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Six GM Models May Join Growing Line-Up of Passenger Cars Heading for Scrapyard in 2018

More and more passenger car models flop as SUVs take over market.

by on Jul.24, 2017

A little more than a year after introducing the Cadillac CT6 as its new flagship model, GM is considering cutting it from the line-up.

At least six General Motors passenger cars could be sent to the scrapyard, according to a report by Reuters, a reflection of the ongoing shift from sedans, coupes and sports cars to SUVs, CUVs and pickups.

But GM isn’t alone. An array of nameplates vanished during the 2017 model-year, with manufacturers expected to pull even more of their slow-selling products from market in 2018. At the same time, expect to see a number of new light trucks fill in those empty spaces.

News You Can Trust!

While GM officials declined to discuss the Reuters report – which included such familiar names as the Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS and even the Chevrolet Volt – officials with the United Auto Workers union met with the carmaker to find out what such a move would mean for thousands of hourly workers. (more…)

GM Invests in Autonomous Driving Software Developer

Detroit automaker joins BMW, Toyota in supporting Nauto.

by on Jul.20, 2017

General Motors invested an undisclosed sum in Nauto, an autonomous driving software developer.

General Motors Co has joined a long list of investors in a new Silicon Valley startup called Nauto, which is developing software for self-driving vehicles.

Palo Alto, California-based Nauto said this week that it closed a new funding round, led by Japan’s Softbank and venture capital firm Greylock Partners. It also has attracted financial support from companies such as BMW and Toyota Motor Corp, as well as the German insurance firm Allianz.

News Now!

Automakers have been scouring the tech world both in the U.S. and abroad for partners with technology that could potentially be used on self-drive vehicles. They have been willing to invest significant sums in new ventures targeting the development of autonomous vehicles to keep pace with new entries into the automotive field such as Tesla and Google/Alphabet. (more…)

GM Extends Production Shutdown at Chevy Bolt EV Plant

Sales for Bolt remain sluggish despite Model 3 frenzy.

by on Jul.18, 2017

GM extended the shutdown period for the Orion, Michigan, plant that produces the Chevy Bolt and Sonic due to slow sales for both.

With sales lagging and inventories bulging, General Motors is extending the shutdown of a plant in the Detroit suburbs that produces its Chevrolet Bolt EV, along with the conventionally powered Chevy Sonic subcompact.

The decision to extend a prior production cutback comes as a disappointment for GM, which had hoped to break into the mass market with the Bolt, the world’s first long-range battery-car to be sold at a mainstream price – just over $35,000 before applying a federal tax credit.

Product News!

The automaker says the shutdown at the Orion Township, Michigan, plant is “due solely” to weak demand for the Sonic. But there are nonetheless bulging inventories of the Bolt on U.S. dealer lots. By contrast, Tesla Motors is claiming it intends to rapidly ramp up production in order to meet what is believed to be an 18-month backlog of initial reservations for its similarly priced Model 3 battery-car. (more…)

GM, Ford Enjoy Strong June Sales in China

Sport utes driving the market increase.

by on Jul.07, 2017

Matt Tsien, who heads up GM China, welcomed the jump in sales last month, led largely by SUV sales.

Sales in China by American carmakers perked up during June, offsetting the weakness earlier this year, with GM posting a 4.3% increase while Ford Motor Co. posted a double-digit increase of 15%.

Overall, for the first six months of 2017. GM’s sales in China declined 2.5% while Ford’s have dropped 7%. During June, GM and its joint ventures in China posted record sales as deliveries increased to 285,191 vehicles.

Global Auto News!

The Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands all posted record results for June, and Chevrolet had its strongest growth in six months. Demand for SUVs, the key driver of GM’s sales growth, remained the company’s best-performing segment, surging 42% last month. (more…)

GM, VW Lead Pack in Battle for North American Car, Truck, Utility Vehicle of the Year Honors

But U.S. brands go empty-handed in passenger-car category.

by on Jul.06, 2017

The Chevrolet Equinox is one of five GM models up for NACTOY awards - but none in the Car category.

General Motors and Volkswagen dominate this year’s first cut as members of the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year jury get down to comparing the dozens of new models coming to market through the end of 2017.

But while Detroit’s Big Three have a strong representation, overall, in the three categories jurors will consider, the big surprise is that there’s not a single piece of Motown sheet metal in the passenger car category. Asian and European manufacturers will have to shoot things out there. All told, Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will have nine entries in the truck and utility categories.

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The Big Picture!

That’s no surprise, perhaps, considering current market trends, light trucks – including pickups, vans and utility vehicles – accounting for nearly two-thirds of U.S. new vehicle sales. FCA going so far as to halt production of all passenger car models in the United States.

(more…)

General Motors Cuts Sales Forecast for 2017

Analysts are revising their predictions for 2017 downward as well.

by on Jun.27, 2017

GM extended summer shutdown at certain plants as it tries to shrink bloated inventories in a market it believes isn't as strong as last year.

General Motors, which has been scaling back production since last fall as inventories of unsold vehicles have grown, revised its sales forecast for 2017 downward, with senior executives now saying that U.S. sales will drop into the “low 17 million” range.

With the consensus of the auto industry now suggesting a downturn is taking hold, another key forecasting service also announced it was cutting its outlook for 2017. LMC trimmed its full-year 2017 forecast for new vehicle sales for the third consecutive month, pegging it at 17.1 million units from its previous forecast of 17.2 million.

News You Can Trust!

“As the U.S. auto market enters the fourth month in a row of a sub-17 million unit selling rate, nerves are being tested,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive, said in a release. “It will be challenging in the second half of the year to keep pace with 2016 … but a year still expected above 17 million units should not be considered a poor performance.” (more…)

GM Settles 200-Plus Ignition Switch Lawsuits

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but likely to carry over to state filings.

by on Jun.23, 2017

General Motors settled more than 200 lawsuits related to its faulty ignition switches.

After years of attempting to legally maneuver its way out of lawsuits about its defective ignition switches, General Motors agreed to settle more than 200 federal lawsuits, according to a recent court filing.

The filing revealed that the settlement terms are confidential, but the deal could pave the way to resolved hundreds of similar claims at the state court level, lawyers said in the filing, according to Reuters.

News Now!

The defective switches could move from the power to the accessory position, causing the vehicle to stall, cutting power to several systems in the vehicle, including the brakes, steering and airbags. The problem, which GM engineers hid for more than a decade, has been tied to 124 deaths and 275 injuries. (more…)

General Motors Expands Maven Gig to San Francisco

GM's car-sharing service aimed at freelancers growing.

by on Jun.22, 2017

GM is expanding its Maven Gig, which is aimed at freelancers, offerings in San Francisco.

General Motors’ newest mobility service, Maven Gig, is spreading its wings on the West Coast by opening operations to San Francisco.

Created specifically to provide vehicles for independent, freelance driving jobs or “gigs,” such as GrubHub, Instacart, Roadie and ridesharing services, GM launched Maven Gig in San Diego last month as part of growing portfolio of car sharing and mobility services.

Beyond the Headlines!

“Freelancers in the sharing economy want flexibility and Maven Gig is a seamless way to maximize opportunities,” said Rachel Bhattacharya, director of Commercial Mobility Strategy for Maven. “If the driver has a lull on one service they can easily flip to another and keep hustling,” she said. (more…)

General Motors Opens Supplier Park in Texas

Company controlled by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross first into the complex.

by on Jun.19, 2017

GM's Arlington, Texas, plant will have its future products supported by a new supplier park.

General Motors plans to open a new supplier park to support future vehicle production at its Arlington Assembly, which is located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, that will bring 600 jobs to the U.S.

The move comes with some help from a company controlled by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

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The Arlington Plant, which assembles full-size sport utility vehicles for both the U.S and for export, and the new supplier park are expected to house up to 1,250 employees and bring 850 new jobs to Arlington, Texas. (more…)

Automakers Want Free Hand to Test Autonomous Vehicles – But GOP Might Cut Out Federal, State Safety Regulators

Industry insists a freer hand will bring self-driving technology to market more quickly.

by on Jun.16, 2017

Waymo recently launched a pilot ride-sharing program in Phoenix using autonomous Chrysler minivans.

As they move closer to bringing autonomous and fully driverless vehicles to market, automakers and tech firms such as General Motors, Ford, Waymo and Tesla are pressing the federal government to loosen up regulations limiting the way they can test their prototypes on public roads.

Even before the Obama Administration concluded its second term, the feds were working up new autonomous guidelines. But now, under the Trump Administration, it appears Congress could give the auto industry even more freedom to move forward while limiting the power of both individual states and even federal safety regulators.

Tech News!

Congress wants to “continue working with all parties in a bipartisan manner as we refine language and move forward towards a consensus package,” said U.S. Representative Bob Latta, chairman of a panel that oversees automotive regulations.

(more…)