Just Car Blog
|OnStar Responds: New Video Addresses Terms & Conditions Concerns||
OnStar is the most recognized telematics system for vehicles around. We praise OnStar for their improvements over the years making not only owners of GM vehicles lives better, but reaching out to consumers of other vehicles via their new FMV (for my vehicle) program. In a recent post we highlighted some of the more recent changes to OnStar’s Terms & Conditions and data collection practices. OnStar kindly responded with a new “Clarification on Onstar’s Terms & Conditions” video. Anyone having the slightest doubt about their privacy and security related to OnStar are highly urged to view the video below in its entirety.
|GM to cut engine and vehicle platforms across global market||
In an official statement made by American car manufacturer, General Motors Inc., the company states that they will cut in half the total number of automobile units and power plants used globally. This move by GM is said to be their solution to address their up and down ride in cost and product development problems.
According to the official statement, the number of GM automobile architecture will drop from 30 in 2010 to 14 in 2018. Their engine platforms will take a dive from 20 in 2009 to just 12 in 2018. Their long term goal is to make the engine platform figures to just 10. According to executives from General Motors, the number of unproductive development practices is causing them almost $1 billion annually. This is supported by the claim made by Senior Vice President, Mary Barra who confirmed that they lost almost $1 billion annually because of inefficient production practices and that they’ve been in an up-down cycle when it comes to product investment.
Barra added that the launch dates for the Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia and the Chevrolet Traverse continue to take a drawback due to fluctuating financial conditions. Having common architectures will help the company take the product lines to the show rooms faster.
The press release also mentioned that the American brand will begin producing Cadillacs in China by the bulk late in 2012. Additionally, GM is will set up another assembly plant in Russia and about four more in China. Lastly, GM is said to be planning to debut about 16 new models in China in the span of five years.
|GM Buick Regal with e-Assist to be Showcased at Chicago||
Chevrolet will be bringing two new cars at the Chicago Auto Show. Although very little is known as to what those cars would be, one of them would be based on the Camaro model – Camaro Z28 is great possibility.
As per earlier reports the car will be having a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine with approximately 556 hp (415 kW / 564 PS) and 551 lb-ft (747 Nm) of torque. The styling of the car is too said to be unique.
As for the second car nothing was mentioned except that it would be “fun”. But rumors are that it could be the Buick Regal with e-Assist as an option. eAssist is a power management system that aids a gasoline engine. Normal power comes from a 180 hp 2.4-liter Ecotec delivered through a 6-speed auto.
Also, there is a 115V lithium-ion battery that powers a 15 KW motor-generator unit to provide up to 15 hp and nearly 80 lb-ft torque of assist during acceleration. Having a motor-generator also allows for recuperation during braking and the battery allows for auto start-stop of the engine at idle.
The Camaro model is expected to go in to production by 1st January 2012 shortly followed by sales and will be featured in one of the six ads of the company run during the Super Bowl.
|GM To Add 750 Jobs In Flint||
It wasn’t too long ago that all the news related to U.S. automakers was negative. Things have changed in recent months, and GM is now the second of the big 3 U.S. automakers to announce significant hiring plans for the immediate future. General Motors announced on Monday that they would be adding a third shift to the Flint Assembly plant, which builds both the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado heavy-duty pickups. The third shift is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2011, with workers arriving for training in the second quarter.
The additional shift is in direct response to customer demand for heavy-duty pickups, which are used for both commercial and recreational purposes. Flint Assembly currently employs nearly 2,100 hourly and salaried workers, and already ramped up production of pickups in 2010. The additional 750 jobs are badly needed in Flint, whose economy is even more decimated that that of Detroit. GM operates an additional four plants in the Flint area, including Flint Engine Operations, Flint Metal Center, Flint Tool & Die and the Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center.
Source: General Motors
|2012 Buick Verano Construction Locale Revealed||
The 2012 Buick Verano will be built at Michigan’s Lake Orion, says General Motors. There are not too many details about the vehicle, just a confirmation about the location it would be built at. It has been understood from earlier reports that the vehicle is based on the Chevrolet Cruze, with style inputs from a GM vehicle that is out in China – Excelle GT.
Details that can be garnished from these revelations are that the car is likely to have a waterfall grille, porthole vents, and an interior that is plush and luxurious.
As for the engine – a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with four-cylinders capable of 138 hp (103 kW / 140 PS) and 148 lb-ft (200 Nm) of torque should be in place. This would help the vehicle to enjoy a fuel efficiency rating of approximately 36 mpg highway.
|GM’s filing to go Public warns Investors||
General Motors Co. has included the standard warnings for present and future investors in its 734-page filing to go public. This includes the many risks that GM faces in the industry like the stability of its supply base, weak sales figures, and changes in regulations to name a few. Of course, the risks that GM has disclosed almost paint the picture that the American automaker might just face bankruptcy in a year’s time.
The 734-page file also includes the state in which senior management is being paid an uncompetitive salary because of the limitations that comes from the government’s aid to the GM. There is also the matter of unhealthy financial controls inside the company the negative effects of GM’s deflating dealer body to its market share and sales in the U.S.
According to GM, the sales and market share will suffer when they decide to let go of several brands and cut down their U.S. dealer network. In 2009, there were approximately 5,600 GM dealers in the U.S. In June 2010, the figure goes down to 5,200. The initial plan was to cut down the dealerships by 3,600 to 4,000 in the long run that in 2009, the automaker has ended their franchise deals with over 2,000 dealers. But the new federal law urged GM to revive at least 700 of these terminated dealerships while some were restored through government mandated negotiations. GM now plans to cut their US dealers to around 4,500 towards the end of this year.
|Oprah To Give Away Chevrolet Traverse Crossovers In Final Season Kick-Off||
Story Update: According to those that have seen The Oprah Winfrey Show episode for today, she and GM are NOT giving away Traverse’s. Instead the Traverses our sources were familiar with–provided by General Motors–were used for hard core Oprah enthusiasts to drive to the premier episode of her final season. An all-new marketing campaign for the Chevrolet Traverse is still slated to launch in the coming weeks.
Oprah Winfrey has been blessed with a fortune and to kick off her last season of her show, she has decided to do a giveaway event similar to one she did back in 2004 giving away a Pontiac G6 to every member of her audience. This time the giveaway will be the Chevrolet Traverse crossover to kick-off her 25th and final season of the Oprah Winfrey show.
The farewell season kick-off giveaway could start as early as today along with guest John Travolta. This would be a big marketing leap for GM in preparation for the launch of the new Ford Explorer.
|General Motors Lifts Wraps Off 5-door Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback||
General Motors has revealed the 5-door Chevrolet Cruze hatchback and the car will be officially introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. With the introduction of the new car, customers have an alternative body style to the traditional sedan.
With its attractive sweeping coupe roofline and short overhangs at both the front and rear, the new Cruze hatchback has the same dynamic ‘stance’ as the sedan. It is built using the new body-frame integral system (BFI) which is complemented by the final tuning to chassis components.
The BFI system provides greater stability. The car comes with a cargo capacity of nearly 400 liters and will feature 60/40 split rear seating.
The car is planned to be launched across Europe in mid-September and soon after will be seen on other markets as well. The prices will be announced a few days before the launch. More pictures below:
|General Motors Plans For Initial Public Stock Offering – To Repay Bailout Money||
General Motors is moving closer to terminating the term “Government Motors” as they filed plans to go public and begin selling common shares as soon as this Fall.
As you already know, GM has resurrected from bankruptcy and has come out a leaner company posting profits again. GM hopes to raise up to $16 billion in the stock sale which would be among the largest public offerings in history. The IPO will generally pay taxpayers back (recover from the 61% stake in GM) for the supplied bailout money.
After the (stock) sell takes place, the government’s stake in GM would be expected to be below 50%. This comes as good news as yet another American automotive company is emerging from the doom and gloom of last year.
For more in-depth information, please visit the source at Autonews.com (Subscription req.).
|Saab Gears Up For WRC Come Back||
Swedish manufacturer Saab has hinted coming back into the World Rally Championships. The last year in which Saab had participated in the championships was in the year 1979. Reports suggest that Saab is looking for a possible return to the series in 2012. The news comes after a comeback announcement by MINI.
Saab was on the brink of a virtual collapse late last year, when it was saved by Spyker after it came in as a potential buyer of the brand from General Motors. Since then there had been rumors of a Saab comeback into the rally. According to sources, senior officials from Spyker have already met with the rally’s organizers – and they are expected to go into the next round of talks at the Rally of France in October.
It has been reported that the initial meeting between Saab and WRC officials, and also the FIA commissions and promoter North One Sport, has already happened and there’s a huge amount of enthusiasm from all concerned. Like MINI, Saab has a great heritage in the sport and a return to the WRC is seen as a sensible move.
If Saab makes it to the rally, the car models to be used will be 9-1 or 9-2. Most Probably Saab will be using the BMW 1.6L engine which has been made for the MINI team.