protrusions into the passenger compartment. The Aveo5 also comes standard with advanced dual-stage frontal air bags and the GM Passenger Sensing System, as well as standard head/thorax seat-mounted side air bags for front passengers. The head/thorax seat-mounted side air bags deploy during side impacts and are triggered by a sophisticated sensor system in the front doors. The brake system on the Aveo5 is available with a four-channel ABS system. The four-sensor system - one at each wheel - incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on road conditions the weight of passengers and/or cargo. Additional Aveo5 safety features include: Front safety belt pretensioners Energy-absorbing steering column Knee bolsters Height-adjustable shoulder belt anchors Lower Anchors and Top Tether for Children (LATCH) for rear seats Rear child safety door locks Tire pressure monitoring system All Aveo5 models come standard with OnStar Gen 7, which features advanced automatic crash notification, remote diagnostics and a monthly status report. OnStar provides the responsiveness of a trained operator to assist you at the touch of a button. From security features of operator directions, remote diagnostics, lockout service, roadside assistance to emergency response, OnStar offers the assistance you need when you need it. Aveo5 (and Aveo sedan) is the only car in its class with this safety and convenience feature. Photo Gallery
  16. Flybrian

    Seville Opera Coupe

    Get's all the hotties... In case a certain C&Ger is still interested, this one is for sale. $36,000, a mere drop in the bucket for an Opera Pimp. I think this one was owned by Huggy Bear. :P
  17. FIRST GLIMPSE: 2010 Buick LaCrosse Interior Photoshop courtesy of Ted Krygier General Motors has released these four renderings of a future vehicle labeled 'GMX-353', which is the internal designation for the next-generation Buick LaCrosse. Based on the forthcoming Epsilon II mid/large FWD platform, the next LaCrosse is intended on taking the current midsize Buick to the next level in terms of luxury and refinement. If these conceptualizations are even partially telling of the production sedan, then that goal will be readily achieved. The first rendering of the gauge binnicle (above) shows an advanced design with heavy use of metallic textures. A stitched leather dashboard and binnicle upper is apparent. The current Buick theme of moving towards soft, blue hues and ambient lighting is evidenced within the gauges themselves as well as the center-mounted driver's information center. The leather-wrapped gear selector pictured above emphasizes luxury over sportiness by forgoing a seperate selector gate in favor of a clean linear design. Shifting of the 2010 LaCrosse's 6-speed transmission will likely be handled by an integrated button on the gear selector (not pictured). Identified as one of GM's 'NG corporate 4-spokes,' the above wheel combines multiple materials and colors to create a unique and well-appointed look. In a reverse of tradition, woodtones trim dominant metallic elements on the horizontal spoke with neatly-integrated cruise control and redundant audio controls . The overall design itself combines the sporty ambiance of a three-spoke with the ease and class of a four-spoke. The last and most intriguing rendering is of the NG LaX's center stack. As stated in previous interviews, the current black-tie radios are but a stepping stone to full integration. This design showcases integration it in one of its best forms. Navigation, radio, and HVAC functions are combined in a single control unit with gradiants of gray delineating the fuctions. Ambient lighting peaks through again from behind the principle radio function controls and also through the scroll wheel, which serves as the controller for both navigation and radio with different rotaries serving different functions. Though we are still left to guess as to what the entirety of the LaCrosse will look like, we can spectulate that it will more than hold its own in the competitive premium market given the look and design of these interior elements. Buick has always been known for procuring beautifully-luxurious vehicles with upscale designs inside and out. From the looks of it, the LaCrosse will return Buick to that tradition and follow in the wide footsteps left by the Enclave. Additional Info: Buick's LaCrosse (GMX-353) is slated to arrive in winter of 2009 as a 2010 model. It will be the second American car (following the AURA) to use the wider Epsilon II platform. Powertrain selection is unknown but is likely to include a 3.6l direct-injection V6 and use GM's front-wheel drive six-speed automatic transmission. Pricing is likely to increase over the current LaCrosse, but so will power, equipment, and refinement. The 2010 LaCrosse will share much in common with its Chinese market sister. Downloadable High-Resolution Images P.S. Check out other future GM interior conceptual imagery (BRX, Lambda MCE, GMT-900 MCE) here: GM Design Center Conceptual Interior Elements P.P.S. Thanks to member Derek77 for bringing these to our attention!
  18. No immigration bill needed Chinese automaker looks to come to U.S. through Mexico By Todd Lassa | Link to Original Article @ Motor Trend Chinese pickup trucks and SUVs built in Mexico? Chamco Automotive, the company set up to import ZX Auto's products into the U.S. next June, plans to announce on Thursday that it will open a factory in Tijuana in 2009. That factory will supplement production of four-cylinder, $13,250 base-price SUVs and pickups from China. Chamco, which recently hired Steve Saleen to help with the homologation process and with development, plans to sell the ZX models, probably under the name Jhong or Jhong Auto, beginning in June 2008. Chamco has more than 30 of its necessary 150 initial investor/dealers signed up, and has just about signed all the dealers it needs in Mexico and Canada. Despite GM Chairman Rick Wagoner's solid argument that Chinese automakers won't come very soon to the U.S., Chamco's chances look pretty good. The Mexican plant is a smart move in that it establishes ZX Auto as a global automaker, one that happens to be based in China, rather than one that relies on China for cheap labor and relies on China to buy its products. Of course, that means it's still controlled under the Chinese government. If Chamco can pull this Mexican factory off -- note that it's still a rather big "if" -- it will answer Wagoner's first point as outlined in Angus MacKenzie's blog. If it works, ZX can use the still-huge American auto market as a way to grow its Chinese business. So where's the advantage in building ZXes in Mexico? Chamco Chairman and CEO Bill Pollack, a candid guy as car company execs go, says that workers in Mexico will earn about $6,000 to $8,000 per year. Slave wages here for sure, but well above the $1,300 annual average in the Chinese factories. That adds $600 to $800 in cost per car, he says, but much of that can be made up in transportation and logistics costs. ZX Auto is in the right place to open a Mexican factory because it's still a rather nascent automaker. It built just 32,000 cars and trucks last year, Pollack says, and has since bought a second Chinese factory. As far as Pollack and I know, ZX's Mexican plant will be the first joint venture with a Chinese producer, at least in the auto biz. Chamco's position as 50/50 partner in that Mexican plant mirrors the way China does business with Western or Japanese and South Korean automakers. SAIC, for example, owns half of the factory with GM that builds Buicks for the Chinese market. The name "Jhong" is a kind of spelling out of the first name in "ZX." (Chinese characters don't directly correlate to our alphabet, so the translations are largely phonetic.) The SUV and pickup won't use their Chinese model names, either. Too bad for the pickup, which is called "Grandtiger" there. Its SUV, "Landmark," is also the name of a motion picture theater chain in the U.S. Send in your suggestions for model names, and we'll pass the best of them on to Chamco. In Mexico, they will be called "Toreador" and "Matador" (no fears of AMC lawyers knocking on Chamco's door), although Chamco hasn't determined which will be which. The trucks already are certified in Mexico, and Pollack expects them to be on sale there in about four months. Before U.S. sales commence, they'll get a quality upgrade, he says, and a new Chinese-built engine with a 25 more horses. The current 2.2-liter engine makes 141 horsepower and apparently is Mitsubishi-based. ZX can quickly adapt such changes, Pollack says, because its factories are low-volume. The truck and SUV are -- how does one say it? -- inspired by old Japanese models. In the U.S., ZX/Chamco/Jhong will emphasize value, of course, priced about 20 percent below the competition. Pollack expects the two models to launch with at least average quality levels. He's determined not to replicate Hyundai's early mistakes in this market. Volume of 75,000 vehicles seems reasonable for the first full year of sales here, although a boost in dealers from 150 for the first two years to 400 in years three, four and five sounds highly ambitious. That initial volume is well above Isuzu here, yes, but still only 75 percent of Suzuki's volume and 65 percent of Mitsubishi's. Chamco plans to import a sedan and a crossover in 2009, and expects Hyundai-like growth. So place your bets. Chamco wants to sign up the remaining 115 or so of its initial dealers next week in Las Vegas, and then it has 11 months to get trucks and SUVs to those dealers. It seems the most rational Chinese auto import plan so far. Will ZX really be the first one here?
  19. Flybrian

    Hello.

    Hey. My name is Brian. This looks like a neat GM site. I might post here from now on.
  20. Flybrian

    GM Ramps Up Recycling

    GM ramps up recycling More than 80 plants to be landfill-free after 2010 Robert Snell | Link to Original Article @ The Detroit News WARREN -- General Motors Corp. plans to recycle or reuse all production waste and garbage at half of its factories around the world by the end of 2010, a move that could pour millions of dollars into the automaker's coffers from sales of scrap metal and recycled materials. The commitment to having more than 80 of its factories become landfill-free generates money for financially-strapped GM and dovetails with its commitment to environmentally friendly policies, company officials said during an announcement Friday at the company's transmission plant in Warren. Selling scrap metal generates almost $1 billion a year for the automaker, and GM makes about $16 million from selling recycled cardboard, wood, oil, plastic and other materials. Those figures could increase as more facilities become landfill-free. "Environmental performance is linked to financial performance," said John Bradburn, a GM environmental engineer. GM has 43 manufacturing facilities -- including Warren Transmission -- that are landfill-free, which means those locations recycle or reuse more than 96 percent of waste materials. An additional 3 percent is converted to energy at waste-to-energy facilities. The other five Michigan facilities are in Ypsilanti, Livonia, Wixom and Flint. Recycling is an ongoing challenge. Finding a place for old batteries, for example, will become increasingly important after GM unveils the Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range vehicle that could travel up to 40 miles on electric power alone. GM plans to start building the Volt in late 2010. The Volt will have a gas engine that powers a generator, which recharges the battery and keeps the vehicle running when its lithium-ion battery pack is low on power. GM is working on finding a way to reuse or recycle those batteries. "As we develop new solutions in vehicle propulsion, GM is also making significant progress in reducing the impact our worldwide facilities have on the environment," said Gary Cowger, GM's vice president of global manufacturing and labor. There are several benefits to GM's green strategy aside from profit, said auto analyst Jim Hall, managing director of 2953 Analytics LLP in Birmingham. GM can get ahead of any potential legislation dealing with land management and redevelopment, and benefit from existing tax incentives in some communities, Hall said. Green policies also appeal to buyers and it could be easier to redevelop or sell those manufacturing sites if operations are cleaner. "Those places can get funky," Hall said. "I'm not saying you've got Superfund sites here ... but if you're cleaner, it gives you more options." This year, more than 3 million tons of waste materials from GM plants worldwide will be recycled or reused and an additional 50,000 tons will be converted into energy. There are a variety of uses for waste materials. GM sends waste aluminum to foundries and reuses it as engine and transmission components while used oil is reconditioned for use in GM's facilities. By recycling and eliminating waste, the automaker will prevent the release of 3.65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide this year. "It's the right thing to do for our business and the environment," said John Buttermore, vice president of GM's Global Powertrain Manufacturing
  21. Flybrian

    Task Force '57

    God, it makes me want to buy a dump truck and drive to Alaska. Task Force '57 - Alcan Champs!
  22. Flybrian

    August 2008 Sales: Toyota Motor Sales

    For the record, a good number of these LX/Land Cruiser "sales" are going straight to Russia and South America via dummy lease companies in the US. Believe me, even Toyota-loving Americans aren't stupid enough to spend good money on those piles.
  23. Flybrian

    Stupid political arguments

    Is this all because I want to marry you after I make my atheist illegal-immigrant cocaine-addicted girlfriend abort her second baby because she cloned her first one for the tax benefits and burned an American flag in anger?
  24. Flybrian

    '84 LeSabre on ebay--24k miles!

    Yeah, the 6-cylinder is a deal-breaker for me. No wonder why it only has 25,000 miles; who wants to drive a gargantuan B-Body LeSabre with NO power?
  25. Flybrian

    GM Launches A Fact And Fiction Website

    About time.

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