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Posts Tagged ‘gm news’

Auto Sales Slip a Bit, but Beat Expectations

Prices continue to push upwards.

by on Sep.01, 2015

Keep on trucking. Vehicles like the new Renegade helped Jeep score some of the industry's biggest gains in August.

Despite Wall Street’s shake-up, China’s sliding economy – and a fluke of the calendar – the U.S. auto industry did a bit better than anticipated in August, with far less of a downturn than some had predicted and a number of manufacturers managing to eke out strong gains.

While some brands, such as Toyota, saw sharp declines, others pushed into record sales numbers. And carnakers continued to see average transaction prices rise again last month, prices running at or near record levels for most of them, according to industry analysts.

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“In spite of a tough 2014 comparison and extreme stock market volatility, our dealer’s competitive spirit kicked in and propelled us to our 65th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Our Jeep brand turned in a double-digit increase while eight individual models, including four Jeep brand vehicles, set sales records.”

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Despite Rejection Marchionne is Still Pressing GM for Partnership

“There are varying degrees of hugs,” says Fiat Chrysler CEO.

by on Aug.31, 2015

FCA Chief Sergio Marchionne has an offer he doesn't think GM can refuse - though, so far, it has.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t one to readily take “no” for an answer, especially when it’s coming from General Motors as a rejection to his proposed partnership.

GM CEO Mary Barra and other officials have repeatedly said the Detroit giant has no interest in merging with FCA, a move Marchionne suggested would help both companies cope in an increasingly crowded and competitive global car market. But Marchionne is warning he may press ahead with an alliance whose logic, he said, is “irrefutable.”

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Saying his board is looking for ways to get a more positive response from GM, Marchionne said what he had in mind is “not hostile,” but sounded a lot like it, the FCA chief telling Automotive News, “There are varying degrees of hugs. I can hug you nicely, I can hug you tightly, I can hug you like a bear, I can really hug you.

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GM Fund Denies 91 Percent of Ignition Recall Claims

Automaker faces hundreds of wrongful death lawsuits.

by on Aug.25, 2015

GM's compensation fund for victims of its faulty ignition switch denied 91% of the claims filed.

The team handling the fund established by General Motors completed processing the more than 4,300 claims submitted, denying 91% of them.

GM recalled nearly 2.6 million small cars last year due to a faulty ignition switch. The switch allowed the ignition to move from the “on” to the “accessories” position, cutting the power to the car’s power steering and airbag.

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Led by Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney who oversaw similar funds for BP, 9/11 victims and other events, the fund approved 399 of the 4,343 claims filed and rejected 3,944. (more…)

GM Extends Life of Canadian Plant – Again

Company invests millions into Oshawa plant.

by on Aug.20, 2015

GM has spared its plant in Oshawa, Ontario, from closure for a third time.

With the value of the Canadian dollar dropping, General Motors now plans to keep an Oshawa, Ontario, assembly line operating until 2017, the company’s Canadian unit said.

The announcement extends the life of a line that has been repeatedly scheduled for closure during the last decade.

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GM said it would invest $12 million Canadian to increase Chevrolet Equinox production and make related changes at the separate CAMI Assembly, extending production on its consolidated line to 2017. (more…)

GM Plan to Import Chinese-Made Buick Envision Could Create Problems

UAW calls move “tone-deaf” as it prepares strike vote.

by on Aug.18, 2015

Buick would like to fill a hole in its SUV line-up with the Chinese-made Envision.

The UAW wants to head off plans by General Motors to begin importing a new crossover-utility vehicle from China.

While the Detroit automaker has not made a formal announcement, it is widely expected to begin importing a version of the Buick Envision it produces at a plant near Beijing. It could fill an open niche in the expanding Buick crossover line-up, a spokesman confirmed, though GM might alternatively move to produce the Envision at a U.S. plant.

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The possibility of importing its first Chinese-made product to the U.S. isn’t sitting well with the United Auto Workers Union, which said such a move would be “tone-deaf.” The union is currently negotiating a new four-year contract with GM and is asking its workers to authorize a strike should talks fail to reach a settlement by the September 14th deadline.

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UAW Workers Asked to Authorize Strikes at GM, Fiat Chrysler

Move a bargaining tool; confrontations unlikely.

by on Aug.18, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra and UAW Pres. Dennis Williams chat before the start of a media Q&A session.

For the first time since General Motors and Chrysler were rescued by federal bailouts, workers at the two companies are being asked to authorize a strike at the two companies should they fail to lock down new contracts with the United Auto Workers Union by the September 14th deadline.

The moves are seen as procedural, however, and don’t reflect signs of trouble in the negotiations that began last month. If anything, UAW officials have said they would see a walkout as a failure and would use it only as a last resort. And the two automakers say they see no reason for a walkout.

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“The strike vote is part of the UAW’s democratic process that occurs every contract year,” GM spokeswoman Katie McBride said. “We remain committed to working with our UAW partners on an agreement that benefits employees and strengthens GM’s long-term competitiveness.”

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GM Fund Finds Switches Caused 124 Deaths

Feinberg processes last of claims filed.

by on Aug.12, 2015

GM victims' fund czar Kenneth Feinberg approved payouts for 124 death claims.

The fund established by General Motors to compensate the victims killed or injured in vehicles with the maker’s faulty ignition switch will pay claims to 398 people or their families.

GM ordered the recall of nearly 2.6 million small cars in 2014 equipped with the switches after it was determined that they could slip into the “accessory” position while the vehicle was in motion, cutting power to the steering and airbags.

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As a result, the fund determined there were 124 deaths and 274 injuries attributable to the switch. GM initially said there were just 13 deaths related to the switches. Death benefit claims begin at $1 million and rise depending upon a variety of factors. (more…)

GM Tech Center Named Historic Landmark

Campus premier example of Eero Saarinen’s work.

by on Aug.11, 2015

The GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan, was named a National Historic Landmark.

The storied home of General Motors design and technical staffs in suburban Detroit has earned a new honor: historic landmark.

The National Park Service has designated GM’s 326-acre Tech Center in Warren, Michigan, as a National Historic Landmark complete with own special plaque and white granite marker to note the special designation.

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The Park Service selected the campus for the honor because it possesses “national significance as one of the most important works of famed architect Eero Saarinen,” who also designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the main terminal at Dulles International Airport outside Washington D.C as well as several other prominent buildings erected during the post-World War II era. (more…)

Toyota Expecting Only Modest Growth for 1st New Tacoma Pickup in Decade

Capacity limits could see loss of share in growing midsize truck market.

by on Aug.06, 2015

Toyota is hoping the next-gen Tacoma will keep the good times rolling sales-wise in the U.S. in 2015.

When the 2016 Toyota Tacoma rolls into U.S. showrooms next month it will mark the first major update of the midsize pickup in a decade, an eternity by today’s automotive standards.

Considering the long somnambulant segment has suddenly roared back to life in recent months, one might expect to see Toyota prepping for a major surge in sales for the 2016 Tacoma. But it’s not. The Japanese maker is looking for modest growth, at best, for the new pickup next year.

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The reason is simple, according to Toyota division General Manager Bill Fay: “We’re very close to maxxed out on our production capabilities right now,” despite adding more capacity at a plant in Baja, Mexico.

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Supplier Claims Chrysler Hacking Problem Not Widespread

New security issue could leave OnStar-equipped cars vulnerable.

by on Aug.05, 2015

A YouTube video shows a hacker accessing a GM vehicle equipped with OnStar RemoteLink.

Infotainment systems supplier Harman International insists that a security issue that led to the recall of 1.4 million vehicles last month is limited to products sold by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The problem was discovered by a pair of cybersecurity experts who used the vulnerability to take control of a Jeep Cherokee, at one point sending the vehicle skidding into a ditch. The revelation led to a recall by FCA and has triggered an investigation by federal regulators who have grown concerned about the threat hackers pose to increasingly high-tech automobiles.

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Separately, another security expert has posted a video on YouTube showing how he claims he can hack into General Motors’ OnStar technology.

“We do not believe this problem exists in any other car outside of Fiat Chrysler,” Harman Chief Executive Dinesh Paliwal says, referring to the security hole in some of the maker’s infotainment systems.

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