Tag Archives: General Motors

Official: Honda reports $1.9 billion profit in first quarter despite sales lag at home

By Brandon Turkus

2013 Honda Civic badge

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Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have been living in a world of sunshine and buttercups after their April-through-June financials hit the newswire, and Toyota is doing pretty good as well. Honda? Not so much.

While Japan’s third-largest manufacturer saw $1.9 billion in profits, the 5.1-percent jump was lower than expected thanks to a drop in its home-market sales. US sales also took a sting, as Honda hasn’t been able to match the SUV and truck demand that are currently permeating the American market, despite an uptick in Accord sales.

Honda’s initial forecasts targeted a take of 209.3 billion yen ($2.1 billion at today’s rates), and while a $200 million shortfall is nothing to sniff at, we’d hardly take this as Honda being in trouble. And even with the dip, Honda hasn’t adjusted its forecast for the fiscal year, which remains at 780 billion yen ($7.9 billion).

Still, the cause of the problem for Honda isn’t one that’s easily solvable. Accord sales were strong, helping the brand move 745,578 vehicles during the first half of 2013, which is a six-percent improvement in year-over-year sales. Yet, Honda’s market share shrunk by 0.1 percent, and the Japanese manufacturer’s lack of competitive SUVs and pickups is worrying. In the short term, though, the arrival of the new Acura MDX in North American dealerships should deliver a small shot in the arm.

Honda’s home-market issues are also troubling, with Reuters reporting a 24-percent drop in sales, thanks to the discontinuation of government subsidies. All told, this isn’t the rosy outlook we’ve gotten used to since the latest batch of earnings came out.

Continue reading Honda reports $1.9 billion profit in first quarter despite sales lag at home

Honda reports $1.9 billion profit in first quarter despite sales lag at home originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Audi first to bring LTE to the car later this year

By Jonathon Ramsey

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It appears Audi will be the first to market with in-car LTE service later this year. We knew that BMW was working on LTE integration last year with its ConnectedDrive, and we’ve been told that, by the end of 2015, most General Motors products will have it, but LTE can be ordered on the S3 Sportback (pictured) as soon as July. Other models in the A3 line-up will add the option in November.

Inserting an LTE-enabled SIM card into the Audi’s MMI navigation will make the S3 a WLAN hotspot that can quickly shuffle high-definition content from the cloud to the cockpit. It will also bolster Audi Connect services like Google Earth, Facebook and Twitter, e-mail, and streaming internet radio.

We’ve been told that we’ll be offered the LTE option when the 2015 A3 sedan gets here in the spring of 2014. Since the service requires you to provide a SIM card, we expect that costs and data caps will be a matter between you and the service provider; speaking of which, Audi hasn’t announced yet who that provider will be on this side of the Atlantic. The press release below has more details.

Continue reading Audi first to bring LTE to the car later this year

Audi first to bring LTE to the car later this year originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford blamed in drug mule lawsuit

By Damon Lowney

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If a college student is caught smuggling drugs across the border, one might think the kid got what was coming to him. But when a Mexican student at the University of Texas in El Paso was caught by Border Patrol agents with duffel bags filled with marijuana in his trunk, the man used a classic excuse: He claimed they weren’t his.

While a claim like that is almost unbelievable, Ricardo Magallanes, the student, is now suing Ford for handling its vehicles’ key codes negligently enough to allow drug smugglers to break into his Ford Focus and stash the drugs, The Daily Caller reports. The twist here is that four other people who lived in Juarez and worked in El Paso were involved in the same type of scheme – allegedly unwittingly, just like Magallanes – and all the cars were Fords except one model from General Motors. FBI agents also found an employee at a Dallas Ford dealership that had accessed the key codes to all four of the cannabis-stuffed Fords.

While we all may not own Fords, the case still causes us slight paranoia. We’ll definitely be checking our trunks before we cross any more international borders.

Ford blamed in drug mule lawsuit originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi Cutting Distracting Apps from 4G LTE Service, Only Available for 2015 A3

By Clifford Atiyeh

Because Audi drivers are important, they need to access information immediately. As they’re riding your backside in the right lane, they’re checking stocks and grabbing Google searches with their fingers, all thanks to an embedded 3G data modem. Now that Audi is increasing data speeds for its vaunted MMI system by nearly tenfold, we can expect their drivers to exhibit even less patience.

In Europe, Audi has just launched the industry’s first in-car 4G LTE service on the 2014 S3 Sportback. By November, 4G LTE will be introduced across all European A3 models; we won’t see it until the 2015 A3 sedan launches next spring. Just like cell phones, the switch to 4G requires a hardware upgrade, which means it’ll trickle up the Audi lineup when each model receives its scheduled refresh. For the R8 and TT—the only two models on sale without Audi connect internet services—4G won’t roll out until they see a new generation.

The announcement comes months after General Motors said it would install 4G LTE connections in most 2015 models. While Audi expects to be first to market, GM is adding the feature on several models next year, not just one.

With speed comes the ability to multitask, and that means some of Audi’s most noteworthy features—the reading of emails and ability to dictate text messages—won’t be offered in the U.S. because of distraction concerns. Audi said it’s currently talking with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—our take on NHTSA’s distracted-driving guidelines can be found here—to decide which features it can offer without incurring the wrath of government regulators. That means you’ll have to stop first to read about your buddy’s late-night hookup and your aunt’s expert political opinions.



Currently, Audi offers unlimited 3G service through T-Mobile that’s free for the first six months and then $15 per month thereafter. Audi said it was negotiating among carriers (GM has selected AT&T) and would announce pricing closer to the L.A. auto show in November. We wouldn’t be surprised if the rates doubled to $30 per month, which is what most wireless carriers charge for a single smartphone.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: Next Chevy Spark coming in 2015, Sonic delayed

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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As the best-selling Chevrolet product in Europe and a surprising new hit here in the US, the Spark is proving to be quite an important global vehicle for General Motors. Even though the Spark just went on sale in the US last year, it has been on sale globally since 2009, and Automotive News Europe is reporting that the next-generation Spark is expected to debut during the first half of 2015. There is no information about the new Spark except for reports that it will continue to be built in South Korea.

This report also says that the redesign of the Sonic/Aveo has been delayed until after 2015. Again, there was no information as to the cause of the delay, but this means the third-gen Sonic and Aveo will likely debut sometime in 2016 – five years after the debut of the current model. This follows the recent report saying that the redesign of the Cruze has been delayed by almost a year, until the end of 2015, due to engineering changes.

Next Chevy Spark coming in 2015, Sonic delayed originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: GM execs fired over fraudulent India emissions testing

By Jonathon Ramsey

Chevy Tavera Neo3 - front three-quarter view

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General Motors hadn’t had a recall in India since 1995. That changed when it was discovered that certain employees were playing tricks with local emissions testing in order to ensure passing grades for engines. More than ten GM Powertrain employees in India and the US have been let go over the ensuing emissions flap, including Sam Winegarden, VP of global engine engineering, a man who has been with the company since 1969, leading development of some marquee powerplants.

According to Automotive News, an internal investigation revealed that employees “violated testing procedures,” sometimes swapping specially prepared low-emissions engines during testing regimes for the Chevrolet Tavera SUV equipped with the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter engines. Employees were also manipulating weights in order to get vehicles placed into different emissions categories. The discovery has led to GM recall the 114,000 Taveras produced over an eight-year period and halting their production and sale.

The Economic Times of India reports that the issue is due to “a faulty component.” GM has developed a solution to the issue, and once it is validated in testing and approved by the Indian authorities, the recalled vehicles will be fixed at dealers and production will resume.

GM execs fired over fraudulent India emissions testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Toyota reaffirms commitment to body-on-frame SUVs

By Brandon Turkus

2014 Toyota 4Runner front three-quarter

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Toyota sold 121,055 Highlander CUVs in 2012, according to Automotive News. By comparison, it sold 78,457 examples of four different body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs (4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Sequoia and Land Cruiser). One could argue then, that the traditional SUVs aren’t pulling their weight from a sales perspective. Yet that isn’t stopping Toyota from reaffirming its commitment to a segment that has seen its former champions – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler – abandon it with alarming speed. Ford and GM still offer body-on frame utilities, but only in the very largest offerings, catering to seven or even eight passengers. Everything outside of the Expedition or Tahoe rides now on a unibody.

Toyota’s decision to stick with the technology is good news if you’re in the market for smaller SUVs that are still capable of heading well off the beaten path. Outside of the Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee (a unibody) and perhaps Nissan Xterra, there’s not much in terms of capable SUVs between $20,000 and $50,000. As the Toyota brand’s US head, Bill Fay, says, “Clearly, the trend has shifted, but there is still an owner base that is interested in these vehicles.”

We don’t doubt Fay on that, but it may also be somewhat telling that Toyota’s SUV lineup is aging, and we haven’t seen or heard much about replacement models in the pipeline. Admittedly, the 4Runner (pictured) has been facelifted for 2014, but it’s mostly cosmetic in nature. Despite Toyota’s posturing, we still expect its body-on-frame lineup to thin in the coming years as sales dwindle and escalating fuel-economy standards make business cases even tougher. Here’s hoping that Toyota manages to keep at least one rough-and-tumble SUV in its lineup in the coming years.

Toyota reaffirms commitment to body-on-frame SUVs originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Review: 2014 GMC Sierra [w/video]

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 GMC Sierra

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Big And Boxy Might Be Best

As immense fans of the Back to the Future trilogy, we sometimes like to envision an alternate timeline in which General Motors had killed off GMC and kept Pontiac instead. The G8 GXP would still be on the road handily beating German sport sedans costing twice as much, while the lowly G3 would morph into a true subcompact-killer based on what is now the Chevrolet Sonic RS. While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and imagine the G6 has become the best-selling car in the US and the Torrent crossover is selling 20,000+ units per month. Far-fetched, we know.

The thing is, these fanciful statements would have to be true to make the case against keeping GMC. Pontiac may have offered more excitement than GMC, but money talks, and a full line of trucks, crossovers and SUVs have made a lot more money for GM than the arrowhead brand ever did. How much? As we learned last month, about two-thirds of GM’s global profits came from its fullsize trucks, and GMC’s trucks typically have thicker margins than their Chevrolet counterparts.

So rather than reviewing the latest Pontiac G8 ST, here we are driving the new 2014 GMC Sierra 1500. During our first drives of both the 2014 Chevy Silverado and 2014 Sierra, it was immediately clear that these trucks are the best they’ve ever been in their 54-year histories, but to see how GM’s new trucks stack up against the likes of the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan, we were looking forward to spending a whole week with a fully loaded Sierra SLT Z71 for this review. Sadly, our time with the Sierra was cut short as it had an unexpected date with a flatbed and a trip to the dealership.

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2014 GMC Sierra [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 11:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevrolet Corvette Timeline: Milestones and More from C1 through C7

By Andrew Wendler

Chevrolet Corvette Timeline: Milestones and More from C1 through C7

Over its 60-odd-year run, the Corvette has largely stuck to its original objective of providing homegrown performance wrapped in a stylish, two-seat package. Its journey has at times been an uncertain one, but now in its seventh generation, it’s safe to say the hits have outnumber the misses. Here’s our look at the Corvette story from conception to 2014 C7.

C1 1953–1962

1951: Harley Earl, GM’s chief designer, drives the Le Sabre concept car to Watkins Glen, where he falls in love with the Jaguar XK120. The wheels begin to turn.

1953: Chevrolet reveals the Corvette dream car on January 17, 1953, at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, as part of the kickoff to that year’s GM Motorama. Named after small, highly maneuverable naval escort ship, the show car is also known as the EX-122.

On June 30 of the same year, the first production 1953 Corvette rolls off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan. Production is capped at 300 units, all in the now iconic Polo White/Sportsman Red exterior/interior color scheme and powered by the 150-hp, three-carb “Blue Flame” inline-six and a two-speed Powerglide transmission. The only options are a heater and an AM radio.

1954: Corvette production begins at GM’s St. Louis, Missouri, facility on January 1. Chevrolet expands the exterior color choices to include Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red, and Black. Beige is added as an interior option. The straight-six engine gets bumped to 155 hp. Just 3640 Corvettes are produced by year’s end.

1955: The small block Chevy V-8 makes its first appearance between a Corvette’s fiberglass fenders, and a three-speed manual appears as an option. The year closes with the six-cylinder bidding adieu. Production totals 700 units.

1956: Factory-installed removable hardtops are offered for the first time, and the exterior gets exposed headlamps, sculpted side coves, and roll-up windows. Seatbelts make the scene as a dealer-installed option, and one-hundred and eleven buyers drop $188.30 on a high-lift cam (order code: RPO #449). Head Corvette engineer (and future legend) Zora Arkus-Duntov tells the brass to go racing, but his pleas for a racing program fall on deaf corporate ears. Two four-barrel carbs enhance the 265-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) V-8, and our own Karl Ludvigsen (back when we were known as Sports Cars Illustrated) deems the ’56 credible: “Without qualification, General Motors is now building a sports car.”

<img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-117839" title="1958 Chevrolet Corvette" src="http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/1958-Chevrolet-Corvette-0031-220×134.jpg" alt="1958 Chevrolet Corvette" width="220" …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Official: 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year long list released

By Chris Paukert

North American Car of the Year crystal award

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Is it that time of the year again already? The 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year award “long list” has just been revealed, with 29 nominees sliding into the car category and 19 up for consideration in the truck/utility space. As ever, both NACTOY lists serve to illustrate the ever-widening scope of product that our industry has to offer. Tiny electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Spark EV and luxury bruisers like the new Maserati Ghibli bookend the car list, and the truck/utility nominees continue to illustrate the growing popularity of crossovers.

Last year, the Cadillac ATS claimed the car award (the Ram 1500 took home the truck category), and this year, General Motors has a healthy crop of nominees, including two from Cadillac (CTS, ELR) and four from Chevrolet (Corvette, Impala, Spark EV, SS). On the other side of the fence, the Buick Encore and Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins are also vying for the coveted cut crystal. Kia and Mercedes-Benz also have a lot of vehicles up for consideration. The Korean brand is represented by the Cadenza, Forte, Soul, and Quoris on the car side, and the Sorento on the truck/utility front, while Daimler will see its B-Class, CLA-Class, E-Class and S-Class models in the mix.

As ever, the long list gets its name because it serves as broad brushstroke roundup of new or substantially updated vehicles released in time for consideration. Given the fluid nature of new vehicle releases, the long list shows which vehicles are eligible for consideration – some of them may not have been seen or driven by the NACTOY’s 50-strong juror pool yet. Select vehicles may thus fall off the list if they do not become available for judging in a timely fashion, while other vehicles not shown on the list may be still be added at this stage. Later this fall, after jurors have driven the vehicles, a first round of voting will be held, and the resulting “short list” of a dozen or so vehicles will trigger further assessment followed by another vote that will result in three finalists for each category. A final round of voting will commence, and the winners will be announced at January’s Detroit Auto Show.

Check out both lists of nominees by scrolling below, then have your say on who you think should win in Comments.

*Full Disclosure: Author is a NACTOY jury member.

Continue reading 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year long list released

2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year long list released originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Nissan design to show more Chinese influence

By Brandon Turkus

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Nissan is going to be leveraging the weight of the Chinese market by selling cars influenced by the People’s Republic in other markets around the globe. The influence of Chinese design is further proof of the country’s importance on a global scale. Nissan isn’t the only manufacturer that’s looking to leverage China’s burgeoning design talent, as BMW, Volkswagen, and General Motors have all set up facilities.

In fact, VW and GM have both used Chinese talent to design cars, in the Passat and Buick LaCrosse, respectively. Nissan has already tested the waters with its Beijing studios, penning the Friend-Me Concept from this year’s Shanghai Auto Show. Where GM and VW used their Shanghai-based studios as more consultancies than anything else, though, Nissan is aiming to have the Beijing studio design a global car.

According to Nissan’s global design head, Shiro Nakamura, that’s already happening. Nakamura told Reuters that Nissan is two years from launching a Chinese-designed global model that will see sales in both North America and Europe, in addition to its home market. While Nakamura wouldn’t elaborate on what the new model’s styling would entail, there’s a focus on what the Chinese call daqi.

A difficult to describe and translate word, daqi is what Chinese customers look for in their cars. Whether daqi translates to global markets remains to be seen, though. We’re cautiously optimistic, based on what we’ve seen over the years. The looks are more advanced, more dramatic and are rapidly leaving behind the photocopier designs which typified much of the country’s early design efforts.

If you’re still nervous about a Chinese-designed car, just know this – the design Nissan chose beat out competitors from London, San Diego, and Nissan’s home studio outside of Tokyo. That has us looking forward to what comes out of the People’s Republic.

Nissan design to show more Chinese influence originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Tesla buys test track adjacent to its factory

By Jonathon Ramsey

Tesla executives - including Elon Musk - walk away from newly purchased NUMMI plant with Roadster in foreground

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Two months ago, Tesla hired Chris Porritt to be the vice president of its vehicle engineering program. Tesla’s purchase last week of a 35-acre parcel abutting its factory in Fremont, California will give Porritt, formerly the boss of Aston Martin’s Vehicle Engineering team (he’s the father of the One-77 supercar), at least a portion of a test track where he can challenge and hone the EVs of the future.

The land was part of a parcel of more than 160 acres that had been owned by the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., the former joint venture factory built by General Motors and Toyota. When NUMMI (shown above) closed, the land was bought by Union Pacific Railroad, which sold the lot to Tesla.

While Tesla hasn’t laid out its plans, we’re guessing they’ll eventually expand the track as the factory footprint grows; CEO Elon Musk has said Model S production could equal 800 cars per week by the end of next year. As for Porritt, from his new base in Fremont and with that new test track, he’ll oversee further development of the Model S and the birth of the Model X, Roadster successor and the “affordable Tesla” due by 2017.

Tesla buys test track adjacent to its factory originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV [w/video]

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

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Side Effects May Include Grinning and Tire Chirping

For anyone who has yet to experience the joys of indoor go-karting, you’re missing out. Electric karts race around the inside of former big-box retail establishments, warehouses and the like delivering more excitement than you typically get from those rickety old concession karts powered by lawnmower engines. Since we can’t afford anything wearing a Tesla badge, these usually come to mind when someone mentions an electric vehicle that’s fun. After driving the 2014 Chevrolet Spark, though, our mental association might just be out of date.

Thanks to their instant torque, an EV being a hoot to drive shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, but Chevy’s all-new Spark EV is making its bid to rise to the top of this growing class, a field that includes the Fiat 500e, Mitsubishi i-Miev, Nissan Leaf, Scion iQ EV and Smart Fortwo ED, and it’s doing so with more torque, better efficiency and a lower price. With a name like “Spark,” it would be easy to assume that this small car was conceived with an EV model in mind from the beginning, but that’s not the case.

Even entering its third generation in 2009 (the first two weren’t sold in North America), General Motors admitted that the Spark was not designed with an EV drivetrain in mind. Just four years later, though, the Spark EV is hitting America’s roads – in California and Oregon – so we headed to scenic Portland, OR to check out Chevy’s new battery electric vehicle (BEV) and the first EV for General Motors since the controversial EV1.

Continue reading 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV [w/video]

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Should The City of Detroit Get A Federal Bailout?

By Micheline Maynard, Contributor

When auto sales took a nose dive in 2008, Detroit auto companies first tried to get help from Congress. When that failed, the Bush administration provided a bridge until the Obama administration crafted a restructuring plan that included bankruptcy and financing for General Motors and Chrysler. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

GM reportedly recalling select 2014 Silverado, Sierra pickups over airbag issue

By Brandon Turkus

2014 Chevy Silverado front three-quarter

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General Motors is recalling 843 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Crew Cab pickups, due to a fault with the vehicle’s airbags. According to GM, the airbags may not inflate properly in the event of a crash. There haven’t been any crashes or injuries associated with this recall, which is always good. Naturally, repairs will be free of charge, and GM will begin contacting affected owners soon.

GM has a lot hanging on the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Not only is it banking over $12,000 per vehicle on these trucks, as reported by Automotive News, but GM is counting on the Sierra and Silverado to take the fight to cross-town rivals Ford and Ram. The F-150 and Ram 1500 have been on a tear over the past few years, with fresh updates, advanced powertrains, and plenty of solid press while the GM trucks have been waiting for the 2014-model-year upgrades.

It’s still entirely too early to judge the Sierra and Silverado, particularly as those 843 recalled trucks make up barely two percent of the over 40,000 units moved so far. But, as AN rightly states, these trucks are the most important vehicles to come out of GM since bankruptcy, with about 60 percent of global profits relating to pickups and SUVs. Starting an introduction of such a big product with a recall, however small, is not the preferred way to do things.

GM reportedly recalling select 2014 Silverado, Sierra pickups over airbag issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jul 2013 15:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Detroit Bailout Draws Little Enthusiasm From President Barack Obama, Federal Government

By The Huffington Post News Editors

WASHINGTON — During the bleakest days of the Great Recession, Congress agreed in bipartisan votes to bail out two of Detroit’s biggest businesses, General Motors and Chrysler.

Today, however, there seems little appetite from either Democrats or Republicans in Washington for a federal rescue of the birthplace of the automobile industry. Detroit now stands as the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy protection.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

Next-Gen Ford Mustang Reportedly to Launch as 2014.5 50th Anniversary Model

By John Lamm

New-car launches are a months-long rollout of new product these days. Fifty years ago, new cars were introduced in the fall and that was just about the end of it. So, 50 years ago, it was unusual when Ford debuted something called a Mustang in the spring, and called it a 1964.5 model. And, now, 50 years later—or just about—we find ourselves counting down the months to what we believe will be an early-2014 debut of the next-gen Mustang. And in these waiting months there has been a slow-but-steady leak of information. Mustangs Daily now reports that the new Stang will, indeed, be launched as a 2014.5, or at least the first 1000 examples, which also reportedly will be 50th Anniversary editions, will be.

The new Mustang will make use of the S550-designated platform and the long-promised independent rear suspension. The report says that these special editions will make use of a 450-hp 5.0-liter V-8. We assume—and we suspect we won’t be making asses out of anyone with such an assumption—that a hypothetical 50th Anniversary Mustang will come complete with requisite unique dash plaques and VIN numbers.



Producing a 2014.5 Mustang would be awfully fitting for Ford. Not only does the Blue Oval brand have a rich history that it’s never been shy about highlighting, but the Mustang has been the staple in the pony-car business while General Motors and Chrysler have come and gone as they pleased.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: GM planning to put its fullsize pickups on a big diet, too

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 GMC Sierra pickup - silver - front three-quarter view with mountains

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General Motors is just coming off a complete redesign of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for 2014, but in the US fullsize truck market, there is no rest for the weary. According to Reuters, plans are already unfurling for both trucks to drop pounds from their curb weight over the next few years, but this will unlikely be able to keep pace with the 700-pound diet targeted for the next-generation Ford F-150, a truck expected to debut late next year.

The biggest weight reduction for these trucks might not be available until the next full redesign, which will likely happen around 2019, but the article says that smaller updates could shave pounds in the meantime. Two examples given include an “aluminum-intensive” version of the Silverado that could shed 250 pounds and debut around the same time as the lighter-weight, aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford, and there is also talk of reducing weight for driveline components such as axles and driveshafts. These changes are all part of an attempt to meet strict new fuel economy standards coming in 2017, targets which will get even tougher in 2025.

GM planning to put its fullsize pickups on a big diet, too originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Detroit pins hopes to bankruptcy as Motor City sags

By Brandon Turkus

Detroit from the air

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Detroit. The Motor City. Motown. Hitsville, USA. Hockeytown. The largest municipality ever to file for bankruptcy in US history. You can add that last one to Detroit’s many titles, as Republican Governor Rick Snyder authorized emergency manager Kevyn Orr to file a petition for bankruptcy yesterday.

Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy bid is likely to be very bad news for city employees, retirees and their families, but what does it mean for the auto industry? Automotive News spoke with Wall Street financial guru Steven Rattner, the same man that acted as President Barack Obama’s so-called auto czar, ushering General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcies of their own, to see what parallels there will be between the two situations.

According to Rattner, bankruptcy for the city was inevitable, just like it was for GM and Chrysler. “It’s analogous to the auto companies, in that you have too many stakeholders whose claims are too underwater to realistically ever worked this out with some kind of bankruptcy,” Rattner told AN. But, Rattner cautions, “This will be much messier.” The auto bankruptcies took a brief six weeks, while the city’s case will likely last at least a few months, if not a year or more.

While the automaker presence in the city isn’t what it once was, GM still employs roughly 3,000 people at its Renaissance Center headquarters, right in the heart of downtown. Chrysler’s Detroit workforce is mainly blue collar, at the Jefferson North factory, which builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. Ford, the only automaker not to go through bankruptcy, has limited its presence within Detroit city limits.

In a statement, GM said its “is proud to call Detroit home and today’s bankruptcy declaration is a day that we and others hoped would not come. We believe, however, that today also can mark a clean start for the city.” Ford shared a similar sentiment, with a release stating “The city has a difficult job ahead, and we are optimistic that governmental leaders will be successful in strengthening the community.” Chrysler, meanwhile, reiterated its commitment to the city, “We not only continue to invest in the city and its residents by adding to our presence in Detroit, we also are committed to playing a positive role in its revitalization.”

Detroit pins hopes to bankruptcy as Motor City sags originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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