By on July 22, 2017

2018 Cadillac XTS, Image: General Motors

You can’t compare the traditional passenger car segment to the Titanic speeding towards an iceberg, as the once market-leading segment tore its hull open on that crossover-shaped berg long ago. Cars, especially in North America, are rapidly taking on water and sinking by the bow.

Against this backdrop, a recent — and unconfirmed — report predicting looming death for six General Motors car models came as no shock, though it did raise questions. Would GM really drop a famous nameplate like the Chevrolet Volt? The Cadillac CT6 is barely more than a year old — surely the division wouldn’t go to the expense of building a flagship, then take it behind the barn?

The deaths foretold in the Reuters report would be carried out by 2020, the source claimed. While he didn’t speak to the lifespan of the Volt or the Chevrolet Sonic and Impala, nor the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen responded by saying Cadillac’s four-sedan lineup remains safe. Yep, those three sedans will be just fine, he said. Wait, what? (Read More…)

By on July 21, 2017

Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant Cadillac CT6 - Image: GMThe possibility, or even the necessity, of turning General Motors’ Hamtramck, Michigan, passenger car assembly plant into an SUV/crossover facility in the next half-decade has the company considering the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Volt, Buick LaCrosse, and recently launched Cadillac CT6.

According to a report in Reuters, General Motors is in talks with the United Auto Workers about replacing the increasingly unpopular products currently built in Hamtramck with in-demand utility vehicles. Also in question is the future of the Michigan-built Chevrolet Sonic and the Canada-built Cadillac XTS, which has enjoyed stays of execution in the past.

On average, GM had a 111-day supply of the six models in its U.S. showrooms heading into July 2017. 70 days’ worth of supply would be appropriate. Combined, the Impala, Volt, LaCrosse, CT6, Sonic, and XTS account for 6 percent of GM’s U.S. sales in 2017.

In 2008, the Impala, LaCrosse, and the Sonic’s Aveo predecessor — merely three of the nameplates — accounted for 12 percent of a much more voluminous GM U.S. operation. (Read More…)

By on July 19, 2017

2018 Buick Regal GS rear - Image: Buick“This is a sport sedan designed for everyday driving,” Buick’s vice president Duncan Aldred said of the unveiling of the 2018 Buick Regal GS today, “but one that makes every drive special.”

We’ll be the judge of how special a drive the next-generation Buick Regal GS provides in the real world, but the on-paper formula certainly goes down smooth.

Priced at $39,990, the 2018 Buick Regal GS forsakes four-cylinder power in favor of the 3.6-liter V6 we told you about more than three months ago before receiving further confirmation last week. The V6 sends 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Manual option? No.

The GS is the top trim in a lineup that no longer features a true sedan. While the TourX is not destined to receive the GS moniker, this Regal Sportback brings its high-performance derivative under the $40K mark. (Read More…)

By on July 18, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Sonic - Image: ChevroletAmerican car buyers are increasingly turning their backs on subcompact cars.

During the first six months of 2017, the subcompact car losing the greatest number of sales is the Nissan Versa, which is suffering as Nissan realigns its dealer strategy to emphasize certified pre-owned cars.

But the subcompact car losing the second-highest number of sales is the Chevrolet Sonic, which has declined 37 percent this year (for a 10,334-unit decrease). In a continued attempt to dramatically reduce Sonic inventory — GM had a 159-day supply at the beginning of June; a 43-day supply at the beginning of July — GM is extending the scheduled plant shutdown at the Chevrolet Sonic’s Orion Township assembly plant north of Detroit, Michigan.

There are side effects from such a shutdown, an aftertaste following the swallowing of a bitter pill, spin-offs from a show nobody was watching to begin with. (Read More…)

By on July 16, 2017

u-body-crash-semi

A hulking piece of scrap metal was hurled from a Florida overpass by a flipped semi over the weekend, nearly crushing the driver of a second-generation U-body minivan. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the truck loaded with scrap was traveling westbound on Interstate 4 on Saturday morning when its driver lost control of the vehicle and struck the overpass guardrail. It tipped over, spilling its contents onto the street below.

A large pipe impacted roof of the minivan’s driver side but its operator, 36-year-old Jesus Armando Escobar, managed to survive — sustaining only minor injuries.  (Read More…)

By on July 14, 2017

2015-Buick-Avenir-Concept-10

Today marks the third and final entry in our Domestics Abroad miniseries. This is where we take a look at the models proffered around the globe that wear a domestic company’s badge on the grille, but are not offered in the brands’ domestic markets. This is ground zero for “you can’t get that here.” All nameplates you’ll see in this series are current production models.

We kicked off this series with Ford and its 13 qualifying models. Second was Chevrolet, which had 9 models accounted for, and one which I forgot (you can see it below the jump). The Unmentionables will cover the remaining international offerings from Buick, Dodge, and Ram.

(Read More…)

By on July 13, 2017

2018 Buick Regal Sportback - Image: BuickTwo things leak more than the bathroom faucet at your Great Aunt Martha’s cottage in Saugatuck.

The White House.

And Buick.

It seemed fairly clear three months ago that something was afoot when GM Canada’s Buick.ca website momentarily revealed the 2018 Buick Regal GS’s powertrain: a 3.6-liter V6 and all-wheel drive. But Buick declined to comment, removing from the Canadian website the section that mentioned a V6 offering.

Once again, however, Buick appears to have let the horses out of the barn. Buick’s in-house magazine, B, revealed details ahead of schedule, GM Authority has learned. Rather than the 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder of current GSs that too often feels underwhelmed, B magazine says the 2018 Regal GS, “employs a high-feature V6 engine that furnishes an estimated 310 horsepower.”

The V6 liveth. (Read More…)

By on July 13, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Equinox vs Impala/Cruze/Malibu - Images: GMIn June 2017, General Motors reported 29,182 U.S. sales of its Chevrolet Equinox, the company’s most popular non-truck model in America.

A 49-percent year-over-year improvement made June the best month for the Equinox since May 2015.

Combined with sharp declines from Chevrolet’s three mainline sedans, it also made the Equinox more popular in June than the Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, and Impala combined.

As if we needed more evidence that Americans want crossovers, not cars. (Read More…)

By on July 11, 2017

GM Real People Not Actors Silverado ad screenshot - Image: Chevrolet YouTubeWith the July 10 launch of a new Chevrolet Silverado commercial, General Motors is once again using its Real People, Not Actors campaign in an attempt to tarnish the Ford F-150’s good name.

This methodology doesn’t appear to have had an impact in the marketplace in the past. Yet two years after General Motors displayed conversations between Howie Long and GM engineer Eric Stanczak discussing repair costs on the Ford F-150’s aluminum bed and one year after Chevrolet punctured a Ford F-150’s aluminum bed with 825 pounds of concrete blocks, General Motors is turning to admitted Ford F-150 owners as a means of casting aspersions on America’s top-selling full-size truck.

After earlier rounds, Ford gained ground in America’s full-size pickup truck market in 2016. Indeed, Ford is continuing to gain ground in that same market in 2017. Ford is selling more trucks than its rivals. Ford is selling more trucks with less incentivization. Ford is selling more trucks with less incentivization at higher average transaction prices.

So, GM sends the Chevrolet Silverado back to the same ol’ well. (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2017

Image: 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix Pepsi Special Edition, image via Craigslist

Our last Rare Ride was a Pontiac 6000 with some serious B&B appeal, what with its special gold alloys and transverse all-wheel-drive witchcraft. In light of this old Pontiac lovin’, I found another one for you today.

This special edition vehicle was practicing #branding before either #, or “branding,” were things you’d put together for your latest Twitter communiqué.

(Read More…)

By on July 7, 2017

Image: 1990 Pontiac 6000 SE AWD, image via Craigslist

Deep from the catacombs of General Motors history comes this all-wheel-drive Pontiac 6000. While the 6000 was a fairly pedestrian car, this SE example seems in great condition and has the added rarity of a drivetrain not found in other vehicles from the General.

It’s only a good idea to keep reading if you like gold-tone alloys, many identically shaped buttons, and copious amounts of ribbed cladding.

(Read More…)

By on July 6, 2017

Image: 2011 Chevrolet Montana, image via Wikipedia

Today we feature the second entry to our Domestics Abroad series. Here’s where we take a look at the international models proffered around the world that wear a domestic company’s badge on the grille, but are not offered in their brands’ domestic markets. This is ground zero for “you can’t get that here.” All nameplates you’ll see in this series are current production models.

We kicked off this series with Ford, and its 13 qualifying models. Our second entry is Chevrolet, which also places second in number of models.

Here are Chevrolet’s nine entries, in alphabetical order:

(Read More…)

By on July 3, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Country - Image: GMOverall auto sales are falling in the United States, but utility vehicle sales are not. This explains, in part, why average transaction prices are routinely rising to record levels — June 2017 ATPs were up 1.5 percent year-over-year, for example.

And what better way to take advantage of the American consumer’s willingness to pay more for a new family vehicle than with a new top-spec trim level. For the second-generation 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, that variant is called the High Country.

The High in High Country could represent one of two things. Either you need to be high to pay $52,995 for a Chevrolet Traverse or — and it could be the latter — the elevation of this Country is so High you’re about to suffer altitude sickness.

Perhaps there’s a third option. It could be an outstanding value. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2017

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Bowling Green Assembly Plant - Image: GMGeneral Motors no longer expects the U.S. auto industry to collect more than 17.5 million new vehicle sales in 2017.

GM’s chief financial officer, Chuck Stevens, revisited the automaker’s U.S. sales forecast and turned the wick down from the mid-17-million-unit range, according to Automotive News, to the low-17-million-unit range.

That’s not a low number. In fact, 2017’s reduction of some 300,000 sales across the industry, year-over-year, would produce the second-best year for auto sales since 2001.

But reduced demand is complicating matters for the entire industry, most particularly for large automakers with excessive inventory. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2017

2018 Buick Regal TourX - Image: GMPremium positioning? Only in a small measure.

The 2018 Buick Regal TourX, the wagon variant of the sixth-generation Regal, will be priced to compete more directly with the Subaru Outback than European wagons.

That’s not bad news for wagon enthusiasts who consider the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack too small, the Subaru Outback too obvious, and both the Volvo V60 Cross Country and Audi A4 Allroad too expensive.

CarsDirect has learned that the 2018 Buick Regal TourX, including delivery fees, will be priced just a tick under $30K at $29,995 in base 1SV trim. (Read More…)

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