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GM Pushes for Dismissal of Texas Ignition Case

Automaker accuses plaintiffs, lawyers of fabricating evidence.

by on Aug.23, 2016

GM asked a Texas judge to dismiss a lawsuit involving its faulty ignition due to fabricated evidence.

General Motors Co. asked a Texas judge to dismiss a lawsuit about a fatal 2011 crash, which has been linked to the faulty ignition switch that already has cost the company more than $2 billion, because of fabricated evidence.

In its motion asking for a dismissal, GM accused the plaintiffs and their lawyers of fabricating evidence about the vehicle’s key during the ongoing trial. Plaintiffs Zachary Stevens, his parents and their lawyers showed jurors in Harris County court a key attached to a chain containing several other items, claiming it was the one used to drive the 2007 Saturn Sky involved in the crash.

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GM, however, said the key displayed in the courtroom did not in fact belong to that vehicle. The carmaker, which recalled 2.6 million vehicles in 2014 for defective ignition switches, has warned owners that added weight to key chains can cause the switches to slip out of position. (more…)

GM Expands Foothold in Promising African Market

Nairobi plant expanded to increase production.

by on Aug.22, 2016

GM is expanding production of its commercial trucks at its plant in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the continuing battle for an edge in global markets, General Motors has quietly staked out a position in East Africa, one of the world’s most promising emerging markets.

GM already holds a leading position in Kenya and recently announced plans to double production at a plant in Nairobi, which is used to re-assemble commercial trucks made by GM and its global partners.

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It is the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the East African region and the Nairobi plant assembles a wide range of Isuzu trucks & buses and also retails fully built Chevrolet passenger vehicles and pickup trucks. (more…)

GM Reportedly Wants to Buy Lyft

Ride service tells automaker to take a hike.

by on Aug.15, 2016

GM CEO Dan Ammann (c), recently took a seat on the Lyft board of directors.

Ride-sharing service Lyft has rejected a takeover bid from General Motors, according to Silicon Valley news site The Information.

The move would have turned the country’s biggest automaker into an even bigger player in the fast-growing field of alternative mobility. GM already holds a 9% stake in Lyft and also owns San Francisco based competitor Sidecar. It has also dipped its toes into the world of car-sharing, as well.

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Neither GM nor Lyft will comment on the report by The Information and a second Silicon Valley news service. But sources reportedly include a “person briefed on the situation,” and comes a year after Lyft went looking for a possible buyer.

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GM Gambles on Reversal of Appeals Court Ruling

Company exposed to new set of liabilities.

by on Aug.15, 2016

GM is appealing the ruling of a three judge panel on the court of appeals that exposes it to millions of dollars in new liabilities.

Lawyers for General Motors are gambling they can persuade the full panel of judges from the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse an opinion by one the court’s three judge panels in the ongoing battle surrounding its faulty ignition switches.

The panel recently ruled against the company, leaving it potentially facing millions in dollars in additional liabilities in the lengthy legal fight over the defective ignition switch in GM vehicles linked to more than 120 deaths.

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The original ruling, which was made public in July, represented a significant setback for GM in the long-running litigation since it reversed part of a bankruptcy court decision that protected the automaker from some lawsuits over the defect that prompted the recall of 2.6 million vehicles in 2014. (more…)

Canadian Auto Workers Warn GM Strike is Coming

Canadian auto workers seeking investment guarantees.

by on Aug.11, 2016

Canadian auto workers will strike if GM doesn't make a commitment to invest in two plants, said Unifor President Jerry Dias.

General Motors Co. could face a punishing strike in Canada this fall unless it agrees to make a firm commitment to invest in the Oshawa assembly complex and St. Catherine’s engine plant, warned the head of Unifor, the union that represents 23,000 Canadian workers employed by GM, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler NV.

Jerry Dias, Unifor president, said during a press conference after the formal opening of discussions with GM that new investment in Canadian operations is critical to outcome of the negotiations. Unifor is the successor to the Canadian Auto Workers union.

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“We will do whatever is necessary to secure investment in Oshawa and St. Catherine’s. We hope we don’t have to go there to be candid,” said Dias, noting a walkout in Canada would also roll over the border and force GM to close as many as nine assembly plants in the U.S. (more…)

Long Just a Rumor, Mid-Engine Corvette May Soon Become Reality

And is a Cadillac supercar also in the works?

by on Aug.04, 2016

A rendering of a possible mid-engine Corvette from Car & Driver, which has long chased the story.

In the classic Humphrey Bogart film, The Maltese Falcon, detective Sam Spade gets caught up in the chase for a jewel-encrusted bird, it’s “the stuff that dreams are made of,” he says. For sports car fans, especially those who’ve long waited to see General Motors finally deliver a true world-beater, the stuff of dreams is the long-rumored, mid-engine Corvette.

The search has long consumed veteran Detroit journalists like Don Sherman who remains convinced the project is real. And there are growing signs he is right – at least if a flurry of recent whispers and rumors, as well as articles and reports in outlets as diverse as the Detroit News and Car & Driver prove accurate.

There is an unusual twist to this long-running tail being bandied about. Might the mid-engine prototype spotted a number of times in recent months not actually be earmarked for Chevrolet, however? Might this supposedly ultimate Corvette actually be destined to serve as the halo car for the Cadillac brand, a challenge to the likes of the newly updated Audi R8 and reborn Acura NSX?

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For their part, General Motors officials remain mum. The stock answer is that the automaker doesn’t discuss future projects. And, the reality is, even some of the company’s more senior officials don’t really know. As several current and former Corvette project members stress, that is a highly compartmentalized team operating in its own little world.

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GM’s July Sales Soar in China

Company tops 2 million deliveries for 2016.

by on Aug.04, 2016

GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien is excited about the continuing growth of sales in China.

With concerns growing about the future path of sales in the U.S., General Motors continues to see growth in China where sales grew 18% in July, according to the latest sales reports.

GM and its joint ventures delivered a July-record 270,529 vehicles in China, taking deliveries for 2016 past 2 million vehicles with the Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands reaching all-time highs for the month, the company reported.

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“GM and our joint ventures managed to top 2 million deliveries in record time, as sales remained strong across many segments,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. (more…)

The Sky Isn’t Falling, Says GM President

Batey counters concerns raised by Ford CFO that auto sales have peaked.

by on Aug.02, 2016

GM North America Pres. Alan Batey introduces the 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback at the NAIAS.

It’s been a great ride for the U.S. auto industry. After crashing into the worst recession in decades, it rebounded to record sales of 17.5 million vehicles last year and, until recently, seemed poised to top that number again in 2016.

But there’s been a growing chorus of concern in recent weeks, industry insiders like Ford Motor Co. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks warning that the ride is over, and that U.S. car sales are about to start the inevitable slide. Just don’t count General Motors North America President Alan Batey among those who says the downturn is about to begin.

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“We think the industry will plateau at some time, but everything we see says that into the near future the industry will remain strong,” Batey told reporters.

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Better Late Than Never: Chevy Volt Sales Finally Hit 100,000 Mark

Tesla Model S outselling Volt despite rising sales.

by on Aug.01, 2016

Chevy hit a milestone: it recently took an order for the 100,000th Volt.

Chevrolet is marking an important milestone, General Motors’ biggest brand taking an order for the 100,000th Volt plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

The Chevy Volt has been one of the world’s top-selling plug-based vehicles ever since its launch in December 2010, but tempering any celebration is the fact that the Volt hasn’t come close to meeting the brand’s once-ambitious sales targets. At one point, GM officials were hoping to deliver as many as 40,000 of the vehicles annually in the U.S. alone.

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“Not only is the Volt a class-creator, it serves as the foundation of a Chevrolet electric family that will soon add the first long-range, affordable EV available to customers across the U.S., the Chevrolet Bolt EV,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers, in a statement. (more…)

Another Surprise: VW Lands in Global Sales Lead Despite Diesel Drop

Toyota slips to second after production problems.

by on Jul.29, 2016

VW hopes to keep momentum building - despite its diesel woes - with new products like the Alltrack.

A day after reporting a sharp drop in second-quarter earnings, embattled German automaker Volkswagen AG got some good news. Despite its ongoing diesel emissions problems, VW is once again the world’s best-selling automaker – albeit because of a series of unexpected production problems that have been hobbling Japanese giant Toyota in recent months.

Hit by both natural and man-made disasters, Toyota has repeatedly been forced to trim home market production, and the result was a global slide of 0.6% in sales for the first half of 2016, to 4.992 million vehicles. A year earlier, the automaker sold 5.021 million Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu-branded vehicles from January through June.

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Though sales have been down in some markets, notably including the U.S., where it can’t sell its once-popular diesel models, VW managed to deliver 5.116 million cars, trucks and crossovers for the first half of this year, a 1.5% increase.

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