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Archive for the ‘GM’ Category

GM Investing $300M in Detroit-Area Plant for New EVs

Barra declines to reveal contents of Trump phone call.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.22, 2019

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra discusses the addition of 400 new jobs at the plant in Orion, Michigan.

General Motors continues its push toward an electric future by investing $300 million in a metro Detroit assembly plant to build a new Chevrolet battery-electric vehicle. The new investment also means 400 new jobs at the site.

The project is part of a broader, $1.8 billion U.S. investment program, CEO Mary Barra revealed Friday morning. The announcement comes just two days after President Donald Trump fired the latest in a series of broadsides at the automaker over its plan to close four U.S plants, including two assembly lines.

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“We are excited to bring these jobs and this investment to the U.S.,” Barra said in prepared remarks. (more…)

One of Nine Pickups Earns Top Rating in IIHS Crash Tests

Nearly half of the trucks rated marginal or poor.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.21, 2019

Ford's F-150 was one of the best performers in the latest IIHS pickup crash tests.

Pickup buyers concerned about safety might be surprised by the results of the latest IIHS crash results that found over half of the nine models scored poorly in at least one of the key tests,  four earning marginal or poor ratings overall.

Of the trucks the IIHS examined, only two earned good ratings, the Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan. And just one 2019 model, the Honda Ridgeline, earned the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick award – but only when equipped with optional headlights and forward collision prevention technology.

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“As a group,” said David Zuby, the chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “the pickup class still has a lot of work to do.”

(more…)

GM Declined Offer to Keep Lordstown Plant Open

Cleveland car dealer wanted Cruzes for ride-hailing business.

by Michael Strong on Mar.19, 2019

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra reportedly turned down a deal that would have kept the Lordstown plant open.

General Motors Co. could have avoided the latest round of flogging via Twitter from President Donald Trump about its Lordstown, Ohio plant if it had accepted an offer from one of its dealers.

Cleveland-based dealer Bernie Moreno reportedly met with GM officials last fall with an offer to buy as many as 180,000 Chevy Cruzes annually as part of a nationwide ride-hailing fleet to rival Uber and Lyft. The deal could have run as long as five years, according to a Detroit Free Press story.

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Moreno owns a dozen car dealerships across the country selling brands ranging from Lotus and Rolls Royce to Mercedes-Benz to Buick and GMC. However, GM officials studied the deal and then declined the offer apparently viewing it as not viable. The plant was idled last month as the last U.S.-built Cruze rolled off the line. (more…)

Cadillac’s New CT5 Revealed Through a “Sensory Symphony”

“We’re very much committed to sedans,” says brand boss Carlisle.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.18, 2019

The Sport edition of the 2020 Cadillac CT5.

Hoping to rebuild momentum for its struggling turnaround strategy, Cadillac has been putting a premium on SUVs, rolling out new models like the XT4 and XT6 this past year and preparing to upgrade the older XT5 and Escalade models, as well.

That’s a logical move, considering utility vehicles now dominate the luxury car market. But General Motors’ flagship brand isn’t abandoning its more traditional product family. The CT5, the new midsize sedan that will be replacing the old CTS, is making its debut today through a broad social media campaign it is calling a “Sensory Symphony,” ahead of its more formal appearance at the New York International Auto Show next month.

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“We’re very much committed to sedans. Let me clear the air about that,” said Caddy President Steve Carlisle said during a media background briefing.

(more…)

Trump Smacks GM With New Lordstown Plant Tweet

After a quiet three weeks, President takes another swipe at automaker.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.18, 2019

President Donald Trump took another swipe in a tweet at GM about the closure of Lordstown.

General Motors was again the target of a tweet by President Donald Trump, which pushed the automaker to reverse its decision to shutter an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which is located in the state’s politically sensitive northeastern corner.

Trump attacked GM after it first announced the decision to close Lordstown and returned to twitter this weekend with a tweet that urged the company to reopen the plant. The Presidential tweet came 10 days after the Lordstown plant built its last Chevrolet Cruze, ending U.S. production of the compact of the car.

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However, the timing of tweet suggested that Trump was concerned less about the fate of Lordstown than the optics surrounding another key decision Trump is expected to make in the next few weeks on a key trade issue. That said, Lordstown and GM promises to remain an issue through the 2020 Presidential election when Ohio is once again a pivotal battleground state. (more…)

Back From the Big Apple: Cadillac Comes Home With Expanding Line-Up of CUVs and BEVs on the Way

New brand boss outlines a mix of short- and long-term strategies aimed at reviving its “renaissance.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.13, 2019

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the brand's newest offering is now the top seller in its segment.

The boxes still have to be unpacked, but Cadillac is back from the Big Apple, ending a four-year experiment designed to put the brand more closely in touch with one of the country’s top luxury car markets. Instead, it needs to bring closer together the folks who will both design and then market the wave of new products that will be rolling out over the next decade, brand boss Steve Carlisle said during a Wednesday lunch meeting.

Long billed as the “standard of the world,” Cadillac has slipped well behind key competitors like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus. But last year’s surge in global sales suggests Caddy may finally be making some of the right moves – beyond last week’s closure of its offices in New York’s tony SoHo neighborhood.

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In a broad-ranging discussion, Carlisle outlined both the short and long-term steps Cadillac is taking in its bid to become a truly relevant luxury car player once again. It’s a move that has already begun with a shift in the brand’s product portfolio. (more…)

Top UAW Bargainer Takes Aim at General Motors

Terry Dittes ready to make tough demands of No. 1 automaker.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.12, 2019

Terry Dittes, vice president of the GM Department for the UAW, said its time for GM to build more vehicles in the U.S.

The leader of the United Auto Workers responsible for negotiations with General Motors took aim at the automaker’s Mexican production during a speech at the UAW Special Convention on Collective Bargaining in Detroit.

Terry Dittes, UAW vice president in charge of union’s GM Department, said in a report to the 900 delegates that roughly one third of the vehicles GM sells in the U.S. now come from Mexico and that will be a major issue in the UAW’s upcoming contract talks with the automakers.

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“Don’t kid yourself there are more plants that may be in jeopardy as time goes on,” Dittes warned the delegates. “This is not a good will speech. (more…)

Trump Moves to Kill EV Tax Credits

Support strong in Congress.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.11, 2019

President Donald Trump announced plans to end electric vehicle tax credits.

President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the tax credits that have helped promote the emergence of the battery-car market, though that proposal could hit a snag when Congress begins to consider the new White House budget proposal.

If anything, some lawmakers – backed by the auto industry – are pressing to extend the credits, which run up to as much as $7,500 for qualifying battery-cars.

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Two manufacturers, Tesla and General Motors, have already crossed sales thresholds at which they will begin seeing the credits begin to phase out. As of January 1, Tesla buyers qualify for half the original number, of $3,750. The credits for the California-based automaker will expire entirely at the end of thise year. (more…)

UAW Raising Strike Pay Ahead of Big Three Negotiations

Workers get $250 a week now, up $50 a week.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones said striking workers will get $50 more in their check effective immediately.

In a warning that it was preparing for a fight during contract talks with Detroit’s automakers this coming summer, the United Auto Workers raised the amount it will pay workers, who walk off the job from $767-million strike fund.

UAW President Gary Jones told opening day attendees of the union’s Special Convention on Collective Bargaining said the union’s executive board approved raising the weekly strike pay, effectively immediately to $250 per week from the current level of $200 per week.

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The strike pay will be raised to $275 per week effective Jan. 1, 2020, said Jones, adding the union’s strike benefits also include health insurance for union members and their families during the duration of any contract dispute that leads to a strike. (more…)

February Auto Sales in China Drop 13.8%

New energy vehicles, i.e. EVs, rose 53.6% last month.

by Michael Strong on Mar.11, 2019

New vehicle sales in China, like the Mazda CX-4, fell during the month of February 13.8%.

Automakers hoping that China might bail them out of sluggish sales in the U.S. are going to be disappointed as sales in the world’s largest market fell 13.8% in February.

The drop is eight consecutive month that China, only just two years ago posting double-digit increases, has seen buyers keep their money in their wallets. Sales fell 16% in January and 13% in December. Overall, 1.48 million new vehicles were sold in China last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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“The trend experienced last year has continued into this year, and the economic situation has also been weak. This has dragged down consumption,” CAAM’s Deputy Secretary General Shi Jianhua told reporters at a news briefing in Beijing. (more…)