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PSA Eyes Big Savings in Potential Opel Deal

Negotiations on sale are ongoing.

by on Feb.24, 2017

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares believes the acquisition of Opel could net $2 billion in savings.

PSA Group’s proposed acquisition of Opel would create savings of as much as $2 billion from the General Motors’ European division’s turnaround, the French carmaker’s Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said during a session with reporters and analysts.

Tavares said adding the German Opel and British Vauxhall brands to PSA’s portfolio would bring new customers to the company who have been reluctant to buy French cars, Tavares told said, while generating savings from shared technical underpinnings.

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“There is significant complementarity in terms of customer consideration between the German Opel brand and our three French brands,” Tavares said, referring to the French group’s Peugeot, Citroen and DS badges. (more…)

GM Stock Could Pop on Opel Sale

Sale of unprofitable business could net shareholder windfall.

by on Feb.20, 2017

Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO, met with leaders in Germany to assuage concerns about the potential sale of Opel to PSA.

Shareholders reacted skeptically to last week’s announcement that General Motors was in discussions to sell off its money losing European operations anchored by the Opel and Vauxhall brands to the Paris-based PSA Group.

But the weekly financial magazine Barron’s gave the proposed sale of Opel a boost when it said GM’s share could increase in value by as much as 35% if the deal was finalized and GM succeeds in finishing the sale.

Global Auto News!

If the deal goes through, it could net GM as much as $1 billion in cash, Barron’s says, citing analysts. However, the real value from the sale would come from offloading a money-losing business and refocusing on operations in China, Latin America and North America, it said. (more…)

GM, Lyft Deploying “Thousands” of Self-Driving Bolts in 2018

The new fleet arrives two years ahead of most other maker's planned ventures.

by on Feb.17, 2017

An autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV shown running at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.

General Motors will catapult to the top of the autonomous vehicle class in 2018 when it deploys “thousands” of self-driving EVs with its ride-sharing partner Lyft Inc., according to Reuters.

If it happens, it will be the largest test fleet of fully autonomous vehicles by a major automaker. Currently, Waymo, working in concert with Fiat Chrysler, is testing about 60 self-driving vehicles in four states.

The Last Word!

Most automakers have been pointing to 2020 as the time when they’ll have vehicles ready for autonomous driving tests on America’s roadways. Plans call for Lyft, which GM purchased a stake in last year, to use the self-driving EVs in California and other states, Reuters reported. (more…)

Unifor Demands GM Restore CAMI Jobs — Or Else

Dias joins chorus calling for NAFTA redo.

by on Feb.17, 2017

Unifor President Jerry Dias harshly criticized GM's plan to move some SUV production from Ontario to Mexico.

As automakers are trying to figure what will happen with the North American Free Trade Agreement, another saber is rattling in the ears of General Motors — Unifor is demanding the company restore 625 jobs its moving to Mexico or else.

Unifor, the Canadian auto workers union, is looking to secure as many jobs as it can as it heads into negotiations for the Ingersoll, Ontario, plant this fall. Currently there are about 2,800 employees at the facility.

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The plant builds the vast majority of GM’s best-selling crossover, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. However, the company announced earlier this year, Terrain production will be shifting to Mexico along with 625 jobs. (more…)

GM, PSA Getting Pushback on Potential Opel Deal

German, British unions and governments against the sale.

by on Feb.16, 2017

GM is re-examining its European operations, specifically, the UK, in light of the "Brexit" vote.

General Motors’ plans to sell off its money-losing Opel unit is running into political and union opposition in both Germany and Great Britain.

GM is proposing to sell Opel to the French-based PSA Group, which it is assumed will move to reduce costs, shed some of the excess capacity and move to consolidate product lines. Excess capacity has long been identified as a major problem in the European auto industry but governments and unions throughout Europe have made it extremely difficult to close plants

Global Auto News!

Germany’s federal government and influential unions, which are already facing the threat of major job losses at Volkswagen in the wake of the diesel scandal, have moved quickly to criticize the proposed GM-PSA deal. (more…)

GM Considers Sale of Struggling Opel to France’s PSA

Automaker's European unit hasn't been profitable since 1999.

by on Feb.14, 2017

Opel chief Karl-Thomas Neumann showed off the Euro version of the Bolt in Paris.

General Motors is once again considering the sale of its money-losing European operations and has entered talks with French automaker Peugeot’s parent, the PSA Group.

The automakers both announced plans to explore new “strategic initiatives” on Tuesday, those statements coming exactly a week after GM confirmed it had once again gone into the red in Europe. It has not earned a profit there since 1999, despite repeated promises to fix the problems at its Opel and Vauxhall brands.

Global News!

Noting they already have “three projects in Europe” underway, GM and PSA said they “confirm they are exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by PSA,” though the joint statement cautioned “There can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached.” (more…)

Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Gets Near-Hybrid Mileage Rating

EPA estimates 52 mpg.

by on Feb.13, 2017

The 2017 Chevy Cruze diesel sedan earned a 52 mpg highway rating from the EPA.

Chevy is pushing its Cruze sedan into hybrid mileage territory – but without the battery.

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel model has just gotten a 52 mpg highway mileage rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That is handily the highest rating for any non-hybrid or plug-based model on the road and compares favorably with a number of similarly sized hybrid models.

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“Chevrolet is dedicated to offering customers a wide range of propulsion options,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet marketing, in a statement highlight the EPA numbers. “We know there are customers looking for the right combination of fuel efficiency, driving dynamics, fuel type and more. With the EPA-estimated 52-mpg highway Cruze Diesel Sedan, they can get it all.” (more…)

GM Exploring Options for Additional Battery-Electric Vehicles

Chevrolet Bolt EV lands another big award – but GM needs to move even faster to retain its lead.

by on Feb.10, 2017

GM President Dan Ammann says the company will produce more electric vehicles in the near future, but was short on specifics.

Fresh off another victory for the new Chevrolet Bolt EV – which was named the car of the year by syndicated TV show Motor Week – General Motors is exploring options for adding still more battery-electric models to its line-up.

While company officials are vague about both the details, numerous sources say that GM wants to maintain the lead it established by introducing the Bolt, the world’s first long-range, mainstream-priced battery-car. The electric crossover has garnered a series of awards since its launch late last year, including North American Car of the Year.

Beyond the Headlines!

“We will obviously need a much broader portfolio,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann, talking to TheDetroitBureau.com after a keynote speech at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. “We see opportunities as electric vehicles take hold.” (more…)

GM, Ford January Sales Slump in China

Celebrations closed businesses all over the country.

by on Feb.10, 2017

Ford sales dropped 32% year-over-year in January due to the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The timing of the Chinese New Year and a tax hike took a heavy toll on new vehicle sales in China during January.

Both General Motors and Ford Motor Co., which finished 2016 with a jump in sales, saw their sales decline as the New Year celebration shut down businesses of all kinds across China.

Drive On!

General Motors and its joint ventures sales declined 24% due to the earlier Spring Festival holiday and reduction in the vehicle purchase tax incentive, GM said in a statement. (more…)

GM’s Amman Says Maven is Moving Along

GM President tells Econ Club that car business is strong.

by on Feb.09, 2017

General Motors President Dan Ammann keynotes the Economic Club of Chicago's meeting during the recent Chicago Auto Show.

Maven the internal start-up company that General Motors created last year to help it navigate the changes that are re-shaping the automobile industry is already showing substantial promise in its first year of operation, GM President Dan Ammann told the Economic Club of Chicago.

Ammann noted that Chicago was one of the first cities where Maven, GM’s new personal mobility brand, was launched and it has already connected to hundreds of customers in the Chicago, which is one of GM’s key market in the U.S.

Auto Show News!

Each month Maven is growing by double-digits in Chicago, where it has more than 1,400 subscribers for its car-sharing fleet. In addition, Maven has lined up 1,700 Lyft drivers for its Express service, which allows Lyft drivers to lease a new vehicle from GM to use as they pick up and drop off customers using its ride-sharing business. (more…)