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GMC Teases New Acadia Ahead of NAIAS Debut

SUV shifts to smaller platform.

by on Jan.08, 2016

GMC teases the major makeover of the Acadia SUV it has coming for 2017.

With the first media preview at the North American International Auto Show just days away, automakers are releasing an array of teaser images to get everyone excited about what’s to come. That includes GMC which has sent us this close-up of the back end of the 2017 Acadia.

It can’t come soon enough for General Motors’ truck division. Along with sibling utes, the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, the GMC Acadia has gone without a significant update for a decade, an unexpectedly long time in an industry where change is coming at an ever-faster pace.

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For 2017, the GMC Acadia will migrate to an all-new platform that will be smaller than the one now in use – and which will be shared with a new Chevrolet model to slot above the current Equinox line.

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GMC Denali Becomes a Major Brand in its Own Right

With little marketing, sales – and profits – soar.

by on Feb.26, 2014

The newest member of the family: the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali is just rolling into showrooms.

With its distinctive grille, hand-stitched interior details and such high-tech features as a magnetically controlled suspension system, the newly redesigned 2015 Yukon Denali offers buyers a way to step up from the more conventional version of GMC’s full-size Yukon sport-utility vehicle.

For parent General Motors, meanwhile, the Denali offers a way to make even more substantial profits in a market segment it overwhelmingly dominates.

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The GMC brand has been one of the surprise success stories for GM. It’s now the tenth-largest U.S. automotive brand, and saw sales surge by 9% last year. But the real success story is GMC’s brand-within-a-brand, Denali, which last year gained grew by roughly 20%, and which has more than doubled in volume since just 2010. (more…)

U.S. Auto Sales Increase In May

Large trucks, utilities pushing monthly sales jump.

by on Jun.03, 2013

Ford posted a 14% sales increase in May with trucks leading the way.

Bolstered by strong sales of pickup trucks and luxury cars, sales of new vehicles rose again in May as carmakers continued to help keep the U.S. economy growing despite the continuing concerns about deficits and job creation.

The three domestic carmakers, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group, all posted sales increases for May.

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Ford led the way as its sales increased 14% in May, with cars up 9%, utilities up 15% and trucks up 18%. Retail sales increased 17%, marking the best May retail sales results since 2005.

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Will Mary Barra be GM’s 1st Female CEO?

Akerson cites her as a prominent potential successor.

by on May.02, 2012

GM product czar Mary Barra with the Chevrolet Volt.

She has already broken the glass ceiling as General Motors’ first female director of global product development – but could Mary Barra be on her way to become the giant automaker’s first woman CEO?

Based on comments made by the man who currently holds that title it’s a very real possibility that the 50-year-old Barra could success GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson in the next few years.

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“I wouldn’t be surprised” to see Barra get the nod, Akerson, who has himself been in the job for less than two years, told a Wall Street Journal economic conference.  But he cautioned that choosing the next GM chief executive is “the board’s job, not mine,” adding that “I think there are a number of good candidates” who might vie for the position.

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GM Will Halve Its Platform, Engine Count

Saving could top $1 billion annually.

by on Aug.10, 2011

New GM car czar Mary Barra.

General Motors plans to slash by half the number of underlying platforms it uses worldwide by 2018, while ordering a similar reduction in the number of engine variants in its line-up, the maker says.

It’s all part of an effort to reduce costs by as much as $1 billion annually, according to GM CEO Dan Akerson, who says the maker wastes far much time, effort – and money – on projects that either get canceled or which could share their basics with other GM programs.

“We’d be deep — halfway, two-thirds of the way through – on a project and we’d cancel it due to a weakening economy,” said the former Navy officer, who took the helm at GM early last year.  “The start-stop, on-again-off-again, herky-jerky nature of our product development process was very disruptive and it produced poor results.”

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Indeed, it has meant that many vehicles come out late and then don’t live up to customer expectations, added GM’s new product development czar Mary Barra.

“We end up being second, third, or at the back of the pack,” she said.

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GM and Carfax to Help People Identify Open Recalls

Better yet, it is a free service available to all.

by on Apr.16, 2010

Carfax also sells full vehicle reports.

General Motors Company is giving millions of vehicle identification numbers (VINs) to Carfax for its cars, trucks and crossover models with so-called “open recalls” or ones that have not been  performed.

This means that starting in May owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles, as well as customers in the market for used models, will be able to check for unrepaired safety, non-compliance and emission recalls through Carfax at www.carfax.com/recall. The VINs provided also include used Hummer, Saab, Pontiac and Saturn models – brands that GM no longer sells after its post-bankruptcy reorganization.

A recall may be mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), though none ever has been, as makers negotiate and shape the recall with NHTSA, and then conduct a “voluntary recall” of the defective vehicles.

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GM NAIAS Show Stand Sketches

Simpler, smaller displays from a simpler, smaller automaker.

by on Dec.22, 2009

If GM is to defend and increase share, Chevrolet as its largest brand has to lead the way.

General Motors has just released sketches of the displays for its four remaining “core brands” at the North American International Auto Show next month.

Public days runs from January 16-24, 2010. More than 700 vehicles will be on display, according to the organizers.

The big Cadillac news is a photo, click here, a partial image of what appears to be the long-rumored XTS, which will make its debut, in concept form.

If it goes into production the new, all wheel-drive full-size sedan would eventually replace two of the weaker entries in Caddy’s current line-up, the STS and DTS, and become Cadillac’s new flagship model.

More performance cars coming, and a new Cadillac flagship?

A terse release we received also confirms news TheDetroitBureau.com broke a few weeks back: Cadillac will add a high-performance version of its current 2-door base model, to be dubbed the CTSv.

GMC is extending its Denali package to include the Acadia crossover, borrowing it from the larger, more expensive Yukon sport utility model.

Displays!

When the new 2011 Acadia Denali goes on sale in the third quarter of 2010, it will be available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models, as well as seven- and eight-passenger configurations.

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GM and eBay Motors Go Online in California

Shoppers can ask questions, negotiate price and buy online.

by on Aug.10, 2009

eBay Promo

More than 225 GM dealers in California have agreed to the pilot program.

When General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson said that online shopping was coming during a press conference last month, it was before the details were agreed with eBay. Now they have been resolved and couple of hundred participating California Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Pontiac dealers will be open for business online.

The new car shopping website, gm.ebay.com, will be available to consumers from August 11 through September 8, 2009 will make online shopping a reality. It comes at a time when GM marketing is having trouble with sales; they are off 19% in July while the industry was off only 12%. It is not immediately clear, how the program differs from those of the many dealers who are already independently conducting business online, except that it offers easier access to many dealers at on web site.

Consumers will be able to browse hundreds of dealer online showrooms, ask questions, negotiate prices, and arrange financing and payment to purchase a new 2008, 2009 or “select” 2010 car, crossover or truck models.

More than 225 GM dealers in California have agreed to the pilot program. GM says that shoppers can at any given time expect to see a wide selection of up to 20,000 new GM vehicles at “very competitive prices.”

Vehicles will be offered through eBay Motors’ standard formats such as “Buy It Now,” where shoppers agree to pay the advertised price, and “Best Offer,” where buyers indicate the price they are willing to pay and can negotiate online with the dealer.

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Whither Buick, as GM Reinvents Itself?

A "dying" brand is now critical to the automaker's rebirth.

by on Jul.13, 2009

The launch of the 2010 Buick LaCrosse is critical to Buick's future - and GM's - but shouldn't the marque also be getting some small cars, as well, asks columnist Mike Davis.

The launch of the Buick LaCrosse is critical to Buick's and GM's future, but shouldn't the marque also be getting some small cars, as well?

This is what’s known as a speculative story, an effort by a long-time automotive journalist to polish the dust off the crystal ball and look into the future.

Everyone knows that crystal balls are notoriously fickle — ask any gambler — and I may look like a fool tomorrow or the next day as the New General Motors unreels various announcements, but I have been thinking about this for a couple of months, ever since GM announced it was canning Pontiac.

Of Pontiac’s 2,600 franchises in the U.S., fewer than 40 are single-point dealers handling only Pontiac.  Most of the rest are dualed with other GM brands, mostly in Pontiac-Buick-GMC combinations.  Pontiac has postured itself as a “sports car” brand in contrast to the boulevard Buicks and something-for-everyone Chevrolets.  In the first six months of 2009, Pontiac retailed 88,794 vehicles while Buick sold 47,223.  But in the first quarter, Pontiac’s sales were twice Buick’s, before the announcement of Pontiac’s imminent demise was announced — which no doubt scared some customers away, not to mention demoralizing dealers and sales forces.

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It’s true that Buick is considered by GM to be a “global” brand, especially with booming sales in China, whereas Pontiac has been relegated for some years to North America (Mexico, U.S. and Canada).  This is no doubt one of the reason that if one had to go, and despite substantial investments by GM in new Pontiac models like the G3 and G8, the Pontiac brand got tossed in the trash.

But the point of this speculative story is, “Whither Buick?”

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A Diesel Running on Gasoline is Just as Sweet

By using compression ignition, a gasoline-fueled engine can be as efficient as an oil burner, and maybe less expensive.

by on May.21, 2009

Members of the GM's HCCI team preparing a prototype engine for testing.

Members of the GM's HCCI team preparing a prototype engine for testing.

The battle between the Otto cycle and the Diesel cycle in auto engines goes back more than 100 years. Diesels have a fuel economy advantage, roughly 20%, compared to traditional gasoline engines largely because of a higher compression ratio needed to ignite the fuel and the elimination of “pumping losses” caused during the intake stroke of a gasoline engine when it is operating at partial throttle.

However, the fuel injection system of a diesel and the heavier components required to hold up to the higher pressures make it much more expensive – these days thousands of dollars more – than a gasoline engine. Tighter emissions laws on cancer-causing particulate matter are adding to the expense and reducing fuel economy. Also, diesel fuel doesn’t ignite as readily as gasoline, which makes cold starting problematic.

As automakers continue the unending quest for greater fuel efficiency, a hybrid combination of diesel and gasoline engines is being studied to see if the best characteristics of both can be obtained.

One such initiative is going on at General Motors where a homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine is under study. An HCCI engine, when combined with other advanced technologies, can provide up to 15% greater fuel economy than a comparable, non-HCCI engine by using the diesel combustion process.

“HCCI delivers enhanced fuel savings without sacrificing the performance consumers have come to expect,” said Dr. Uwe Grebe, executive director for GM Powertrain Advanced Engineering.    (more…)