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GM Sued for Allegedly Cheating on Diesel Emissions Testing

Class-action suit claims Duramax diesels exceed limits by two to five times.

by on May.25, 2017

GM is accused of cheating on diesel emissions tests on its Duramax diesels in 705,000 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

No automaker appears to be able escape unscathed. General Motors Co. became the sixth automaker accused of using some form of cheat device to pass its diesel emissions tests, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in Detroit.

GM joins Volkswagen, which admitted guilt and has paid more than $25 billion in fines and fees, Daimler AG, Subaru, Peugeot, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler in being accused of or sued for using some sort of software or hardware to get around emissions rules.

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In fact, FCA was sued yesterday by the U.S. Justice Department over 104,000 Dodge Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees that allegedly used cheat devices. (more…)

Detroit’s Big Three Struggle to Adapt to Rapidly Changing Global Auto Market

Management shake-up at Ford not likely to be the last big announcement from the Motor City this year.

by on May.22, 2017

Ford CEO Fields won't be the last Detroit exec trying to figure out how to address changes coming.

The unexpected ouster of Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields comes as one of the biggest shake-ups Detroit’s Big Three have experienced since they emerged from the Great Recession – and it highlights the challenges they face trying to adapt to a global transformation in what automakers build and how they market those products.

The appointment of Jim Hackett to replace Fields is, however, just the latest in a series of big announcements from Detroit that last week saw Ford announce plans to cut 1,400 salaried workers in North America and Europe, while General Motors said it would stop selling cars in the huge Indian market and sell off operations in South Africa.

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“As the (Detroit) Big Three look out at the landscape, they see dramatic changes coming in the concept of mobility,” says Joe Phillippi, a veteran Wall Street auto analyst and now the lead at AutoTrends Consulting. “They are desperately trying to figure out the future business model and how they will fit in.”


GM Continues Global Retrenchment; Halting Sales in India, South Africa

Profitability the key goal, not sales, for CEO Barra.

by on May.18, 2017

The Indian automotive market has mushroomed, but GM determined it wouldn't be profitable to remain there.

Long the global automotive leader, General Motors is ramping up its strategy of retrenchment, CEO Mary Barra ordering it to stop selling vehicles in both India and South Africa, as well as the countries in East Africa.

The early Thursday announcement follows earlier moves by Barra, who became the industry’s first female chief executive in January 2014. She pulled out of Russia a year ago and, in March of this year, announced that GM would sell off its long-troubled European Opel/Vauxhall operations to France’s PSA.

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“As the industry continues to change, we are transforming our business, establishing GM as a more focused and disciplined company,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We are committed to deploying capital to higher return initiatives that will enable us to lead in our core business and in the future of personal mobility”


General Motors Laying Off Tennessee Workers

Automakers looking to head off glut of unsold vehicles.

by on May.17, 2017

General Motors is planning to layoff some workers at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant to avoid accusing a glut of unsold new vehicles.

With a substantial inventory of unsold vehicles sitting on dealer lots, General Motors continues to reduce production and idle workers at various assembly plants in an effort to trim vehicle stockpiles.

The news of new cuts at GM follow a confirmation by the Ford Motor Co. that it planned to reduce its salaried staff worldwide by 10%. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced plans for cutbacks but has idled workers in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, and Belvedere, Illinois, as part of a plan to renovate its production base in the U.S.

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Earlier, GM had announced that it would idle some 1,100 employees at plants in Lansing and is now reducing production of the Spring Hill Manufacturing facility, possibly triggering some 250 to 300 layoffs in the 4,100-member workforce. (more…)

GM Pushes Expansion of Maven Brand in NYC

Car-sharing company adding 80 vehicles to Manhattan line-up.

by on May.16, 2017

GM's new car-sharing service, Maven, is expanding its operations in New York City by adding 80 vehicles.

With the big investments in Cruise and Lyft getting the lion’s share of attention, General Motors’ homegrown mobility start-up, Maven, sometimes get overlooked.

However, Maven is one of the fastest growing mobility brands in North America with operations in 17 different cities and plans an expansion in New York City that will make 80 vehicles available for car sharing in the heart of Manhattan.

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A year and a half after launching as a residential-oriented service in New York City, Maven will continue to expand into the boroughs and throughout the city to provide cars around the corner from where New Yorkers live, work and play, all without a membership fee, GM officials said.  (more…)

GM Takes Lead in Sustainable Rubber Sourcing

Automaker hopes efforts slow deforestation, improve quality.

by on May.15, 2017

GM is working with its four primary tire suppliers, including Goodyear, toward more environmentally friendly rubber production.

General Motors is working with four major tire companies to emphasize a policy of sustainable, environmentally friendly rubber production that will move the industry and its complex supply chain toward net-zero deforestation while also upholding human and labor rights.

“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain said during a press conference in Detroit that included representatives from Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin the four companies that supply more than 80% of the tires to GM.

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“We want to encourage affordable, safer and cleaner options for our customers that drive value to both our organization and the communities in which we work.” (more…)

GM Expanding List of U.S. Auto Jobs Cuts

Move could impact 1,100 hourly employees, though likely to run less.

by on May.08, 2017

GM filed paperwork warning it would layoff 1,100 workers at its Delta Township Assembly Plant, but says it will be half that number.

With April bringing to four consecutive months the slowdown in U.S. car sales, automakers are beginning to scale back production, a move that is adding up to the first real cutback in industry employment since the end of the Great Recession.

The latest cuts are coming at General Motors, where the Delta Township Assembly Plant outside Michigan’s capital of Lansing, will close this week. The move will be temporary, the plant coming back on line on June 12. But when that happens, the third shift will be eliminated indefinitely.

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Ford Motor Co. last week announced plans to cut a shift at its Avon Lake, Ohio assembly plant producing medium-duty versions of the big F-Series pickup. A number of other plants have been dropping shifts in recent months as automakers respond to declining vehicle demand. (more…)

Ford Sales in China Jump While GM’s Fall

Automakers expect positive momentum going forward.

by on May.08, 2017

Ford's executive leadership team in China is excited about the sales prospects for the remainder of the year.

Ford Motor Co. said its sales in China rebounded during April after a sluggish March, but GM’s sales slipped by almost 2% despite strong sales of sport utility vehicles and the Cadillac brand.

Ford reported selling nearly 94,000 vehicles in April in China, up 11% compared to April 2016. Monthly sales for Changan Ford Automobile, Ford’s largest partner, totaled more than 62,000 vehicles, up 6% compared to the same time last year.

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Jiangling Motor Corp. sold more than 25,000 vehicles in April, a 15% increase compared to April 2016. While Lincoln sales climbed by 95% to 4,500 units. (more…)

General Motors Wrestling With Greenlight Over Board Seats

Investor group wants to implement new stock plan for company.

by on May.05, 2017

David Einhorn, head of Greenlight Capital, wants GM to split its stock into two classes. He believes the move would nearly double the company's stock price.

(This story has been updated.)

General Motors Co. is heading for a showdown at next month’s shareholders meeting over a proposal from a New York-based hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, that is asking GM to eliminate the dividend on the existing GM common stock and issue a new, separate dividend security. It would create two classes of stocks.

The clash over the Greenlight proposal is highlighted by rival slates of directors.

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One slate includes the incumbents on the company’s board while the opposing slate was nominated by Greenlight to promote its proposal. GM shareholders meeting is set for June 6 in Detroit. (more…)

Are Privately Owned Cars Set to Vanish?

“Historic revolution” could see 95% of motorists turn to driverless, shared EVs.

by on May.04, 2017

Waymo is now offering to let the public check out its autonomous vehicles in Phoenix.

When Waymo, the autonomous vehicle spin-off of Google began offering to let Phoenix-area families try out its vehicle service last month it touched off what a new study is calling “a historic revolution in transportation.”

While the number of Americans using all forms of ride-sharing – autonomous or otherwise – is currently quite small, RethinkX, an independent think tank that looks at the impact of new technology says it will grow rapidly. By 2030, it predicts in its new report, 95% of the miles traveled in the U.S. will be in self-driving, shared electric vehicles.

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That’s a far more rapid transition than others have been predicting. A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group delivered a shock to many by forecasting 25% of U.S. miles would be driven in shared, driverless, electric vehicles by 2030. But “it’s time to adjust our thinking,” said Tony Seba, a co-author of the RethinkX study, “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the ICE Vehicle and Oil Industries.”