The Truth About Cars » general motors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:04:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » general motors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com General Motors Shareholder Lawsuit Dismissed In Delaware http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-shareholder-lawsuit-dismissed-in-delaware/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-shareholder-lawsuit-dismissed-in-delaware/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102945 A group of General Motors shareholders found their lawsuit over the February 2014 recall dismissed in Delaware Monday due to lack of evidence. The lawsuit — one of four linked to shareholders; the others are in Michigan — alleged GM’s directors acted in bad faith over the handling of the February 2014 ignition switch recall […]

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GM First Day as a Public Company Celebration

A group of General Motors shareholders found their lawsuit over the February 2014 recall dismissed in Delaware Monday due to lack of evidence.

The lawsuit — one of four linked to shareholders; the others are in Michigan — alleged GM’s directors acted in bad faith over the handling of the February 2014 ignition switch recall affecting 2.66 million vehicles, Detroit Free Press reports.

In his dismissal of the suit, Delaware Chancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock found the board “did not consciously fail to monitor” the company’s operations, thus was unable to find “substantial likelihood of personal liability on the part of a majority of the board.”

GM praised Glasscock’s ruling, especially in light of the various lawsuits still on the table, among other legal actions:

The Delaware Court properly dismissed the complaint because GM’s board of directors did its job in exercising oversight over the company. The other shareholder derivative actions pending against the board make the same allegations, so we hope the courts will dismiss those as well.

The Michigan-based lawsuits, two of which are in federal court, were held pending the Delaware decision. Spokesman Jim Cain hopes said decision leads to the trio’s dismissal.

(Photo credit: General Motors)

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Marchionne Not Yet Ready For GM, Fields Not Interested In Any Merger http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-not-yet-ready-for-gm-fields-not-interested-in-any-merger/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-not-yet-ready-for-gm-fields-not-interested-in-any-merger/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100777 FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne says he’s not ready to court General Motors’ shareholders for a merger, while Ford’s Mark Fields prefers no mergers at all. Though Marchionne was said to be gathering allies in the finance field to help persuade GM’s investors to consider consolidation — having been rebuffed already by CEO Mary Barra — […]

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Fiat 500 At Tuscany Wedding Circa April 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne says he’s not ready to court General Motors’ shareholders for a merger, while Ford’s Mark Fields prefers no mergers at all.

Though Marchionne was said to be gathering allies in the finance field to help persuade GM’s investors to consider consolidation — having been rebuffed already by CEO Mary BarraReuters says he stated the following while on the sidelines at Wednesday’s unveiling of the Alfa Romeo Guilia:

We are very far removed from any of those scenarios today. None of my staff has spoken to them, I haven’t spoken to them, nobody is under instruction to speak to them.

When asked about the possibility of going hostile in his ongoing need for industry consolidation, Marchionne’s reply was to proclaim those who “kept wasting capital” were the ones meting out the hostility.

One such individual would likely be Fields. Per The Detroit Bureau, the Ford CEO told reporters attending the annual Further With Ford conference mergers with any automaker, let alone FCA, were out of the question:

We have no interest or plan other than accelerating the One Ford Plan; delivering product excellence and driving innovation in every part of our business. We are never going to take our eye off of being a great developer of cars, trucks and utility vehicles.

Fields added he would consider ways to improve his company’s overall business model, stating it was important for Ford “to open up that lens” in order to lead the industry towards betterment.

(Photo credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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Chart Of The Day: May 2015 Was The Best Month Yet For GM’s Subcompact Crossovers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-may-2015-best-month-yet-gms-subcompact-crossovers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-may-2015-best-month-yet-gms-subcompact-crossovers/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095353 During a month in which American Honda reported the brand’s first 6,381 HR-V sales, a month in which Subaru and Mitsubishi reported record XV Crosstrek and Outlander Sport sales, a month in which Jeep sold another 4,416 Renegades, GM’s smallest crossovers combined for their highest sales total thus far, as well. 11,107 Buick Encores and […]

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Encore Trax sales chart

During a month in which American Honda reported the brand’s first 6,381 HR-V sales, a month in which Subaru and Mitsubishi reported record XV Crosstrek and Outlander Sport sales, a month in which Jeep sold another 4,416 Renegades, GM’s smallest crossovers combined for their highest sales total thus far, as well.

11,107 Buick Encores and Chevrolet Traxes (Traxi? Trai?) were sold in the United States in May 2015.

This required the biggest of six months so far for the Chevrolet Trax. Encore volume increased 28%, year-over-year, and crested the 5,000-unit mark for the third consecutive month and just the third time since the little Buick arrived at the beginning of 2013.

General Motors sold 102,547 SUV and crossovers in the U.S. in May 2015. The Encore and Trax accounted for 11% of those sales. In other words, significantly more than the just-launched Honda HR-V; not nearly as many as the Chevrolet Equinox. With 29,456 May sales, the Equinox ranks second among SUVs and crossovers overall.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar.

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Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Banks $16M In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/renault-nissans-carlos-ghosn-banks-16m-in-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/renault-nissans-carlos-ghosn-banks-16m-in-2014/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097801 Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn did well for himself in 2014, banking around $16 million in compensation compared to the salaries of other automotive CEOs. Breaking down the numbers, Nissan paid Ghosn ¥1.035 billion ($8.39 million USD) during 2014, Reuters says, up 4 percent from what he made in 2013. On the Renault side, Ghosn took […]

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Carlos Ghosn

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn did well for himself in 2014, banking around $16 million in compensation compared to the salaries of other automotive CEOs.

Breaking down the numbers, Nissan paid Ghosn ¥1.035 billion ($8.39 million USD) during 2014, Reuters says, up 4 percent from what he made in 2013. On the Renault side, Ghosn took home €7.2 million ($8.17 million), bringing total compensation to $16.56 million.

Ghosn’s combined paycheck is in line with compensation paid to two of the Detroit Three’s CEOs, where both Ford CEO Mark Fields and General Motors CEO Mary Barra made $16.8 million and $16.2 million respectively at the end of their first year helming their companies. Meanwhile, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s compensation paints a complex portrait, with figures ranging between $8 million and $72 million depending on the source.

Among the rest of the ToHoSan Zaibatsu, Toyota’s Akio Toyoda made ¥229 million ($1.84 million) in 2014, while Honda’s Takanobu Ito brought home ¥150 million ($1.21 million).

In Germany, the Teutonic Trinity’s CEOs took home €6.57 million ($7.35 million – Audi’s Rupert Stadler), €7.25 million ($8.11 million – BMW’s Norbert Reithofer) and €9.35 ($10.5 million – Mercedes’ Dieter Zetsche).

Finally, under the remaining stripes of the Tricolore Français, PSA Peugeot Citroën CEO Carlos Tavares received €2.75 million ($3.07 million).

(Photo credit: Nissan)

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Small Screen, Big Car: The Hawaii Five-O Mercury Marquis and the Supernatural Impala http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/small-screen-big-car-hawaii-five-o-mercury-marquis-supernatural-impala/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/small-screen-big-car-hawaii-five-o-mercury-marquis-supernatural-impala/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1083865 Smoke and mirrors – but sometimes also steel. In the odd world of movies and television, things are not always what they seem: the fake blower on the Mad Max Pursuit Special, the digital tire smoke from the Merc’ 6.9 in Ronin. It’s always a bit disappointing when you meet a hero car to learn […]

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Impala vs Marquis

Smoke and mirrors – but sometimes also steel. In the odd world of movies and television, things are not always what they seem: the fake blower on the Mad Max Pursuit Special, the digital tire smoke from the Merc’ 6.9 in Ronin.

It’s always a bit disappointing when you meet a hero car to learn that, behind the polish, it’s all hat and no cattle. But not with these two beasts. These are the real deal: guts, dents, motor, and chrome. One’s a modern hearthrob, the other’s a lantern-jawed archetype that even today outshines its modern co-stars.

One Ford product, one vehicle cranked out by the General. Black paint, V8 rumble, and more character than the small screen can contain. Here are their stories.
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Supernatural‘s been filming in my hometown for close-on ten years now. The show’s premise is pretty straightforward: the trials and tribulations of a pair of demon-fighting brothers as they wander around America in a 1967 Impala, putting evil back in the ground. Dukes of Hazzard meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer: justa good ol’ boys, never meaning no harm; beats all you ever saw, punched the Devil in the jaw, and gave Death a dead arm.

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Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s goofy, sometimes it’s overdramatic, and sometimes the show’s genuinely funny. The fanbase is large and loyal, and there’s a lot of love for the Impala, which is sort of a third Winchester brother on the show. It’s a constant companion, rumbling into a new town with a trunk filled with salt, crucifixes, and wooden stakes. They call it Baby, as that’s so often what Dean Winchester – played by Jensen Ackles – fondly calls his lead sled.

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As is usual in filming, there are multiple copies of this thing, all suited up identically in shabby black. Of the seven, one’s a buck cut up into movable sections for filming (not used much any more with the compact nature of modern cameras), a couple are stunt cars with extra pedals to lock up the rear brakes, and a couple are stand-ins for positioning shots. And one main one.

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A 1967 Chevrolet Impala hardtop sedan is a pretty rare car in its own right; people preserved more coupes and convertibles than sedans, and over the years many of these things rusted away unloved. It landed the role essentially out of the necessity for a musclecar large enough to have a cameraman riding around in the back seat while filming. The LA-shot pilot used a couple of ex-cop machines and a star was born.

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Part of the Supernatural Impala’s charm is its slightly menacing air and garage-project look. It doesn’t wear huge Chip Foose style rims, nor is it factory-trim prim and proper. The doors creak when you open them. There’s a line-lock strapped to the gearshift stalk. And then there’s what’s under the skin.

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Six of the Impalas are just props. One of them is something else: a fully-built car that’s used for closeups and star work. The work is partially Ackles’ doing – rumor has it he’s hoping to keep the car after the show wraps, so he’s pushed for a few upgrades. More than a few actually.

Under that huge hood is a fully-built big-block Chevy V8, a 502 cubic-inch monster that idles like a bowling ball in an industrial dryer and barks like a Hellhound when you prod the throttle. The suspension is a complete Hotchkiss set up, and the car actually handles and brakes reasonably well. When the crew needed to set up a few establishing shots for a season’s traveling, they strapped cameras to the Impala and spent a week aimlessly roaming around the canyon roads and deserts of BC’s interior. “Most fun two weeks of my life,” says the car’s long-time caretaker.

The Impala is at least as potent in person as it is on screen, even if the demon-fighting apparatus in its trunk is just a prop. Supernatural? No – it’s the real deal.

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In far rougher shape, but no less impressive, is the 1974 Mercury Marquis from Hawaii Five-O. This was Detective Steve McGarrett’s (as played by Jack Lord) car in the original series for six seasons. It continues to feature in the modern remake, functioning as the link between the two shows.

Unlike the Impala, there was only ever one Marquis. While a ’67 coupe was used in the pilot episode, and a ’68 Park Lane sedan filled in for the first six seasons, the black ’74 that saw out Five-O‘s run didn’t have a stunt double to take the punches. Like the original Ectomobile, it was the only car used, and that meant week after week of damage and repair. Often-times the mechanic, Mike Sakamoto, would be welding it back together into the wee hours of the morning.

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The old girl’s in pretty sad condition. That salt-filled Hawaiian air is easy on the skin but rusty murder on old Detroit iron like this. Open the door and a small shower of iron oxide hisses down – it’s a miracle that a forty-year-old unrestored car survives like this.

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Yet survive it does. The owner, John Nordlum, puts the key in the ignition and cranks the engine. The starter whirrs creakily, there’s a weak tuff-tuff-tuff of an old engine coughing to life, and then she fires. The Ford 460ci V8 sets up a beat, and once again McGarrett’s car glides off the set, and out onto patrol on the streets of Honolulu.

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Nordlum was Jack Lord’s body double, and later Tom Selleck’s double on Magnum PI (which mostly used the same crew as Five-O). He was given the Marquis at the end of shooting the series, a gift from Jack Lord. Notoriously a forceful personality, Lord steamrollered any studio objections, and Nordlum got the keys.

The Marquis rumbles around the block without a catch in its step, though the body rolls like an ill-ballasted ship through the corners. There’s creaks and rattles aplenty, and even the shifter is liver-spotted with patina. But she still runs and drives, even after all these years. “We can’t get crew that’s lasted as long as that car,” Nordlum laughs, “It’s got a life of its own.”

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Perhaps either the show or some eager fan will foot the restoration bill for the Marquis. Perhaps the Impala will end up in Ackles’ personal garage, to be trotted out now and then for a blitz around the block.

That’s the hope anyway – sure, both have been immortalized through the lens of a camera already, but each is not just a ephemeral fantasy. There is solidity here, realness beyond the showbiz glitz. It’s something to be honored and preserved.

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General Motors, FCA Recruit Advisors Amid Merger Standoff http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-fca-recruit-advisors-amid-merger-standoff/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-fca-recruit-advisors-amid-merger-standoff/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 15:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095169 The Lifetime movie starring FCA has reached the “dangerous stalker” phase, as the automaker and General Motors recruit advisors amid a merger standoff. Despite GM and CEO Mary Barra both rebuffing FCA’s and CEO Sergio Marchionne’s attempts to consolidate the two automakers and their respective resources, the former has brought aboard Goldman Sachs and Morgan […]

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Abarth 500

The Lifetime movie starring FCA has reached the “dangerous stalker” phase, as the automaker and General Motors recruit advisors amid a merger standoff.

Despite GM and CEO Mary Barra both rebuffing FCA’s and CEO Sergio Marchionne’s attempts to consolidate the two automakers and their respective resources, the former has brought aboard Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for advice in handling the latter’s attempts to force the issue, Reuters reports. FCA is being advised by UBS, with help from Lazard via the automaker’s founding Agnelli family.

For months, Marchionne has been beating the drum of consolidation, going as far as to recruit GM investors to force the automaker’s board to meet FCA at the negotiation table. His reasoning amounts to reducing costs involved in developing platforms and technologies for new vehicles by spreading those costs throughout two or more merged parties.

However, for FCA to make GM theirs forever and always, sources close to the matter claim the automaker would need to pay $77 billion in an all-stock transaction, based on GM’s shareholders demanding a 35 percent premium regarding market capitalization, as well as a significant payout on their shares.

The hostile takeover would put FCA under financial strain, as well. Its market value — most of which is linked to Ferrari, which is set to strike out on its own later this year — is around $57 billion, while capitalization is $20 billion, much smaller than GM’s respective figures of $84 billion and $57 billion.

(Photo credit: Shane Hayes/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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General Motors Repurposes Chevrolet Volt Batteries For Energy Storage http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-repurposes-chevrolet-volt-batteries-for-energy-storage/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-repurposes-chevrolet-volt-batteries-for-energy-storage/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1094633 Having already recycled battery covers into animal habitats, General Motors is turning its efforts toward the Chevrolet Volt’s batteries themselves. General Motors battery life cycle boss Pablo Valencia says the packs used in the PHEV can still be of use in storage applications once its days providing energy to the vehicle draws to an end, […]

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VoltBatteriesDataCenter01

Having already recycled battery covers into animal habitats, General Motors is turning its efforts toward the Chevrolet Volt’s batteries themselves.

General Motors battery life cycle boss Pablo Valencia says the packs used in the PHEV can still be of use in storage applications once its days providing energy to the vehicle draws to an end, “delivering waste reduction and economic benefits on an industrial scale” in repurposing.

To demonstrate this, five packs from the first-gen Volt are working in concert with a 74-kilowatt solar array and two wind turbines — each good for 2 kW — to generate power at GM’s Enterprise Data Center at the Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Mich. The packs can also provide emergency power for four hours in the event of a power outage, while the full setup can deliver up to 100 MWh of energy — the equivalent of the amount used by 12 average households — annually to the data center, with excess sent to the proving ground’s grid.

Though supply of Volt packs remains low for now, GM says it’s working with partners to “validate and test systems for other commercial and non-commercial uses.” Valencia adds the repurposing of packs for energy storage would be perfect for commercial use, providing “full functionality” from the packs while also reducing upfront costs in implementing the system.

[Photo credit: Chevrolet]

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Billionaire Investor Kirk Kerkorian Dead At 98 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/billionaire-investor-kirk-kerkorian-dead-at-98/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/billionaire-investor-kirk-kerkorian-dead-at-98/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 19:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093817 Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian died Tuesday at the age of 98, leaving behind a legacy which included the automotive industry in his twilight years. Aside from his numerous holdings in Las Vegas casinos — including MGM Resorts International — air charter businesses, and movie studios, Kerkorian held shares among all of the Detroit Three, Bloomberg […]

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1989 Chrysler TC
Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian died Tuesday at the age of 98, leaving behind a legacy which included the automotive industry in his twilight years.

Aside from his numerous holdings in Las Vegas casinos — including MGM Resorts International — air charter businesses, and movie studios, Kerkorian held shares among all of the Detroit Three, Bloomberg reports.

Though he once sold one of his businesses to Studebaker — only to buy it back two years later — Kerkorian’s dealings in Detroit began in 1990, when he acquired nearly 10 percent of Chrysler’s stock after being impressed by then-chairman Lee Iacocca. Five years after, he and Iacocca were rebuffed by the automaker and its then-new chairman, Bob Eaton, when the duo sought to buy the remaining 90 percent of the automaker for $22.8 billion; Daimler AG would buy Chrysler three years later.

Though he initially supported the so-called “merger of equals” — his outside analysis helped lead the two companies down the aisle, Automotive News says — he sued DaimlerChrysler for $3 billion in damages in 2000 for misleading him with said merger. Kerkorian would ultimately lose his suit in 2005, his appeal of the federal trial verdict also proving unsuccessful.

Two years later, Kerkorian sought to buy Chrysler once more, offering $4.6 billion to Daimler before being outbid by Cerberus.

Around the same time of the Cerberus bid, he bought nearly 10 percent of General Motors shares, selling them back a year later after his patience ran out with the automaker’s management when he failed to convince then-CEO Rick Wagoner to join forces with Renault-Nissan. He also lost $600 million in 2008 selling his 6.5 percent stake in Ford — citing a lack of confidence the Blue Oval could turn its fortunes around — which he had purchased for over $1 billion in the same year.

[Photo credit: Greg Gjerdingen/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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May 2015 Was GM’s Best Month Since 2008, Pickup Trucks Just As Important Now As Then http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/may-2015-gms-best-month-since-2008-pickup-trucks-just-important-now/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/may-2015-gms-best-month-since-2008-pickup-trucks-just-important-now/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092041 General Motors increased their share of America’s full-size pickup truck market from 35.5% in May 2014 to 38.1% in May 2015. Grabbing hold of an opportunity presented by Ford’s F-150 supply constraints and consequent 10% overall F-Series decline, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Silverado jumped 11%; GMC Sierra sales increased 4%. The full-size pickup truck […]

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2015 Chevrolet Silverado

General Motors increased their share of America’s full-size pickup truck market from 35.5% in May 2014 to 38.1% in May 2015.

Grabbing hold of an opportunity presented by Ford’s F-150 supply constraints and consequent 10% overall F-Series decline, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Silverado jumped 11%; GMC Sierra sales increased 4%. The full-size pickup truck market was up just 1.1%, year-over-year.

With such strong Silverado sales and modest Sierra improvement, May 2015 became the eighth month out of the last ten – and the third month this year – in which GM’s full-size trucks combined to outsell the Ford F-Series. Year-to-date, they lead the Ford by 4,497 units.

2015 GMC Sierra

Growth from the company’s pickup trucks was essential last month as large sections of GM’s lineup faced sharply declining sales. The whole car division slid 13%, a loss of more than 14,000 sales. GM’s six full-size, truck-based SUVs plunged 19% compared with May 2014, a decrease of 4,609 sales. By way of the fleet-only Chevrolet Captiva Sport’s disappearance, GM lost 6,202 sales, year-over-year. GM’s three commercial vans combined for a severe 33% decline, equal to 4,544 fewer sales from the Express, Savana, and City Express.

Yet GM’s total volume increased 3% and the automaker’s market share grew marginally from 17.7% in May 2014 to 17.9% in May 2015. Not since August 2008 has GM’s monthly U.S. volume been this high.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

But there are a number of significant differences between August of seven years ago and May of this year. In the former, you were trying to learn the words to Paper Planes, and just before August 2008 sales figures were released, society as a whole was learning who Sarah Palin is. And 15% of GM’s 307,285 U.S. sales were produced by dead brands: Pontiac, Saturn, and Saab.

Rather than learning song lyrics in May 2015, you were trying to figure out what a subcompact crossover really is and trying to figure out how to say farewell to David Letterman.

Yet some other factors haven’t been so severely altered. In August 2008, GM sold 85,953 pickup trucks, 28% of the company’s total volume. GM pickup truck sales in May 2015 totalled 82,361 units, or – you guessed it – 28% of the company’s total volume. (As an aside, GM owned 24.6% of the U.S. auto market in August 2008.)

2015 GMC Canyon

Of course, full-size pickups aren’t the only products deserving of credit for propping up General Motors in May. Indeed, midsize pickup trucks did their fair share, too.

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, launched last fall, were nonexistent at this time a year ago but added 11,782 sales to the GM tally in May 2015. For this second-generation Colorado, it was the best month yet and a continuation of a consistent upward trend. For its Canyon twin, May was similarly the best month yet; 15% better than the previous peak in February.

The midsize truck twins and full-size truck twins therefore added 17,387 more sales to GM’s bottom line in May 2015, a month in which the automaker’s other products combined for an 8,534-unit, 3.9% loss.

Other models contributing to GM’s growth in May 2015, modestly or meaningfully, include the Buick Enclave, Buick Encore, Cadillac ELR, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet City Express, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Trax, GMC Acadia, and GMC Terrain.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Confirmed: Isuzu N-Series Will Be Sold by Chevrolet in U.S. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/confirmed-isuzu-n-series-will-be-sold-by-chevrolet-in-u-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/confirmed-isuzu-n-series-will-be-sold-by-chevrolet-in-u-s/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 16:18:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092825 As previously rumored, General Motors and Isuzu confirmed today they’ve “reached an agreement on a U.S. commercial vehicle collaboration” that sees low cab forward trucks making their way to our shores with bowties. Six new models will be available in the U.S. – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – all based on […]

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345535_2016-Chevrolet-4500-Low-Cab-Forward-003

As previously rumored, General Motors and Isuzu confirmed today they’ve “reached an agreement on a U.S. commercial vehicle collaboration” that sees low cab forward trucks making their way to our shores with bowties.

Six new models will be available in the U.S. – Chevrolet 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500 and 5500 HD – all based on the Isuzu N-Series.

According to a release from GM, two cabs (regular and crew), three engines (GM 6.0L V8 gas, Isuzu 3.0L turbodiesel and 5.2L turbodiesel) and varying chassis lengths from 109 to 212 inches will be available. The two companies will “explore the use of GM commercial vehicle components” for the trucks and GM will continue its supply of 6.0L V8 gasoline engines and six-speed automatic transmissions to Isuzu. Chevrolet-badged V8 gas models will be assembled in Charlotte, Michigan.

GM has sourced trucks from Isuzu in the past but exited the medium-duty segment in 2009. Isuzu previously sold passenger vehicles in the U.S. but abandoned the market in January 2009 after trimming its lineup down to GM-sourced SUVs and midsize pickups.

The new trucks will go on sale at participating dealers next year.

345538_2016-Chevrolet-4500-Low-Cab-Forward-002345541_2016-Chevrolet-4500-Low-Cab-Forward-001 345544_2016-Chevrolet-4500-Low-Cab-Forward-004

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General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092625 General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu. Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as […]

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Chevrolet Kodiak

General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu.

Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as of this writing, but what is known is the automaker will import 80 percent of Isuzu’s trucks from Japan, assembling the rest in the United States via an Isuzu partner facility. The Japanese-made trucks will come with diesel power, while the American-made variants will be fitted with gasoline engines.

The import deal is the latest development in the renewed partnership between GM and Isuzu, following a September 2014 announcement the duo would jointly develop a mid-size pickup for markets outside of North America. Their previous 35-year-long capital alliance came to an end in 2006 amid financial troubles for the Detroit automaker.

The deal is also a new development for GM itself, which discontinued the Kodiak and GMC Topkick after negotiations to sell the medium-duty division to Isuzu and Navistar collapsed in 2009. As early as 2010, the automaker has looked for ways to return to the vacated market, either in Class 5/6 or 4/5.

[Photo credit: Frank Deandro/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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General Motors Announcing Entry Into Stationary Energy Storage Next Week http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-announcing-entry-into-stationary-energy-storage-next-week/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-announcing-entry-into-stationary-energy-storage-next-week/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 14:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1090601 Forging a different path than rival Tesla, General Motors will announce its entry into the stationary energy storage market next Tuesday. While Tesla plans to bring energy storage to the home and office with its Powerwall system — consisting of new battery packs linked to solar power — GM will instead extend the economic life […]

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2016 Chevrolet Volt battery

Forging a different path than rival Tesla, General Motors will announce its entry into the stationary energy storage market next Tuesday.

While Tesla plans to bring energy storage to the home and office with its Powerwall system — consisting of new battery packs linked to solar power — GM will instead extend the economic life of its EV and PHEV packs once they can no longer fulfill their service in automotive applications, Reuters reports.

As early as 2012, GM had the emerging storage market in mind when it paired with Swiss engineering group Advanced Auto Batteries to develop a stationary pack composed of five used Chevrolet Volt batteries. The resulting modular unit was good for two hours of power as needed by three to five average U.S. homes.

According to battery lifecycle management chief Pablo Valencia, the automaker’s development of a given pack includes secondary uses:

In many cases, when an EV battery has reached the end of its life in an automotive application, only 30 percent or less of its life has been used. This leaves a tremendous amount of life that can be applied to other applications like powering a structure before the battery is recycled.

The market back when Valencia made those comments delivered $200 million in total profit by the end of 2012. As more competitors jump into the game, however, research firm IHS CERA says end-of-year profits could climb as high as $19 billion by 2017.

GM’s announcement will be made during the second day of AAB’s AABC conference at the Marriott inside the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

[Photo credit: Chevrolet]

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US Attorney’s Office Consider Charging General Motors With Criminal Wire Fraud http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/us-attorneys-office-consider-charging-general-motors-with-criminal-wire-fraud/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/us-attorneys-office-consider-charging-general-motors-with-criminal-wire-fraud/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088961 Federal prosecutors in New York are considering criminal wire fraud charges against General Motors over its role in the February 2014 ignition recall. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are also considering other charges against GM, though they hope to reach a settlement with the automaker by late summer or […]

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Renaissance Center At Night Circa January 2011

Federal prosecutors in New York are considering criminal wire fraud charges against General Motors over its role in the February 2014 ignition recall.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are also considering other charges against GM, though they hope to reach a settlement with the automaker by late summer or early fall of this year, Reuters reports.

The basis for the wire fraud claim is linked to the prosecutors’ findings suggesting GM possibly hid information about the defects in the ignition switches installed in 2.66 million vehicles made in the early through mid-2000s, as well as made misleading statements on the issue.

The yet-to-be-finalized action is one more legal action GM has on its plate, following numerous civil lawsuits, over 4,300 compensation claims, and an ongoing criminal probe set to conclude the interview phase by October.

As far as settlements with the government are concerned involving the wire fraud charge, CEO Mary Barra informed shareholders her company fully cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and any settlements to be made would occur on the company’s timeline.

[Photo credit: John Marino/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0]

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Marchionne Planning Shotgun Wedding For FCA With General Motors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-planning-shotgun-wedding-for-fca-with-general-motors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-planning-shotgun-wedding-for-fca-with-general-motors/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 18:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088273 How desperate has FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne become about marrying off his company? He’s asking activist investors to prod General Motors to the chapel. Marchionne recently began reaching out to hedge funds and other activist investors to help bring FCA and GM (or a European automaker) together to consolidate resources, Wall Street Journal reports. The […]

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Fiat Coupe Getting Ready To Be Married

How desperate has FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne become about marrying off his company? He’s asking activist investors to prod General Motors to the chapel.

Marchionne recently began reaching out to hedge funds and other activist investors to help bring FCA and GM (or a European automaker) together to consolidate resources, Wall Street Journal reports.

The search, which is coming up blank thus far, is the latest in the CEO’s attempt to find a happy ending for his increasingly desperate romantic tragicomedy film, fearing excess production and duplicate costs in engineering, R&D et al threaten future profitability of the overall industry.

For now, though, FCA’s low profit margins do not make for a good partner with stronger players, while Marchionne’s dealings with GM leave much to be desired. In 2005, he convinced the Detroit automaker to pay $2 billion to not buy Fiat — in hospice care by then — a move which also dissolved a five-year-old partnership to produce engines and transmissions together.

More recently, Marchionne attempted to woo GM back with an email to CEO Mary Barra suggesting as much. The automaker is transitioning its lineup to global architectures and can build said lineup on a broader scale than FCA. GM is also undergoing an internal consolidation to further boost profits, a plan Barra and others in management won’t allow to be derailed by outside distractions like Marchionne holding up a boombox in front of the RenCen playing Peter Gabriel, hoping GM will say anything but no.

However, Barra’s recent dealings with activist investors over a share buyback of $8 billion — resulting in a $5 billion buyback with no further issues regarding board seats — has given Marchionne hope for his own cause, which could become more aggressive with every breath GM takes.

[Photo credit: hamster!/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0]

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NHTSA Facing The Music Over Role In 2014 GM Ignition Recall Crisis http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nhtsa-facing-the-music-over-role-in-2014-gm-ignition-recall-crisis/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nhtsa-facing-the-music-over-role-in-2014-gm-ignition-recall-crisis/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1087617 A year after General Motors went under the gun for its part of the February 2014 ignition recall crisis, the NHTSA is now facing the music for the rest. According to two internal reports released last Friday from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the agency failed several times to prevent the defective ignition switch found […]

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GMIgnitionAndSwitchAssembly02(1)

A year after General Motors went under the gun for its part of the February 2014 ignition recall crisis, the NHTSA is now facing the music for the rest.

According to two internal reports released last Friday from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the agency failed several times to prevent the defective ignition switch found in certain GM models from being repaired for over a decade, says The New York Times.

While the reports did lay the majority of the blame on GM, the blunt assessment of the NHTSA’s part of the story is now leading to improvements and revisions with the agency’s methodology into potential safety problems. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx confirmed as much during a conference call with reporters following the release of the reports, acknowledging “deficits” in the methodology, and admitting there was “room for self-improvement.”

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind added he had not disciplined or dismissed any officials involved in the GM recall, but did note the improper handling of the situation “changed the culture” at the agency to the point where questioning the information received and assumptions pursued were encouraged.

The changes planned for the agency including putting automakers “on notice” without the need for gathering more evidence beforehand if a potential problem comes up, adopting a so-called “risk control” program to better align its departments and foster sharing of safety information, and instituting a formal process to contact lawyers representing affected litigants.

Finally, the NHTSA will be monitored by a team of experts over the next year, including those formerly of NASA and the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as a professor of medicine and engineering from the University of Michigan.

The two reports are only the first to give the agency the once-over; the Transportation Department inspector general will give their assessment later in June.

[Photo credit: General Motors]

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GM Designer Bryan Nesbitt New Buick Global Design Boss http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-designer-bryan-nesbitt-new-buick-global-design-boss/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-designer-bryan-nesbitt-new-buick-global-design-boss/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 17:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1085505 Longtime General Motors designer Bryan Nesbitt is now Buick’s global design boss as part of the automaker’s shuffling of chief designers. Nesbitt enters the role as he returns from a four-year stint heading design for both GM China and GM’s international operations division, Automotive News reports. He joined the automaker in 2001 following the introduction […]

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New Chevy Malibu Delivers Estimated 38 MPG Highway

Longtime General Motors designer Bryan Nesbitt is now Buick’s global design boss as part of the automaker’s shuffling of chief designers.

Nesbitt enters the role as he returns from a four-year stint heading design for both GM China and GM’s international operations division, Automotive News reports. He joined the automaker in 2001 following the introduction of one of his major hits, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, in 2000. Since then, he has led design teams involving the 2007 Saturn Aura, 2008 Buick Enclave, 2013 Cadillac ATS and 2014 Escalade.

Nesbitt replaces Buick and Cadillac global design chief Andrew Smith, who has held the roles since September 2013; Smith will continue on as Cadillac’s executive global designer. Meanwhile, Nesbitt will be replaced at GM China with Chevrolet’s truck design head Ken Parkinson, who shared the brand’s overall design duties with car design boss John Cafaro; Cafaro will now helm both halves.

The changes in design leadership were made to “emphasize” each of GM’s global brands, according to a representative, and took effect June 1.

[Photo credit: General Motors]

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Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner To Give Deposition Over February 2014 Recall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/former-gm-ceo-rick-wagoner-to-give-deposition-over-february-2014-recall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/former-gm-ceo-rick-wagoner-to-give-deposition-over-february-2014-recall/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 18:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1083673 Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will be among those deposed by the lawyers heading the lawsuit against GM over the February 2014 ignition recall. Wagoner, who led GM from 2001 until his dismissal by the Obama administration in 2009, will be questioned by Texas attorney Robert Hilliard about his knowledge of the events leading […]

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Rick Wagoner TTAC Style

Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will be among those deposed by the lawyers heading the lawsuit against GM over the February 2014 ignition recall.

Wagoner, who led GM from 2001 until his dismissal by the Obama administration in 2009, will be questioned by Texas attorney Robert Hilliard about his knowledge of the events leading to the recall of over 2.6 million vehicles over defective ignitions linked to as many as 109 deaths and over 200 injuries, The Detroit News reports. Hilliard is also seeking depositions from “every CEO who was there during the active coverup” prior to Mary Barra’s ascension to the role, those being Fritz Henderson, Ed Whitacre and Dan Akerson.

Others to be deposed by Hilliard and his team of lawyers include former GM general counsel Michael Millikin and attorney Anton Valukas, the latter hired by the automaker to conduct and report the investigation into the events leading to the recall.

Over 55 individuals are scheduled to give their depositions prior to Hilliard et al moving forward with their class action lawsuit in January 2016, with Barra closing out the process with her deposition October 3. Wagoner’s time before the attorneys is set for September 2, and most of the depositions will be conducted in Detroit.

[Photo credit: General Motors]

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General Motors Files Third Application For GMC Granite Nameplate http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-files-third-application-for-gmc-granite-nameplate/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-files-third-application-for-gmc-granite-nameplate/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 15:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1082057 While General Motors dealt with trademarking issues over the Chevrolet Bolt, the automaker filed a new application last month for the GMC Granite nameplate. The application is the third to secure the Granite name for a product which may see the light of day, AutoGuide reports. The name was originally used for a concept compact […]

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gmc-granite-concept-01

While General Motors dealt with trademarking issues over the Chevrolet Bolt, the automaker filed a new application last month for the GMC Granite nameplate.

The application is the third to secure the Granite name for a product which may see the light of day, AutoGuide reports. The name was originally used for a concept compact crossover, which made its debut at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

GM filed its first application for the nameplate a couple of months prior in early November 2009, abandoning it the following September. Nearly two years later, the automaker filed for a new application with the intent to use the name on “motor land vehicles, namely on-road passenger automobiles.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office required the company to provide proof the name would be used in commerce within six months.

Since then, GM filed all five of its six-month extensions, the last in November. With no product bearing the Granite nameplate in sight, however, the automaker had to start the process once more with its third application filed May 26 of this year. Time will tell if anything comes out of this ongoing effort to hold onto the name.

[Photo credit: GMC]

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General Motors Bolt Trademark Application Suspended Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-bolt-trademark-application-suspended-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-bolt-trademark-application-suspended-again/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 19:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1078146 For the second time since applying for the name, General Motors has seen its trademark application suspended for the Chevrolet Bolt. The application for the Bolt nameplate was originally suspended by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when it was learned Yamaha already held the trademark for its motorcycles and related parts, AutoGuide reports. GM […]

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2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – rear ext

For the second time since applying for the name, General Motors has seen its trademark application suspended for the Chevrolet Bolt.

The application for the Bolt nameplate was originally suspended by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when it was learned Yamaha already held the trademark for its motorcycles and related parts, AutoGuide reports. GM and Yamaha came to terms to allow the former to use the name for its EV, only for the second suspension to occur soon after.

The cause behind the recent snag comes from Bolt Custom Trucks in Fort Wayne, Ind. The custom sleeper cab builder applied to protect the name before GM, with owner Brian Callan not being aware his company’s application was now in the way of the automaker being able to call its EV “Bolt.”

Whatever name it does end up wearing, the low-cost EV is set to hit showrooms 16 months from now barring delays. Even with said potential delays, the Bolt is expected to leave the assembly line ahead of its competitor, the Tesla Model 3, entering showrooms with a $30,000 starting price and a 200-mile range.

[Source: Chevrolet]

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Elkann: Marchionne Emailed Barra, Others About Consolidation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/elkann-marchionne-emailed-barra-others-about-consolidation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/elkann-marchionne-emailed-barra-others-about-consolidation/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 18:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1078122 FCA Chairman John Elkann confirmed CEO Sergio Marchionne did email General Motors CEO Mary Barra about consolidation, though GM wasn’t the only one. Elkann informed reporters the email wasn’t the only one sent by Marchionne, though the chairman didn’t specify who else Marchionne contacted about marriage, Reuters reports. He adds FCA could consider a hostile […]

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Fiat 500 Backside Badging

FCA Chairman John Elkann confirmed CEO Sergio Marchionne did email General Motors CEO Mary Barra about consolidation, though GM wasn’t the only one.

Elkann informed reporters the email wasn’t the only one sent by Marchionne, though the chairman didn’t specify who else Marchionne contacted about marriage, Reuters reports. He adds FCA could consider a hostile bid for GM or another automaker “if there are the prerequisites to do something that makes sense,” again opting to remain vague on details.

As far as marriage in general is concerned, Elkann supports Marchionne’s campaign for overall industry consolidation, hoping the action would spark debate. He also believes consolidation will happen, but declined to say who he thought would make the ideal partner to take FCA’s hand, adding his company had “very good prospects” for the future.

[Source: Fiat]

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Marchionne Hearing Wedding Bells By 2018, No Marriage With Opel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/marchionne-hearing-wedding-bells-by-2018-no-marriage-with-opel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/marchionne-hearing-wedding-bells-by-2018-no-marriage-with-opel/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 16:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077282 FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne believes consolidation will occur as early as 2018. Meanwhile, Opel won’t be taking FCA’s hand in marriage. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann stated a merger between his company and FCA was not going to happen, though he agreed with Marchionne in principle regarding such mergers, Reuters reports, especially in regards to volume, […]

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Fiat Cinquecento Ready For The Wedding Circa July 2011

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne believes consolidation will occur as early as 2018. Meanwhile, Opel won’t be taking FCA’s hand in marriage.

Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann stated a merger between his company and FCA was not going to happen, though he agreed with Marchionne in principle regarding such mergers, Reuters reports, especially in regards to volume, scale and utilisation.

Opel’s decision to remain within the General Motors family follows a similar rebuff by GM CEO Mary Barra, who received an email from Marchionne in March suggesting the two combine forces. When asked about the email on a recent visit to FCA’s factory in Melfi, Italy, Marchionne said he writes “lots of emails,” adding he doesn’t talk about such major decisions as consolidation via email.

Meanwhile, Marchionne is holding onto the idea of consolidation overall, believing the industry will see the first occurrence as early as 2018. He didn’t specify his company would be the one heading down the aisle in said consolidation, however.

[Source: neekoh.fl/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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While You Were Sleeping: Cadillac Minuses V8 ATS-V+, Volkswagen Picks Boring Font and Ford Releases Patents into the Wild http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-cadillac-minuses-v8-ats-v-volkswagen-picks-boring-font-and-ford-releases-patents-into-the-wild/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-cadillac-minuses-v8-ats-v-volkswagen-picks-boring-font-and-ford-releases-patents-into-the-wild/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 10:25:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077130 The ATS-V+ rumored by Motor Trend is definitely not happening according to Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell. The proposed new model would encroach too much into CTS-V territory for comfort. Here’s what happened overnight. No V-8-Powered ATS-V Plus In The Pipeline, Says Cadillac (Motor Authority) A big, emphatic “no” was uttered by Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell […]

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Cadillac ATS-V

The ATS-V+ rumored by Motor Trend is definitely not happening according to Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell. The proposed new model would encroach too much into CTS-V territory for comfort.

Here’s what happened overnight.

Cadillac ATS-VNo V-8-Powered ATS-V Plus In The Pipeline, Says Cadillac (Motor Authority)
A big, emphatic “no” was uttered by Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell when speaking to Motor Authority about the possibility of a V8-powered ATS-V+.

Johnnie Walker sponsor wallTodt says F1 will not ban alcohol sponsorship (Motorsport.com)
Despite a report from the European Alcohol Policy Alliance suggesting F1 fans were exposed to alcohol brands to an excessive degree, FIA head honcho Jean Todt has said the sponsorships will continue unabated.

BSK Elise K20An Unquestionably-Japanese Lotus (Speedhunters)
Fluffy leopard upholstery, RAYS’ Volk Racing TE27 wheels, and a Honda K20 to give it motivation, this Elise is as Japanese as it gets.

145640_cars_KJH_10 dealership terms you may not know (Detroit News)
“Be back”, “mini deal”, “pack” and “skate”. These are 10 dealership terms all customers should know.

Ford Focus Electric. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.orgFord to make EV technology patents available to rivals (Automotive News)
Ford is following Tesla’s lead and opening up its portfolio of patents for competing products.

GM First Day as a Public Company CelebrationJudge puts GM suits on hold pending appeal (Detroit News)
The question of bankruptcy immunity will be the deciding factor in a number of ignition switch lawsuits filed against General Motors. A federal judge has put the suits on hold as they await a ruling from another court.

Volkswagen FontVW Changes Their Corporate Font To Something Less Interesting (Jalopnik)
Even Volkswagen’s marketing is becoming more beige as the German automaker adopts a new font for sales materials.

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General Motors Receives Patent To Sell ‘Geoboxed’ Radio Presets At Auction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-receives-patent-to-sell-geoboxed-radio-presets-at-auction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-receives-patent-to-sell-geoboxed-radio-presets-at-auction/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076946 General Motors recently received a patent allowing the automaker to sell your radio’s presets to the highest bidder at auction. The patent — titled “System and method for auctioning geoboxed flexible, semi-locked or locked radio presets” — would let GM sell the presets to various bidders on different vehicles, Jalopnik reports, with each preset being […]

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General Motors recently received a patent allowing the automaker to sell your radio’s presets to the highest bidder at auction.

The patent — titled “System and method for auctioning geoboxed flexible, semi-locked or locked radio presets” — would let GM sell the presets to various bidders on different vehicles, Jalopnik reports, with each preset being geo-fenced.

Thus, if one were to be out on the road listening to NPR, the preset could switch abruptly from the sleepy sounds of “Morning Edition,” to the “wacky” antics of Scumdog McTatertot and the Mötley Breakfäst Crüe once the motorist entered the winning bidder’s geo-fence. Another scenario could have McDonald’s hijack your navigation settings when you were looking for Starbucks for breakfast.

Though GM has the patent to do this to its consumers to bring in revenue from the connected-vehicle space, whether it acts on the patent remains to be seen.

[Source: Cadillac]

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Can It Really Be True? Chevrolet SS Sales Increased In April 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-really-true-chevrolet-ss-sales-increased-april-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-really-true-chevrolet-ss-sales-increased-april-2015/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1073026 General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014. Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more. Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from […]

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2015 Chevrolet SS

General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014.

Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more.

Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from one reported sale in October 2013 to 115.)

Moreover, the SS’s April 2015 sales total was the second-highest level ever for the Aussie-built sedan.

Are we finally seeing an SS recovery, or is this just a blip on the Dodge Charger SRT’s radar?

After SS volume tumbled to just 313 units in the fourth-quarter of 2014, a 25% year-over-year drop and a 64% decline compared with the SS’s strongest quarter from early 2014, sales have now increased in four consecutive periods on a month-to-month basis.

From just 93 sales in December 2014, monthly SS volume has climbed to 115, 215, 264, and 299 units in the following four months. Year-over-year, of course, first-quarter sales in 2015 slid 31%. But the signs of momentum, however slight and inconsequential, are still present.

2015 Chevrolet SS front

If General Motors was able to sustain this level of volume, Chevrolet would be selling 3,600 SSs in America each year. But after the SS was selling at its best level so far – during the first-half of 2014 – GM proved unable to sustain interest. Inventory ballooned, and with little marketing support and outrageous Hellcats from Dodge stealing thunder, SS sales in the second-half of 2014 were less than half what they were in the first-half.

Keep in mind, based on first-half figures, Chevrolet was on pace to sell more than 3,000 SSs in America last year; not a lot, but a lot more than the 2,479 they ended up selling.

If a lack of manual availability was blamed for part of the decline last year, did the arrival of a manual transmission provide this April 2015 boost? It seems doubtful. Even if we account for the notion that the manual-trans SS sedans may be moving faster or are simply being handed directly into owners’ hands, the fact that Cars.com shows only 1% of current inventory being made up by DIY shifters is telling.

As for the SS’s position in the sales rundown, in April it was still outsold by uncommon vehicles like the Smart Fortwo, BMW i3, Audi A8, Volvo V60 Cross Country, Porsche Boxster, and the Mini Cooper Convertible. The SS accounts for 0.35% of Chevrolet car volume this year, just 0.13% of total Chevrolet volume, and only 0.09% of the new GM vehicles sold.

Rarity isn’t a death knell. You don’t expect to see Mercedes-AMG GT coupes scattered about your local Wal-Mart parking lot or Jaguar F-Types lined up outside elementary schools in the suburbs. But oddly, GM hasn’t really used the SS as a marketing tool to elevate the image of the Chevrolet brand. And why would they? They have the Chevrolet Corvette to fill that role.

They sold nearly 3,500 of those in April alone.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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NYT: GM’s Barra Declined Meeting with FCA’s Marchionne to Discuss Possible Merger http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/nyt-gms-barra-declined-meeting-with-fcas-marchionne-to-discuss-possible-merger/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/nyt-gms-barra-declined-meeting-with-fcas-marchionne-to-discuss-possible-merger/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 18:21:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1075162 Sergio Marchionne sent Mary Barra a detailed email in the middle of March in an effort to start merger talks. Barra, CEO of General Motors, was uninterested in the offer and rebuffed Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It was the first time the two executives had ever spoken, but it wouldn’t be the last Barra […]

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Sergio Marchionne sent Mary Barra a detailed email in the middle of March in an effort to start merger talks. Barra, CEO of General Motors, was uninterested in the offer and rebuffed Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

It was the first time the two executives had ever spoken, but it wouldn’t be the last Barra would hear of Marchionne’s merger desires.

That’s the story being told by the New York Times today, detailing the lengths to which Marchionne is going to trigger consolidation within the automotive industry.

During a routine analyst conference call on April 29, Marchionne brought his plea to other executives through the media with a 25-page PowerPoint presentation.

“I think it is absolutely clear that the amount of capital waste that’s going on in this industry is something that certainly requires remedy. A remedy in our view is through consolidation,” Marchionne said.

Marchionne’s overture of a merger with GM includes no less than 14 brands between North America and Europe, not including the many other brands each company markets in China and other emerging regions. But, to date, the overture has been played to an audience wearing earplugs.

Even with the vast number of brands, that isn’t what bothers Marchionne. Instead, it’s the amount of money poured into redundant R&D work that could be shared by multiple automakers.

“It’s fundamentally immoral to allow for that waste to continue unchecked,” he said.

[Source: New York Times]

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