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GM Expands Availability of Life-Saving Technology

Maker offering rear-seat warning technology in more vehicles.

by on Dec.06, 2016

General Motors is expanding the availability of its rear seat reminder technology in the hopes of saving more lives.

The number of infant and toddler deaths as a result of being left unattended in the back seat of a sweltering hot vehicles is on the rise. To help stem that tide, General Motors is expanding its new rear-seat reminder feature to 19 models during the next year.

GM introduced the feature on its 2017 GMC Acadia earlier this year. The news comes just one day after Justin Harris, a Georgia man, received life sentence with no chance of parole after being found responsible for the death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper, who he claims he forgot was in the back seat in June 2014.

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Harris left his son in the back of the car for seven hours while he was at work. More than 700 children have died from heatstroke since 1998 after being left in vehicles unattended for extended periods. (more…)

GM Powering Texas Plant Using Wind Power

Company working toward 100 percent renewable energy goal.

by on Dec.06, 2016

GM signed a power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems to source 50 megawatts of wind energy to power 16 sites with 100% renewable energy.

GM recently made what the company describes as its largest purchase of renewable energy to date by purchasing enough wind power to equal the electricity needs of 16 of its U.S. facilities, including the Arlington assembly and stamping, GM business offices in Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, and 13 parts warehouses east of the Mississippi River.

“GM’s commitment to renewable energy is helping transform the way electricity is produced, distributed and consumed around the world, and we’re doing it in a way that makes our company and communities stronger,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of Renewable Energy.

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“These renewable energy investments drive down greenhouse gas emissions, reduce our dependence on finite resources, and help keep our air and water clean.” (more…)

Rebuilding the Motor City, One Shovel of Dirt at a Time

GM plows new ground at an urban farm.

by on Dec.05, 2016

Old gear from the GM Tech Center will turn this abandoned apartment into MUFI's new HQ.

If you listen carefully, you just might hear the sounds of the past as you stand on the 7400 block of Brush St., along Detroit’s North End. You can certainly see the shadows and outlines where, just blocks away, one-time automotive factories now stand idle and decaying, as well as the former headquarters of General Motors.

Like much of Detroit’s inner city, the North End has fallen on hard times in recent decades. Where tidy workers’ homes once stood shoulder-to-shoulder, there are now more gaps than in the smile of a veteran hockey player.

We Crop Up Everywhere!

In fact, almost every building is gone on this particular block – but that’s the good news, the site being transformed into the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, a three-acre micro-agricultural project where as many as 200 different types of produce are being grown. It’s an ironic return, quite literally, to the city’s roots as this land was once part of the many farms established by Detroit’s original French settlers.

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Pickup Trucks Are Suddenly Hot in China

Rapturous for the Ford F-150 Raptor.

by on Dec.05, 2016

Ford's soon plans to start shipping the newly updated to F-150 Raptor to China.

They’re banned in Beijing, as well as Shanghai and a number of other cities, but pickup trucks are still expected to be the hot ticket when the Guangzhou Motor Show opens up to the public later this month.

In fact, import trucks like the Ford F-150, as well as little domestic models, are one of the hottest segments of the Chinese auto industry right now, with IHS Automotive expecting a 14% increase in sales for all of 2016, about double the pace of the overall market’s growth.

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And despite hefty import incentives, that’s enough to encourage Detroit-based makers to expand pickup export plans, Ford, for one, planning to start shipping its F-150 Raptor model to China starting in 2017.

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Barra Accepts Post on Trump Economic Advisory Panel

GM boss only top executive from an automaker in the group.

by on Dec.02, 2016

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra accepted a spot on President-elect Donald Trump's newly formed economy and trade forum.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra’s success has apparently made her very popular in Washington D.C. these days.

President-elect Donald Trump asked Barra to be part of his Strategic and Policy Forum that will advise him on economic and trade issues.

The Last Word!

Trump included Barra in the group composed of “some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders” that “is designed to provide direct input to the president from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic and non-partisan manner,” according to Trump officials. (more…)

Cadillac Returns to Racing After 14-Year Absence

GM's luxury brand kicks off entry at Daytona's 24 Hours.

by on Dec.01, 2016

Cadillac is returning to the race track with the DPi-V.R, starting with the the 24 Hours at Daytona.

Automakers claim that they learn a lot from their racing programs, well, Cadillac is going back to school: the brand revealed the all-new 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R race car today.

The luxury brand’s entry will compete in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, Prototype (P) class. This represents Cadillac’s second foray in racing. The last time the brand competed in top-level prototype racing was 2002, when the ill-fated Northstar LMP finished ninth at Le Mans.

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“Cadillac is proud to return to the pinnacle of prototype racing in North America after a 14-year absence,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. (more…)

GM Closing Indiana Semi-Conductor Plant

Aging technology too cost prohibitive to replace, company says.

by on Nov.30, 2016

GM is closing its semi-conductor plant in Kokomo, Indiana, mid-year next year.

After six years of employment stability, the layoff notices are starting to pile up at General Motors.

GM has announced that by the middle of 2017 it will eliminate 160 jobs at a semiconductor plant in Kokomo, Indiana. The layoff notices in Kokomo followed GM’s announcement that it would drop the third shift, employing 2,000 workers at the big Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant in northeastern Ohio.

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GM Kokomo will begin winding down its semiconductor production operations shortly, leaving about 20% of the plant’s employees idled. An estimated 100 hourly and 60 salaried positions will be affected by the production changes (more…)

NHTSA Concerned About GM’s Super Cruise Stopping Plan

Regulators worried stopping vehicle could cause additional problems.

by on Nov.29, 2016

General Motors Staff Researcher Dr. Jeremy Salinger road tests a Cadillac using the semi-autonomous Super Cruise technology.

The concerns U.S. regulators have about the implementation of semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicles appears to be growing as safety officials really dig into the inner workings of these new technological marvels.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently urged General Motors to exercise caution in the implementation of its Super Cruise semi-autonomous system, specifically the fact that the system will slowly bring the car to a full stop if it senses the driver is sleeping, incapacitated or simply not paying attention.

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NHTSA confirms the automaker’s plan to bring the car to a stop and activate the vehicle’s hazard lights if the driver is inattentive or unresponsive is compliant with federal automotive standards. However, it is also concerned the flashing lights could be misinterpreted by other drivers creating a more serious safety issue. (more…)

GM Allowed to Delay Takata Airbag Recall

Feds give time to Detroit maker to prove its bags used safer design.

by on Nov.22, 2016

General Motors received a reprieve from recalling 2.5 million vehicles with Takata airbags.

Federal regulators have given General Motors a temporary reprieve, allowing it time to prove that the Takata airbags used in 2.5 million vehicles, including the popular Chevrolet Silverado pickup, use a unique and safe design and thus don’t need to be recalled.

Ultimately, GM could be allowed to halt several other recalls involving Takata airbags, a move that could affect 6.8 million vehicles, in the process saving the automaker about $870 million, according to documents it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Safety News!

Faulty Takata airbags have so far been linked to at least 11 deaths in the U.S. and 16 worldwide. That has led to the recall of about 100 million vehicles globally, according to industry estimates, half of them in the United States. (more…)

Chevrolet Gets a Jump as Bolt Production Begins

Sales set to begin before year-end.

by on Nov.07, 2016

A prototype Chevrolet Bolt rolls down the line at the GM plant in Orion Township, Michigan.

The line is moving at a snail’s pace, but production of the Chevrolet Bolt is finally ramping up at the General Motors assembly plant in the Detroit suburb of Orion Township, with the first of the new, long-range battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, set to go on sale before the end of the year.

Parent General Motors is hoping that it can steal a march on a variety of competitors, notably Tesla Motors, who hope to get their own long-range electric vehicles into showrooms over the next several years. With regulators in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China pushing the industry to expand sales of zero-emissions vehicles, the Bolt could provide the first real test of a vehicle designed to overcome so-called range anxiety.

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But whether motorists will take to the $37,495 Chevy Bolt – or any of the other, more mainstream BEVs to follow is far from certain. Fully electric models have accounted for just 0.4% of the U.S. market so far this year. Adding in plug-ins and conventional hybrids, battery-based vehicles still only make up a miniscule 2.5%.

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