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GM CEO Mary Barra Named One of World’s 10 Most Influential Leaders

One of three women named by Fortune, Barra lags behind Taylor Swift.

by on Mar.27, 2015

GM CEO Barra, pictured here on the cover of Time which last year chose her as one of its top 100 leaders.

Barely 15 months in as the first woman to head a major automaker, General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been named one of the 10 most influential leaders in the world by Fortune magazine.

In the ninth position, Barra is the only auto exec in the top tier, and ranks well ahead of Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, who was 23rd on Fortune’s list of 50 top global leaders. But Barra was just one of three women in the top 10 and actually was listed behind singer Taylor Swift, in Fortune’s sixth spot.

Be a Leader!

“Immersed in GM’s ignition-switch megacrisis almost since day one as CEO, Barra has deftly juggled the demands of investors, regulators, customers, plaintiffs, and employees on one of the business world’s most visible stages,” explained Fortune.

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Redesigned Chevy Malibu Will Add 45 MPG Hybrid

“Building on the Volt,” says chief engineer.

by on Mar.25, 2015

Cutaway shows the Malibu Hybrid's layout.

When Chevrolet launches a completely redesigned version of its midsize Malibu later this year, it will add a new hybrid option expected to be one of the segment’s most fuel-efficient models.

Initial estimates suggest the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will come in at “better than” 45 miles per gallon, which would put it ahead of hybrid versions of the midsize Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry models, and within shot of the segment-leading Honda Accord Hybrid, which is rated at 47 mpg.

Plug In!

“We’re bringing a hybrid to the midsize segment to compete,” Jesse Ortega, the chief engineer on the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu project, said during a background briefing, adding his belief that Chevy is “very well-armed” to take on key domestic and import competitors.

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Cadillac Previews New Engine Family for CT6 Flagship Sedan.

Twin-turbo V-6 to turn out 400 hp.

by on Mar.23, 2015

Cadillac's new twin-turbo V-6 was designed to deliver plenty of power while maximizing mileage.

When Cadillac’s first car rolled out in 1902 it was powered by a single-cylinder motor making a whopping 10 horsepower. You can expect five more cylinders and a lot more muscle under the hood when the new Caddy CT6 debuts at the New York Auto Show next week.

Among the various powertrains the new flagship sedan will be offered with, Cadillac plans to offer a pair of new V-6s, including a 3.0-liter twin-turbo package that will balance performance and fuel-economy thanks to technologies such as displacement-on-demand and engine Stop/Start.

Product News!

“With nearly zero turbo lag and a commensurately low-inertia rotating assembly, this engine climbs the rpm ladder and produces power on demand,” said Chief Engineer Rich Bartlett. “Its performance is more than just the maximum output – it’s how it is delivered and the new 3.0L Twin Turbo delivers it with smoothness and precision.”

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Lawyers Line Up GM Execs for Ignition Switch Depositions

Lead attorney for national case waiting for cover-up documents.

by on Mar.20, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra will be the final executive deposed in a national lawsuit against the automaker due to faulty ignition switches.

The saga that is General Motors and its faulty ignition switches is getting ready to ramp up as a Texas lawyer will begin deposing 35 GM executives, including CEO Mary Barra, in May.

Texas-based lawyer Robert Hilliard who was appointed by Federal Judge Jesse Furman as the co-lead counsel for the national GM ignition switch litigation, which may be the largest single product liability case in U.S. history, is kicking off his depositions next month.

The Last Word!

He’ll begin with Alicia Boler-Davis on May 6 and conclude with Barra on Oct. 8. GM has declined to comment on the case. Hilliard’s case may be bolstered by the automaker’s recent settlement with the family of Brooke Melton, the 29-year-old nurse who died in 2010 while driving one of GM’s vehicles equipped with one of the faulty switches. (more…)

GM Slashing Presence in Russia

Opel to pull out, Chevy scaling way back in long-term shift.

by on Mar.18, 2015

Hello, we must be going. A GM Niva rolls down the Avtovaz assembly line. Plans for an updated car have been scrubbed.

General Motors plans to largely abandon the Russian market, a move that goes well beyond the short-term production cuts announced by key rivals like Ford Motor Co. in response to the economic crisis crippling the heart of the former Soviet Union.

GM’s German-based Opel brand will pull out of Russia entirely by the end of this year, while Chevrolet will scale back to focus on a handful of products such as the Corvette and Camaro. The maker will continue to market Cadillac products to Russia’s luxury buyers, but production will shift back to the U.S.

Your Reliable Source!

“This change in our business model in Russia is part of our global strategy to ensure long-term sustainability in markets where we operate,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “This decision avoids significant investment into a market that has very challenging long-term prospects.”

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GM Engaged in Cover Up of Ignition Switch Problems

Lawyers claim new documents show effort to hide problem.

by on Mar.17, 2015

29-year-old Brooke Melton was killed in a crash involving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt.

The law firms handling one of the high-profile lawsuits against General Motors due to its faulty ignition switch allege the automaker actively engaged in a cover up problems that led to the deaths of more than 65 people.

During a news conference on Monday, attorneys for the family of Brooke Melton, who died in 2010 as a result of an accident tied to the faulty switch, said documents produced by GM and the supplier of the switches, Delphi Automotive, under seal, show that high-level executives knew there was a problem with the switches, but declined to do anything about it.

Stay in the Know!

GM declined to comment on the press conference. (more…)

Chevy Video Reveals 2016 Camaro

Muscle Car hits 500,000 sales mark – but faces tough challenge from new Mustang.

by on Mar.13, 2015

Camaro devotees will have something to be happy about for 2016, Chevy execs claim.

There were plenty of skeptics when Chevrolet said it would bring back its Camaro, a few years back, but if the Gen-5 model’s sales numbers are any indication, it’s been a solid hit for the Detroit maker.

But in today’s hotly competitive market, those 500,000 sales might be a nice milestone, but Camaro will have to keep the customer’s coming. And that’s becoming a fair bit more difficult to do, what with an all-new Mustang on the verge of reclaiming pony segment leadership for Ford Motor Co.

Automotive Insight!

Not to worry, Chevy fans. There’s a sixth-generation Camaro in the works and due to reach market for the 2016 model-year. Better yet, after giving us a vague tease of what to expect with a black-and-white silhouette image back in January, Chevrolet has kindly released some new images that give a brief, but clearer impression of what to expect for ’16. (more…)

Best Family Cars for 2015

GM tops the chart, but Honda sets a record.

by on Mar.11, 2015

The Honda Odyssey has been the top pick for family minivan every year since the awards began.

If your idea of a “family car” is an old wagon with a passel of kids tucked in the back, or perhaps a grimy minivan overflowing with soccer gear, you may be in for a surprise when you see the mix of models that topped the charts in the U.S. News Best Cars for Families annual awards.

The magazine took a close look at 259 different vehicles in 19 different categories looking to “highlight vehicles that make family life easier,” explains Jamie Page Deaton, who oversees new car rankings. “These are sedans, SUVs and minivans that have good space and good safety,” but also offer lots of “family-friendly features.”

Award Winner!

Those include such niceties rear-seat video entertainment systems, WiFi hot spots, and back-up cameras, as well as safety and security systems like GM’s OnStar that can help parents keep track of teen drivers.

General Motors, in fact, led in more of those categories – four, in all — topping every any other manufacturer. GM has “changed quite a bit,” said Page Deaton, adding that recent models have delivered better features, quality and performance.”

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