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First Drive: 2018 Chevrolet Traverse

Room and refinement help second-generation midsize SUV stand out.

by on Aug.16, 2017

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse will hit showrooms later this year with a slew of upgrades and a new transmission.

We’ve all used the term, “dog years,” to talk about how fast some things age. Nowhere does that better apply than an automobile. And these days, new vehicles seem to age faster and faster because there’s more and more competition. So, it’s a surprise that General Motors let its Chevrolet Traverse grow so old.

First introduced in late 2009 as a 2010 model, it’s as old as anything in the midsize SUV segment, not exactly a plus these days. But if we had to wait, it’s good to see what Chevy is finally bringing to market for 2018. The second-generation Traverse is bigger and roomier, yet lighter and more fuel-efficient, quick and reasonable nimble, and it offers a lot of appealing new features and a level of overall refinement missing from the original version.

Product News!

Or so we found out during a family getaway earlier this month making the five-hour run to Michigan’s favorite summer resort, the lakeside Traverse City, and back. The drive wasn’t perfect. We did experience one annoying problem – a rattle – in our late prototype along the way, though one that Chevy engineers already knew about and promise to have fixed before the ’18 models roll into showrooms. (more…)

Chevy Has Big Plans for Bigger Traverse

GM’s largest brand wants to boost sales, drive up transaction prices.

by on Aug.09, 2017

The Chevrolet Traverse tied with its siblings, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, as the most American vehicle on the market in a recent study.

When Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2018 Traverse earlier this year, it revealed a three-row ute that is larger in just about every dimension. The question is whether it will grow larger in the column that matters most to Chevy’s bookkeepers.

Compared to the midsize SUV segments dominant nameplates, like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer, the Traverse has been a relative afterthought. But Chevy is hoping that the significant upgrades it’s making will sharply boost demand in the coming year, especially at a time when utility vehicles continue to gain momentum even as the overall U.S. automotive market slips into the doldrums after three years of record sales.

The Inside Story!

Officials with General Motors are so confident about the new model, in fact, that they’re studying ways to squeeze more utes out of the Lansing, Michigan plant Traverse shares with midsize offerings from the Buick and GMC brands, the brand’s marketing chief told TheDetroitBureau.com during a briefing on the all-new 2018 model.

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Chevrolet Finds New Road Cruiser in Shanghai with FNR-X Concept

“Clear masculine lines” and some cutting-edge technologies.

by on Apr.20, 2017

Officials says that the FNR-X isn't a sure thing for China, but at the Shanghai Motor Show purely to gauge interest.

Chevrolet is taking its current tagline, “Find New Roads” to new extremes – at least in China – with the second in a series of concept vehicles debuting this week at the Shanghai Motor Show.

The latest one, using shorthand, is the FNR-X, a concept version of what could be a radical take on a plug-in crossover-utility vehicle. Initial impressions suggests it would go into the emerging market for downsized utes like the Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V.

Global Auto News!

The FNR-X adopts a “powerful, attractive design language,” with “clear, masculine lines,” says Chevy, including an aggressive nose that could have been lifted off the Camaro, a high beltline and a floating roof. But the most eye-catching feature is the concept’s use of rear suicide doors, minus the traditional B-pillars, providing easy and dramatic access to its interior. (more…)

Chevy Aims for Top Spot in Brand Sales

Equinox expected to flourish in market’s sweet spot.

by on Apr.20, 2017

General Motors posted a sales increase in March, led by a 26% jump in Chevy Equinox sales.

General Motors believes the introduction of the new Equinox will help Chevrolet move closer to its goal of surpassing Ford and Toyota to become the top-selling automotive brand in the U.S, said one of Chevy’s top marketing executives.

Chevrolet has generated a great deal of positive momentum during the past two years and GM plans to build on the strength of a growing reputation for delivering quality vehicles that are also represent a good value with the introduction of 2018 Chevrolet Equinox this spring, said Steve Majoros, Chervolet, director of car and crossover marketing, told reporters during an update of the company’s business plans.

News Now!

Moreover, Chevrolet’s introduction of the new Equinox, which features a fresh design as well as new technology, couldn’t have come at a better time given the rising popularity of compact crossovers, he added. (more…)

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST Ushers in Era of Muscle Trucks

Wave of SUV buyers seeking performance they had in sedans, coupes.

by on Apr.06, 2017

The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST with a model of its optional 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8.

General Motors is upping the performance quotient with the debut of the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST. Short for Rally Sport Truck, it will target buyers who want the sort of power from a full-size SUV that they might normally expect from a muscle sedan or coupe.

Some manufacturers are content with cosmetic updates, and the RST does, indeed, add some sporty visual flourishes, like its gloss-black grille and mirror caps. But it’s what’s under the hood that’s likely to matter most to Tahoe buyers. The new version of the big ute offers an optional Performance Package that features a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 capable of launching from 0 to 60 in just 5.7 seconds.

Muscle Up!

“Customers are shifting over to crossovers and SUVs” in record numbers, said Sandor Pizar, the Chevy Truck marketing manager, during the Tahoe RST’s debut, “and a portion of them want performance.”

Chevrolet is by no means the only Detroit automaker betting there’s a market for muscle trucks.

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Chevrolet Hits the Redline

Chevy adds nine new special edition models.

by on Feb.09, 2017

The new Chevrolet Silverado Redline.

Chevrolet is punching pedal to the metal, adding a record nine new special edition models as it takes its new Redline series from concept to customer.

First unveiled at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the new Chevy Redline series is making its debut at this week’s Chicago Auto Show. Redline  is meant to give an array of car, truck and crossover models – including the Malibu, Silverado and Equinox a more sporty and customized appearance.

Auto Show News!

“Redline is another example of Chevrolet bringing SEMA concepts to showrooms,” said brand boss Brian Sweeney. “The SEMA show has proven to be a great way to identify customization trends in the industry, and quickly apply those trends to our most popular Chevrolet models.”

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Makeover for Chevrolet Traverse Set to Take NAIAS Bow

Updated ute gets larger, lighter, better equipped.

by on Jan.09, 2017

The all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse gets a major makeover, not just in looks but also size and efficiency.

GM is upping its game to take advantage of the huge shift from passenger cars to utility vehicles. Following the makeover of the Chevy Equinox, General Motors’ big brand is rolling out an all-new version of the Traverse at the North American International Auto Show.

The mid-range, three-row model grows a bit bigger on the outside and a lot roomier inside for 2018. Nonetheless, it’s also a fair bit lighter than the outgoing Chevy Traverse, something that will translate into a smoother, more nimble ride – and notably better fuel economy.

Product News!

The debut of the 2018 Traverse is part of what Brian Sweeney, the U.S. chief of the Chevrolet brand, calls a “major onslaught” of new products aimed at taking advantage of the growing surge in SUV and crossover-utility vehicle sales. (more…)

Trump Attacks GM Over Mexican-Made Chevy Cruze

Detroit maker fires back at latest attack on auto imports.

by on Jan.03, 2017

The President-Elect shifts his focus to GM.

After spending much of his initial campaign taking shots at Ford Motor Co. for its plan to shift small car production to Mexico, President-Elect Donald Trump is now taking a poke at General Motors for importing the Chevrolet Cruze from a plant south of the border.

“Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax,” the businessman-turned politician declared in a tweet, slamming GM for “sending Mexican-made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border.” The president-elect has proposed dismantling or revising the North American Free Trade Agreement and hitting Mexican imports with as much as a 35% tariff – though he has notably made no public indication of plans to return production of his own clothing lines – some made in Mexico – back to the U.S.

Breaking News!

For its part, General Motors quickly responded to the Trump attack by noting that all of the Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold on the American market are produced in the U.S. A small number of Cruze hatchbacks recently began being imported from Mexico.

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Autonomous Cars, Battery Vehicles and Record Sales: a Look at 2016’s Top Auto Stories

Industry at “an inflection point.”

by on Dec.29, 2016

Ford's next-generation autonomous Fusion prototype. Self-driving cars were a hot story in 2016.

Barring an unexpected, December surprise, 2016 will go out like a lion for the U.S. auto industry, automakers collectively racking up their third consecutive year of record sales. That’s an all the more massive achievement considering the decade began with the worst downturn the U.S. car market had suffered since the Great Depression.

What’s ahead for the industry is far from certain, demand showing signs of losing momentum in recent months. But what’s clear is that 2016 will not only go down in the record book from a sales perspective but that the year could be seen as marking a series of major transitions – “an inflection point,” in the words of John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, Google’s recently renamed autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

The Last Word!

What was once the stuff of science fiction began shifting into everyday reality this past year, with hundreds of self-driving vehicle prototypes taking to public roads across the country – some even being used as part of ride-sharing pilot programs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

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Three California Drivers Take Delivery of First Chevrolet Bolt EVs

Initial sales limited to California market.

by on Dec.13, 2016

Customers Bobby Edmonds (l to r), William “Bill” Mattos and Steve Henry take delivery of the first three 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs Tuesday

The first three Chevrolet Bolt EVs have been delivered to retail customers in California, marking the start of sales of the market’s first long-range, relatively affordable battery-electric vehicles.

Industry experts believe that the Bolt could usher in a new era in which battery-cars finally start appealing to mainstream, rather than just green-minded, buyers by delivering range comparable to conventional, gas-powered vehicles without a hefty price premium. Chevy hits market as much as a year ahead of similar offerings coming from manufacturers including Tesla, Volkswagen and Nissan.

Breaking News!

“The range and technology attracted me to the Bolt EV,” said Bobby Edmonds, a software developer from suburban San Francisco, who is replacing his BMW i3 with the Chevy Bolt. “It’s also a great-looking, roomy vehicle and I love the fact it’s from an American brand. I look forward to the longer drives I can make compared to the i3 that I owned.” (more…)