General Motors will sell highly coveted lease returns and company cars online starting next month through a program called the Factory Pre-owned Collection.
The program, which we’ve covered briefly, will sell lease returns and company cars through an online portal that makes those cars available nationwide. GM said its inventory would be roughly 30,000 cars, which all have fewer than 37,000 miles and be covered by extended warranties from the factory. Potential owners can apply for credit through the online portal and pick up their cars at a nearby dealer.
So … if GM is selling the cars owned by GM and GM Financial (or related bank) from a nationwide database, which can be financed online, and merely picked up at a nearby dealership, isn’t that just a direct sale?
It’s an election year. In theory, media outlets should be doing everything in their power to ensure equal time for all candidates, lest a bias influence voters on the public airwaves.
Well, I’ve come to expose a bias here at TTAC, and to demand equal time for a car not getting equal airtime to a beloved competitor. That candidate is the General Motors B-Body. TTAC certainly loves the Panther, but to completely ignore the big GM platform simply isn’t fair.
I certainly could have tracked down an Impala SS for this feature, but I love wagons and so do you. I’m also planning an autumn road trip to visit a mouse, so the extra cargo room would be welcome.
Buick, eager to shed its geriatric image, has at least pulled out a few stops preceding the 2016 North American International Auto Show.
It’s no Grand National, but it is a sporty coupe. Avista is its name, and it packs a 400 horsepower wallop under its hood thanks to the same 3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 that’s tipped for duty in the 2017 LaCrosse.
If you were looking for at least one wild-ass auto show rumor to see you through the weekend, look no further: Bloomberg (via AutoGuide) is reporting that Buick may show “a sporty coupe concept” this weekend prior to the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.
The sports car, reported to be “about the size of the Chevrolet Camaro,” is expected to debut Sunday night. AutoGuide is now speculating that model will be called — drum roll, please — Grand National!
This Saturday is the calm before the storm.
While the Los Angeles Auto Show is the opening act of the North American auto show season, Detroit is the main event. Here’s what to expect at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, which begins this Monday.
That, Herr Müller is planning on visiting Detroit and U.S. regulators, and the Infiniti QX30 name change was forced by dealers … after the break!
General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be the automaker’s first female chairwoman of their board of directors, the automaker said Monday.
Barra takes over for Tim Solso, who will remain on the board.
Barra took over as CEO two years ago and is GM’s first female CEO. When Barra took over as CEO in January 2014, the automaker split the role of CEO and chairman following Dan Akerson’s departure.
TTAC Commentator Matador writes:
I own two cars (and two older pickup trucks): a 1995 LeSabre with 223,000 miles and a 2001 Audi A6 Avant with 165,000 miles on the clock. I drive 80-100 miles per day for work. Between work and personal miles, I drive about 45,000 miles per year. The trucks aren’t daily driven too often and are only used when I need to move something that won’t fit in the wagon. Gas isn’t that cheap!
The Buick isn’t going anywhere. It was my first car and I am a firm believer that you don’t sell your first. I would like to drive it a little less, though, keeping it for special occasions. Since the Audi is my main car, the Buick only receives about 35 percent of my overall miles. I love the way that the Buick handles and I am a huge fan of the 3800’s reliability.
I would really like a Buick wagon, but the Century wagon doesn’t appeal to me at all and the Roadmaster is out of my price range (I could have two Rivieras for the price of a decent Roadmaster wagon). I’m not partial to any brand, or against any brand, though I do find Hondas kind of boring.
Buick announced Friday that it will bring from China the Buick Envision to sell in the U.S. next summer, two years after that car was introduced overseas, and that it will be the first Chinese-made car from a domestic manufacturer.
Automotive News reported that the small crossover would go on sale sometime around August, earlier than expected from initial reports last month.
When it goes on sale, the Envision will be powered by a 2-liter turbocharged four that makes 252 horsepower and will only be offered in all-wheel drive to start. The model will be bookended by the subcompact-sized Encore and full-size Enclave and fill a substantial need for the premium automaker.
Buick finally gave us a look at the sedan we’ve been waiting on. General Motors unveiled the 2017 Buick LaCrosse at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Tuesday and detailed the mid-size sedan based on the Avenir concept unleashed last year.
While the final product retains many of the features seen on the Avenir — including Buick’s new face — the Lacrosse sports a decidedly un-bulbous rear end and a new colorized tri-sheild Buick badge. It has color again!
General Motors announced Thursday it will import a Buick crossover from China to the United States by the end of 2016, much to the UAW’s disappointment.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the crossover in question, the Envision, is currently produced at a facility in the Shandong province. The Buick brand itself is doing well for itself in China, where it’s GM’s best-known brand, and in the U.S., where the brand is experiencing rapid growth as of late. In both instances, the main draw for Buick is its small and medium crossovers and SUVs.
If you happen to live somewhere in the United States where radio waves can be transmitted and/or received, you’ve no doubt heard of the “ Friends and Neighbors” sale that is going on Now At Your Local Ford Dealer. It sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it? Employee pricing for everybody!
Not so fast, my friends.
Like nearly everybody on God’s Green Earth, I qualify for X Plan pricing at Ford. It’s how I effortlessly purchased/leased my Flex and my Fiesta ST. X Plan is Ford’s code for supplier pricing, and it’s typically about four-percent higher than invoice. It also limits the documentation fees that dealers can charge, which can be insane in some states.
Can better deals be negotiated? Certainly. However, for a low-stress car buying experience, it’s hard to beat. You simply walk into a dealership, they print off the X Plan price, you give them your certificate, and you walk out half an hour later with a new set of keys.
Ford also has pricing for actual employees and their immediate families, called A Plan, which is a little bit better than X Plan but it follows essentially the same guidelines. All that’s required is proof of employment and a PIN code you generate from Ford’s employee site.
So wouldn’t you think that “an inside deal for everyone” would be A Plan, or at least X Plan? You’d be somewhat right, but you’d be mostly wrong. Here’s why.
The United Auto Workers union announced late Friday that, while the majority of its 52,000 membership voted “Yes” to the tentative agreement, skilled trades workers voted 59.5 percent against the deal.
“The UAW has not deemed the tentative agreement ratified,” said the union.
It was previously reported the tentative agreement may not be ratified due to skilled trades workers voting down the agreement.
UAW production members voted 58.3-percent in favor of the proposed contract and 55.43-percent of total voting members agreed to the proposal, but the contract can not be ratified until it is passed by skilled trades members.
OK, I’ll bite on your request for more queries. Here’s a couple:
Keep up the good work!
For such an elderly car, Buick is getting awfully creative with its teasers. Released last week, Buick teased its 2017 LaCrosse in an image and video ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show, where it will be officially revealed.
The silhouette of the LaCrosse shows hips and shoulders similar to Buick’s Avenir concept — and not much else. (Thankfully, the bulbous Vulcan rear end of the Avenir appears to be gone.)
General Motors announced Tuesday that the automaker would recall 1.3 million cars for an oil leak that could ignite, Reuters reported.
According to the report, 1,345 fires have been reported in cars that were repaired for similar issues under two previous recalls. In six years, 19 minor injuries were reportedly caused by leaking oil.
General Motors and the United Auto Workers union reached a deal Sunday night, minutes before the union’s midnight deadline, averting any strike for now, according to the automaker.
The deal will be sent to the union’s UAW National GM Council for discussion and vote on Wednesday. The union’s national council is composed of local leaders. If approved, the agreement would head to workers for ratification.
Neither the UAW or GM released specific details of the agreement.
“We believe that this agreement will present stable long-term significant wage gains and job security commitments to UAW members now and in the future,” UAW President Dennis Williams said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting the details of these gains to local union leaders and the membership.”
11:59 p.m. Sunday.
That’s when the union said Saturday that their contract with General Motors will be terminated and they should be looking at a tentative deal outlining their labor conditions for the next four years.
The contract between the UAW and GM originally expired Sept. 14, but was extended as the UAW targeted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to set the tone for the rest of the contract negotiations.
As Opel begins its retail roll out of the new Astra across Europe, some enterprising spy shooters have found the Opel’s Chinese-market twin wearing Buick tri-shields and Verano GS badging.
And holy shit, this is about to get very, very confusing.
According to Autohome, the Verano GS — marketed as Buick Weilang GS in China — is expected to be revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show with GM’s 169 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The same engine will be used in North America in the new Malibu, albeit with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Now before you get too excited about those GS badges, it may not mean what you think it means, at least in this case.
Buick announced Wednesday that its first convertible-only model in the U.S. for 25 years will start at $34,915, including $925 destination, when it goes on sale early next year. The Cascada Premium model, which adds front and rear park assist and other safety features, will start at $37,915.
The front-wheel drive, 2+2 convertible will come standard with 20-inch wheels, remote start, backup camera, heated seats and LED headlights.
The Cascada will line up against the Audi A3 Cabriolet, which starts at $37,525, including $925 destination, and the Mini Cooper Convertible, which starts at $26,550, including $850 destination, for coveted upper middle-class divorcee money.
Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan.
Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come from Europe and China respectively. Production of the Verano would shift from Michigan to China, the next-generation Regal would come from Germany instead of Canada, and the Encore would continue to be assembled in Korea, but would eventually shift to China, Reuters reported from an unidentified source.
We tend to armchair quarterback what’s wrong with specific automotive brands quite a bit in the TTAC comments. Meanwhile, there are people in the real world who get caught up in what’s actually wrong with some of these brands’ products by buying them — for example: the Buick Regal GS.
I owned a 2013 Regal GS manual, bought brand new in Jan 2014 and sold (at a loss) on December 31 2014.
This should be good.
If you are looking for a new midsize car to add to your driveway and the Buick Regal is on your shortlist, you might want to wait a few months.
According to a dealer communique sent out by Buick head Duncan Aldred, the Regal will receive a massive price cut for 2016. Even the top-trim Regal GS will have its price slashed to make it more competitive as an older offering in a crowded segment.
It’s not often you get to see the future when you look at a car.
Admittedly, the 2015 Buick Regal GS AWD looks nothing like a crystal ball — it’s a deep shade of white that I never knew existed and its 20-inch wheels wrapped with summer rubber are … challenging.
But I can see the future of Buick in this car.
General Motors announced Monday a new trim for the 2016 Buick Encore that will use a new 1.4-liter turbocharged four, which will be the first application of a new global-engine platform. The car will go on sale this fall.
According to GM, the new mill produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque — an 11 percent gain in power and 20 percent gain in twist over the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine currently doing duty in the cute ute. The two engines share only similar displacements. The current mill is rated at 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.
There’s also a new Encore trim called Encore Sport Touring and it has a spoiler and 18-inch wheels and body-colored door handles and back to the engine.
Buick is tossing the keys to prospective customers for sleepovers in their driveways as part of a brand-building exercise the automaker says isn’t meant to sell cars immediately.
According to Automotive News, the program — dubbed “24 Hours of Happiness” — gives customers the chance to live with a Buick vehicle for 24 hours starting this coming Wednesday.
As Tim Cain alluded to earlier this month while speaking of Encore sales, Buick is in a bit of a rut. In a market that’s growing with many brands seeing best-ever sales periods, Buick is being propped up by a single model, its cute-ute Encore. That’s not enough to stave off the downward sales trend of its other offerings as the brand as a whole is down 5 percent year-to-date.
Armchair analysts and pool chair pundits – this is your time to shine. Let’s fix Buick in 24 hours.
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.
My name is Satish Kondapavulur. I am what most baby boomers would call “a millennial.” I like Vampire Weekend, streaming movies on Netflix, and playing Gran Turismo. My plans this weekend involve driving to Berkeley, going to whatever eardrum-splitting concert my friends want to see, with my dinner plans probably being a burger and fries from In-N-Out picked up at midnight. My daily driver is a 2002 BMW 530i, one of the best BMWs ever made. My favorite movie is American Graffiti, a film which involves plenty of loud exhausts, racing on city streets, and a 30-year-old Harrison attempting to pass for a teenager. And I liked my Buick LaCrosse test car.
Full disclosure: this is not my kind of car.
Buick sold 51,468 LaCrosses last year, a 10,000-unit decline compared with 2010, even though the overall car market was 33% stronger last year than it was in 2010. Reach a whole decade back to discover that Buick sold 170,213 LaCrosses, LeSabres, and Park Avenues in 2005.
• USD Price As Tested: ≈ $48,485
• Horsepower: 304 @ 6800 rpm
• Torque: 264 lb-ft @ 5300 rpm
• Observed Fuel Economy: 18 mpg
It’s not just a Buick thing. U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Lexus ES, Nissan Maxima, and Toyota Avalon combined to slide 9% in 2014, year-over-year. LaCrosse sales actually increased slightly in 2014, but 2015 is off to a rough start with sales down 17% through two months.
More disclosure: big Buick sedans are increasingly not your kind of car, either. And by “your”, I’m referring to the market as a whole.
Against all odds, the Buick Encore has managed to sell in fairly decent numbers. Despite looking like a four-wheeled rollerskate, Buick’s trucklet moved nearly 49,000 units in 2014, up from roughly 31,000 during its debut in 2013. Part of the Encore’s success must be attributed to the fact that it was the first to show up to the party. The small CUV craze is only just heating up now in America, and the Encore is arguably the premiere (in terms of chronology, not quality) premium entrant in the segment. Demand is strong enough that GM has expanded production to two plants (Mexico and Spain as well as the initial Korean location) and will import 50 percent more units versus last year.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why. The Encore is one of the worst cars I’ve driven in a long time.
Oh, GM, you so cray-cray. You’ve done it again. If the 2010 Buick LaCrosse was the ’84 Fiero 2M4 of entry luxury sedans — all the right ideas executed indifferently — this 2015 model is the ’89 GT V6 of entry luxury sedans. All the right ideas, executed well enough to get the attention of the choosy. But how much longer does this aging horse have to run before the knacker comes calling?
In today’s General Motors digest: GM recalls over 700,000 units globally; Siemens VDO Automotive urged the automaker to look into airbag data in 2004; product chief Doug Parks was aware of the ignition problems in 2005; Feinberg compensation plan will have no payment cap; and Delphi is under the gun from both Congress and the IRS.
Reader Davefromcalgary discusses what it’s like to buy the car that everybody asks for, but nobody ever seems to actually purchase: the manual variant of a mainstream sedan.
As the calendar turned from 2013 to 2014, my trusty 2002 Oldsmobile Alero with 296,000 kms (or roughly 184,000 miles) on the clock, took what would turn out to be its last cross country trip. Returning to Calgary on a day where the average air temperature across 1350 kms (840 miles) averaged about -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit), the hydraulic clutch system gradually ceased to function. I managed to get it home, but the third gear synchro soon failed, and the first gear synchro progressively became louder until I finally delivered my trusty Olds to the local Pick n’ Pull.
Autoblog reports Volkswagen Group of America executive vice president of group communications Tony Cervone is returning to the GM fold as the automaker’s senior vice president of global communications. According to CEO Mary Barra, Cervone “brings an ideal mix of outside perspective and experience that compliments a deep background in GM and today’s global auto industry.” Prior to his return, he also served as the vice president of communications for United Airlines and Chrysler Group, where he spent 14 years before his decade-long previous service to GM. Cervone succeeds Selim Bingol — who resigned from the company in April “to pursue other interests,” and will report directly to Barra.
Autoblog reports another recall has been issued by General Motors, this time concerning 51,640 2014 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia crossovers screwed together between March 26 and August 15 of last year. The affected vehicles possess an engine control module whose software may provide an inaccurate fuel gauge reading, forcing the driver to pull to the side of the road should the tank prove empty instead of a quarter to empty. Owners have been asked to bring their affected crossover for a reflashing of the ECM to correct the issue.
In light of General Motors’ recent announcement of a $384 million investment in its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, two vehicles from Cadillac and Buick could wind up being produced alongside the next-generation Volt.
Autoblog reports 2.19 million of the same vehicles under the current General Motors ignition recall are under a new ignition-related recall, as well. The new recall warns of a problem where the key can be removed without the switch moved to the “off” position. According to GM, the automaker is aware of “several hundred” complaints and at least one roll-away accident resulting in injury, and is instructing affected consumers to place their vehicles in park or, in manuals, engage the emergency brake before removing the key from the ignition until repairs are made.
General Motors announced Tuesday that it would invest $449 million into the two plants responsible for assembling the Chevrolet Volt in preparation for the next generation of the plug-in hybrid’s arrival in 2016.