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Michigan to Become GM’s Global Electric Vehicle Center

CEO Barra to offer up some details of next Chevy Volt project.

by on Oct.28, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra will meet with Detroit's business leaders and outline plans for Michigan.

(This story has been updated with additional comments by GM CEO Mary Barra.)

While GM isn’t expected to reveal its next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid until next January, the automaker’s CEO Mary Barra said today.

Among other things, the maker plans to invest $300 million in its home state of Michigan by year-end, a chunk of that cash going to set up the Warren Transmission Plant to produce the next-gen Volt’s plug-in drivetrain. Virtually all key powertrain components, from Volt’s batteries to its gasoline “range-extender” engine, will be built in Michigan going forward.

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“Our investments in the Chevy Volt and Michigan signify our commitment to lead the industry in technology and innovation,” CEO Barra told the Detroit Economic Club.

The remake of the Chevrolet Volt is scheduled to debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, marking the first major update to the so-called extended-range electric vehicle since it went on sale late in 2009.

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Airbag Issues Force Recalls at GM, Chrysler

New GM midsize pickups among those impacted.

by on Oct.15, 2014

They’ve been called one of the industry’s most important safety breakthroughs, but manufacturers might also call airbags a major headache lately, as a growing list of problems have led to the recall of millions of vehicles over the last year.

The latest on the list are Chrysler and General Motors, both announcing service actions due to wiring defects that could cause airbags in some vehicles to fail when needed. The issue at Chrysler is similar to one that forced a major recall by cross-town rival Ford last month.

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Among the vehicles covered by the latest pair of recalls are the all-new General Motors midsize pickups just coming to market. GM initially ordered a stop-sale in hopes of making repairs before the vehicles got into consumers’ hands, and it now says only 138 of the 2,432 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks covered by the service action have actually been delivered to buyers.

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“Green Truck” Finalists Revealed – and Surprises Abound

The truck world is “changing in a very big way.”

by on Oct.10, 2014

GM jumped back into the midsize truck market with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

It’s that time of year, nominees for all sort of automotive awards being revealed in time for the launch of the 2015 models. But where performance and luxury features might sway most juries, at least one major award focuses on things environmental.

So, it might come as a surprise to see Green Car Journal tipping its hat to five new pickups, but the magazine says vehicles like the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Chevrolet Colorado underscore the dramatic changes sweeping through all aspects of today’s automotive world.

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“The significant efficiency and environmental improvements being made in the truck segment signal an important change in the industry,” said Ron Cogan, publisher of the Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com.

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GM Boosts Production as Sales Surge for Midsize Colorado, Canyon Pickups

Maker will add 3rd shift, 750 jobs at Missouri plant.

by on Sep.16, 2014

Chevrolet will offer both a fuel-efficient I-4 engine and a more powerful V-6, with a diesel coming a year later.

With sales exceeding initially cautious expectations, General Motors plans to sharply boost production of its new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.

GM will add a third shift at the plant in Wentzville, Missouri that produces the two midsize trucks. That move will create another 750 jobs at the factory, which also produces the Chevy Express and GMC Savanna full-size vans. GM had previously invested $513 million at the Wentzville plant to handle the addition of the new pickups, creating 1,315 jobs in the process.

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The maker has taken an unusually large number of early orders for the Colorado and Canyon models, it says, about 30,000 so far. There had been plenty of concern that GM might miss the mark with the two trucks considering the decline in the midsize segment over the last two decades.

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New Corvette Z06 Gets 4% Price Hike to $78,995

Price is higher, but so is mileage rating, performance.

by on Aug.22, 2014

The new Z06 features significant aero improvements, a stiffer chassis and the new supercharged engine: all for a price starting at $78,995.

If you’re looking to get behind the wheel of the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 be prepared to write a big check. In fact, it’ll cost you a $2k more than it did last year to buy the 2015 Z06, which starts at $78,995. The convertible comes in at $83,995.

For that, you get a beast featuring a 6.2-liter V8 pumping out 650 horsepower and 650 pound feet of torque: the most powerful car General Motors has ever produced. Not only do buyers get plenty of power, the automaker has also improved the ride and handling through the use of aerodynamic design, improved ride control functions and a stiffer frame.

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“The 2015 Corvette Z06’s performance and technical capabilities place it in the elite fraternity of supercars,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product and marketing manager. (more…)

Porsche, GMC – and the Chevrolet Corvette – Top 2014 Ideal Vehicle List

GM and Ford score most segment wins.

by on Aug.21, 2014

The new Chevrolet Corvette was the single most "Ideal Vehicle" according to owners.

For the second consecutive year, Porsche has been named the “Ideal Vehicle” brand by American consumers, though the individual vehicle that tops the list is the all-new Chevrolet Corvette.

General Motors, in fact, had more top-ranked models in the 2014 Ideal Vehicle Awards, or IVA, than any other manufacturer but Ford Motor Co. this year. And despite the Detroit maker’s ongoing recall issues, its GMC truck marque was named the “Most Ideal Popular Brand” in a survey conducted by California consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc.

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Significantly, a quarter of the top-ranked models in the 2014 IVA are all-new or, like the ‘Vette, have been completely redesigned for 2014.

“Winning an IVA in their first year of release shows that these newly redesigned vehicles have hit the mark with their owners, but it also shows that the designers did their research to know how to best meet the needs and expectations of their core group of buyers,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.

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GM Recalling SUVs for 3rd Time to Fix Fire Risk

Problem switches have created problems for numerous makers.

by on Aug.08, 2014

GM is re-recalling a number of 2006 - 2007 midsize SUVs, such as this Chevrolet TrailBlazer, due to a potential fire hazard.

General Motors is recalling almost 190,000 older SUVs for the third time to try to fix problem switches that could cause a vehicle fire.

The problem is so severe that the maker is warning owners to park the vehicles outside until repairs can be made – but it doesn’t expect to have the necessary parts until at least October.

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The problem centers around switch window switch modules in the driver’s door that may short out if exposed to rain or other liquids. It’s a problem a number of other manufacturers have experienced over the last several years, and has proven particularly difficult to resolve, Honda also having to re-recall some models after an initial fix proved ineffective.

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GM to Reveal “All-New” Chevrolet Volt at 2015 Detroit Auto Show

New look, better tech, possibly lower price tag, among likely changes.

by on Aug.07, 2014

Chevrolet offers a tease of the 2016 Volt plug-in hybrid it will unveil at the next Detroit Auto Show.

General Motors will reveal an “all-new” version of its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show next January, a senior Chevy official confirmed during a speech at an industry confab.

The new model is expected to remain true to its original mission, which is to provide a way for motorists to not only improve their fuel  economy but operate entirely on battery power for much of their day-to-day driving.

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But there are likely to be significant changes to the next-generation Chevy Volt, nonetheless, and various sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com that the new version will not only get a redesign inside and out, but longer battery range and improvements in performance. Perhaps most importantly, GM will aim to reduce the price of the plug-in hybrid to improve its competitors and reverse weakening demand.

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All But One of a Dozen Small Cars Fall Short in Crash Test

Mini Countryman nabs a “good” rating from IIHS.

by on Jul.30, 2014

The 2014 Mini Countryman was the only vehicle to earn a "good" rating in the latest IIHS small car crash tests.

For those worried about the safety of today’s small cars, the latest round of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety didn’t provide much good news.

Out of an even dozen vehicles included in the test, only the Mini Countryman earned a “good” rating. And among the plug-based vehicles included in the tests for the first time, only the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid managed to eke out an “acceptable” rating – while also earning a Top Safety Pick+ award.

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“The Mini Cooper Countryman gave a solid performance,” says Joe Nolan, the Institute’s senior vice president for vehicle research. “The Countryman’s safety cage held up reasonably well. The safety belts and airbags worked together to control the test dummy’s movement, and injury measures indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a real-world crash this severe.”

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GM Remains in Tight Race for Global Sales Leadership

VW holds tiny lead, but Toyota has yet to weigh in.

by on Jul.17, 2014

GM is hoping new product - such as the Chevy Colorado, shown here with product chief Mark Reuss - will help it regain global sales leadership.

Despite recalling millions of vehicles and watching billions of dollars in new legal claims pile up during the first half of the year, General Motors is still in a relatively close race for global sales leadership with rivals Volkswagen and Toyota.

GM has reported selling 2.5 million vehicles around the world during the second quarter of 2014, with year-over-year sales in the United States and China, the company’s two largest markets, growing by  7% and 8%, respectively. Globally, GM’s total sales were up 0.5% for the second quarter. In the first half, GM sold 4,921,928 vehicles, up 1.4%.

Stay in the Race!

Volkswagen AG, thanks to strong sales in China and a solid performance in Europe as well as gains by Audi and Porsche, held a whisker-thin lead with sales of 4.97 million vehicles worldwide during the first half of the year. VW is actively targeting global sales leadership – but the race likely won’t be determined until later this month when Toyota Motor Co. weighs in with its own figures.

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