Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘GM’ Category

Chevy Sonic Could Be Next as GM Kills Off Slow-Selling Passenger Cars

Several more plants also on endangered list.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.18, 2019

The Chevy Sonic is limping along and appears ripe to be discontinued by GM.

In the northern Detroit suburb of Orion Township, one of General Motors’ assembly plants is hanging on by a thread. The factory is barely running on one shift and, were it not for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, might have been a fourth plant on the list of assembly lines GM said it would shut down last November.

The automaker has actually increased production of the all-electric Bolt in recent months, but demand for the Chevrolet Sonic, the other model rolling off the line there has dropped to less than 2,000 a month, barely enough to bother, it seems.

The Last Word!

TheDetroitBureau.com first warned that the subcompact Sonic was on the endangered list in April 2017 and now, it seems, its fate may be sealed. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Sonic’s days are numbered, though a spokesperson for Chevy says that, at least for now, there is nothing formal to be announced. (more…)

GM, Ford Smacked with Harassment Lawsuits

Employees suffer racial and sexual harassment at plants.

by Michael Strong on Jan.18, 2019

Several employees have reported incidents of racial intimidation at GM's powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio.

The U.S. automotive assembly plant is the last bastion of approved racial and sexual discrimination if recent events, i.e. lawsuits, are to be believed.

In the past two days, lawsuits filed against General Motors and Ford for racial and sexual discrimination have brought to light behavior thought by many to have been banished to the history books.

Subscribe Now!

GM’s powertrain plant in Toledo, Ohio, was allegedly the scene of racial discrimination and intimidation on a daily basis, according to the contents of lawsuits and complaints filed with state agencies in Ohio. Two supervisors at the facility were taunted, disrespected and their complaints ignored by management, including the discovery of a noose in an area where one of the men worked. (more…)

No-Shows, But Tesla and Musk Still Have Strong Presence at NAIAS

But can California carmaker survive the new onslaught of competition.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.17, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a prototype Model S in 2010, the last time he attended the NAIAS.

Battery-electric vehicles may still account for less than 1% of the U.S. new vehicle market, but they have had a notable presence at this year’s North American International Auto Show – something that many credit to a manufacturer that was notably absent from Detroit’s Cobo Hall convention center: Tesla.

Cadillac made a major splash during the first media preview of this year’s show, when it not only revealed the new XT6 utility vehicle but announced that it will be the first General Motors brand to use the automaker’s new all-electric platform for another SUV debuting in 2021.

/about/subscribe

Electrifying!

Throughout the show, automaker’s either revealed new battery cars and concepts or outlined their plans for an electrified future. Volkswagen, for one, announced plans to invest $800 million to add production of two new all-electric models at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

(more…)

Union, Activists Plan GM Protests Outside Charity Preview

Rally to call to light unfairness of plant shutdowns.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.17, 2019

The UAW plans to hold a candlelight vigil outside of the NAIAS charity preview to protest GM's planned plant closures.

The Union Auto Workers and union activists are planning demonstration ahead of North American International Auto Show charity preview to protest General Motors’ plans to close five plants.

The UAW is organizing a candlelight vigil at the Labor Monument on Jefferson a short distance from Cobo Center, starting at 4:30 p.m. “Recent announcements from GM concerning plants in the U.S. will have a devastating effect on members of the UAW family,” the union said in announcing the vigil.

News You Can Trust!

The union, along with Unifor, the union representing autoworkers in Canada, has been waging a letter-writing campaign to protest GM’s plans to close five assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. (more…)

Key Message Lost in GM’s Plant Closing Announcement, Barra Says

Company offered jobs to all 2,700 employees affected.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.17, 2019

GM CEO Mary Barra told the Automotive News World Congress that she understood why people were upset by GM's plans to close five plants.

General Motors fumbled its recent announcement about its plans to close plants in the U.S. and Canada, GM’s top executive acknowledged.

During an appearance at the annual Automotive News World Congress, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the timing of the announcement in November that the company planned to close plants in and around Detroit, Lordstown, Ohio, Baltimore and Oshawa, Ontario, was driven by the change in customer preferences away from cars and to SUVs.

Subscribe Now!

“Having been at General Motors for 38 years, I feel a huge obligation to make sure that General Motors is successful not just a for a few years. I want GM to be successful for many, many decades,” Barra said. (more…)

Cadillac Going Electric With New Midsize Crossover

First battery model off all-new GM BEV architecture do around late 2020.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.14, 2019

Cadillac retook its position as General Motor's innovative brand with the reveal of its first EV off a new flexible platform. The finished CUV arrives in 2020.

Cadillac will become the first brand to use the all-new battery-electric vehicle architecture parent General Motors is developing, with its first all-electric model, a midsize crossover, scheduled to come to market in late 2020 or early 2021.

The new, skateboard-like platform will have significant flexibility, said Cadillac President Steve Carlisle during a media event marking the start of the 2019 North American International Auto Show. It eventually will allow Caddy and its sibling GM brands to produce a wide range of sizes, shapes and drivetrain layouts as the automaker begins to shift away from conventional gas and diesel-powered vehicles.

All Charged Up!

The new platform, said Carlisle, “can build literally everything in the portfolio,” including vehicles that are front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive. And by varying the number of batteries in the pack hidden under the vehicle load floor, GM can offer varying ranges while pricing for different segments of the market. (more…)

Cadillac Reshapes Line-up with new XT6 Crossover

Utility vehicle will replace CT6 sedan as premium offering.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.13, 2019

Cadillac's new XT6 will go up against a tough set of competitors, including the Acura MDX, the three-row Lexus RX and the new Lincoln Aviator.

Cadillac has been in the midst of a “renaissance” for nearly two decades, but it’s a turnaround that has never quite taken hold, especially in the home U.S. market where sales took another 1.1% dip last year.

The big problem has been the lackluster success of the marque’s sedan models, something that is leading to a sharp cutback over the next couple years, with the CTS and ATS models effectively being consolidated and the flagship CT6 set to vanish by the end of 2019.

NAIAS News!

The real test for Cadillac comes on the light truck side of the ledger where it has fared a bit better. The new XT4, its smallest SUV, has been a solid hit since its autumn launch. And now, Caddy is pushing upward, with the all-new XT6 that will essentially replace the CT6 sedan as its premium offering.

(more…)

GM Expects Bigger Profits, More Transformation in 2019

Company wants to make workforce changes during strong labor market.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.11, 2019

GM CEO Mary Barra is leading the transformation of the company's manufacturing footprint.

General Motors Co. expects earnings to grow in 2019 as it restructures, picks up the pace of moving towards what Chairman Mary Barra described as an “all-electric” future, and maintains its market share in China.

“We will continue to strengthen our core business and invest in the technologies that will transform the future of mobility. Managing both well is critical to position General Motors for success for generations to come,” Barra said, adding that it was better to tackle this restructuring during a strong labor market.

News Now!

“We are committed to driving significant shareholder value over the long term as we drive the transformation,” she added. (more…)

Ford Expected to Cut “Thousands” of European Jobs

European unit wants 6% profit margin by 2020.

by Michael Strong on Jan.10, 2019

Steven Armstrong, Ford of Europe's chief, confirmed the unit is taking measures and examining other options to become profitable.

With speculation swirling about the details of an almost certain link up between Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, the company announced it plans to cut “thousands” of jobs in Europe in the near term.

“We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe,” Steven Armstrong, group vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement on Thursday.

News Now!

Ford Europe has been a money loser for several years and now needs to restructure its operations to turn that trend around. The unit employs about 53,000 people. (more…)

Canadian Workers Return After Protest at GM’s Oshawa Plant

Union staged sit-down strike after GM rejects proposals.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.10, 2019

Workers at GM's plant in Oshawa, Ontario, staged a sit-down strike after the company rejected plans to keep the plant open.

Workers at General Motors’ Oshawa Assembly Plant outside of Toronto have returned to work after a brief sit-down strike this week that began a few hours after GM rejected a plan proposed by their union to keep the plant open until the end of 2019.

“The workers were so upset they couldn’t work. They couldn’t believe that General Motors had announced that all their hard work was going to be rewarded by canceling their livelihoods, by telling them the plant is closing,” Greg Moffatt, the plant chair representing Unifor workers at GM’s Oshawa facility, told reporters late Tuesday evening, according to Canadian Press.

Business News!

Production resumed Wednesday, however, but leaders of union representing some 3,000 Canadian automakers in Oshawa have vowed to continue the fight to save the plant. (more…)