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Is GM Playing Shell Game with New Production Plans?

Maker moves Cadillac SRX to Spring Hill, but moves Equinox out.

by on Aug.29, 2014

GM is moving Cadillac SRX production to Spring Hill, Tennessee from Mexico. It failed to mention it's shifting Equinox production from Spring Hill to Mexico.

Everyone’s familiar with the shell game, right? It’s a game commonly associated with the streets of New York City and now possibly General Motors.

In the game, a small ball is place under one of three cups which are then quickly shuffled around. For a few bucks, someone is invited to guess what cup the ball is under; however, it seems GM may be playing the same game with vehicle production moving to the U.S.

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With some fanfare, the Detroit-based maker on Wednesday announced it was moving production of its Cadillac SRX crossover from its plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, to the former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. (more…)

Once-Shuttered GM Spring Hill Factory to Become Major Manufacturing Center Again

Maker plans to produce next-gen Cadillac SRX and all-new family of small engines.

by on Aug.27, 2014

Once considered the future of the U.S. auto industry, the former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, is getting a $233 million makeover to build the Cadillac SRX and possibly other vehicles.

It was originally hailed as the future of the U.S. auto industry, only to be mothballed in the wake of General Motors’ bankruptcy and the abandonment of the maker’s failed Saturn brand. But GM is about to make a major investment in its Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant that will turn the sprawling complex into one of its most flexible and promising factories.

The announced of a $233 million investment comes a quarter century after the Spring Hill plant first opened as the home of the once-promising Saturn brand. While Saturn was one of four brands abandoned as GM emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy, the powertrain portion of the Tennessee complex will produce a critical new line of small gasoline engines, while the adjacent assembly line will be re-tooled to handle upcoming midsize models.

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While GM isn’t ready to tip its hand on all its plans, it did confirm that Spring Hill will assemble the next-generation version of Cadillac’s popular SRX crossover-utility vehicle. At least one other midsize model is expected to go into the factory which will be flexible enough to handle a wide range of products in the future. (more…)

GM Moves Forward with Grand IT Plan

Maker opens new innovation center in Arizona.

by on Aug.26, 2014

General Motors recently opened its newest IT Innovation Center in Chandler, Arizona.

General Motors continues moving forward with its ambitious three-year plan to overhaul its information technology services by bringing them back in house with the opening of its next innovation center.

The automaker opened its newest IT innovation center in Chandler, Arizona and hired 500 employees to staff the facility. Overall, the company expects to hire 1,000 employees during the next two years.

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Randy Mott, GM senior vice president, Global Information Technology & Chief Information Officer, said the innovation centers are part of a companywide transformation to improve performance, reduce the cost of ongoing operations and increase its delivery of innovation. (more…)

Over 100 File Death Claims With GM Compensation Fund

Number could still rise.

by on Aug.26, 2014

One of the replacement GM ignition switches.

General Motors continues to say it knows of 13 deaths connected to the faulty ignition switches it used in a wide range of vehicles recalled earlier this year, but the special victims’ compensation fund it has set up has already received claims linked to the death of at least 100 people.

While it remains to be seen if the fund will approve payment to all those who’ve filed, it is also expected the number will continue to increase in the weeks and months ahead.

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GM has said it anticipates paying out from $400 million to $600 million in connection with the fund, which was set up under intense pressure from safety regulators, federal lawmakers and consumer groups after the maker acknowledged it knew about the ignition switch problem for as much as a decade before ordering the February recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

GM Tech Center Still Reeling from Flooding

R&D and Design operations hard hit.

by on Aug.21, 2014

The GM Tech Center was one of the premier projects of architect Eero Saarinen.

General Motor Co. is still struggling to get its huge, suburban Detroit technical center back in operation 10 days after it was flooded by a huge storm that dumped more some five inches of rain on the Motor City.

The rain and flooding, which claimed three lives in the Detroit area, also forced GM, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group to shut down production at some key plants around Detroit.

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But the largest disruption was at the General Motors Technical Center in the suburb of Warren, which is normally home to more than 19,500 full-time employees and contractors. Almost all of them were forced to abandon their work stations in the immediate aftermath of the flooding, which began during the late afternoon and early evening of Monday, August 11 when what has been described as a 100-year storm hammered the city.

(more…)

GM’s Reuss Confims Cadillac’s Plans for Flagship Sedan

A book-end for a rapidly expanding product line-up.

by on Aug.20, 2014

The Cadillac Elmiraj concept is expected to have a strong influence on the new flagship, though it will go with a sedan body style.

Cadillac will finally bring to market a full-size luxury flagship sedan late next year, Mark Reuss, the global product development chief for General Motors confirmed.

The new model, as TheDetroitBureau.com previously reported, is expected to go up against some of the toughest competitors in the luxury automotive market, including the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the best-selling premium sedan. Industry analysts expect the new model to showcase Caddy’s distinctive Art & Science design language while also offering an array of new comfort, performance and safety features.

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“What we do there has got to be a symbol of excellence,” Reuss said during a media scrum following a GM event for student interns. “This is a car that Cadillac needs that will define this brand in terms of innovation and excellence.”

(more…)

Russia Ready to Retaliate – and Automakers Could Take a Big Hit

One unexpected winner could emerge.

by on Aug.19, 2014

A worker on the AvtoVAZ assembly line in Togliatti, Russia, a plant now run by Renault-Nissan.

Slammed by sanction for its role in the Ukranian revolt, Russia is warning it may tighten retaliatory sanctions against the West by banning automotive imports.

The crisis in the Ukraine has made stock traders around the world nervous, leading to some major swings in key indexes and raising fears about the overall strength of the European economy, which is just beginning to recover from a steep recession.

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But retaliating against Western automakers could have unforeseen consequences for Russia itself as it struggles to build momentum for its own economy. Car sales in the heart of the former Soviet Union also slumped badly along with the rest of Europe.

(more…)

GM Drops to Number Four

Still third in sales, but revenues slip a spot.

by on Aug.18, 2014

GM isn't the behemoth it used to be: it's fallen to fourth in revenue through the first half of 2014.

It was the manufacturer to beat for three-quarters of a century, but General Motors has been steadily losing ground in recent years, whether one measures from a vehicle sales standpoint, or in terms of revenues.

The latest numbers suggest the maker is still losing momentum by both metrics. GM slid to third when it comes to units sold for the first half of 2014. And focusing on just the most recent quarter, the Detroit maker fell to fourth when it comes to gross revenues.

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And it’s a question whether GM will even maintain that position, with several other major manufacturers close to catching up – especially if the U.S. maker’s ongoing safety problems begin to erode its position in the marketplace. (more…)