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Caddy Chief “Highly Optimistic,” Despite Struggles in U.S.

De Nysschen counting on new crossovers to help reshape the brand.

by on Jan.17, 2018

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has had to reshape his product plans to favor SUVs.

Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen is proving himself to be a “glass full” kind of guy. Despite ongoing struggles in the U.S., he is optimistic General Motors’ luxury brand’s revival is “proceeding according to plan.”

Of course, it helps to know that Caddy is rapidly gaining ground in China, the world’s largest market – which also happens to be generating more sales than the U.S. these days. There’s also the fact that the new XT4, a critically needed new SUV will be in dealer showrooms late this year, with another new product set to roll out every six months through at least the end of 2020.

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“At the conclusion of this first phase of the plan, Cadillac will be armed for the first time with a family of premium crossover vehicles, positioning us well to exploit market preferences,” de Nysschen said during a presentation to the Automotive News World Congress.

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Cadillac Takes Aim at New Record

Division chief says there is still work to be done.

by on Jan.16, 2018

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the luxury division is enjoying strong sales, but still has work to do.

Cadillac expects to set another global sales record in 2018 thanks to the strength of strong sales in China where the brands sales of surpassed more than 200,000 units in just four years.

Johan de Nysschen, General Motors executive vice president and Cadillac Global president, spread that bit of good news during an appearance at the Automotive News World Congress today; however, he added that Cadillac’s transformation is still very much a work in progress.

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U.S. sales dropped last year and Cadillac is still grappling with cultural issues, particularly with its dealer organization in the United States, which has long depended on deals to help move the metal, he acknowledged. Cadillac will continue to face challenges in the U.S. again this year. (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.

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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…)

GM CEO Barra Wants to Turn a Profit – Soon – on Electric Vehicles

New platform, high volume and cheaper batteries are key.

by on Jan.15, 2018

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently signed off on a plan to expand the company's portfolio of electric vehicles.

While there are only a handful of long-range electric vehicles on the market right now, you can expect to see as many as two dozen or more in U.S. showrooms by the end of the decade, and several times as many five years from now.

Virtually every major automaker has promised to “electrify” its line-up, and companies like General Motors, Toyota and Daimler AG plan to put a premium on pure battery-electric models. While that may be great news for green-minded auto buyers, there’s a serious flaw in the equation for auto manufacturers, says Woong-chul Yang, the head of R&D for both Hyundai and its sibling brand Kia.

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“Whenever we sell eco-friendly vehicles we all lose money,” the South Korean executive told TheDetroitBureau.com after presiding over the rollout of the new Kia Niro EV at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. “Even battery vendors are losing money.” (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.

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

GM Asks Feds to OK 2019 Launch of Driverless Robo-Cabs

Automaker aims to put as many as 2,500 on the road annually during test program.

by on Jan.12, 2018

GM will use an updated version of this Chevrolet Bolt EV - sans steering wheel and pedals - for the robo-cab test program.

General Motors wants permission from federal regulators to begin testing driverless robo-cabs on public roads, starting in 2019, a move that could position the Detroit automaker as one of the leaders in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Company officials said they would roll out as many as 25 vehicles annually under the pilot project, if given approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM ultimately hopes to provide the vehicles to ride-sharing services such as Lyft – in which it is a major investor – as well as its own service, Maven.

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Unlike the autonomous prototypes GM and many competitors are currently testing, the vehicles would be completely driverless and not even be equipped with pedals or a steering wheel. That is something the automaker’s President Dan Ammann called “a major milestone, adding that, “this technology will have a huge impact on the world.”

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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.

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“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…)

Buh-Bye Camry; Pickups, SUVs Now Own Top Sales Spots

Toyota's mainstay sedan didn't even crack the Top 5.

by on Jan.05, 2018

Despite giving the Camry a stylish makeover the sedan continued to lose momentum last year.

If anyone still questions the way light trucks have come to dominate the U.S. automotive market you only need look at the 2017 sales charts to see how passenger cars are on virtual life support these days.

Perhaps the most significant development finds that the Toyota RAV4 last year outsold the Camry for the first time ever. And so did the Nissan Rogue.

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The overall numbers for 2017 weren’t good, the U.S. market posting its first decline since the end of the Great Recession. And demand likely would have dipped more than the modest 5% if it weren’t for the strong, late-year surge as motorists in Florida and Texas raced to replace vehicles destroyed during the summer’s devastating hurricanes.

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GM Sales Top 4M in China for First Time

China totals more than 1M more than U.S.

by on Jan.04, 2018

GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien said the automaker set a new sales record in China.

General Motors and its joint ventures sold more than 4 million vehicles in China last year, marking the first time its topped that mark, the automaker said. The total accounts for more than half of the company’s global sales.

GM’s retail sales in China totaled 4,040,789 units, up 4.4% from the previous high in 2016. China was GM’s largest retail market for the sixth consecutive year. In contrast, GM sold barely more than 3 million vehicles in the United States.

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GM Canada sold 302,826 vehicles in 2017, up 13.3% over the previous year. Other regions haven’t reported but the company pulled out of the European market in last summer by selling its stake its stake in Opel and Vauxhall to PSA. (more…)

General Motors Catches Break in New Ignition Ruling

Judge says expert testimony cannot be used.

by on Dec.28, 2017

GM caught a break in a new ruling about litigation related to its faulty ignition switches.

General Motors Co. may have just gotten a significant break related to private lawsuits filed about its faulty ignition switches on thousands of its small vehicles courtesy of a new ruling from the district court judge handling the lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan said the plaintiffs in two bellwether cases, according to Reuters, where airbags deployed may not use expert testimony corroborating a theory how the defective switches were involved in crashes.

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Some of the lawsuits allege that the switches, which account for 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries, could have moved from the “run” position to the “accessory” position and then back to “run” allowing the airbags to deploy, but too late to be effective. (more…)