Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Chevrolet’ Category

Waymo Buying “Thousands” of Chrysler Minivans for New Driverless Ride-Hailing Service

Project will target “multiple U.S. cities.”

by on Jan.30, 2018

Waymo has been testing its ride-sharing program in Phoenix but plans to launch in other markets as it goes fully driverless.

Waymo plans to buy “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to be used as Google’s autonomous vehicle spin-off sets up a driverless ride-hailing service in “multiple U.S. cities,” Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Tuesday.

The announcement marks a significant step forward for both companies. While considered a leader in the field, it had not been clear how Waymo was planning to commercialize its development of self-driving vehicle technology. For its part, FCA has been reluctant to invest in autonomous vehicle research but could now make a big leap by expanding its nascent alliance with Waymo.

Tech News!

“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”


2 Fed Safety Teams Head to California Tesla Crash Probe

Was drive using Autopilot when Model S crashed into fire truck?

by on Jan.25, 2018

An LA TV station caught the aftermath of a crash involving a Tesla Model S and a firetruck.

Two separate teams of federal safety investigators have been dispatched to California to examine what happened when a Tesla Model S crashed into a firetruck on a suburban Los Angeles freeway on Monday, the agencies aiming to find out if the incident happened while the battery sedan was operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

This marks the second time both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have examined a Tesla crash to see if the maker’s self-driving technology may have malfunctioned.

News Now!

In the first case, 40-year-old Joshua Brown was killed in a Florida crash in May 2009 when his Model S failed to stop when a semi-truck turned in front of it. The former Navy SEAL was ruled at least partially at fault for failing to take evasive action, but the NTSB also determined that flaws in the design of the Tesla Autopilot system contributed to the crash.


GM Sued After Accident with Autonomous Chevy Bolt

Motorcyclist blamed for minor collision with the Bolt.

by on Jan.25, 2018

GM is being sued after an autonomous Chevy Bolt was involved in an accident with a motorcycle in San Francisco.

General Motors Co. is facing a lawsuit by a motorcyclist, who says he was hit by a Chevrolet Bolt, which was operating in autonomous mode with a backup driver behind the steering wheel.

The motorcyclist claims the Chevrolet Bolt operated by Cruise, GM’s self-driving car subsidiary, “suddenly veered back into motorcycle’s lane, knocking the bike to the ground.”

News Now!

The accident happened on Dec. 7, in heavy traffic in the Hayes Valley district of San Francisco, with the GM vehicle reportedly travelling at 12 mph and the motorcycle 17 mph. The accident report filed after the accident contradicts the claim made in the lawsuit. (more…)

More Americans Willing to Trust Self-Driving Vehicles, Finds AAA Study

But “deep divides” still exist.

by on Jan.24, 2018

General Motors petitioned NHTSA to begin testing as many as 2,500 autonomous Chevy Bolts annually on public roads.

Waymo, Uber and Lyft have all begun testing autonomous ride-sharing vehicles and the Google spinoff plans to field a small number of completely driverless models this year. General Motors, meanwhile, plans to start building a version of its Chevrolet Bolt EV, sans steering wheel and pedals, next year that could be used by Maven, its own sharing service.

While the development of self-driving technology is moving faster than many proponents predicted just a few years ago, the auto and ride-sharing industries face several potential roadblocks, including state and federal restrictions as well as the uncertainty of how consumers will respond. But a new survey by AAA released Wednesday finds that Americans are rapidly becoming more comfortable with the ideas of not only taking their hands off the wheel, but also having no wheel in the car at all.

Stay Plugged In!

“Americans are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles,” said AAA Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations Director Greg Brannon. “Compared to just a year ago, AAA found that 20 million more U.S. drivers would trust a self-driving vehicle to take them for a ride.” (more…)

FCA Arguing About Viability of Midsize Pickup

Ford joins GM, Toyota and Nissan in booming segment.

by on Jan.19, 2018

CEO Sergio Marchionne said there has been a lot of pushback on the idea of building a midsize pickup truck.

Executives inside what is now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. have been arguing about building a midsize pickup truck for nearly a decade, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told the media this week during a meeting at the North American International Auto Show.

Marchionne told reporters that FCA had not made any decisions on a future midsize pickup even as Ford Motor Co. revealed its new Ford Ranger during the press previews for the NAIAS.

News Now!

“We’re still studying it,” said Marchionne, who acknowledge that the midsize segment where the new Ranger will compete with the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have has come alive in the last couple of years.  (more…)

General Motors Expecting Big Profits for 2018

Company expects stable results in North America and China.

by on Jan.16, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra said she believes that all of the fundamentals that brought profits to GM in 2017 are in place to repeat in 2018.

General Motors Co. expects strong earnings in 2018, as it builds on an expected record 2017 diluted-adjusted EPS as well as previous record earnings in 2016 and 2015.

GM’s bullish forecast comes on the heels of a bullish prediction for 2018 from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. Chief Sergio Marchionne, who told reporters at the Detroit Auto Show that he expected upward of $9 billion in operating profits from FCA for the full-year even as it falls short of the sales targets laid out in four-year plan set out 2014 when it predicted sales of 7 million units.

News You Can Trust!

The company’s “product cadence” will help FCA offset any potential weakening in the economic outlook, added Marchionne, who noted the company was bringing out a new version of the Jeep Cherokee and brand-new Jeep Wrangler as well as the new Ram 1500 pickup truck. (more…)

Can 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Topple Ford’s King-of-the-Hill F-Series?

Chevy’s complete makeover brings eight distinct models, new powertrains, including high-mileage diesel.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Design Director Mike Simcoe reveals how the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado went from design sketch to design masterpiece.

While SUVs have garnered most of the spotlight, pickups have been building momentum at a frantic pace over the last several years and, barring a complete economic meltdown or a surge past $4 a gallon for gas, few expect to see demand for those tough trucks taper off anytime soon.

So, General Motors’ timing could be particularly fortuitous as it prepares to roll out complete makeovers of its full-size pickup line-up. The process begins with the unveiling of the all-new, 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at this week’s North American International Auto Show – and will continue when the Silverado HD and GMC Sierra pickups make their debut later this year.

Auto Show News!

“These are arguably the most important products in the Chevrolet portfolio,” said Global Chevrolet chief Alan Batey, as the new Silverado rolled onto the stage in front of a packed crowd at Detroit’s Eastern Market Saturday night. (more…)

Ranger Reborn: Ford Back in the Midsize Pickup Game

Ford aims to share in the segment’s unexpected revival.

by on Jan.14, 2018

After a six-year hiatus, Ford brought back the Ranger, this time as a midsize pickup.

Its been six years since Ford shuttered its ancient Twin Cities plant in Minnesota, walking away from what seemed to be, back then, a dying market segment.

But the Detroit automaker failed to reckon on what might happen when new product would be injected into the midsize category, General Motors scoring a hit with the likes of its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and Honda hitting the ball out of the park by bringing back its own Ridgeline model.

News Now!

Ironically, Ford actually launched a new Ranger – but it was intended for just about every market except for North America, the company’s planners convinced they could get potential midsize buyers to make the walk up-market to the bigger F-150. But as it watched its competition rapidly rebuild the old midsize pickup segment – sales growing a hefty 83% since 2014 – Ford realized it needed to get back in the game. (more…)

China Posts Meager Auto Sales Gain in 2017

Sport-ute led the way to small 1.4% increase last year.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Auto sales in China increased marginally for 2017, but they were led by sport-utilites.

China’s auto sales stalled in December and ended 2017 up a meager 1.4% compared with a year ago results as the popularity of SUVs helped to offset falling demand for sedans, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

With global car makers such as General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Nissan all reporting solid, but not spectacular, gains during 2017, smaller local brands common to almost every province and international brands such Ford and Hyundai, appeared to suffer the most for the slowdown, which was due in part to the end of special tax credits.

Global Auto News!

The growth rate was barely one-tenth the previous year’s 15% rate, which was boosted by a temporary tax cut. (more…)

Chevrolet Getting Back into Heavy Duty Truck Segment

Heavy duty trucks often bring heavy duty profits.

by on Jan.09, 2018

Chevrolet is getting back in to the big truck game with all new 4500HD and 5500HD models for 2019.

The ongoing truck battle between Ford and Chevy is heating up again as Chevrolet confirmed today it’s getting back into the Class 4 and 5 segments with new models for the 2019 model year after a decade-long absence.

The maker released a teaser shot that implies an aggressive looking front end, but not much else. The company plans to unveil the new models at the The Work Truck Show 2018 in Indianapolis in early March. The show is the largest fleet operator-focused truck show in the country.

Truck News!

“The Silverado 4500HD/5500HD trucks are the flagship of our full-line commercial truck portfolio and we’ve designed them to be among the best in the industry in maneuverability, serviceability, visibility, quietness and comfort, diesel fuel economy and more,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, General Motors Fleet. (more…)