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  1. In April of 2013, Ford and General Motors announced they would be working together on developing new nine and ten-speed automatic transmissions. The nine-speed automatic would be for front-wheel drive models, while rear-drive models got the ten-speed. Already, a number of Ford and GM vehicles are using the ten-speed. But GM will be the only one using the nine-speed. Automotive News reports that Ford is electing to use a new series of eight-speed automatic transmission on their vehicles. The company said the new nine-speed didn't provide enough of an improvement in fuel economy to justify the added cost and weight. According to a source, Ford made this decision before GM began to use this transmission on their production models. "Typically, if anyone gave me a transmission that didn't require much work, outside of tuning it for a specific vehicle, I would take it and run. It's a lot of design work after the fact to come up with their own flavor. It shows there might be some different schools of thought in terms of transmission efficiency," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc. While GM claims the nine-speed brings “smoother shifts” and a better driving experience, it hasn't brought any real gains to fuel economy. The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu 2.0T only saw an increase of one mpg on the highway when compared to the 2016 model with a six-speed automatic (33 vs. 32). The 2019 Buick Envision 2.0T saw its highway fuel economy drop by one when equipped with the nine-speed auto (25 vs. 26). It should be noted that one of the eight-speed transmissions Ford is using is based on the new nine-speed, minus a gear. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  2. In April of 2013, Ford and General Motors announced they would be working together on developing new nine and ten-speed automatic transmissions. The nine-speed automatic would be for front-wheel drive models, while rear-drive models got the ten-speed. Already, a number of Ford and GM vehicles are using the ten-speed. But GM will be the only one using the nine-speed. Automotive News reports that Ford is electing to use a new series of eight-speed automatic transmission on their vehicles. The company said the new nine-speed didn't provide enough of an improvement in fuel economy to justify the added cost and weight. According to a source, Ford made this decision before GM began to use this transmission on their production models. "Typically, if anyone gave me a transmission that didn't require much work, outside of tuning it for a specific vehicle, I would take it and run. It's a lot of design work after the fact to come up with their own flavor. It shows there might be some different schools of thought in terms of transmission efficiency," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc. While GM claims the nine-speed brings “smoother shifts” and a better driving experience, it hasn't brought any real gains to fuel economy. The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu 2.0T only saw an increase of one mpg on the highway when compared to the 2016 model with a six-speed automatic (33 vs. 32). The 2019 Buick Envision 2.0T saw its highway fuel economy drop by one when equipped with the nine-speed auto (25 vs. 26). It should be noted that one of the eight-speed transmissions Ford is using is based on the new nine-speed, minus a gear. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. William Maley

    de Nysschen Out As Cadillac President (UPDATE)

    Cadillac's leadership is seeing a major change as current president Johan de Nysschen will be stepping down effective immediately. In his place will be Steve Carlisle who is currently president and managing director of GM Canada. “We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac. Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann in a statement. No reason was given as to why de Nysschen is leaving after leading the brand for over three years. His tenure saw Cadillac make a number of dramatic changes including moving the brand's headquarters to New York City and introducing a new nomenclature system. Steve Carlisle has been part of GM since 1982 when he was an industrial engineering co-op student at the Oshawa assembly plant. He was named the president of GM Canada back in 2014 and helped the region get back on its feet. Last year, GM was number one in retail sales in Canada, with Buick, Cadillac, and GMC posting their best ever sales. “The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and I’m honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future. I look forward to building on our current momentum as we continue on our mission to position Cadillac at the pinnacle of luxury,” said Carlisle. We'll be updating this story if any new information comes out. UPDATE: Automotive News and Wards Auto have learned some possible reasons as to why de Nysschen was shown the door. One is Cadillac's slumping sales. In 2017, sales in the U.S. dropped eight percent - the second straight year of a sales decline. Sales are doing slightly better in 2018 - up 8.1 percent - some of this is due to incentives being placed on slow-selling models. Project Pinnacle which was de Nysschen's ambitious incentive plan that would divide dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier would have different requirements in terms of showroom and service, along with perks. One contentious point that irked a number of dealers was smaller dealers setting up a "virtual showroom" where buyers could order vehicles. These dealers would not be able to stock Cadillac vehicles. Since then, Project Pinnacle has undergone a number of changes. Wards Auto says de Nysschen didn't move fast enough to join the fast-growing trend of crossovers. Cadillac has introduced the XT4 at the New York Auto Show last month are there plans to launch a couple more in the coming years, but this is only going to widen the gap between Cadillac and competitors. Both outlets report there has been growing tension between de Nysschen and GM. Such examples include him proclaiming that "Cadillac would be the technical leader at GM in the future," partly due to the launch of SuperCruise. Apparently, de Nysschen forgot about the Chevrolet Bolt and Volt. There was also the comment he made about Apple's CarPlay saying it was “extremely clunky”. (Mr. de Nysschen, have you even used CUE?! -WM) Source: General Motors GM Names Steve Carlisle Senior VP and President, Cadillac Johan de Nysschen leaves GM to pursue other interests; Travis Hester becomes president and managing director, GM Canada DETROIT — General Motors today announced the appointment of Steve Carlisle as General Motors senior vice president and president, Cadillac, replacing Johan de Nysschen, who is leaving the company effective immediately. Travis Hester, currently vice president, Global Product Programs, is named president and managing director, GM Canada, replacing Carlisle. The transition will begin immediately. “We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann. “Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.” Carlisle was most recently president and managing director of GM Canada, where he led a resurgence of the GM Canada franchise. In 2017, GM was number one in automotive retail sales in Canada, with Buick, GMC and Cadillac achieving their best ever sales years. Carlisle also reestablished key relationships in Canada with retailers, employees and government officials. “The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and I’m honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future,” said Carlisle. “I look forward to building on our current momentum as we continue on our mission to position Cadillac at the pinnacle of luxury.” Carlisle will report to Dan Ammann. Carlisle began his GM career in 1982 as an industrial engineering co-op student at the Oshawa Truck Assembly Plant. Over the course of his career with General Motors, Carlisle has held several senior leadership positions that have taken him across the globe, including vice president, Global Product Planning (2010-2014); vice president, U.S. Sales Operations (2010); and president and managing director, Southeast Asia Operations (2007-2010). Hester brings extensive global leadership and global product development experience to his new role at GM Canada. Since 2016, he has led the team responsible for balancing all aspects of vehicle development, including quality, cost, appearance, purchasing, customer acceptance and performance targets. Hester will report to Alan Batey, president, GM North America. Hester began his GM career in 1995 in Australia as a technical support engineer for GM Holden. He held a variety of positions in Australia before moving to the U.S. in 2005. Since 2005, Hester has held engineering positions in both the U.S. and China, including chief engineer for several global premium luxury vehicles, the Buick Regal, Buick LaCrosse and the Chevrolet Sonic. Hester became vice president, Global Product Programs, in 2016.
  4. Cadillac's leadership is seeing a major change as current president Johan de Nysschen will be stepping down effective immediately. In his place will be Steve Carlisle who is currently president and managing director of GM Canada. “We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac. Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann in a statement. No reason was given as to why de Nysschen is leaving after leading the brand for over three years. His tenure saw Cadillac make a number of dramatic changes including moving the brand's headquarters to New York City and introducing a new nomenclature system. Steve Carlisle has been part of GM since 1982 when he was an industrial engineering co-op student at the Oshawa assembly plant. He was named the president of GM Canada back in 2014 and helped the region get back on its feet. Last year, GM was number one in retail sales in Canada, with Buick, Cadillac, and GMC posting their best ever sales. “The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and I’m honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future. I look forward to building on our current momentum as we continue on our mission to position Cadillac at the pinnacle of luxury,” said Carlisle. We'll be updating this story if any new information comes out. UPDATE: Automotive News and Wards Auto have learned some possible reasons as to why de Nysschen was shown the door. One is Cadillac's slumping sales. In 2017, sales in the U.S. dropped eight percent - the second straight year of a sales decline. Sales are doing slightly better in 2018 - up 8.1 percent - some of this is due to incentives being placed on slow-selling models. Project Pinnacle which was de Nysschen's ambitious incentive plan that would divide dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier would have different requirements in terms of showroom and service, along with perks. One contentious point that irked a number of dealers was smaller dealers setting up a "virtual showroom" where buyers could order vehicles. These dealers would not be able to stock Cadillac vehicles. Since then, Project Pinnacle has undergone a number of changes. Wards Auto says de Nysschen didn't move fast enough to join the fast-growing trend of crossovers. Cadillac has introduced the XT4 at the New York Auto Show last month are there plans to launch a couple more in the coming years, but this is only going to widen the gap between Cadillac and competitors. Both outlets report there has been growing tension between de Nysschen and GM. Such examples include him proclaiming that "Cadillac would be the technical leader at GM in the future," partly due to the launch of SuperCruise. Apparently, de Nysschen forgot about the Chevrolet Bolt and Volt. There was also the comment he made about Apple's CarPlay saying it was “extremely clunky”. (Mr. de Nysschen, have you even used CUE?! -WM) Source: General Motors GM Names Steve Carlisle Senior VP and President, Cadillac Johan de Nysschen leaves GM to pursue other interests; Travis Hester becomes president and managing director, GM Canada DETROIT — General Motors today announced the appointment of Steve Carlisle as General Motors senior vice president and president, Cadillac, replacing Johan de Nysschen, who is leaving the company effective immediately. Travis Hester, currently vice president, Global Product Programs, is named president and managing director, GM Canada, replacing Carlisle. The transition will begin immediately. “We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann. “Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.” Carlisle was most recently president and managing director of GM Canada, where he led a resurgence of the GM Canada franchise. In 2017, GM was number one in automotive retail sales in Canada, with Buick, GMC and Cadillac achieving their best ever sales years. Carlisle also reestablished key relationships in Canada with retailers, employees and government officials. “The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and I’m honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future,” said Carlisle. “I look forward to building on our current momentum as we continue on our mission to position Cadillac at the pinnacle of luxury.” Carlisle will report to Dan Ammann. Carlisle began his GM career in 1982 as an industrial engineering co-op student at the Oshawa Truck Assembly Plant. Over the course of his career with General Motors, Carlisle has held several senior leadership positions that have taken him across the globe, including vice president, Global Product Planning (2010-2014); vice president, U.S. Sales Operations (2010); and president and managing director, Southeast Asia Operations (2007-2010). Hester brings extensive global leadership and global product development experience to his new role at GM Canada. Since 2016, he has led the team responsible for balancing all aspects of vehicle development, including quality, cost, appearance, purchasing, customer acceptance and performance targets. Hester will report to Alan Batey, president, GM North America. Hester began his GM career in 1995 in Australia as a technical support engineer for GM Holden. He held a variety of positions in Australia before moving to the U.S. in 2005. Since 2005, Hester has held engineering positions in both the U.S. and China, including chief engineer for several global premium luxury vehicles, the Buick Regal, Buick LaCrosse and the Chevrolet Sonic. Hester became vice president, Global Product Programs, in 2016. View full article
  5. Ahead of releasing this month's sales numbers, General Motors has announced that it will start reporting sales quarterly instead of monthly. “Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market. Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations in a statement this morning. GM cites many reasons for the change to quarterly reporting - weather, product launches, number of selling days, incentives, and seasonal factors. “It’s not that (GM) doesn’t want to talk about how many cars they are selling or if they’re having a bad month. They’re still going to report everything quarterly,” explained IHS Markit analyst Stephanie Brinley. “It changes the tone of the story, because with month-to-month results it is difficult to really get a good picture of the industry.” "I understand the reasons they are doing it. There can be a lot of fluctuation during a month," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst with Autotrader to Automotive News. Krebs went onto say that other automakers might consider following General Motors lead. She used the example of Chrysler which ended the practice of reporting sales-figures for 10 days in 1991. Other automakers would follow suit, but it took some time. GM didn't make the switch till 1994. "What happened was they decided to go monthly, and everybody did it. That would make me believe everybody is going to follow suit and follow GM's lead." But this move could bring forth some unattended consequences. Monthly sales numbers are used by many people and industries to help gauge the economy. It could also make estimates made by third-parties not fully reflect the automaker’s performance. “Right now, the market looks at whether someone comes in above or below forecasts. If GM’s sales are estimated monthly, those estimates could be really high and then the results come in lower when you look at quarterly sales. That could have unintended consequences.” But the inverse - GM posting higher sales numbers than what was estimated - is also true. One thing is certain, we just don't know how this is going to work out. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM to Begin Reporting U.S. Sales on a Quarterly Basis DETROIT – General Motors announced today it will begin reporting its U.S. vehicle sales on a quarterly basis, effective immediately. In 2018, second quarter sales will be released on July 3, third quarter sales on October 2 and fourth quarter sales on January 3, 2019. “Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing.” In the auto industry, monthly sales are subject to many issues that make them more volatile than quarterly sales, including product launch activity, weather, other seasonal factors, the number of selling days and incentive activity. GM’s high level of transparency on total, brand and nameplate sales, fleet mix and inventory will not change. The company will also continue sharing J.D. Power PIN estimates for incentive spending and average transaction prices. The company’s March 2018 U.S. sales will be released today at 9:30 a.m. EDT. View full article
  6. William Maley

    GM To Report Sales Quarterly, Not Monthly

    Ahead of releasing this month's sales numbers, General Motors has announced that it will start reporting sales quarterly instead of monthly. “Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market. Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations in a statement this morning. GM cites many reasons for the change to quarterly reporting - weather, product launches, number of selling days, incentives, and seasonal factors. “It’s not that (GM) doesn’t want to talk about how many cars they are selling or if they’re having a bad month. They’re still going to report everything quarterly,” explained IHS Markit analyst Stephanie Brinley. “It changes the tone of the story, because with month-to-month results it is difficult to really get a good picture of the industry.” "I understand the reasons they are doing it. There can be a lot of fluctuation during a month," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst with Autotrader to Automotive News. Krebs went onto say that other automakers might consider following General Motors lead. She used the example of Chrysler which ended the practice of reporting sales-figures for 10 days in 1991. Other automakers would follow suit, but it took some time. GM didn't make the switch till 1994. "What happened was they decided to go monthly, and everybody did it. That would make me believe everybody is going to follow suit and follow GM's lead." But this move could bring forth some unattended consequences. Monthly sales numbers are used by many people and industries to help gauge the economy. It could also make estimates made by third-parties not fully reflect the automaker’s performance. “Right now, the market looks at whether someone comes in above or below forecasts. If GM’s sales are estimated monthly, those estimates could be really high and then the results come in lower when you look at quarterly sales. That could have unintended consequences.” But the inverse - GM posting higher sales numbers than what was estimated - is also true. One thing is certain, we just don't know how this is going to work out. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM to Begin Reporting U.S. Sales on a Quarterly Basis DETROIT – General Motors announced today it will begin reporting its U.S. vehicle sales on a quarterly basis, effective immediately. In 2018, second quarter sales will be released on July 3, third quarter sales on October 2 and fourth quarter sales on January 3, 2019. “Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing.” In the auto industry, monthly sales are subject to many issues that make them more volatile than quarterly sales, including product launch activity, weather, other seasonal factors, the number of selling days and incentive activity. GM’s high level of transparency on total, brand and nameplate sales, fleet mix and inventory will not change. The company will also continue sharing J.D. Power PIN estimates for incentive spending and average transaction prices. The company’s March 2018 U.S. sales will be released today at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
  7. The Cadillac XT4 is an important model for the brand as it will give them a competitor in the lucrative compact luxury crossover class. It might also give one of GM's assembly plants some much needed good news. Bloomberg has learned from sources that General Motors has started producing test versions of the Cadillac XT4 at their Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City. This possibly hints that production of the XT4 could take place here. A GM spokesman declined to comment when asked about this. The Fairfax plant has been hit hard by the decline in sales for midsize sedans. Home to the Chevrolet Malibu, the plant has seen the third shift cut last year as Malibu sales dropped 18 percent. Source: Bloomberg
  8. The Cadillac XT4 is an important model for the brand as it will give them a competitor in the lucrative compact luxury crossover class. It might also give one of GM's assembly plants some much needed good news. Bloomberg has learned from sources that General Motors has started producing test versions of the Cadillac XT4 at their Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City. This possibly hints that production of the XT4 could take place here. A GM spokesman declined to comment when asked about this. The Fairfax plant has been hit hard by the decline in sales for midsize sedans. Home to the Chevrolet Malibu, the plant has seen the third shift cut last year as Malibu sales dropped 18 percent. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  9. When the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra begin rolling off the assembly line sometime later this year, there will be a larger number of crew cabs. GM's vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss tells Automotive News that the company has been "constrained' when it comes to the output of their crew cab pickups, a segment that has seen its popularity increase in recent years. Reuss said the company is planning to increase capacity for crew cabs with their next-generation pickups. A Chevrolet spokesman said that crew cabs have grown from more than 50 percent of GM's truck sales in 2013 to more than 60 percent. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  10. When the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra begin rolling off the assembly line sometime later this year, there will be a larger number of crew cabs. GM's vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss tells Automotive News that the company has been "constrained' when it comes to the output of their crew cab pickups, a segment that has seen its popularity increase in recent years. Reuss said the company is planning to increase capacity for crew cabs with their next-generation pickups. A Chevrolet spokesman said that crew cabs have grown from more than 50 percent of GM's truck sales in 2013 to more than 60 percent. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  11. Despite General Motors mostly leaving the European market with the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group earlier this year, the automaker isn't ruling out a full-scale return. During a recent meeting of the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company would "absolutely" consider a return to the European market, adding that "nothing keeps us from going back." But it will be some time before GM decides to go back. According to Barra, the company would need to build out a lineup of "transformative products" like electric or self-driving vehicles to make it worthwhile. General Motors does have a small presence in Europe with Cadillacs being sold by 45 dealers - most of them in Germany and Switzerland. The Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette are also sold in small numbers. Source: Motor1 View full article
  12. William Maley

    GM Could Make a Full-Scale Return to Europe

    Despite General Motors mostly leaving the European market with the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group earlier this year, the automaker isn't ruling out a full-scale return. During a recent meeting of the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company would "absolutely" consider a return to the European market, adding that "nothing keeps us from going back." But it will be some time before GM decides to go back. According to Barra, the company would need to build out a lineup of "transformative products" like electric or self-driving vehicles to make it worthwhile. General Motors does have a small presence in Europe with Cadillacs being sold by 45 dealers - most of them in Germany and Switzerland. The Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette are also sold in small numbers. Source: Motor1
  13. General Motors has announced plans of moving towards an electrified and self-driving future. But in the foreseeable future, the company's core business model of selling vehicles to drivers will not be going away. “The owner-driver model will be there for a very long time. So far we see (mobility) as additive, but we see it as having potential to grow and be quite substantial,” said GM CEO Mary Barra during a meeting of the Automotive Press Association. Most of GM's and other automaker's profits come from crossovers, pickup trucks, and SUVs. But GM is planning for a possible future where the automotive landscape is very different. Back in October, the automaker announced an ambitious plan of launching 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023 - two of those will launch within the next 18 months. The company is also planning to launch a driverless ride-sharing service in 2019. Source: The Detroit News View full article
  14. General Motors has announced plans of moving towards an electrified and self-driving future. But in the foreseeable future, the company's core business model of selling vehicles to drivers will not be going away. “The owner-driver model will be there for a very long time. So far we see (mobility) as additive, but we see it as having potential to grow and be quite substantial,” said GM CEO Mary Barra during a meeting of the Automotive Press Association. Most of GM's and other automaker's profits come from crossovers, pickup trucks, and SUVs. But GM is planning for a possible future where the automotive landscape is very different. Back in October, the automaker announced an ambitious plan of launching 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023 - two of those will launch within the next 18 months. The company is also planning to launch a driverless ride-sharing service in 2019. Source: The Detroit News
  15. General Motors had a field day when Ford switched from metal to aluminum for their truck beds. The company ran a series of ads showing how their metal beds could stand up to the rigors of a pickup truck's life compared to the Ford's. So it seems slightly ironic that GM is planning to use a lightweight material for their next-generation truck beds. The Wall Street Journal and Automotive News have learned from sources that GM is planning to use carbon fiber in their full-size pickup beds. According to one source, carbon fiber will be part of a mix of different materials, including aluminum. The move makes sense as stricter fuel economy regulations come into effect. Finding ways to cut down on weight is a good way to boost fuel economy. There is a big issue with carbon fiber, price. The material is very expensive to produce due to the long, labor-intensive process. The Journal reports that at first, the beds would be used on the premium versions of the trucks (High Country and Denali). It would trickle down to lower trims as "more efficient production processes" come online. The new beds are expected to debut within the next two years. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  16. General Motors had a field day when Ford switched from metal to aluminum for their truck beds. The company ran a series of ads showing how their metal beds could stand up to the rigors of a pickup truck's life compared to the Ford's. So it seems slightly ironic that GM is planning to use a lightweight material for their next-generation truck beds. The Wall Street Journal and Automotive News have learned from sources that GM is planning to use carbon fiber in their full-size pickup beds. According to one source, carbon fiber will be part of a mix of different materials, including aluminum. The move makes sense as stricter fuel economy regulations come into effect. Finding ways to cut down on weight is a good way to boost fuel economy. There is a big issue with carbon fiber, price. The material is very expensive to produce due to the long, labor-intensive process. The Journal reports that at first, the beds would be used on the premium versions of the trucks (High Country and Denali). It would trickle down to lower trims as "more efficient production processes" come online. The new beds are expected to debut within the next two years. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  17. General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke yesterday at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York. During her talk, Barra said the company expects to make a profit off electric vehicles once they launch their next-generation EV platform. “We are working to provide desirable, obtainable and profitable vehicles that deliver a range of over 300 miles. There’s a lot of really creative things we’re doing to achieve that profitability point for that new platform,” Barra said to investors. The next-generation modular platform, due in 2021 will play a pivotal role in GM's plan to launch 20 all-new electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. The platform will help drop the total per-unit cost by 30 percent or more. It will be used across a number of GM brands and various segments. GM is also working on a new battery system that will cut the per-kilowatt-hour from $145 to under $100 by 2021. Before these two launches, GM will be introducing four new EV and hydrogen vehicles. Two of those will be launch by April 2019 according to a GM spokesman. At least two vehicles will be small crossovers according to Automotive News. It is expected the electric models will use the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Bolt. The company has a set a goal of a million electric vehicles by 2026 - with most happening in China due to their strict production quotas for EVs. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  18. General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke yesterday at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York. During her talk, Barra said the company expects to make a profit off electric vehicles once they launch their next-generation EV platform. “We are working to provide desirable, obtainable and profitable vehicles that deliver a range of over 300 miles. There’s a lot of really creative things we’re doing to achieve that profitability point for that new platform,” Barra said to investors. The next-generation modular platform, due in 2021 will play a pivotal role in GM's plan to launch 20 all-new electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2023. The platform will help drop the total per-unit cost by 30 percent or more. It will be used across a number of GM brands and various segments. GM is also working on a new battery system that will cut the per-kilowatt-hour from $145 to under $100 by 2021. Before these two launches, GM will be introducing four new EV and hydrogen vehicles. Two of those will be launch by April 2019 according to a GM spokesman. At least two vehicles will be small crossovers according to Automotive News. It is expected the electric models will use the underpinnings of the Chevrolet Bolt. The company has a set a goal of a million electric vehicles by 2026 - with most happening in China due to their strict production quotas for EVs. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
  19. General Motors took a surprising step a few years ago when they introduced a Cruze with a diesel engine for the U.S. The model gets 46 MPG on the highway and is meeting the sales expectations the company has set. Well according to Steve Kiefer, GM’s vice president of global powertrain, there could be more diesel options coming to the U.S. “The Chevrolet Cruze diesel will be the first of many diesel-powered passenger cars General Motors will offer in the United States,” said Kiefer to an audience at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars. “We will continue to introduce more diesels as appropriate and as the market accepts them.” Kiefer said that diesels in cars and light trucks could grow up to ten percent by 2020. He also dropped a possible hint of what GM has in mind for their next diesel application. Automotive News reports that Kiefer said that torque, not horsepower will be the more important measure of performance in the coming years. Torque is key thing for pickup trucks as its a key part in performance figures for acceleration and hauling/towing heavy loads. We know that a four-cylinder turbodiesel is coming for the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and AN speculates it could be the light-duty trucks next. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  20. General Motors took a surprising step a few years ago when they introduced a Cruze with a diesel engine for the U.S. The model gets 46 MPG on the highway and is meeting the sales expectations the company has set. Well according to Steve Kiefer, GM’s vice president of global powertrain, there could be more diesel options coming to the U.S. “The Chevrolet Cruze diesel will be the first of many diesel-powered passenger cars General Motors will offer in the United States,” said Kiefer to an audience at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars. “We will continue to introduce more diesels as appropriate and as the market accepts them.” Kiefer said that diesels in cars and light trucks could grow up to ten percent by 2020. He also dropped a possible hint of what GM has in mind for their next diesel application. Automotive News reports that Kiefer said that torque, not horsepower will be the more important measure of performance in the coming years. Torque is key thing for pickup trucks as its a key part in performance figures for acceleration and hauling/towing heavy loads. We know that a four-cylinder turbodiesel is coming for the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and AN speculates it could be the light-duty trucks next. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  21. The news isn't getting any better at General Motors' CAMI plant where workers have been on strike for a month after the automaker and Canadian union Unifor were unable to reach an agreement. Already, the strike has caused GM to make adjustments and idle some of their plants in North America, and there are concerns about the shrinking stock of Chevrolet Equinoxes. But now the stakes have been raised. According to Reuters and Automotive News, General Motors issued a warning to leaders at Unifor that it will start winding down production of the Equinox at CAMI unless the strike is called off. Unifor leader Jerry Dias was told by GM officials that the automaker would begin ramping up Equinox production at the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plants if the strike was not called off. "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico. They have declared war on Canada," Diaz told Reuters. GM had no immediate comment on Dias' statement when reached by Reuters. According to a source at GM, the discussions between them and Unifor have been going nowhere and there is "a high degree of frustration." Because of this, GM is planning to study how quickly key suppliers for the Equinox could move their operations down to Mexico. No final decision on CAMI's fate has been decided according to the source, but the time frame for getting a deal done is narrowing. Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts. The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift. “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister. “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
  22. The news isn't getting any better at General Motors' CAMI plant where workers have been on strike for a month after the automaker and Canadian union Unifor were unable to reach an agreement. Already, the strike has caused GM to make adjustments and idle some of their plants in North America, and there are concerns about the shrinking stock of Chevrolet Equinoxes. But now the stakes have been raised. According to Reuters and Automotive News, General Motors issued a warning to leaders at Unifor that it will start winding down production of the Equinox at CAMI unless the strike is called off. Unifor leader Jerry Dias was told by GM officials that the automaker would begin ramping up Equinox production at the San Luis Potosi and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plants if the strike was not called off. "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico. They have declared war on Canada," Diaz told Reuters. GM had no immediate comment on Dias' statement when reached by Reuters. According to a source at GM, the discussions between them and Unifor have been going nowhere and there is "a high degree of frustration." Because of this, GM is planning to study how quickly key suppliers for the Equinox could move their operations down to Mexico. No final decision on CAMI's fate has been decided according to the source, but the time frame for getting a deal done is narrowing. Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts. The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift. “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister. “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.” Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  23. After a month-long strike and threat earlier this week, General Motors and Unifor Local 88 have reached an tentative agreement for workers at the CAMI assembly plant. Last night, Unifor Local 88 made the announcement via email to its workers. Details of the agreement are being kept under wraps until a ratification vote is held on Monday. If the agreement is approved, workers will return to the plant starting at 11 PM Monday night. "We have addressed job security which will be in this deal. I think it's a fair agreement ... and everybody is looking forward to going back to work and making vehicles their customers want, knowing there will be some sort of job security there," said Mike Van Boekel, the union's plant chair at CAMI to CBC News. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News
  24. After a month-long strike and threat earlier this week, General Motors and Unifor Local 88 have reached an tentative agreement for workers at the CAMI assembly plant. Last night, Unifor Local 88 made the announcement via email to its workers. Details of the agreement are being kept under wraps until a ratification vote is held on Monday. If the agreement is approved, workers will return to the plant starting at 11 PM Monday night. "We have addressed job security which will be in this deal. I think it's a fair agreement ... and everybody is looking forward to going back to work and making vehicles their customers want, knowing there will be some sort of job security there," said Mike Van Boekel, the union's plant chair at CAMI to CBC News. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), CBC News View full article
  25. General Motors has brought back a concept idea from their past for the modern era. This is SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) which takes the hydrogen skateboard platform from the GM Autonomy and Hy-Wire concepts from the early 2000s and supersizes it. The platform uses GM’s new Hydrotec fuel cell system that is comprised of a gen 2 fuel cell, storage tank that can provide a range of 400 miles, electric drive units, and a lithium-ion battery. This is placed onto a commercial truck chassis that will allow it handle various tasks and terrains such as military transport or a mobile medical unit in an area after a natural disaster. The platform also features autonomous tech. “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments. General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. GM will be showing off SURUS fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from October 9th to 11th. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Outlines Possibilities for Flexible, Autonomous Fuel Cell Electric Platform Washington, D.C. — General Motors aims to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. The company will display its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11, 2017. The commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use. SURUS leverages GM’s newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times. Fuel cell technology represents a key piece of General Motors’ zero emission strategy. It offers a solution that can scale to larger vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over longer distances. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis. The SURUS platform is equally well-suited for adaptation to military environments where users can take advantage of flexible energy resources, field configurability and improved logistical characteristics. GM is evaluating multiple applications for SURUS, such as: Utility trucks Mobile and emergency backup power generation Flexible cargo delivery systems Commercial freight Light- and medium-duty trucks, improving upon the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that has been evaluated by the U.S. military under guidance of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and is undergoing testing on bases Future military-specific configurations SURUS will deliver highly mobile autonomous capability and agility in unpredictable terrain. Operating multiple vehicles in a leader-follower configuration could reduce manpower needed. For future potential military uses, the system’s inherent low heat signature and quiet operation offer benefits in environments to reduce detection and risks. TARDEC has been in discussions with GM evaluating the commercial SURUS concept as a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications. “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. “General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers.” The SURUS platform leverages GM’s vast experience in fuel cell technology, high-voltage batteries and electric drive systems, autonomous driving and vehicle manufacturing. The platform boasts: Two advanced electric drive units Four-wheel steering Lithium-ion battery system Gen 2 fuel cell system Hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range Advanced propulsion power electronics GM truck chassis components An advanced, industry-leading suspension Hydrotec Technology The SURUS commercial platform draws on GM’s more than 50 years of research and development of fuel cell technology. The scalable and adaptable technology enables land, sea and air applications across commercial and military environments. Since April 2017, the Army has been testing the commercial Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 on its U.S. bases to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in military mission tactical environments. The vehicle has been operating in off-road conditions to evaluate its power generation, reduced odor, acoustic and thermal signatures, high wheel torque, extended operating range and the potential to use the byproduct water. Military testing has shown the ZH2 reduced acoustic non-detection distance by 90 percent compared to current military vehicle in operation. This means the ZH2 can get 10 times closer before being detected. Leaders also observed the potential advantages for stationary power generation over diesel generators, including a significant reduction in idle noise and fuel use. Testing will continue through spring 2018. Partnerships remain an important part of GM’s electrification strategy. Last year, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) for testing purposes that leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2.

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