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First Drive: 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir

Luxurious interior, leading-edge tech and great road manners.

by on May.18, 2018

The 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir is based on an all-new version of the three-row SUV.

Utility vehicles of various sizes but similar shapes now account for nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. and the competition is getting fierce carmakers admit.

Notions of luxury have evolved during the years right along with SUVs but one vehicle holding its own is the stylish Buick Enclave Avenir with its gorgeous interior, portfolio of optional technology and pleasant road manners that fit nicely into the American tradition of upscale vehicles.

Reviews You Can Use!

The exterior of the 2018 Enclave has a stately aura about it that makes a careful bow to the brand’s historic tradition with a careful display of sleek lines and jeweled corners and at the very same time it moves the vehicle into the 21st century with its 21st century silhouette. The front grille and fascia is not ostentatious and the rear is equally restrained but nicely set off by the lighting display. (more…)

Flexibility Will Drive Success of Autonomous Vehicles

Needs of owners will lead to customization of self-driving cars.

by on May.11, 2018

GM's Mike Abelson suggested that self-driving cars, like the Cruise AV, could be redesigned to customer wishes in the future.

Automakers appear to have moved on from if they can produce self-driving vehicles to what might they look like once the technology is ready — and if one automaker is correct, the sky will be the limit.

And to put a twist on an old phrase, you’ll get to pick the color of the sky in your world, according to Mike Abelson, GM vice president of global strategy. Speaking at Citi’s Car of the Future conference in New York City.

News You Can Trust!

These designed-by-you vehicles might be owned or leased by individual customers, Abelson noted, adding that he sees a market outside of large cities where ride-sharing services, like Uber or Lyft, may not available. (more…)

Ford Shuts Down Half of Production of F-150 Due to Supplier Fire

GM halts van production while FCA adjusts minivan line.

by on May.09, 2018

Ford shut down the F-150 line at the Kansas City assembly plant due to a parts shortage.

Ford Motor Co. is staring a complete shutdown of production of the company’s best-selling product, the F-150, in the face due to a fire at a supplier facility.

A major fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, on May 2 created a shortage of die-cast parts for the F-150 since the incident. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler facilities have also been impacted by the fire and subsequent parts shortages.

News Now!

Ford produces the trucks at plants in Missouri and Michigan. Currently the truck production half of Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant is shut down for the week, sending 3,600 workers home due to the parts shortage. (more…)

GM Getting the Weight Out with 3D Printing

Technology could mean lighter, strong vehicles, but challenges remain.

by on May.03, 2018

The technology could reduce the weight of a future Chevy Bolt - and simplify assembly.

Since the earliest days of the auto industry, manufacturers have stamped, forged, cast and molded most of the parts that go into their products, but the search for lighter cars and trucks is forcing them to search for alternative approaches.

Working with the software company Autodesk, General Motors is exploring the potential of using additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, and may introduce the technology on one of the more than 20 new battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles it plans to bring to market over the next five years. And it isn’t alone. Niche manufacturers, such as Swedish hypercar company Koenigsegg, as well as major manufacturers BMW and Ford, are also exploring ways to utilize 3D printing.

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Tech Talk!

“This disruptive technology provides tremendous advancements in how we can design and develop components for our future vehicles to make them lighter and more efficient, said GM Vice President Ken Kelzer, head of the automaker’s Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems.

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UAW Leaders Struggling With Credibility Issues in Wake of Scandal

UAW-GM leader sends letter explaining outsourcing moves.

by on May.03, 2018

UAW's Cindy Estrada was part of an investigation by federal officials about the potential misuse of union funds.

This story has been updated with new information.

With their credibility damaged by the worst scandal to ever rock the United Auto Workers’ top executive board, union leaders are scrambling to explain changes in the union’s contract with General Motors that will allow the outsourcing of job at GM assembly plants in Lordstown, Ohio, and Orion Township, Michigan.

“You deserve to know the facts about recent outsourcing at Local 5960 Lake Orion and Local 1112 Lordstown,” Cynthia Estrada, the UAW vice president in charge of union’s GM Department, said in a letter to a union members.

Union News!

“This was a decision agreed to by the involved local, regional and national leadership. Everyone agrees that this situation sucks. But what would suck even more would be to have GM shut down any of our plants and devastate hundreds of our members’ lives and the communities where those plants exist,” said Estrada, who noted GM car production has slashed by 20%. (more…)

Earnings Down, GM Still Beats Q1 Forecast

Automaker plans “significantly lower investments” in passenger car models.

by on Apr.26, 2018

"We are on plan to deliver another strong year," says GM CEO Mary Barra.

General  Motors net earnings dipped 60% to $1.05 billion during the first quarter but still managed to beat Wall Street expectations thanks to strong demand for its North American light truck line-up.

The announcement by the nation’s largest automaker came less than a day after Ford Motor Co. also topped earnings forecasts by riding a wave of demand for pickups, SUVs and CUVs. Ford yesterday said it was going to all but abandon traditional passenger cars in North America and GM is also expected to trim its sedan line-up, though not nearly as drastically as its cross-town rival.

Breaking News!

“Results this quarter were in line with our expectations with planned, lower production in North America related to the transition to our all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra,” General Motors CEO Mary Barra said in a statement accompanying the earnings report. “We are on plan to deliver another strong year in 2018.”

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GM Puts Third Shift Back in Place in Spring Hill Plant

New shift will add 700 jobs in September.

by on Apr.25, 2018

GM is adding 700 jobs at its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to build more Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia crossovers.

The on-again, off-again third shift at General Motors plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, is on again, this time producing more crossovers as well as an Acadia vehicle for the company’s Australian brand, Holden.

The third shift is expected to begin production in September 2018 and add 700 new jobs. Industry wide, customers are increasingly purchasing crossovers, trucks and SUVs over sedans. Crossovers make up nearly half of the U.S. retail market (48.5%), according to GM.

Breaking News!

Crossovers are booming for GM too as the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 are posting strong results. Acadia retail sales were up more than 15% for the first quarter of 2018 on a year-over-year basis. Total Acadia sales were up 3%, marking the best first quarter ever for Acadia sales for both retail and total. (more…)

Amazon Will Now Deliver Packages to Your Car, as Well as Your Home

New program available to millions of GM and Volvo owners.

by on Apr.24, 2018

An Amazon driver uses a smartphone app to open the trunk on a Chevrolet Bolt EV.

More than 100 million people, half of them in the U.S., now subscribe to online retail giant Amazon Prime. The $99-a-year service not only offers free delivery on most packages to a customer’s home but is now adding a new twist: customers can have packages delivered to the trunk of their vehicles.

The In-Car Delivery program will be available, starting today, to millions of owners of General Motors and Volvo vehicles in 37 U.S. cities. To use the service, a customer will simply choose “in-car delivery” among the various options Amazon offers.

We Deliver the News Where You Want it!

“At Amazon, we are always working to make our customers’ lives easier and starting today….Prime members now have another way to ensure their packages are safe and secure—all for no additional cost,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, Amazon.

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Wage Deal in Hand, GM Abandons Threat to Put Korean Ops in Bankruptcy

But questions remain about the unit’s long-term prognosis.

by on Apr.23, 2018

With concessions from unions, GM believes it has a deal in place to keep GM Korea from bankruptcy.

General Motors today reached a tentative agreement with its South Korean labor union, a move that is expected to keep the automaker from putting its Korean subsidiary in bankruptcy – though it still is waiting for a final decision on a bailout from the Korea Development Bank.

Faced with plunging sales and rising costs, GM earlier this year announced it would close one of four Korean assembly plants and warned it could seek the Korean equivalent of Chapter 11 protection if it didn’t get a deal from workers and support from the KDB, which owns a 17% stake in GM Korea.

Global News!

“The labor union has demonstrated its commitment and we continue to work with our other key stakeholders to gain their support,” GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem said in a statement, noting that ratification of the tentative agreement is “critical” to achieving additional support from shareholders and the Korean government. (more…)

Japanese Surge Reveals Broader Jump in Auto Imports

Rising numbers from Japan, Mexico, Korea, China challenge Trump 

by on Apr.20, 2018

Demand for the latest version of Nissan's Rogue has contributed to an increase in imports from Japan.

When Toyota and Mazda open a new assembly plant in Alabama in 2021, it will become the latest in a growing array of automotive plants Japanese manufacturers have set up in the U.S. since the mid-1980s – yet despite investing billions in their American operations, Japanese manufacturers have also been increasing exports to the U.S. from their home market factories.

The number of Japanese-made vehicles imported into the U.S. rose almost 10% during the first quarter of 2018. And Japan wasn’t alone.  Auto imports, as a whole have actually been on the rise, whether from Korea, Europe or Mexico, the latter country shipping about 7.5% more vehicles to the U.S. in March than the year before – despite Pres. Donald Trump’s high-profile push to bring more auto production back to the States.

Trade News!

“Japan sends us million and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all. And we don’t send so much product because we have trade barriers and lots of other things,” the president complained during a news conference this week while standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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