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Cadillac’s New CT5 Revealed Through a “Sensory Symphony”

“We’re very much committed to sedans,” says brand boss Carlisle.

by on Mar.18, 2019

The Sport edition of the 2020 Cadillac CT5.

Hoping to rebuild momentum for its struggling turnaround strategy, Cadillac has been putting a premium on SUVs, rolling out new models like the XT4 and XT6 this past year and preparing to upgrade the older XT5 and Escalade models, as well.

That’s a logical move, considering utility vehicles now dominate the luxury car market. But General Motors’ flagship brand isn’t abandoning its more traditional product family. The CT5, the new midsize sedan that will be replacing the old CTS, is making its debut today through a broad social media campaign it is calling a “Sensory Symphony,” ahead of its more formal appearance at the New York International Auto Show next month.

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“We’re very much committed to sedans. Let me clear the air about that,” said Caddy President Steve Carlisle said during a media background briefing.

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Trump Smacks GM With New Lordstown Plant Tweet

After a quiet three weeks, President takes another swipe at automaker.

by on Mar.18, 2019

President Donald Trump took another swipe in a tweet at GM about the closure of Lordstown.

General Motors was again the target of a tweet by President Donald Trump, which pushed the automaker to reverse its decision to shutter an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which is located in the state’s politically sensitive northeastern corner.

Trump attacked GM after it first announced the decision to close Lordstown and returned to twitter this weekend with a tweet that urged the company to reopen the plant. The Presidential tweet came 10 days after the Lordstown plant built its last Chevrolet Cruze, ending U.S. production of the compact of the car.

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However, the timing of tweet suggested that Trump was concerned less about the fate of Lordstown than the optics surrounding another key decision Trump is expected to make in the next few weeks on a key trade issue. That said, Lordstown and GM promises to remain an issue through the 2020 Presidential election when Ohio is once again a pivotal battleground state. (more…)

Back From the Big Apple: Cadillac Comes Home With Expanding Line-Up of CUVs and BEVs on the Way

New brand boss outlines a mix of short- and long-term strategies aimed at reviving its “renaissance.”

by on Mar.13, 2019

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the brand's newest offering is now the top seller in its segment.

The boxes still have to be unpacked, but Cadillac is back from the Big Apple, ending a four-year experiment designed to put the brand more closely in touch with one of the country’s top luxury car markets. Instead, it needs to bring closer together the folks who will both design and then market the wave of new products that will be rolling out over the next decade, brand boss Steve Carlisle said during a Wednesday lunch meeting.

Long billed as the “standard of the world,” Cadillac has slipped well behind key competitors like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus. But last year’s surge in global sales suggests Caddy may finally be making some of the right moves – beyond last week’s closure of its offices in New York’s tony SoHo neighborhood.

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In a broad-ranging discussion, Carlisle outlined both the short and long-term steps Cadillac is taking in its bid to become a truly relevant luxury car player once again. It’s a move that has already begun with a shift in the brand’s product portfolio. (more…)

Top UAW Bargainer Takes Aim at General Motors

Terry Dittes ready to make tough demands of No. 1 automaker.

by on Mar.12, 2019

Terry Dittes, vice president of the GM Department for the UAW, said its time for GM to build more vehicles in the U.S.

The leader of the United Auto Workers responsible for negotiations with General Motors took aim at the automaker’s Mexican production during a speech at the UAW Special Convention on Collective Bargaining in Detroit.

Terry Dittes, UAW vice president in charge of union’s GM Department, said in a report to the 900 delegates that roughly one third of the vehicles GM sells in the U.S. now come from Mexico and that will be a major issue in the UAW’s upcoming contract talks with the automakers.

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“Don’t kid yourself there are more plants that may be in jeopardy as time goes on,” Dittes warned the delegates. “This is not a good will speech. (more…)

Trump Moves to Kill EV Tax Credits

Support strong in Congress.

by on Mar.11, 2019

President Donald Trump announced plans to end electric vehicle tax credits.

President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the tax credits that have helped promote the emergence of the battery-car market, though that proposal could hit a snag when Congress begins to consider the new White House budget proposal.

If anything, some lawmakers – backed by the auto industry – are pressing to extend the credits, which run up to as much as $7,500 for qualifying battery-cars.

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Two manufacturers, Tesla and General Motors, have already crossed sales thresholds at which they will begin seeing the credits begin to phase out. As of January 1, Tesla buyers qualify for half the original number, of $3,750. The credits for the California-based automaker will expire entirely at the end of thise year. (more…)

UAW Raising Strike Pay Ahead of Big Three Negotiations

Workers get $250 a week now, up $50 a week.

by on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones said striking workers will get $50 more in their check effective immediately.

In a warning that it was preparing for a fight during contract talks with Detroit’s automakers this coming summer, the United Auto Workers raised the amount it will pay workers, who walk off the job from $767-million strike fund.

UAW President Gary Jones told opening day attendees of the union’s Special Convention on Collective Bargaining said the union’s executive board approved raising the weekly strike pay, effectively immediately to $250 per week from the current level of $200 per week.

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The strike pay will be raised to $275 per week effective Jan. 1, 2020, said Jones, adding the union’s strike benefits also include health insurance for union members and their families during the duration of any contract dispute that leads to a strike. (more…)

February Auto Sales in China Drop 13.8%

New energy vehicles, i.e. EVs, rose 53.6% last month.

by on Mar.11, 2019

New vehicle sales in China, like the Mazda CX-4, fell during the month of February 13.8%.

Automakers hoping that China might bail them out of sluggish sales in the U.S. are going to be disappointed as sales in the world’s largest market fell 13.8% in February.

The drop is eight consecutive month that China, only just two years ago posting double-digit increases, has seen buyers keep their money in their wallets. Sales fell 16% in January and 13% in December. Overall, 1.48 million new vehicles were sold in China last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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“The trend experienced last year has continued into this year, and the economic situation has also been weak. This has dragged down consumption,” CAAM’s Deputy Secretary General Shi Jianhua told reporters at a news briefing in Beijing. (more…)

UAW Leaders Meet as Prelude to Bargaining With Automakers

Expect tough talks with auto companies.

by on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones will be looking to get feedback from union locals across the country.

The United Auto Workers heads into its bargaining convention this week against tumultuous backdrop that includes suddent plant closing, a grinding federal investigation of the union’s handling of training funds and grumbling among union members, who have made it plain this winter the expect some gains  when the UAW goes to the bargaining table this summer with Detroit’s three automakers.

The resolutions adpted during the meeting will be broad so as not to encumber union bargainers in future negotiations but specific enough to shape the tenor of upcoming  talks not only in the auto industry but also other sectors where the union has members.

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“It is an ideal way to get members from a variety of workplaces and backgrounds together and discuss what is important to their fellow workers, their families and their communities,” UAW President Gary Joines said in a new issue of Solidarity, the union’s magazine. (more…)

Lordstown Plant Manufactures Last Chevy Cruze

Event moves site one step closer to closure.

by on Mar.06, 2019

The Lordstown, Ohio plant that builds the Chevrolet Cruze will produce the last model today.

The last Chevrolet Cruze is scheduled to roll off the assembly line in Lordstown, Ohio, today, moving the big General Motors assembly plant alongside the Ohio Turnpike in northeast Ohio, one step closer to abandonment and intensifying the confrontation between GM and the United Auto Workers.

More than 1,400 blue-collar workers will be impacted by the end of production at Lordstown and GM has promised that it has jobs for all of them, while offering special packages to employees ready for retirement.

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But the UAW has already filed suit in federal court charging the idling of the Lordstown plant and two other factories, claiming the shutdown down violated the union’s current contract with the automaker. GM has denied the UAW’s claim. (more…)

Taking it to the Street: VW Reveals Two e-Scooter Concepts in Geneva

German automaker is the latest to explore “micromobility.”

by on Mar.05, 2019

The VW Streetmate concept features a fold-out seat for longer rides.

The automobile has, for the past century, been the symbol of personal mobility, but that is rapidly changing as other options become more widely available. And Volkswagen is showing the ideas it has in mind at the Geneva Motor Show.

The automaker’s Streetmate and Cityskater are two different takes on the concept of electric scooters, and while they’re just for show, at the moment, few would be surprised to see them go into production, especially as competitors such as General Motors make similar moves.

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“With mobile solutions such as Streetmate and Cityskater, visitors and residents in cities around the world will soon be able to leave their cars at home, opting instead for smaller zero-emission vehicles to get around,” the automaker explained, ahead of the Geneva debut of the two e-scooters.

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