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GM Investing $100M in Tooling for Cruise AV, Autonomous Roof Racks

by on Mar.15, 2018

The Cruise AV will be built at the Orion Township, Michigan plant were GM builds the Chevy Bolt EV.

General Motors continues to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to autonomous vehicles, this time to the tune of $100 million.

The company is investing that cash in two Michigan facilities that will build its Cruise AV driverless car as well as the roof modules that contain all of the equipment needed to make the vehicle drive on its own, such as radar, LiDAR, cameras, etc.

Automotive Insight!

The new Cruise autonomous vehicles will be built at GM’s Orion Township assembly plant, north of Detroit. This makes sense as another self-driving vehicle produced by GM, the Bolt EV, is also built at the plant. (more…)

GM’s Use of Wind Power Continues to Grow

Company's goal is to use 100% renewable energy by 2050.

by on Mar.13, 2018

General Motors' Orion, Michigan plant is one of several of the company's facilities employing renewable energy.

General Motors continues to expand its use of alternative energy to power up its factories in the U.S and abroad.

In the last move, GM confirmed that its working with Consumers Energy, a utility company based in Jackson, Michigan, moving from what is described as “brown” energy to renewable energy, specifically electricity generated by a new wind farm to power two factories key factories in Flint, Michigan.

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The utility said GM and Switch are the first participants in a new Consumers Energy program to help large businesses use large renewable energy sources. Both companies are now matching 100% of their electric use at key operations in Michigan with wind-generated power. (more…)

Ford, GM Sales in China Move in Opposite Directions

New product key to strong sales.

by on Mar.12, 2018

Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO, discusses the plans to expand sales in China.

Ford Motor Co. suffered another sharp reversal of fortune in China during February where it reported vehicle sales dropped 30% from a year earlier while General Motors continues to roll up sales.

The sales drop by Ford appeared to reflect a dearth of new products as the company continued to struggle in the world’s largest auto market.

Global News!

Ford’s sales dropped 18% in January and in February totaled just 47,483 vehicles, accounting for the 30% drop mentioned earlier. (more…)

GM Boosting Bolt EV Production as Demand Surges

CEO Barra asking Congress to expand electric-car tax credits.

by on Mar.08, 2018

There's significant room to expand Chevy Bolt EV production at GM's Orion Assembly Plant.

General Motors plans to expand production of its first long-range battery-car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, CEO Mary Barra said during an energy conference in Houston.

The Bolt has experienced stronger than expected demand in recent months, some analysts suggesting that is the result of the slow ramp-up of production for Tesla’s own mainstream EV, the Model 3.

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Demand has also been buoyed by $7,500 federal tax credits that bring the base price of the Bolt down below $30,000. But under the current rules, GM is expected to soon see the credits phase out, something that could cut into demand, leading Barra to say that, “We feel tax credits should be expanded so our customers continue to receive the benefits going forward.”


Opinion: Mid-Engine Corvette: Too Little, Too Late?

Our veteran spy photographer says electric drive is the way to go.

by on Mar.02, 2018

Off to a rocky start? Our spy photographer thinks GM is on the wrong path with its mid-engine Vette.

Drop the mid-engine Corvette. Now.

It’s time for GM to stop its development of an icon vehicle, the 20?? mid-engine Corvette. Yes, the long, long overdeveloped car that has diverted GM’s innovational (?) attention for over 25 years. The car could be way behind what is happening in the 2-seat racing-type model of today.

Automotive Insight!

Huge changes are ongoing in the automobile business. We all see that. Car companies are formed and reformed, replaced, absorbed. New technologies are in huge development – autonomous cars and trucks are surely on the way. Electrics are moving – in some instances, shoved – on the scene, replacing the internal combustion engine.


First Look: 2019 GMC Sierra: More Than a Silverado Clone

Full-size pickup gets world’s carbon fiber bed, six-way tailgate.

by on Mar.01, 2018

The 2019 GMC Sierra loses as much as 360 pounds compared to the outgoing pickup.

It’s traditionally been easy to dismiss the GMC Sierra as little more than a glorified Chevrolet Silverado, but with today’s unveiling of the 2019 Sierra it seems the GMC truck is going to be due a lot more respect.

True, it shares the same underlying platform and basic dimensions of the more down-market Chevy, but the 2019 truck is no clone, claiming a variety of first-ever innovations that include a carbon fiber bed, a six-way tailgate, a swiveling backup-camera mirror and a large head-up display.

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“GMC ignited the premium truck segment 17 years ago with the original launch of the Sierra Denali,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “The next generation 2019 Sierra Denali establishes a new benchmark in capability and refinement. It exemplifies precision in every detail.”


GM Plans Month-Long Shutdown at Flint Truck Plant

Plans are two weeks longer than usual.

by on Feb.19, 2018

GM is going to be laying off employees at its plant in Flint, Michigan, for two weeks after the company's traditional two-week shutdown.

General Motors told employees it plans to close down the company’s big truck assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, for the month of July.

The company said in a memo circulated to employees of the truck assembly plant that the plant will be closed for a “mandatory” two-summer vacation shutdown starting in early July. The two-week vacation shutdown will be followed by a two-week layoff for most of the employees at the plant, according to the memo, which was posted to a union website.

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The memo said some employees will be required to work during the temporary shutdown as the plant will be undergoing a series of improvements to the plant, which a key center for production of GM’s Chevrolet and GMC heavy-duty pick-up trucks. (more…)

Maven Making Move to Toronto

Service expands into new country.

by on Feb.14, 2018

GM's car-sharing service, Maven, continues to grow. The on-demand access to vehicles is now in Canada's largest city, Toronto.

General Motors car-sharing service, Maven, which offers customers access to personalized, on-demand mobility services, has opened for business in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

So far, GM has rolled out Maven in more than a dozen cities in North America, including New York and Los Angeles.

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“Toronto has a unique spirit. Residents are constantly on the go and want more sharing and mobility options,” said Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven. “Maven offers cars Torontonians want to drive to help them be there for the moments that matter.” (more…)

GM Shutting One Korean Plant, Considering Fate of Others

Government open to aid offer – but demands investment guarantees.

by on Feb.13, 2018

The Gunsan plant has produced several GM models, including the Chevy Orlando shown here.

Facing rising costs and declining sales, General Motors today said it will close one of four factories in South Korea and, as part of an ongoing restructuring program, the automaker is weighing the fate of the remaining three facilities.

South Korean government officials expressed “deep regret” at the news. The country’s trade minister left open the possibility of financial aid but cautioned that any assistance will depend on whether GM plans to invest in its operations in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. But it appears all sides are playing a game of brinksmanship, the U.S. automaker waiting to see what stakeholders, including its unions, might be willing to offer.

Global News!

“As we are at a critical juncture of needing to make product allocation decisions, the ongoing discussions must demonstrate significant progress by the end of February, when GM will make important decisions on next steps,” Barry Engle, GM executive vice president and president of GM International, said in a statement.


Mercedes Dropping Out of Detroit Auto Show in 2019

Auto shows face increasing challenges as automakers look at alternatives.

by on Feb.12, 2018

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated the debut of the 2019 G-Wagen at this year's Detroit Auto Show..

(This story has been updated.)

Officials with the North American International Auto Show have confirmed that Mercedes-Benz won’t be on hand when the even returns in January 2019, the latest on a growing list of manufacturers who have decided to pull out of the Detroit show.

The news comes as more and more automakers rethink their commitment to both media previews and public says at events like the NAIAS. As recently reported, industry planners are looking at alternatives that can more directly target potential buyers while also holding down costs. At shows like the NAIAS it can cost as much as $5 million to stage a 20-minute media preview – even more if the event involves the creation of a one-of-a-kind concept vehicle.

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“At this time Mercedes-Benz AG will not be exhibiting at the upcoming 2019 North American International Auto Show,” said the German marque in a statement. “Our time in Detroit over the years has been very beneficial for our brand, especially coming off of the world debut of the iconic G-Class. Discussions are underway for future show participation.”