General Motors will lay off around 500 workers and eliminate one shift at its Orion Assembly due to sagging demand for small cars, the automaker announced Friday. Those workers may be sent to a nearby plant.
Automotive News first reported on the layoffs.
According to a statement from a GM spokesman, the automaker will “adjust plant production capacity to align with market demand” and eliminate one shift that builds the Sonic. Demand for the Sonic has largely remained flat since the subcompact’s introduction in 2011.
General Motors announced Thursday that it would add a second shift to a flexible Detroit plant to prepare for upcoming demand for its cars.
GM will add roughly 1,200 jobs to Detroit-Hamtramck this year to help it build new models, the automaker said in a statement. The plant builds the Chevrolet Volt, Impala and Malibu and the Cadillac ELR there on a single production line. Production of the Cadillac CT6 will start there in early 2016. (Read More…)
General Motors announced last week that it would develop a fleet of autonomous Volts for its Warren, Michigan campus by 2017, despite announcing earlier in the year that its struggling Oshawa, Ontario facility would be a hub for connected vehicles in April.
GM spokesman Dan Flores said the Warren campus was the best fit for the self-driving Volts that will shuttle GM employees.
“We have several global engineering centers in the world and they all play a role in development,” he said. “There shouldn’t be anything read into the autonomous center being based in Warren. It’s the company’s main technical center.” (Read More…)
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt won’t be released nationwide this year, General Motors told Autoblog after purported pictures of a delivery timeline showed that only 11 states would receive the 2016 model year were published by HybridCars.
Only 11 states: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, will see the 2016 car, according to the document. Dealers in California have already begun accepting orders for the car.
Prospective buyers in the 39 other states (presumably Puerto Rico and Guam, too) will have to wait until next year to get their cars.
Fifty-one miles per gallon city. Forty-eight miles per gallon highway. Still the best numbers in the industry for nearly a decade now.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m referring to the Toyota Prius, which is a 5-door hatchback that looks a bit like an egg mated with a shopping cart. It’s been a decade since the Prius came out in hatchback form, and a decade since it achieved those impressive fuel economy figures: 51 miles per gallon city. 48 miles per gallon highway. And still, no one has unseated the Prius.
Chevrolet announced Tuesday that its new 2016 Volt would extend its all-electric range from 38 miles to 53 miles, which is a 40-percent improvement and would satisfy more than 90 percent of normal drives.
The feat itself would put the Volt on par with many all-electric commuters, whose normal range is anywhere from 60 to 90 miles. Of course, the Volt packs with it a 1.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder that bumps that range up to more than 400 miles, but that’s neither here nor there.
Let’s talk about the batteries.
Sales figures from automakers this week show slumping sales of electric vehicles and hybrids nationwide as gas prices drop and tax incentives dry up.
According to the Detroit News, sales from EV makers such as Nissan and Chevrolet have slowed down significantly — more than 30 percent for the Volt and 12 percent for the Leaf — last month, and both models may end up down significantly for the sales year.
The National Automobile Dealers Association new electric vehicle retention list released last week has a tasty little tidbit in its roundup of value retention rates.
Tesla’s Model S, which topped the 3-year value retention rate list for EVs in the new list, also sported a better value rate for most cars on a similar list released last year for all segments, including mid-size luxury cars. That includes BMW.
But the news may not be all good, all the time.
Having already recycled battery covers into animal habitats, General Motors is turning its efforts toward the Chevrolet Volt’s batteries themselves.
There’s nothing better in this business than a concept car to stir my imagination.
I can visualize myself in a brand new wondermobile as I crest a hill before diving into the next bend, holding a starship steering wheel (or maybe I am just kicking back and relaxing in some mechanical automaton), surrounded by glass and Star Trek-esque touchpanels with commands such as SPORT, HYPERBOOST, and OIL SLICK.
Yet, when those fancy-shmancy concepts make their way to production, sometimes their essence is lost. Other times, what arrives on the dealer lot is a completely different car altogether.