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Found 802 results

  1. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 14, 2012 Almost two months ago, the vehicle line director for the Chevy Volt, Tony Posawatz announced his retirement. Posawatz worked at GM for more than 30 years at GM. Posawatz was one of the key people overseeing the Volt. Few people at the time expected him to jump back into the industry. Fast forward to today and Tony Posawatz is now the new CEO of Fisker Automotive. He takes over from current CEO, Tom Lasorda who only became Fisker's CEO back in February. "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker. He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," said LaSorda in a press release. The announce of Posawatz as the new CEO comes a few days after a another Fisker Karma caught on fire. Fisker said in a statement the fire did not come from the lithium-ion battery pack or the routing of exhaust. Fisker also said that they're working together with investigators. That's not the only item on Poswatz's plate. He will be also overseeing the development of the Fisker Atlantic. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 FISKER AUTOMOTIVE STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM Carmaker Appoints New Chief Executive and Expands Global Management with Asia and Manufacturing roles • Tony Posawatz becomes CEO as Tom LaSorda finds successor • Joe Chao to lead expansion in China and Asia • Alberto Gonzalez named VP of Manufacturing Anaheim, California, USA – August 14, 2012: Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer), today named Tony Posawatz, the former head of the Volt program at General Motors as its new Chief Executive Officer. A well-known automotive industry professional with more than 30 years of experience in product development, strategy, program management, manufacturing and quality at General Motors, Posawatz's last role was as GM's Vehicle Line Director and key leader of Global Electric Vehicle development, where he was responsible for the award-winning Chevrolet Volt – bringing the car from concept to production. "We are delighted to be adding an executive of Tony's caliber to the Fisker Automotive leadership team," said Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Henrik Fisker. "His depth of knowledge and experience in this innovative field of new technology means that he is one of the world's most experienced leaders in vehicle electrification technology and the plug-in ecosystem. In the long-term he will ensure that Fisker is well positioned to maximize the potential of not only the Karma sedan, but also bring the Fisker Atlantic smoothly to market." Posawatz has consistently been recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles and served as Chairman of the Board for the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). In addition he led GM's initial efforts on hybrid programs and related technology development and was "employee number one" and founding member of the Chevrolet Volt program back in 2006. "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker," said Tom LaSorda. "He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. "Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," added LaSorda Said Henrik Fisker, "Ultimately, Fisker Automotive is all about products that challenge the way that we think about cars for the next generation. Tony's expertise will guarantee that Fisker leads the way with its second-generation powertrain technology for the Atlantic and other future Fisker products." Fisker Automotive is also pleased to announce the appointment of Joseph Chao as Executive Vice President and CEO of China and Asia. Chao brings more than 30 years of engineering, manufacturing and international business operations knowledge from GM, Chrysler and Daimler Chrysler where he served as President and CEO of Beijing Benz Ltd. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of SG Automotive in China and will now pave the way for Fisker's entry into the Chinese market later in 2012. "Joe is a seasoned veteran and someone that I have worked with for more than 20 years," said Tom LaSorda. "He has outstanding experience in China and will be a great leader to launch the Fisker brand in both China and the rest of Asia." Fisker is also pleased to announce the appointment of Alberto Gonzalez as Vice President of Manufacturing. Gonzalez also brings more than 30 years of global automotive manufacturing and assembly experience from Chrysler where he operated high-volume assembly plants in the US, Mexico and Canada. Adds Henrik Fisker, "With these new appointments, we are sending a strong signal about Fisker Automotive and our future plans to develop the next generation of powertrain technology, bring more new Fisker products to market and expand our global sales footprint. "Since the turn of the year we have strengthened our core executive leadership team with experienced industry professionals who will take Fisker to the next level. With Tony Posawatz as CEO, Jim Yost as CFO, Barny Koehler as Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Richard Beattie as Chief Commercial Officer and Joe Chao as CEO of China and Asia I believe we have an unbeatable team that can establish Fisker as a true global force and bring the highly anticipated Fisker Atlantic to market." Comments Fisker Automotive's lead Board Director and largest investor, Ray Lane: "Fisker Automotive continues to build an amazing portfolio of talent that will truly establish the company as the leader in next-generation automotive technology. Tony's vast experience in this field makes him the perfect candidate to lead us into this exciting new future. To have such a globally recognized product leader is a huge coup for the company."
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 14, 2012 Almost two months ago, the vehicle line director for the Chevy Volt, Tony Posawatz announced his retirement. Posawatz worked at GM for more than 30 years at GM. Posawatz was one of the key people overseeing the Volt. Few people at the time expected him to jump back into the industry. Fast forward to today and Tony Posawatz is now the new CEO of Fisker Automotive. He takes over from current CEO, Tom Lasorda who only became Fisker's CEO back in February. "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker. He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," said LaSorda in a press release. The announce of Posawatz as the new CEO comes a few days after a another Fisker Karma caught on fire. Fisker said in a statement the fire did not come from the lithium-ion battery pack or the routing of exhaust. Fisker also said that they're working together with investigators. That's not the only item on Poswatz's plate. He will be also overseeing the development of the Fisker Atlantic. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 FISKER AUTOMOTIVE STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM Carmaker Appoints New Chief Executive and Expands Global Management with Asia and Manufacturing roles • Tony Posawatz becomes CEO as Tom LaSorda finds successor • Joe Chao to lead expansion in China and Asia • Alberto Gonzalez named VP of Manufacturing Anaheim, California, USA – August 14, 2012: Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer), today named Tony Posawatz, the former head of the Volt program at General Motors as its new Chief Executive Officer. A well-known automotive industry professional with more than 30 years of experience in product development, strategy, program management, manufacturing and quality at General Motors, Posawatz's last role was as GM's Vehicle Line Director and key leader of Global Electric Vehicle development, where he was responsible for the award-winning Chevrolet Volt – bringing the car from concept to production. "We are delighted to be adding an executive of Tony's caliber to the Fisker Automotive leadership team," said Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Henrik Fisker. "His depth of knowledge and experience in this innovative field of new technology means that he is one of the world's most experienced leaders in vehicle electrification technology and the plug-in ecosystem. In the long-term he will ensure that Fisker is well positioned to maximize the potential of not only the Karma sedan, but also bring the Fisker Atlantic smoothly to market." Posawatz has consistently been recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles and served as Chairman of the Board for the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). In addition he led GM's initial efforts on hybrid programs and related technology development and was "employee number one" and founding member of the Chevrolet Volt program back in 2006. "Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker," said Tom LaSorda. "He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. "Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," added LaSorda Said Henrik Fisker, "Ultimately, Fisker Automotive is all about products that challenge the way that we think about cars for the next generation. Tony's expertise will guarantee that Fisker leads the way with its second-generation powertrain technology for the Atlantic and other future Fisker products." Fisker Automotive is also pleased to announce the appointment of Joseph Chao as Executive Vice President and CEO of China and Asia. Chao brings more than 30 years of engineering, manufacturing and international business operations knowledge from GM, Chrysler and Daimler Chrysler where he served as President and CEO of Beijing Benz Ltd. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of SG Automotive in China and will now pave the way for Fisker's entry into the Chinese market later in 2012. "Joe is a seasoned veteran and someone that I have worked with for more than 20 years," said Tom LaSorda. "He has outstanding experience in China and will be a great leader to launch the Fisker brand in both China and the rest of Asia." Fisker is also pleased to announce the appointment of Alberto Gonzalez as Vice President of Manufacturing. Gonzalez also brings more than 30 years of global automotive manufacturing and assembly experience from Chrysler where he operated high-volume assembly plants in the US, Mexico and Canada. Adds Henrik Fisker, "With these new appointments, we are sending a strong signal about Fisker Automotive and our future plans to develop the next generation of powertrain technology, bring more new Fisker products to market and expand our global sales footprint. "Since the turn of the year we have strengthened our core executive leadership team with experienced industry professionals who will take Fisker to the next level. With Tony Posawatz as CEO, Jim Yost as CFO, Barny Koehler as Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Richard Beattie as Chief Commercial Officer and Joe Chao as CEO of China and Asia I believe we have an unbeatable team that can establish Fisker as a true global force and bring the highly anticipated Fisker Atlantic to market." Comments Fisker Automotive's lead Board Director and largest investor, Ray Lane: "Fisker Automotive continues to build an amazing portfolio of talent that will truly establish the company as the leader in next-generation automotive technology. Tony's vast experience in this field makes him the perfect candidate to lead us into this exciting new future. To have such a globally recognized product leader is a huge coup for the company." View full article
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 25, 2012 The fine folks at PickupTrucks.com got their hands on the first spy shots of the U.S.-spec Chevrolet Colorado. On the outside of these two Colorado mules, the greenhouse and doors appear to be the same as the current Colorado on sale in Asia and other countries. Its expected that the U.S. version will get updated front and rear ends. As for powertrains, the Colorado in the U.S. will use a four-cylinder as a base engine, either the 2.0L turbo from Cadillac ATS, or the 2.5L from the Malibu. The next step up will be a 3.6L V6 engine. Those hoping for diesel option might want to stop for the time being. For GMC fans, a source says a Canyon pickup is also said to be in the works, and will be very different. When we will see the new Colorado? Originally, it was hoped that it would be ready by 2013. However, a lot of engineering work needs to happen for the Colorado to be sold in the U.S.. Also, GM needs to expand and retool the Wentzville, Missouri plant where the Colorado will be built. Those two items could push back the Colorado to late 2013 or 2014. Source: PickupTrucks.com 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.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 25, 2012 The fine folks at PickupTrucks.com got their hands on the first spy shots of the U.S.-spec Chevrolet Colorado. On the outside of these two Colorado mules, the greenhouse and doors appear to be the same as the current Colorado on sale in Asia and other countries. Its expected that the U.S. version will get updated front and rear ends. As for powertrains, the Colorado in the U.S. will use a four-cylinder as a base engine, either the 2.0L turbo from Cadillac ATS, or the 2.5L from the Malibu. The next step up will be a 3.6L V6 engine. Those hoping for diesel option might want to stop for the time being. For GMC fans, a source says a Canyon pickup is also said to be in the works, and will be very different. When we will see the new Colorado? Originally, it was hoped that it would be ready by 2013. However, a lot of engineering work needs to happen for the Colorado to be sold in the U.S.. Also, GM needs to expand and retool the Wentzville, Missouri plant where the Colorado will be built. Those two items could push back the Colorado to late 2013 or 2014. Source: PickupTrucks.com 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. View full article
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 24, 2012 Sometime this month in Las Vegas, GM executives showed Chevrolet dealers the next-generation Silverado. Dealers who saw the new Silverado say the design is evolutionary. "It's not a major change for an all-new model, but it'll be much bolder looking and have a lot more features," says Tom Durant, owner of Classic Chevrolet in Grape-vine, Texas. The next-gen Silverado will be about three to four inches taller than the current model and have a brawny look. Extended-cab models will get rear-doors. Dealers say this move will help sales of extended-cab models. Crew-cab models will see an increase in rear legroom and a optional 6 1/2-foot bed. Dealers were also told that the Silverado would be getting a high-end luxury model called the High Country. "They said it would have a Western flair and unique leather. They basically said, 'If it's on the King Ranch, we're going to have it,'" a dealer told Automotive News. Dealers have been clamoring for a luxury model of the Silverado for awhile to better compete with the Ram and F-150. However doing the luxury model of the Silverado does put GM between a rock and hard place since there is a luxury model of the GMC Sierra. However Dave Sullivan, a product analyst at research firm AutoPacific says offering the a luxury model of the Silverado won't cause a shift of GMC buyers to Chevrolet. Sullivan goes onto say the the move of offering a luxury Silverado can help move up the brand. "A higher-end Chevy gives GMC the ability to move up. And Chevy can also move up. There's no reason GM's volume pickup brand shouldn't have something to go up against" the premium offerings of Ford and Ram. GM didn't reveal any powertrain information for the next-gen Silverado. Source: Automotive News, 2 (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.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 24, 2012 Sometime this month in Las Vegas, GM executives showed Chevrolet dealers the next-generation Silverado. Dealers who saw the new Silverado say the design is evolutionary. "It's not a major change for an all-new model, but it'll be much bolder looking and have a lot more features," says Tom Durant, owner of Classic Chevrolet in Grape-vine, Texas. The next-gen Silverado will be about three to four inches taller than the current model and have a brawny look. Extended-cab models will get rear-doors. Dealers say this move will help sales of extended-cab models. Crew-cab models will see an increase in rear legroom and a optional 6 1/2-foot bed. Dealers were also told that the Silverado would be getting a high-end luxury model called the High Country. "They said it would have a Western flair and unique leather. They basically said, 'If it's on the King Ranch, we're going to have it,'" a dealer told Automotive News. Dealers have been clamoring for a luxury model of the Silverado for awhile to better compete with the Ram and F-150. However doing the luxury model of the Silverado does put GM between a rock and hard place since there is a luxury model of the GMC Sierra. However Dave Sullivan, a product analyst at research firm AutoPacific says offering the a luxury model of the Silverado won't cause a shift of GMC buyers to Chevrolet. Sullivan goes onto say the the move of offering a luxury Silverado can help move up the brand. "A higher-end Chevy gives GMC the ability to move up. And Chevy can also move up. There's no reason GM's volume pickup brand shouldn't have something to go up against" the premium offerings of Ford and Ram. GM didn't reveal any powertrain information for the next-gen Silverado. Source: Automotive News, 2 (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. View full article
  7. GM U.S. Car Sales Rise 29 percent in September Total sales up 1.5 percent DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported its highest September U.S. sales since 2008: 210,245 vehicles, up 1.5 percent compared with a year ago. New products helped drive a 29 percent increase in passenger car sales. Sales of GM’s mini, small and compact cars alone were up a combined 97 percent, and all GM brands increased their retail sales. “Passenger cars have been the launch point for a broad and deep GM product offensive,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “Auto sales will continue to be a bright spot for the U.S. economy, which is particularly good news for GM as we walk into an even stronger cadence of new products in 2013 and 2014.” GM has moved aggressively to replace existing vehicles with better designs, more technology and improved fuel economy. At the same time, GM is entering growth segments and offering new entry points for each brand. Seventy percent of GM nameplates will be all new or redesigned in 2012 and 2013. September’s car sales increase reflected a strong start for the new Chevrolet Spark and Cadillac XTS, continued strong sales of the Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic, and a second consecutive sales record for the Chevrolet Volt. September also marked the first deliveries of the all-new Cadillac ATS. The GMC Terrain and Acadia crossovers had strong months as well, with sales up 8 percent and 16 percent, respectively. This helped drive a 3 percent increase for all GM crossovers versus a year ago. Truck sales were down 20 percent due to a 46 percent year-over-year reduction in fleet sales due to the timing of customer deliveries. In the large pickup segment, GM’s total sales were down 12 percent and fleet sales were down 56 percent. However, GM reduced its large pickup inventories by approximately 8,600 units compared with August, and earned average transaction prices more than $2,300 per unit above a year ago with the lowest incentive spending in the industry, according to J.D. Power PIN data.
  8. GM U.S. Car Sales Rise 29 percent in September Total sales up 1.5 percent DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported its highest September U.S. sales since 2008: 210,245 vehicles, up 1.5 percent compared with a year ago. New products helped drive a 29 percent increase in passenger car sales. Sales of GM’s mini, small and compact cars alone were up a combined 97 percent, and all GM brands increased their retail sales. “Passenger cars have been the launch point for a broad and deep GM product offensive,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “Auto sales will continue to be a bright spot for the U.S. economy, which is particularly good news for GM as we walk into an even stronger cadence of new products in 2013 and 2014.” GM has moved aggressively to replace existing vehicles with better designs, more technology and improved fuel economy. At the same time, GM is entering growth segments and offering new entry points for each brand. Seventy percent of GM nameplates will be all new or redesigned in 2012 and 2013. September’s car sales increase reflected a strong start for the new Chevrolet Spark and Cadillac XTS, continued strong sales of the Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Sonic, and a second consecutive sales record for the Chevrolet Volt. September also marked the first deliveries of the all-new Cadillac ATS. The GMC Terrain and Acadia crossovers had strong months as well, with sales up 8 percent and 16 percent, respectively. This helped drive a 3 percent increase for all GM crossovers versus a year ago. Truck sales were down 20 percent due to a 46 percent year-over-year reduction in fleet sales due to the timing of customer deliveries. In the large pickup segment, GM’s total sales were down 12 percent and fleet sales were down 56 percent. However, GM reduced its large pickup inventories by approximately 8,600 units compared with August, and earned average transaction prices more than $2,300 per unit above a year ago with the lowest incentive spending in the industry, according to J.D. Power PIN data. View full article
  9. Chevy’s first entry into the micro car market is the 2013 Spark. During the IMPA test days, I got to take a spin in a cheeky Spark 2LT with the standard 5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic is optional. Ingress and egress of the tiny car is easy due to the upright seating position and tall doors. Headroom for such a small car is excellent. Despite being a very low price entry model, every Chevrolet Spark comes with air conditioning, power windows and a full 10 airbags. Rear seat access is just as easy as in the front with a surprising amount of legroom. I doubt I would want to spend 5 hours riding back there, but most spins around town would be fine. The 1LT and 2LT trim levels come with Chevy’s new MyLink infotainment system that includes a 7” color touch-screen. I didn’t play with it during this test drive, but expect it to operate the same as the MyLink in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco we reviewed previously. The interior is mostly hard plastic as would be expected, but feels very well put together. In fact, my only quibble with the interior would be the rather clunky looking and feeling manual shifter that Chevy borrowed from your Grandpap’s 1987 Chevy S-10. The Spark is powered by a 1.25 liter 4-cylinder with 84 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 83 ft-lbs of torque at 4200 rpm. Routed through the 5-speed manual, this is the little engine that could, and with some effort, does. What power you do have comes on quickly and the Spark actually feels peppy to drive. Gearing is such that you can be in 5th gear by 35 mph and as long as you’re not in any hurry, accelerate up to highway speeds. I recognize the Spark is a cost conscious micro car, but it does feel like it needs a 6th gear. This is borne out in two ways: First, at 55 mph, the engine is turning at about 2500 rpm, and while the engine is impressively smooth for such an entry level car, the buzz from the engine does make it into the cabin at these higher RPMs. I wasn’t in a position to take the car faster, but I would probably find the noise from the engine at 70 to be bothersome. The second reason the Spark needs a 6th gear is shown in the fuel economy numbers. The Spark is EPA rated at 32 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. Both the larger Chevy Sonic and Cruze with 6-speed manuals can beat that highway number soundly. Even if Chevy didn’t make a 6-speed manual standard, the ability to option into one at extra cost would be nice. The Spark won’t be winning road rallies any time soon, but in the ride and handling department, the car felt a class above and was actually fun to drive and throw around.The mini-car market is very small in the U.S., and dominated mostly by the SMART Four-Two and more recently the Scion iQ. Seeing what Chevy has done with the Spark makes me think they are about to make a huge splash in the tiny tiny-car market. The full gallery of pictures from the IMPA Test days is located here and will continue to be built as quick drive reviews are added: Year: 2013 Make: Chevrolet Model: Spark Trim: 2LT Engine: 1.25 Liter 4-cylinder Driveline: Front wheel drive, 5-speed manual Horsepower @ RPM: 84 @ 6400 Torque @ RPM: 83 lb-ft @ 4200 Fuel Economy: City/Highway: 32/38 Location of Manufacture: Bupyeong, South Korea Base Price: $12,245 Est. As Tested Price: $15,795 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears
  10. Chevy’s first entry into the micro car market is the 2013 Spark. During the IMPA test days, I got to take a spin in a cheeky Spark 2LT with the standard 5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic is optional. Ingress and egress of the tiny car is easy due to the upright seating position and tall doors. Headroom for such a small car is excellent. Despite being a very low price entry model, every Chevrolet Spark comes with air conditioning, power windows and a full 10 airbags. Rear seat access is just as easy as in the front with a surprising amount of legroom. I doubt I would want to spend 5 hours riding back there, but most spins around town would be fine. The 1LT and 2LT trim levels come with Chevy’s new MyLink infotainment system that includes a 7” color touch-screen. I didn’t play with it during this test drive, but expect it to operate the same as the MyLink in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco we reviewed previously. The interior is mostly hard plastic as would be expected, but feels very well put together. In fact, my only quibble with the interior would be the rather clunky looking and feeling manual shifter that Chevy borrowed from your Grandpap’s 1987 Chevy S-10. The Spark is powered by a 1.25 liter 4-cylinder with 84 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 83 ft-lbs of torque at 4200 rpm. Routed through the 5-speed manual, this is the little engine that could, and with some effort, does. What power you do have comes on quickly and the Spark actually feels peppy to drive. Gearing is such that you can be in 5th gear by 35 mph and as long as you’re not in any hurry, accelerate up to highway speeds. I recognize the Spark is a cost conscious micro car, but it does feel like it needs a 6th gear. This is borne out in two ways: First, at 55 mph, the engine is turning at about 2500 rpm, and while the engine is impressively smooth for such an entry level car, the buzz from the engine does make it into the cabin at these higher RPMs. I wasn’t in a position to take the car faster, but I would probably find the noise from the engine at 70 to be bothersome. The second reason the Spark needs a 6th gear is shown in the fuel economy numbers. The Spark is EPA rated at 32 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. Both the larger Chevy Sonic and Cruze with 6-speed manuals can beat that highway number soundly. Even if Chevy didn’t make a 6-speed manual standard, the ability to option into one at extra cost would be nice. The Spark won’t be winning road rallies any time soon, but in the ride and handling department, the car felt a class above and was actually fun to drive and throw around.The mini-car market is very small in the U.S., and dominated mostly by the SMART Four-Two and more recently the Scion iQ. Seeing what Chevy has done with the Spark makes me think they are about to make a huge splash in the tiny tiny-car market. The full gallery of pictures from the IMPA Test days is located here and will continue to be built as quick drive reviews are added: Year: 2013 Make: Chevrolet Model: Spark Trim: 2LT Engine: 1.25 Liter 4-cylinder Driveline: Front wheel drive, 5-speed manual Horsepower @ RPM: 84 @ 6400 Torque @ RPM: 83 lb-ft @ 4200 Fuel Economy: City/Highway: 32/38 Location of Manufacture: Bupyeong, South Korea Base Price: $12,245 Est. As Tested Price: $15,795 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears View full article
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 16, 2012 If you're in the market for a pickup truck, there is some very good news for you. Truck manufacturers are offering rebates ranging from $1,500 to $4,500. So why the large rebates? Well, part of it is to make room for the 2013 models. The other part is due in part to GM. GM's supply of pickup trucks has been growing and growing due in part to the company making sure they have enough supply when they shut down their plants to retool. GM is stuck between a rock and hard place on trying to make sure they have the right amount of trucks. Starting after Labor Day, GM started their semiannual truck promotion which offers rebates on trucks up $3,500 or $4,500 with a trade. This is a surprise since the promotion usually starts in October. "They've pulled forward truck month, so we get both September and October, and they're putting a lot of cash on the hoods. With a little participation from the client, I think we'll be fine," said Chris Haydocy, a Buick-GMC dealer in Columbus, Ohio Not to be outdone, Ford, Ram, and Toyota have introduced rebates and incentives to bring people into one of their trucks. 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.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 16, 2012 If you're in the market for a pickup truck, there is some very good news for you. Truck manufacturers are offering rebates ranging from $1,500 to $4,500. So why the large rebates? Well, part of it is to make room for the 2013 models. The other part is due in part to GM. GM's supply of pickup trucks has been growing and growing due in part to the company making sure they have enough supply when they shut down their plants to retool. GM is stuck between a rock and hard place on trying to make sure they have the right amount of trucks. Starting after Labor Day, GM started their semiannual truck promotion which offers rebates on trucks up $3,500 or $4,500 with a trade. This is a surprise since the promotion usually starts in October. "They've pulled forward truck month, so we get both September and October, and they're putting a lot of cash on the hoods. With a little participation from the client, I think we'll be fine," said Chris Haydocy, a Buick-GMC dealer in Columbus, Ohio Not to be outdone, Ford, Ram, and Toyota have introduced rebates and incentives to bring people into one of their trucks. 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. View full article
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 29, 2012 For a second time this year, General Motors is putting the brakes on Volt production. According to Automotive News, the company plans to shut down the Detroit-Hamtramck from September 17 until October 15. Why? Well there are two reasons as to this. A GM spokesman tells Motor Trend, "the plant will be idled to match inventory with production, as well as retooling to get ready for 2014 Impala production." The 'match inventory with production' most likely is in reference to the Chevrolet Volt. Through July, 10,666 Volts have been sold, which more than triple the 2,870 Volts sold last year. However, the 10,666 Volts is a far cry from CEO Dan Akerson's 45,000 goal for this year. Also, GM dealers are currently sitting on 6,500 units or an 84 day supply. Source: Motor Trend, 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.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 29, 2012 For a second time this year, General Motors is putting the brakes on Volt production. According to Automotive News, the company plans to shut down the Detroit-Hamtramck from September 17 until October 15. Why? Well there are two reasons as to this. A GM spokesman tells Motor Trend, "the plant will be idled to match inventory with production, as well as retooling to get ready for 2014 Impala production." The 'match inventory with production' most likely is in reference to the Chevrolet Volt. Through July, 10,666 Volts have been sold, which more than triple the 2,870 Volts sold last year. However, the 10,666 Volts is a far cry from CEO Dan Akerson's 45,000 goal for this year. Also, GM dealers are currently sitting on 6,500 units or an 84 day supply. Source: Motor Trend, 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. View full article
  15. GM U.S. Sales Increase 10 percent Chevrolet passenger car sales up 25 percent DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported August sales of 240,520 vehicles in the United States, up 10 percent compared with a year ago. GM increased its sales to retail customers by 11 percent, making August its best retail month of the year. Sales to fleet customers were up 6 percent compared with a year ago. All four GM brands posted higher total and retail sales. Thanks in part to extensive national advertising during the Olympic Games, Chevrolet passenger car sales were up 25 percent, with the Spark, Sonic, Cruze and Volt all posting their best-ever monthly sales. In addition, the Chevrolet Equinox set an August record behind its 22 percent year-over-year sales increase. “The single message Chevrolet communicated this summer was ‘confidence’ and it rang true with customers when they saw how our product lineup is being transformed,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “All four of our brands are building momentum behind new products so we’re very well positioned as the economy continues to slowly improve.” Other sales highlights for August include an 11 percent year over year increase in Cadillac sales driven by strong demand for the SRX crossover, the Escalade and the new XTS large sedan. Buick sales increased 12 percent on the strength of the Verano, which has seen nine back-to-back monthly sales increases. Buick recorded its best retail sales since September 2007. GMC sales were up 4 percent, following a 35 percent reduction in fleet sales. GMC Acadia sales rose 26 percent in August and GMC Terrain sales were up 16 percent. GM is in the midst of an aggressive rollout of new products in the United States. Some 70 percent of GM nameplates will be redesigned or all new over the course of 2012 and 2013, with the four-cylinder 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and the 2013 Cadillac ATS reaching the market now. The redesigned Malibu arriving in dealerships will replace depleted stocks of 2012 models. The compact Cadillac ATS sport sedan is the brand’s second all-new sedan this year and it will compete in the highest volume luxury segment in the United States.
  16. GM U.S. Sales Increase 10 percent Chevrolet passenger car sales up 25 percent DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported August sales of 240,520 vehicles in the United States, up 10 percent compared with a year ago. GM increased its sales to retail customers by 11 percent, making August its best retail month of the year. Sales to fleet customers were up 6 percent compared with a year ago. All four GM brands posted higher total and retail sales. Thanks in part to extensive national advertising during the Olympic Games, Chevrolet passenger car sales were up 25 percent, with the Spark, Sonic, Cruze and Volt all posting their best-ever monthly sales. In addition, the Chevrolet Equinox set an August record behind its 22 percent year-over-year sales increase. “The single message Chevrolet communicated this summer was ‘confidence’ and it rang true with customers when they saw how our product lineup is being transformed,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “All four of our brands are building momentum behind new products so we’re very well positioned as the economy continues to slowly improve.” Other sales highlights for August include an 11 percent year over year increase in Cadillac sales driven by strong demand for the SRX crossover, the Escalade and the new XTS large sedan. Buick sales increased 12 percent on the strength of the Verano, which has seen nine back-to-back monthly sales increases. Buick recorded its best retail sales since September 2007. GMC sales were up 4 percent, following a 35 percent reduction in fleet sales. GMC Acadia sales rose 26 percent in August and GMC Terrain sales were up 16 percent. GM is in the midst of an aggressive rollout of new products in the United States. Some 70 percent of GM nameplates will be redesigned or all new over the course of 2012 and 2013, with the four-cylinder 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and the 2013 Cadillac ATS reaching the market now. The redesigned Malibu arriving in dealerships will replace depleted stocks of 2012 models. The compact Cadillac ATS sport sedan is the brand’s second all-new sedan this year and it will compete in the highest volume luxury segment in the United States. View full article
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 22, 2012 The dream of the Holden Ute coming to the states has made a resurgence when General Motors announced the Holden Commodore would be coming as the Chevrolet SS. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the small group who cling onto this dream, but the Ute will not be coming. A report from the Herald Sun states that if Holden was to export the Ute to the U.S., the vehicle would fall under a light commercial tariff rate of 35%, three times higher than the tariff for passenger vehicles. "We were hopeful at one stage, we thought we might be able to duck in under it, but it was ruled out. With the dollar where it is, exports can only be pursued that are niche ... and profitable in this environment," said Richard Phillips, Holden's executive director of manufacturing. Source: Herald Sun 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.
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 22, 2012 The dream of the Holden Ute coming to the states has made a resurgence when General Motors announced the Holden Commodore would be coming as the Chevrolet SS. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the small group who cling onto this dream, but the Ute will not be coming. A report from the Herald Sun states that if Holden was to export the Ute to the U.S., the vehicle would fall under a light commercial tariff rate of 35%, three times higher than the tariff for passenger vehicles. "We were hopeful at one stage, we thought we might be able to duck in under it, but it was ruled out. With the dollar where it is, exports can only be pursued that are niche ... and profitable in this environment," said Richard Phillips, Holden's executive director of manufacturing. Source: Herald Sun 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. View full article
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 24, 2012 Yesterday, General Motors announced a $220 million investment into two plants in Ohio; Lordstown and Parma. Lordstown has been building the Cruze since 2010, while Parma handles parts for GM vehicles. The investment will be for tooling and equipment to build the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze. "Thanks to northeast Ohio's supportive business climate, we're able to build on a great foundation and steer the Chevrolet Cruze into the next generation. A special thanks goes to Governor John Kasich and his team at Jobs Ohio for their strong leadership and advocacy for GM and our employees," said GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. Which brings us onto what to expect from the next-generation Cruze. In the press release, Arvin "Jones said the new model will offer new exterior and interior styling, improved fuel economy and an improved interior compartment and more storage space." Automotive News says the next Cruze will wear the same front end treatment as new Impala; a wider, flared-back grille that connects to the headlamps. Automotive News also says that GM is considering whether to add a hatchback or coupe for the next-generation Cruze lineup. The big rumor comes from Reuters which says that the next-generation Cruze will be the first GM vehicle to utilize a new compact platform known internally as D2XX. D2XX will combine two current GM platforms, Delta II (Cruze and Volt) and Theta (Equinox and Terrain), into one. The platform could underpin close to 2.5 million compact sedans and crossovers by 2018. When asked for comment, a GM spokesman declined. The next-generation Cruze is due out in Fall 2014 as a 2015 model. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM Commits Next-Gen Chevrolet Cruze to Ohio Plants Lordstown and Parma get $220 million investment and retain more than 5,000 jobs DETROIT – General Motors will invest $220 million for tooling and equipment to build the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in two northeast Ohio plants retaining more than 5,000 jobs at facilities in Lordstown and Parma. The Lordstown Complex, with support from the metal center in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, has built more than 500,000 of Chevrolet’s top-selling compact passenger sedan since production began in September 2010. More than 1.6 million Cruzes have been built globally since 2009. "Thanks to northeast Ohio's supportive business climate, we're able to build on a great foundation and steer the Chevrolet Cruze into the next generation." GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said. "A special thanks goes to Governor John Kasich and his team at Jobs Ohio for their strong leadership and advocacy for GM and our employees." GM has invested more than $7.3 billion in its U.S. facilities since 2009. Production timing of the next-generation Cruze will be announced later. But Jones said the new model will offer new exterior and interior styling, improved fuel economy and an improved interior compartment and more storage space. Preliminary work to clear space in the body shop at Lordstown has begun. The 2012 Cruze is among the best-selling compacts in the United States and was named “America’s Best Compact Car for the Money” by U.S. News and World Report. In a joint statement, UAW Local 1112 Shop Chairman Ben Strickland and UAW Local 1714 Shop Chairman Will Adams credited the Lordstown Team. “The men and women of Lordstown are working hard to keep the Cruze a top-quality small car choice. The next-generation of the Cruze is well earned and we are thrilled to be assigned work that will keep good-paying next generation UAW jobs in the state of Ohio for years to come.” The Lordstown complex has built more than 14.6 million cars in the 46 years since it opened in April 1966. In 2011, the Parma Metal Center shipped about 60 million parts and processed more than 1,000 tons of steel a day to serve the majority of GM vehicle lines produced in North America. Parma has more than 1,400 dies and can produce up to 100 million parts a year.
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 24, 2012 Yesterday, General Motors announced a $220 million investment into two plants in Ohio; Lordstown and Parma. Lordstown has been building the Cruze since 2010, while Parma handles parts for GM vehicles. The investment will be for tooling and equipment to build the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze. "Thanks to northeast Ohio's supportive business climate, we're able to build on a great foundation and steer the Chevrolet Cruze into the next generation. A special thanks goes to Governor John Kasich and his team at Jobs Ohio for their strong leadership and advocacy for GM and our employees," said GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. Which brings us onto what to expect from the next-generation Cruze. In the press release, Arvin "Jones said the new model will offer new exterior and interior styling, improved fuel economy and an improved interior compartment and more storage space." Automotive News says the next Cruze will wear the same front end treatment as new Impala; a wider, flared-back grille that connects to the headlamps. Automotive News also says that GM is considering whether to add a hatchback or coupe for the next-generation Cruze lineup. The big rumor comes from Reuters which says that the next-generation Cruze will be the first GM vehicle to utilize a new compact platform known internally as D2XX. D2XX will combine two current GM platforms, Delta II (Cruze and Volt) and Theta (Equinox and Terrain), into one. The platform could underpin close to 2.5 million compact sedans and crossovers by 2018. When asked for comment, a GM spokesman declined. The next-generation Cruze is due out in Fall 2014 as a 2015 model. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 GM Commits Next-Gen Chevrolet Cruze to Ohio Plants Lordstown and Parma get $220 million investment and retain more than 5,000 jobs DETROIT – General Motors will invest $220 million for tooling and equipment to build the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in two northeast Ohio plants retaining more than 5,000 jobs at facilities in Lordstown and Parma. The Lordstown Complex, with support from the metal center in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, has built more than 500,000 of Chevrolet’s top-selling compact passenger sedan since production began in September 2010. More than 1.6 million Cruzes have been built globally since 2009. "Thanks to northeast Ohio's supportive business climate, we're able to build on a great foundation and steer the Chevrolet Cruze into the next generation." GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said. "A special thanks goes to Governor John Kasich and his team at Jobs Ohio for their strong leadership and advocacy for GM and our employees." GM has invested more than $7.3 billion in its U.S. facilities since 2009. Production timing of the next-generation Cruze will be announced later. But Jones said the new model will offer new exterior and interior styling, improved fuel economy and an improved interior compartment and more storage space. Preliminary work to clear space in the body shop at Lordstown has begun. The 2012 Cruze is among the best-selling compacts in the United States and was named “America’s Best Compact Car for the Money” by U.S. News and World Report. In a joint statement, UAW Local 1112 Shop Chairman Ben Strickland and UAW Local 1714 Shop Chairman Will Adams credited the Lordstown Team. “The men and women of Lordstown are working hard to keep the Cruze a top-quality small car choice. The next-generation of the Cruze is well earned and we are thrilled to be assigned work that will keep good-paying next generation UAW jobs in the state of Ohio for years to come.” The Lordstown complex has built more than 14.6 million cars in the 46 years since it opened in April 1966. In 2011, the Parma Metal Center shipped about 60 million parts and processed more than 1,000 tons of steel a day to serve the majority of GM vehicle lines produced in North America. Parma has more than 1,400 dies and can produce up to 100 million parts a year. View full article
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 22, 2012 Chevrolet has announced pricing for the performance' trim Sonic, the RS. For $20,995 (includes destination), the Sonic RS sticks with the 1.4L turbo-four from the regular Sonic. The performance bits lie elsewhere. Starting with the transmission, the standard six-speed manual gets a set of of unique gear ratios. The optional six-speed automatic (starts at $22,280 with destination) gets a unique final drive ratio. Other performance bits for the Sonic RS include a lowered and stiffened suspension, and a set of four-wheel disc brakes. Exterior modifications for the Sonic RS include a revised front fascia, new rear spoiler, new rocker panels, special 17-inch wheels and RS badges. Inside, the Sonic RS adds leather trimmed seating with red contrast stitching, aluminum sport pedals, specific instrument cluster graphics, and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system. The Sonic RS goes on sale later in fall. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Sonic RS Priced From $20,995 Performance-inspired five-door arrives this fall with Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine DETROIT – The suggested retail price of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS with a six-speed manual transmission begins at $20,995, including destination. Sonic RS with the available six-speed automatic transmission starts at $22,280. The performance-inspired RS amplifies the Sonic’s youthful style and driving experience, with unique exterior and interior features. It is offered exclusively as a five-door hatchback that delivers generous rear-seat roominess and cargo space – up to 47.7 cubic feet (1,351 liters) with the rear seat folded. Sonic RS is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. (200 Nm) of torque. Unique transmission gearing in the six-speed manual, or a 3.53 final drive ratio for automatic-equipped models, enhances the car’s sporty feel. Production begins in October at General Motors’ Orion (Mich.) Assembly Center, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, helping create or retain approximately 1,800 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area. Sonic is the only subcompact built in the United States. Sonic RS exterior features The front fascia of the Sonic RS has a deep air dam design that enhances the car’s road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps. Other features include: New RS-specific grille New rear fascia New rear spoiler New rocker moldings Bright exhaust outlet Unique 17-inch five-spoke wheel design Lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers RS badging A power, tilt-sliding sunroof with express-open and wind deflector feature is available. Exterior colors include Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Granite Metallic – a new, premium exterior color for 2013. Sonic RS interior features The performance theme continues into the cabin with a Jet Black interior exclusive to RS. Features include: Leather-appointed front bucket seats with sueded microfiber inserts and red RS accents New sport three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching and racing-inspired flat-bottom design New, leather-wrapped shifter knob with red stitching (manual transmission) New aluminum sport pedals Specific instrument panel cluster graphics Standard Chevrolet MyLink. MyLink is standard on Sonic RS and an AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, voice recognition for compatible phones and six-speakers. On Sonic, MyLink operates by integrating the owner’s compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is safely stowed. MyLink is simple to use. The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions. MyLink-equipped Sonic models will launch with compatibility for Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with these services connect their compatible smartphones, they can access these and other functions: Personal playlists of stored music Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer’s smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit gm.com/Bluetooth for a list of compatible smartphones) Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked Ability to project a photo album in “slideshow” mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable. Later, BringGo, an embedded smartphone application for MyLink that delivers full-function navigation – including live traffic updates – will be available for an extra charge. It includes: Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital Thousands of points of interest Local Search via Google Where am I? locator Live traffic functionality with crash reports, lane closures, and alternative routes; 3-D maps Ability to store native maps to the customer’s smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor - many GPS-enabled apps do not do this. Sonic RS performance Sonic RS peak torque occurs at low rpm, providing an immediate feeling of power that is sustained across the rpm band. The engine is matched with a standard six-speed manual transmission or available six-speed automatic. Unique gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and unique final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models. Complementing the segment-exclusive turbocharged powertrain is MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension – featuring a tubular V-shape beam – with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), designed for well-planted stability and balance, and the suspension is lowered by 10 mm (.39 inches) from the standard non-RS model. RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes, which are partnered with a four-channel anti-lock braking system. The four-sensor system – one at each wheel – incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo. Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system. Standard hill start assist makes it easier to pull away from a stopped position when the vehicle is on a steep uphill or downhill slope.
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 22, 2012 Chevrolet has announced pricing for the performance' trim Sonic, the RS. For $20,995 (includes destination), the Sonic RS sticks with the 1.4L turbo-four from the regular Sonic. The performance bits lie elsewhere. Starting with the transmission, the standard six-speed manual gets a set of of unique gear ratios. The optional six-speed automatic (starts at $22,280 with destination) gets a unique final drive ratio. Other performance bits for the Sonic RS include a lowered and stiffened suspension, and a set of four-wheel disc brakes. Exterior modifications for the Sonic RS include a revised front fascia, new rear spoiler, new rocker panels, special 17-inch wheels and RS badges. Inside, the Sonic RS adds leather trimmed seating with red contrast stitching, aluminum sport pedals, specific instrument cluster graphics, and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system. The Sonic RS goes on sale later in fall. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Sonic RS Priced From $20,995 Performance-inspired five-door arrives this fall with Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine DETROIT – The suggested retail price of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS with a six-speed manual transmission begins at $20,995, including destination. Sonic RS with the available six-speed automatic transmission starts at $22,280. The performance-inspired RS amplifies the Sonic’s youthful style and driving experience, with unique exterior and interior features. It is offered exclusively as a five-door hatchback that delivers generous rear-seat roominess and cargo space – up to 47.7 cubic feet (1,351 liters) with the rear seat folded. Sonic RS is powered by an Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. (200 Nm) of torque. Unique transmission gearing in the six-speed manual, or a 3.53 final drive ratio for automatic-equipped models, enhances the car’s sporty feel. Production begins in October at General Motors’ Orion (Mich.) Assembly Center, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, helping create or retain approximately 1,800 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area. Sonic is the only subcompact built in the United States. Sonic RS exterior features The front fascia of the Sonic RS has a deep air dam design that enhances the car’s road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps. Other features include: New RS-specific grille New rear fascia New rear spoiler New rocker moldings Bright exhaust outlet Unique 17-inch five-spoke wheel design Lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers RS badging A power, tilt-sliding sunroof with express-open and wind deflector feature is available. Exterior colors include Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Granite Metallic – a new, premium exterior color for 2013. Sonic RS interior features The performance theme continues into the cabin with a Jet Black interior exclusive to RS. Features include: Leather-appointed front bucket seats with sueded microfiber inserts and red RS accents New sport three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching and racing-inspired flat-bottom design New, leather-wrapped shifter knob with red stitching (manual transmission) New aluminum sport pedals Specific instrument panel cluster graphics Standard Chevrolet MyLink. MyLink is standard on Sonic RS and an AM/FM/SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of service) stereo with seek-and-scan, digital clock, Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, voice recognition for compatible phones and six-speakers. On Sonic, MyLink operates by integrating the owner’s compatible smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. This lets owners enjoy simple, safe and personalized connectivity while their smartphone is safely stowed. MyLink is simple to use. The owner selects from options projected onto the touch screen: Audio, Pictures & Movies, Telephone, Smartphone Link and Settings. Each menu selection takes the user though a list of easy-to-select functions. MyLink-equipped Sonic models will launch with compatibility for Pandora internet radio and Stitcher Smart Radio. When owners with these services connect their compatible smartphones, they can access these and other functions: Personal playlists of stored music Hands-free calling with Bluetooth-enabled voice activation from the customer’s smartphone when the steering wheel button is depressed. (Visit gm.com/Bluetooth for a list of compatible smartphones) Ability to project video via USB while the vehicle is parked Ability to project a photo album in “slideshow” mode via USB while the vehicle is parked, with the last music selection playing in the background. Once the vehicle is moving, a single photo is viewable. Later, BringGo, an embedded smartphone application for MyLink that delivers full-function navigation – including live traffic updates – will be available for an extra charge. It includes: Emergency information such as police, fire and the nearest hospital Thousands of points of interest Local Search via Google Where am I? locator Live traffic functionality with crash reports, lane closures, and alternative routes; 3-D maps Ability to store native maps to the customer’s smartphone, giving them access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when phone signal quality is poor - many GPS-enabled apps do not do this. Sonic RS performance Sonic RS peak torque occurs at low rpm, providing an immediate feeling of power that is sustained across the rpm band. The engine is matched with a standard six-speed manual transmission or available six-speed automatic. Unique gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and unique final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models. Complementing the segment-exclusive turbocharged powertrain is MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension – featuring a tubular V-shape beam – with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), designed for well-planted stability and balance, and the suspension is lowered by 10 mm (.39 inches) from the standard non-RS model. RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes, which are partnered with a four-channel anti-lock braking system. The four-sensor system – one at each wheel – incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo. Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system. Standard hill start assist makes it easier to pull away from a stopped position when the vehicle is on a steep uphill or downhill slope. View full article
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 26, 2012 Ford and Dodge have stepped up to the plate for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, producing the Mustang and Challenger race cars. Now, its Chevrolet's turn at the plate. Today, the bowtie showed off the new 2013 Camaro NASCAR Nationwide Series racecar. The Camaro race car does closely resembles the actual production mode - though it's still a long way from identical. Underneath, the Camaro isn't that much different from the Ford, Dodge and Toyota. “Chevrolet is proud to bring the Camaro to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013. The Camaro Nationwide race car incorporates many of the distinctive styling elements of the production Camaro, including the unique power-bulge hood and deep recessed grille. In addition, the design incorporates the distinctive halo light rings and dual-port grille appearances, and the gold bowtie,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. The Camaro will make its debut at next year's Daytona race. For now, Chevrolet says the vehicle will be going through the wind tunnel and on-track testing to get it ready. 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.
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 26, 2012 Ford and Dodge have stepped up to the plate for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, producing the Mustang and Challenger race cars. Now, its Chevrolet's turn at the plate. Today, the bowtie showed off the new 2013 Camaro NASCAR Nationwide Series racecar. The Camaro race car does closely resembles the actual production mode - though it's still a long way from identical. Underneath, the Camaro isn't that much different from the Ford, Dodge and Toyota. “Chevrolet is proud to bring the Camaro to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013. The Camaro Nationwide race car incorporates many of the distinctive styling elements of the production Camaro, including the unique power-bulge hood and deep recessed grille. In addition, the design incorporates the distinctive halo light rings and dual-port grille appearances, and the gold bowtie,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. The Camaro will make its debut at next year's Daytona race. For now, Chevrolet says the vehicle will be going through the wind tunnel and on-track testing to get it ready. 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. View full article
  25. GM U.S. Sales Down on Lower Rental Volume DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported July U.S. sales of 201,237 vehicles, down 6 percent compared with a year ago. Sales to retail customers declined 3 percent. Sales to rental fleet customers declined 41 percent, in line with the company’s previous guidance. In July, Cadillac sales were up 21 percent thanks to strong across-the-board results for the CTS, Escalade, SRX and the all-new XTS. “Cadillac hit a home run and our newest Chevrolets and Buicks are performing very well,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “Signs of a housing recovery and good news on consumer confidence and household income should help keep the light vehicle selling rate in the 14-million range and drive seasonally higher truck sales as we move toward fall.” All of GM newest vehicles performed well in July. Buick Verano sales were 4,235 units and have increased each month since the car launched in December 2011. Chevrolet Sonic sales were 6,278 units and it has been the retail sales leader in its segment since April 2012. In addition, Chevrolet Spark deliveries were 1,460 in its first month on sale. GM’s combined retail sales of mini- , small, and compact cars were up 41 percent year over year. Retail passenger car sales in total were up 3 percent, crossover sales were up 2 percent and truck sales were down 12 percent. Two all-new vehicles – the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu four-cylinder and Cadillac ATS – are now in production. Vehicles launching later this year include the Buick Verano Turbo, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Malibu Turbo, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. GM said last month that sales to rental customers would be down sharply in July because planned deliveries occurred earlier in the year compared with 2011. GM’s commercial fleet sales were up 41 percent, the 28th consecutive monthly increase. Strong police vehicle deliveries to state and local agencies helped drive a 115 percent increase in government sales. Total fleet sales were down 15 percent.

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