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Archive for the ‘GMC’ Category

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…)

First Drive: 2019 GMC Sierra

Luxury and technology mated to power and performance.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.12, 2019

The GMC Sierra continues the brand's legacy a near-luxury vehicle, especially tough for a full-size pickup.

As a brand, GMC has come a long way from the days when it was a “work truck” often sold on dusty lots deep in parts of the city zoned for industrial use.

It has undergone a transformation in recent years that has made its utility vehicles a rival of luxury brands and the changes have also altered the GMC brand’s bread-and-butter vehicle, the pickup truck, which is more than evident in the GMC Sierra, which has been completely redesigned for the 2019 model year.

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The fact is when you’re riding in the cab of a 2019 GMC Sierra, if you close your eyes for a moment at a stop light, you might think you’re riding in a big, luxury sedan because the plush, comfortable interior and the surprisingly smooth ride and refined, overall performance out on the road or on the highway. (more…)

UAW Leaders Meet as Prelude to Bargaining With Automakers

Expect tough talks with auto companies.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones will be looking to get feedback from union locals across the country.

The United Auto Workers heads into its bargaining convention this week against tumultuous backdrop that includes suddent plant closing, a grinding federal investigation of the union’s handling of training funds and grumbling among union members, who have made it plain this winter the expect some gains  when the UAW goes to the bargaining table this summer with Detroit’s three automakers.

The resolutions adpted during the meeting will be broad so as not to encumber union bargainers in future negotiations but specific enough to shape the tenor of upcoming  talks not only in the auto industry but also other sectors where the union has members.

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“It is an ideal way to get members from a variety of workplaces and backgrounds together and discuss what is important to their fellow workers, their families and their communities,” UAW President Gary Joines said in a new issue of Solidarity, the union’s magazine. (more…)

First Drive: GMC Sierra AT4

Off-road version of full-size truck could expand its appeal.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.19, 2019

The new GMC Sierra AT4 rides higher than a stock truck and also offers plenty of high-line features.

But for the brand badges and subtle differences in grilles and headlights, it has typically been difficult to tell apart General Motors’ two full-size pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. But the automaker seems determined to eliminate this archetypal example of badge engineering.

When it launched new versions of the Silverado and Sierra for 2019, they boasted more dramatic visual differences, inside and out, than ever before. And they even split when it came to appealing new features. The Chevy, for one, got a power-operated tailgate, while GMC’s truck introduced a multi-function tailgate that can be opened and used in a variety of different ways, such as creating a workbench or bed extender.

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Now, GMC is itself planning to broaden out its line-up in a bid to win over more buyers. As a counterpoint to its plushly outfitted Sierra Denali model, it is launching the all-new off-road-oriented Sierra AT4. We had a chance to take the new model for a test drive through the mountainous terrain southeast of San Diego recently and found it surprisingly competent, both on-road and off. (more…)

GMC Unveils 2020 Acadia

Mid-cycle refresh sharpens styling, updates tech, adds new engine – and new AT4 model.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.18, 2019

The new 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 edition puts the emphasis on off-roadability.

GMC has lifted the covers on an update of its popular Acadia SUV, and it offers more changes than you’d typically expect from a mid-cycle refresh.

The 2020 GMC Acadia opts for a more classic, ute-like face, with a more boxy, upright grille framed by now-standard LED headlamps and C-shaped LED running lights. The front and rear fascia also get new treatments.

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The 2020 refresh sees some all new features added to the midsize ute, including a new turbo engine. But one of the more significant moves comes with the addition of the new Acadia AT4. Something of a counterpoint to the upscale Acadia Denali, the AT4 model puts the emphasis on serious off-road capabilities.

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EV Truck Maker Rivian Reportedly in Talks with Amazon and GM

Deal could be announced this month, according to Reuters.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.12, 2019

Rivian founder RJ Scaringe showed off the the R1T all-electric pickup at the LA Auto Show.

Battery truckmaker Rivian Automotive is reportedly in negotiations with both Amazon and General Motors on a deal that could be worth as much as $2 billion.

The deal would give the two companies a minority stake in Rivian, a start-up based in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, according to a report on Reuters.

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The proposed deal could help GM, in particular, add a battery-electric pickup to its line-up, something archrival Ford Motor Co. has said that it is already working on. A senior executive at GM last month told TheDetroitBureau.com that the carmaker is “considering” an all-electric truck.

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GM Offering $25K Reward to Catch Noose Hangers

Company ups effort to end racist acts in Ohio plant.

by Michael Strong on Feb.12, 2019

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

General Motors’ battle against racist acts in an Ohio plant is getting more serious as the automaker is now offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who has information about nooses and other racist symbols appearing at the site.

The company began offering the $25,000 reward in January at the GM Powertrain plant in Toledo, after a string of complaints from employees about the behavior of other employees starting in early 2017 and symbols evolved into a lawsuit against the company in the fall of 2018.

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“We have zero tolerance for discrimination, and we’re doing everything we can to identify the culprit. This is another step we’ve taken, working with police to intensify the investigation,” GM said in a statement to the Free Press. “We’re outraged that anyone would face threats, and our hearts go out to anyone affected by this bigotry.” (more…)

Rock Star Sting Joins Protest Against GM Oshawa Closure

Musician shows support with performance of musical in Oshawa.

by Michael Strong on Feb.11, 2019

Actor/musician Sting and the cast of The Last Ship in Toronto are going to Oshawa for a free performance to support workers at the GM plant that is shutting down.

Union workers at General Motors’ plant in Oshawa, Ontario, have found a high-profile ally in their fight to prevent the announced closure of the plant: Musical star Sting.

The musician, who has won multiple Grammys and fronted The Police before expanding into acting and musical theater, is joining forces with Unifor in protest of the plant closure. He and the cast of his musical, The Last Ship, are performing in Oshawa on Thursday.

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The musical is currently playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. However, it will travel to Oshawa for this performance – at no cost. Unifor is paying the cost to rent the theater. (more…)

Pickups, SUVs Push GM Profit Well Above Expectations

Automaker betting numbers will look even better as truck production ramps up in 2019.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.06, 2019

GM reported stronger than expected earnings as Chairman and CEO Mary Barra continues to reshape the company.

General Motors handily beat Wall Street’s earnings forecast for the fourth quarter and full year a strong performance that reflects both booming truck demand and the payoff of shedding the company’s long-struggling European operations.

For the final quarter of 2018, GM delivered earnings of $1.43 a share — $1.40 after excluding special items. The consensus, according to Zacks Investment Research, was $1.24. For the full year, earnings came to $6.54 a share, well ahead of the consensus forecast of $6.29. After special charges, the figure dropped to $5.58 per share.

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GM’s overall $8.1 billion profit for all of 2018 was more than double the $3.9 billion number from the year before, but the 2017 figure reflected a significant hit from the sell-off of the company’s long-troubled European Opel-Vauxhall subsidiary. It was acquired by PSA Group, parent of the Peugeot and Citroen brands. (more…)

General Motors Set to Begin About 4,000 Layoffs on Monday

Goal is to complete handing out pink slips before Q4 earnings release.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.01, 2019

General Motors plans to terminate 4,000 jobs in its North American operations on Monday.

General Motors will begin involuntary layoffs on Monday, hoping to complete the latest round of cutbacks before releasing its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

In all, about 4,000 workers in its North American operations will be terminated, part of a broader series of cuts expected to save the automaker billions of dollars and help it prepare for an expected slowdown of the U.S. automotive market during the next several years.

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“This is not going to be like Black Friday,” one source told TheDetroitBureau.com, referring to the massive cutback GM ordered in the run-up to its 2010 bankruptcy. (more…)