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Archive for the ‘GM’ Category

New Corvette Stalling Sales of the New Corvette

Fans waiting for the mid-engine C8, slowing C7 sales.

by on May.06, 2019

General Motors is adding a second shift and more than 400 hourly jobs at its Bowling Green (Kentucky) Assembly plant in preparation for the C8 Corvette.

The new Corvette is the best ever — and no one wants one.

Well, perhaps not no one, but with the news confirming that the eighth-generation, mid-engine ’Vette is due to arrive later this year, sale of the America’s sports car are fading even faster than they have for the past few years.

Beyond the Headlines!

Corvette sales hit their high-water mark at about 37,000 in the U.S. in 2006. (more…)

Electrifying America

Volkswagen-funded start-up is rolling out a nationwide network of quick-chargers -- and cutting prices 20%.

by on May.06, 2019

A Chevrolet Bolt is plugged into an Electrify America charger at EA's suburban DC tech center.

Volkswagen plans to spend $50 billion on battery-electric vehicles while General Motors’ CEO says the automaker is on a “path” to go fully electric. Volvo, Nissan, Toyota, Ford and, of course, Tesla, by mid-decade, these and other manufacturers expect to have more than 200 electric vehicles on the market.

But just because you build them doesn’t mean buyers will come, industry analysts warn, pointing to a variety of obstacles to mass acceptance of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, including range and cost. But one of the biggest concerns is the lack of a viable charging infrastructure that would allow electric vehicle owners to travel as freely as do owners of conventional gas and diesel-powered vehicles.

Electrification News!

That is beginning to change as charging stations, especially “Level 3” fast chargers begin to pop up across the countryside. And, ironically, that roll-out owes a fair share of credit to Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal. Out of the roughly $30 billion the automaker has so far paid out in terms of fines and settlements, $2 billion is funding Electrify America, a start-up helping promote the adoption of plug-based vehicles, in large part by setting up the fastest-growing public charging network in the U.S.

EA is taking another step to increase the appeal of running on battery-power, on Monday announcing plans to cut the cost of charging at one of its stations by 20 percent.

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You Probably Won’t Be Able to Pronounce Its Name, But Zotye is Betting You’ll Want to Buy One of its SUVs

Stealing a page from the Koreans – and undercutting them, in the process.

by on May.03, 2019

The Zotye T600 shown making its debut at Auto Shanghai last month.

At 69, Duke Hale has been selling cars, either at a dealership or working for an automaker, for 50 years, but he’s betting he can become a sort of automotive Pied Piper to Millennials and Gen-Z.

He and a team of aging Baby Boom industry veterans are getting ready to start selling what may become the first cars imported from a local Chinese carmaker. It’s no easy task, his California-based start-up, known as HAAH, is still pitching its idea to the dealers who will have to bet on a brand that’s not only unknown to American car buyers but which is saddled with the ungainly name, Zotye.

Beyond the Headlines!

Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time U.S. motorists were won over by a brand whose name they’ve had to struggle with. Think Hyundai, which Americanized its name to “Hun-day.” The Chinese brand, pronounced “Zoh-tee,” hopes it can lift some other pages from the Korean carmaker’s playbook, starting with a price low enough to make it an appealing alternative to a used vehicle.

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Nissan Adds Another Nail to Convertible Coffin with Plans to Kill 370Z Roadster

Choice of ragtops growing increasingly thin.

by on May.02, 2019

Nissan will still offer the Z Roadster overseas, but it's dropping the ragtop in the U.S. due to slow sales.

Nissan is pulling the plug on its 370Z Roadster at the end of the 2019 model-year, the Japanese automaker has confirmed, marking the end of one of the brand’s most iconic offerings.

The good news for roadster fans is that the coupe version of the sports car will remain in production indefinitely – which doesn’t mean it will last forever, just that there are no current plans to once again remove it from the line-up.

Product News!

The 370Z Roadster joined the Z Coupe after it was returned to the Nissan family in 2009, part of the automaker’s turnaround program. Its demise comes as automakers rethink their passenger car strategies and, in particular, cull their slow-selling convertible offerings.

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GM Ponders $1B Investment in Missouri Plant

Automaker reportedly meeting with governor about incentives.

by on May.02, 2019

GM may invest as much as $1 billion into its Wentzville, Missouri plant that produces midsize trucks and full-size vans.

General Motors is apparently preparing for a major investment at its big truck assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, according to media reports from St. Louis.

GM officials are expected to meet with Missouri Governor Mike Parson to discuss what is described as a $1 billion expansion project at Wentzville, which currently employs 3,800 hourly and salaried employees, St Louis Today reported.

Plant News!

No details about the expansion have been disclosed but GM is expected to request a package of incentives from the state of Missouri to help pay for job training and retooling the plant, which is located about 40 miles from St. Louis. (more…)

GM CEO Barra Confirms Plans for Electric Pickup

Could target competitors from Ford, Rivian, Tesla.

by on Apr.30, 2019

GM claims it "future-proofed" the current Silverado to accept electrified drivetrain options.

General Motors will build an all-electric pickup, CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday, confirming a report that first appeared in TheDetroitBureau.com in February.

The executive declined to provide details about the project, but the news took few industry observers by surprise considering that Ford and Tesla have also announced plans to build all-electric trucks, as has Detroit-based start-up Rivian.

Electrifying News!

GM “will not cede our leadership” in the truck segment, Barra said during a conference call with industry analysts and media to discuss the automaker’s first-quarter earnings.

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Strong Sales of Pricey Pickups Help GM Beat Earnings Estimate

But sliding U.S. market share worries investors.

by on Apr.30, 2019

GM CEO Mary Barra shown in March announcing a major investment in battery-car production.

Cost-cutting and pricey pickups. That was the formula for General Motors as it managed to beat Wall Street’s earnings expectations for the first quarter of 2019 with adjusted earnings of $1.41 a share, 30 cents better than the consensus forecast.

But that wasn’t enough to satisfy investors who have been driving down GM shares in morning trading, the market appearing to react to weak sales and the automaker’s home market share decline from 16.9% during the fourth quarter of 2018 to 15.6% during the most recent three-month period.

Earnings News!

“GM’s first-quarter operating results were in line with expectations we shared in January,” CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said during a conference call with analysts and the media Tuesday morning. “My confidence in the year ahead remains strong, driven by our all-new full-size truck launch and our ongoing business transformation.”

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GM Adding Second Shift at Kentucky Corvette Plant

Move means 400 more jobs at Bowling Green site.

by on Apr.25, 2019

General Motors is adding a second shift and more than 400 hourly jobs at its Bowling Green (Kentucky) Assembly plant.

The next generation Corvette hasn’t even been unveiled yet, but General Motors is betting the new ’Vette will be a runaway hit by adding 400 jobs to the company’s Corvette Assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

GM said it is adding a second shift in Bowling Green to support production of the Next Generation Corvette, which will be revealed on July 18, 2019. The addition of the second shift will increase the plant’s workforce to more than 1,300 people, GM said.

Business News!

“The Corvette’s iconic status owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. (more…)

Big Three Group Supports Trump Report on USMCA Benefits

Support comes despite conflicting study from IMF.

by on Apr.19, 2019

A new report from the U.S. Trade Representative says the new USMCA will bring substantial benefits; however, an IMF study suggests otherwise.

Detroit’s automakers are rushing to defend a report from the Trump administration that touts the benefits of the new North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration report, produced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), was released Thursday in advance of less than an underwhelming independent government estimate of the economic impact of proposed U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

Trade News!

Trump has portrayed the new agreement he negotiated as a replacement for NAFTA as likely to lead to a rush of new investment and jobs in the U.S. and an end to the outsourcing he and others have blamed for a hollowing out of American manufacturing. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Crew Cab

Stylish looks with ample power and comfort — a recipe for success.

by on Apr.16, 2019

The Chevy Colorado Z71 offers a do-it-all vehicle in a growing and competitive segment.

Even with the car business facing some stiffening headwinds, trucks are still going strong and manufacturers are driving interest the segment with new models.

For example, the Chevrolet Colorado has been vital to the growth of the midsized truck market, which has expanded recently, prompting manufacturers to tinker with variants such as the one I drove recently.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The 2019 Colorado Z71 Crew Cab Short Box with four-wheel drive has a bold presence and plenty of curb appeal as well as a spirited powertrain as well as the ground clearance to ride confidently on dirt roads or even off road. (more…)