GM Gets EPA Nod for Building the Most Greenwashed Large SUVs on the Market

The Texas plant producing General Motors’ body-on-frame SUVs is clean and green, even if the vehicles it builds are anything but Prius-like.

In August, the 43 turbines of Southern Power’s 148 MW Cactus Flats Wind Facility became operational in Concho County, Texas. GM, along with General Mills (the tastier GM) both have contracts to purchase power from the facility — in GM’s case, some 50 MW of it per year. That means it can now claim its Arlington, Texas assembly plant is 100 percent powered by renewable energy. The Environmental Protection Agency just placed GM at No. 76 on its list of the country’s largest green power users.

It’s amazing the kind of tree-hugging press one can get for a factory that essentially builds dinosaurs.

Read more
2018 Chevrolet Suburban Premier RST Review - A Riff on the Familiar

In some segments, familiarity is a good thing. The General has been the beyond dominant ruler of the king-size SUV segment for ages, ever since its competitors either stopped playing in the field or opted to equip their machines with V6 engines and independent rear suspensions. Both of those features are nobly forward-thinking but have yet to be rewarded by customers who seem to favor things they already know.

Casting a large-and-in-charge shadow, the Suburban you see here is endowed with seating for eight, cargo space best measured in acres, and 22-inch wheels. What’s absent? Oh yeah, a 6.2-liter engine.

Read more
Junkyard Find: 1989 Chevrolet Corsica, Ministry in Poetry Edition

I have found the self-service wrecking yards of Phoenix to be among the best in the country when it comes to discovering top-shelf Junkyard Finds, so much so that I have taken a couple of trips there just for the junkyards. You’ll see everything from a Taurus MT-5 to a Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 4.5 to one of the last Toyota Coronas sold in America in these yards.

The Chevrolet Corsica isn’t so rare, but this one in Phoenix had some interesting qualities.

Read more
Leaked Specs Reveal Power, Fuel Economy of GM's Diesel Inline-six

The EPA hasn’t officially rated the 3.0-liter inline-six diesel bound for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, nor has the automaker released power specs for this Flint-built light truck engine.

Thankfully, someone took photos of GM Canada’s dealer site and flung them to the internet.

Read more
Over the First Three Quarters of 2018, Only Four GM Cars Have Anything to Brag About

General Motors joined the vast majority of its automotive colleagues in having a crappy sales month in September, posting an 11.1 percent year-over-year volume loss. The issues facing OEMs last month were many. As interest rates rise and the market cools, automakers looking to capture more for their coffers are trending towards reduced fleet sales and lowered incentive spending. Hurricanes also played something of a role.

At GM, which graces us with sales figures just four times a year, what was likely a poor showing in September dragged down the third quarter as well as year-to-date sales, with volume since the start of the year now down 1.2 percent. That doesn’t mean several GM models didn’t have good quarters, or haven’t had good 2018s. Some 18 models can boast of YTD sales gains.

Of those 18, however, just four are passenger cars, and one member of the group already has one and a half feet in the grave.

Read more
Honda Invests Big in GM's Cruise Self-driving Arm

Honda likes what GM Cruise LLC is doing, and wants it to have some cash. On Wednesday, the Japanese automaker announced it would invest $2.75 billion in the GM-owned autonomous driving company, hoping to reap some of the reward of its purpose-built self-driving car.

While still under development, Cruise claims the vehicle — free of such things as a steering wheel or pedals — will arrive in 2019. Already, the company has a fleet of modified Chevrolet Bolts operating as testbeds for the technology. Once unveiled, GM Cruise plans to use the vehicle in a new ride-hailing service while also making it available to others, potentially funneling big bucks into its parents’ coffers. Honda’s, too.

Read more
Times Get Tougher for GM's Chinese Venture As Automaker Orders 3.3 Million Vehicle Recall

Tariffs and other pressures are weighing on the once blistering hot Chinese new car market, and a suspension issue has now added new storm clouds to General Motors’ formerly sunny skies. The automaker’s Chinese arm, GM Shanghai, has announced the recall of 3.3 million Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac models.

Bad news for a foreign company in a suddenly dodgy market.

Read more
2019 Chevrolet Blazer Starts at the Most Obvious Price in Its Class

Sporting two rows of seating, front-wheel drive as a starting point, and a historical name sure to anger Bowtie brand diehards, the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer revealed itself in June and almost immediately fell from view (and conversation). Compare the nameplate’s return to that of the yet-unseen Ford Bronco, which generated gigatons of buzz in the months and years preceding its upcoming reveal.

The Blazer name’s resurrection, unlike that of the Bronco, wasn’t designed to signal the return of the same vehicle. Chevy had a hole in its utility lineup — created by the newly downsized Equinox and generously sized Traverse — in need of filling. While the sizing seems correct, many took exception to the vehicle being just another a unibody brossover. The appeal of name recognition tipped the decision makers at GM into dusting off a nameplate easily recognized by anyone who lived and breathed in North America during the past 40 years. Purists be damned.

As for pricing, to best battle its midsize(ish) competitors, GM decided on a very predictable base MSRP for its reborn Blazer.

Read more
Make Some Noise: Chevrolet's New Low-speed EV Warning Sound Is Either Soothing or Ominous

To this author’s ears, it’s a noise that seems to herald the arrival of the spaceships coming to take all of the world’s children to a new home in the sun. Chevrolet claims it’s supposed to feel more natural and less intrusive. Whatever your take, the new low-speed warning noise is a necessary addition to the 2019 Volt — looming federal guidelines demand it.

Expect to hear a different kind of tonal landscape once electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids make up a larger portion of the teeming vehicle masses. Hear for yourself:

Read more
With Criminal Case Dismissed, General Motors' Ignition Switch Fiasco Nears An End

Four years after launching a massive, incredibly delayed recall aimed at preventing further deaths from its faulty ignition switches, General Motors freed itself from a criminal case launched in the scandal’s wake.

Earlier this week, federal prosecutors in New York wrote U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, compelling him to dismiss the case. Nathan approved the request, lifting GM free of the caudron. The rationale for dismissing the two criminal charges — concealing evidence from federal officials and wire fraud — comes down to good behavior on GM’s part, something that certainly doesn’t describe its past actions.

Read more
GM Recalls a Million Pickups and SUVs Amid Flurry of Accident Reports

More than a million, actually. A recall of 1,015,918 Silverado and Sierra pickups, plus their full-size SUV cousins, was issued yesterday by folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This recall affects machines from the 2015 model year. They are being summoned to repair centers thanks to electrical and software issues that could play havoc with the power steering system.

Read more
Let It Bleed: General Motors Recall Targets ZF Brakes

General Motors has recalled over 210,000 late-model sedans and crossovers in the U.S. and over 19,000 north of the border after discovering the potential for a braking issue. The automaker blames the issue on rear brake calipers supplied by ZF, which can also be found on vehicles built by Volkswagen, BMW, and Audi.

It all comes down to trapped hydrogen gas in the body of the brake piston, which, when released into the brake fluid, makes for a mushy left pedal and reduced rear brake performance.

Read more
QOTD: Care to Rank 11 Generations of the Chevrolet Suburban? (Part II)

We started our ranking challenge for every generation of Chevrolet Suburban in last week’s QOTD. That post covered the first through sixth generations, which range from truck with wagon body format to nearly a modern Suburban. Some struggled with the first challenge installment, citing a lack of knowledge and experience with old trucks dating back to the 1930s (you youths!).

Today we’ll rank Suburban generations seven through eleven; undoubtedly these will be much more familiar to many of you.

Read more
Snorkel-Measuring Contest: Chevrolet's Colorado ZR2 Bison Comes Gunning for the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Chevrolet has finally unveiled the production version of a model bearing a name it trademarked quite some time ago. The Colorado ZR2 Bison is an extra-brawny variant of Chevy’s off-road truck — a collaboration between General Motors and aftermarket manufacturer American Expedition Vehicles (AEV).

It was clear to everyone and their mother that GM was prepared to further plumb the butch end of the midsize truck market. Recall the Colorado ZR2 AEV SEMA concept from the 2017 SEMA show. Certainly, with Toyota planning upgrades (including a snorkel) for its 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro, the domestic automaker wasn’t about to see the Colorado positioned as an also-ran.

Looking at the Bison, it seems GM took Ford’s 2018 Detroit auto show put-down to heart. “Real trucks don’t have fascias,” said soon-to-be-ousted North American president Raj Nair.

Read more
QOTD: Care to Rank 11 Generations of the Chevrolet Suburban? (Part I)

We’ve done a couple of ranking challenges before, starting first with the Accord, then the Corvette, and following up a few months later with the Mustang. Today we rank a nameplate which has been in production longer than any of those — in fact, it’s the longest-running in America.

It’s the Suburban.

Read more
Junkyard Treasure: 1993 Geo Tracker, Illinois Rust Edition
When The General created the Geo brand in 1989, the idea was that cars designed and/or built by Toyota, Isuzu, and Suzuki could be sold in the United States under the GM flag (Geos became Chevrolets after 1997). Of all the cars that bore Geo badging, the Tracker stayed in production the longest, when a Suzuki Grand Vitara-based Chevy Tracker could be purchased through 2004.Here’s a frighteningly corroded 1993 Geo Tracker, spotted in a self-service wrecking yard in Joliet, Illinois.
Read more
2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE First Drive - The Perfect Track Rat

The word Camaro, depending on who you ask, is either French slang meaning “friend” or a Spanish word for shrimp. But GM PR reps, when the name was unveiled in 1966, had a carefully crafted definition for the inevitable question from gullible, likely gin-soaked journalists: “A Camaro is a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”

That’s it right there — for over fifty years, the Camaro has been defined by the competition. But that competition is a bit different now, as there’s a good turbo four-cylinder available from Dearborn. Not content to target the usual opponents, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE has both track-day glory and compact imports in its sights.

Read more
Thanks for the Customers: Chevrolet Will Continue Building Many Sedans as Ford Exits the Stage

With Ford abandoning the sedan business for what it hopes are greener pastures, General Motors is going to stick with it. While it’s doubtful the automaker expects to pick up every customer the Blue Oval leaves behind, the sedan market still has millions of potential customers in it.

However, with the industry shifting ever more toward crossover vehicles, wouldn’t it be wiser to attempt to get out ahead of the craze? That’s what Ford is doing.

Plus, it’s not like there are any examples of Ford bucking the industry trend to persist with a vintage body style that resulted in any amount of success. Well, not unless you’re willing to count something like the Panther platform. But who remembers that footnote in automotive history? It’s not as if it has a deep-seated enthusiast community or reliably served a very specific subset of the market for any length of time.

Read more
Don't Expect to See Many 2019 Chevy Cruzes With a CVT

General Motors, inventor of the modern automatic transmission, is only just recently warming up to the idea of shiftless driving. There’s a continuously variable transmission on offer with the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu, which our own Chris Tonn spent some time flogging last week ( in mildly sporty RS guise).

Despite the availability of eight- and nine-speed automatics for transverse GM front-driers, a VIN decoder document and even EPA fuel economy ratings pointed to the existence of a CVT-equipped Cruze for 2019, despite a lack of flouting on the part of GM. Turns out, you’ll have trouble getting your hands on one.

Read more
What's the Score? Cali GM Dealer Wins Against, Erm, GM

The never-ending, weirdly symbiotic, and often counterproductive relationship between OEMs and their dealers wrote another chapter yesterday, as a court in California may force GM to rethink the way it measures and administers sales effectiveness at the dealer level.

Sacramento-area dealer Folsom Chevrolet was deemed by The General as having failed to meet sales expectations and pursued the revocation of its franchise a couple of years ago. Folsom was having none of it, dragging the state’s New Motor Vehicle Board into the fight — an entity which handed down its decision in Folsom’s favor on August 13th. GM remains unhappy.

Remind me again how the dealer model is such a good idea?

Read more
2019 Chevrolet Malibu RS First Drive - Curiously Viable Transportation

I thumbed the start button, adjusted the mirrors, and backed away from the coffee shop. A couple of miles later, my co-driver/navigator was distracted and we missed a turn on our route guide. I hustled around an unexpected roundabout, trying to make up time, and the mid-sized sedan dove into the corners like a much smaller car.

It’s remarkable how unremarkable the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu RS really is. I expected a dull car with dull responses and no power — which would provide ample opportunity for devastating snark. And yet, I can’t stop thinking about how surprisingly well this Chevy drives.

Read more
2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS Hot Wheels Review - The Pony Car Die Is Cast

There is absolutely nothing subtle about a bright orange, V8-powered Camaro. Press the starter button, and dogs cower for their thunder shirts. Neighbors alternately complain or crane their necks to listen and see more intently. Children swoon.

I’m not kidding. A neighbor kid, friend of my daughter, rolled down the school bus window to yell out to me — “Mr. Tonn? I love your new car!”

So, at very least Chevrolet has the 11-year-old boy market covered.

Is this 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS Hot Wheels edition a toy that can only be appreciated by those who would have bought the original dollar diecast in 1968? Or can all generations play?

Read more
QOTD: Who Wins the Name Game?

Writing up a post about GM’s activities in Uzbekistan got us thinking about badge-engineered cars. Not just those produced by The General, although there are plenty of examples of those, but all of the just-different-enough models around the world.

What models immediately spring to your mind when someone starts talking about badge-engineering?

Read more
Back in Time: GM Uzbekistan Increases Production of Cars Forgotten Here

Foreign markets are no stranger to selling cars that have long gone out of production here in the States. The VW Beetle was produced for sale in Mexico well after the calendar flipped into Y2K, while the Nissan Tsuru — essentially a Sentra from the mid-90s which remained in production until 2017 — bit the dust after crash tests showed it to be the structural equivalent of a wet cardboard box. The Peugeot 405 stuck around as a new car in Iran longer than just about anywhere else on the planet.

GM has a plant in Uzbekistan employing 8,000 people, with the capacity to make about 250,000 cars a year. Some nameplates you’ll recognize, like the Chevy Tracker. A few are renamed versions of machines long-gone from the American market. And others are familiar names dressed up in strange sheet metal.

Read more
Hertz Offers Opportunity to Rent and Destroy 100th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette Z06

While the process of renting a car is frequently obnoxious, the actual vehicles are incredible. Assuming you get damage protection, you can basically do whatever you want to them. These vehicles are the prostitutes of the automotive world, willing to engage in activities too explicit for the model that currently lives in your garage. The only limitations are dictated by your own twisted imagination and how much you’re willing to spend.

That bar for vehicular perversion just got a little higher over at Hertz, which is celebrating 100 years in the car rental business. The company is offering a special edition Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to customers in select cities. Fortunately, you probably live near one and will be able to take the custom Vette to an abandoned parking lot in the middle of the night and absolutely destroy its rear tires or drive it over a poorly maintained road a little faster than you should.

Read more
Brawny, Four-cylinder, CVT-equipped Chevrolet Malibu RS Demands a Modest Price

It’s easy to make fun of what amounts to an appearance package, but appearance remains a very important part of the car-buying decision. This isn’t a Warsaw Pact country, circa 1980.

To sweeten its midsize pot, Chevrolet crafted an RS-badged version of its Malibu sedan for the 2019 model year, perhaps as a way of tempting current Redline Edition owners to trade in their rides. Once glance should tell you this thing isn’t a rental, though it still contains the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-banger you’ll find under the hood of lesser-trimmed variants. But what does extra flash and no added dash cost compared to a volume LS? As it turns out, not a lot.

Read more
Chevrolet Dumps 6.2-Liter V8 Into 'Premier Plus' Editions of Tahoe, Suburban

Last year, Chevrolet introduced Rally Sport Truck (RST) variant of the Tahoe. Effectively an appearance package for the body-on-frame SUV, it also opened the door for a performance package containing General Motors’ Magnetic Ride Control, a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, and the 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. The company did the same for the Suburban a short time later.

According to the manufacturer, people love the engine more than their own children. As a result, Chevrolet wants to expand its availability while it makes a little heaping mounds of money on the side. For 2019, Chevy adds the motor to the Premier Plus special editions of the Tahoe and Suburban — which represent a half-step in luxury above the standard Premier trims, but a giant leap in overall price.

Read more
Buy/Drive/Burn: American Malaise Sports Cars of 1982

The year is 1982. You’re a lover of domestic sports cars, but also suffer from a distinct lack of funding in this era of American Malaise. Three updated, base model, fuel sipping rides are in your purview — all of them with four-cylinder engines.

Which one do you take home?

Read more
2019 Chevrolet Silverado First Drive - Good, but Good Enough?

One of the most recent “truisms” kicked around regarding the automotive industry is that there are very few “bad” cars and trucks.

In other words, no matter what vehicle you buy, it’s likely to perform its intended purpose well, offer decent reliability, and not be too punishing to drive.

The flip side is that if almost every vehicle is “good,” then for one to stand out from its competitors, it needs to be even better.

That’s the problem Chevrolet faces with its redesigned 2019 Silverado. Being good won’t be enough, not in a segment in which the Ram 1500 garners accolades from keyboard warriors like myself for its interior design and the F-150 remains wildly popular (and just offered customers a diesel variant).

Read more
2019 Chevrolet Camaro: More Speeds, Fewer MPGs

The EPA’s getting quite a few mentions on TTAC today, but it’s not because of the agency’s planned rollback of corporate average fuel economy standards. No, it’s because of odd fuel economy rollbacks seen among 2019 Chevrolet models.

We told you earlier about the yet-unexplained drop in city and combined fuel economy for the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon diesels. Now you can add the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro to the list of models with missing MPGs. It seems that in one area of performance, 10 speeds isn’t better.

Read more
2019 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Takes a Mysterious Fuel Economy Hit

Until an automaker comes along with something better, your cheapest bet for highway fuel economy in a pickup is the Duramax diesel-powered Chevrolet Colorado and its GMC Canyon twin. The full-size Ford F-150 with 3.0-liter diesel V6 matches it in economy, but not price.

Boasting a 30 mpg EPA rating for highway consumption, the oil-burning midsizers command a premium over their lesser siblings, but make up for it with thriftiness and heaps of torque. The 2.8-liter inline-four generates 369 lb-ft of twist — far more grunt than the 275 lb-ft on offer from GM’s 3.6-liter V6.

However, there’s a mystery afoot. The EPA ratings for the newest Colorado and Canyon diesels show a drop in city and combined efficiency for the 2019 model year, despite the powertrains being a carry-over.

Read more
Rare Rides: This 1975 Chevrolet Is Both Vega and Cosworth

An enterprising GM executive, a British tuning company, and a compact hatchback came together in 1975 to make a very special, limited-production Chevrolet.

It’s the Cosworth Vega, naturally.

Read more
'I Won': Man Becomes Woman to Score Cheaper Chevy Cruze Insurance Policy

Why didn’t I think of this? An Alberta man with a spotty driving record and a burning lust for the Chevrolet Cruze discovered you can save piles of cash if the government thinks you’re a woman. Or at least an individual who identifies as one.

Speaking anonymously to CBC, the man said his transition to a female (on paper) began after he approached insurance companies in search of coverage for his new — and quite sensible — compact sedan. Well, we assume it was the sedan.

What followed was a journey through genders, all to save 91 bucks a month.

Read more
POWERRRR: 2019 Chevy Suburban Available With 6.2-liter Goodness

It’s no secret that the hand-of-god 6.2-liter V8 is popular at TTAC. Those of us who command one with our right foot are outnumbered only by those who wish they had the 420-horsepower engine in their driveway.

General Motors sensibly started offering the larger V8 in trims other than ones named Denali a little while ago, finally debuting it in the Tahoe RST late last year. For 2019, buyers of the big kahuna Suburban can spec the hairy-chested 6.2L, as well.

Read more
Maven's 'Peer Cars': Your Mobility Future Is Someone Else's Ride

A pilot project we discussed months ago is now up and running in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Chicago. Launched by General Motors’ Maven ride-sharing arm, the new peer-to-peer service goes beyond the existing fleet of GM-owned vehicles (which Maven users can rent for varying periods) and into the realm of the privately-owned car.

Yes, there’s owners who are now letting their car work for them.

Read more
Sweetening the Pony Pot: Price, Content Tweaks Coming to 2019 Chevrolet Camaro

We told you the other day how Ford’s Mustang reigns supreme in the domestic pony car crowd, at least in terms of volume, with Dodge’s Challenger serving as a delightfully archaic and stable-selling runner-up. That leaves Chevrolet to figure out how best to get buyers excited about its own entry.

Depending on trim, there’s a stable of new Camaro faces ( fascias, to be exact) arriving for 2019, but order guides show that would-be customers stand to save money, too. Especially if they can live without a V6.

Read more
Rare Rides: The Innotech Mysterro - a Mid-engine Czech Corvette?

In what’s bound to be one of the most obscure editions of Rare Rides yet, today’s ride is very limited-production in nature. So limited, in fact, that only one was produced. And it’s so limited in its exposure that the Internet can’t seem to decide the year it was actually built.

It’s hard to know where to start with this thing.

Read more
Picture Time: When the C4 Isn't Explosive Enough

Our Picture Time subject today is a Chevrolet Corvette C4 from 1984. Or rather it used to be, before someone got some big ideas in their head — right at the same time their eyes drifted to a pile of spare fiberglass and plastic.

There may have been a photo of a Ferrari F40 lying around as well.

Read more
General Motors Acknowledges Corpse of Chevrolet City Express

General Motors has officially confirmed the discontinuation of the Chevrolet City Express work van, which the automaker has sourced from Nissan since 2014. Its sister vehicle, the Nissan NV200, is one of the many vehicles you see serving as a replacement for the Ford Crown Victoria in New York City’s taxi fleet.

However, the City Express is a vehicle you’ve probably never noticed, as they don’t sell particularly well. General Motors moved 8,348 in the United States for 2017, which — believe it or not — was one of its better years. Meanwhile, Ford had a pretty mediocre year with its Transit Connect, managing only 34,473 deliveries. It looks like General Motors is willing to concede the segment to its Blue Oval rival as the NV200 soldiers on sans the Chevy badge.

Read more
Rare Rides: A 1977 Chevrolet Monza - the Malaise Mirage

Today’s Rare Ride is a special, sporty edition of a rather mundane Malaise subcompact. It hails from a time when the American customer matched the color of their vinyl seats to their wide lapel. So let’s delude ourselves for a few minutes with the Monza Mirage.

Read more
2018 Chevrolet Bolt Premier Review - Electricity Isn't Even the Most Interesting Part [UPDATED]

Despite winning some key awards upon introduction (including 2017 North American International Car of the Year), the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt has flown a bit under the radar thanks to all the noise surrounding Tesla’s Model 3.

Which is a pity, really. I don’t know if the Tesla is better than the Bolt, as I haven’t yet driven the 3, but I do know the Bolt is worthy of more attention than what it’s getting.

I also know that the rest of Chevy’s small-car lineup could use an infusion of the Bolt’s design. There’s plenty to like about the car that has nothing to do with its EV powertrain, and some of those good qualities would be well-suited to other vehicles in the brand’s portfolio.

Read more
Returning Chevrolet Sonic Ditches an Unloved Engine

Chevrolet’s little Sonic hatchback and sedan, built alongside the electric Bolt at General Motors’ Orion Assembly Plant, will return for the 2019 model year with a notable powertrain change. We already knew a 2019 version of the Sonic — rumored to be on the chopping block — was a go (thanks to California Air Resources Board certification docs), but the contents of an order guide now show greater standard torque than the 2018 model.

Notice we said torque, not horsepower.

Read more
As the Chevrolet Bolt's U.S. Sales Cool Off, GM Readies a Production Boost

As promised by General Motors CEO Mary Barra in March, GM plans to crank out additional Chevrolet Bolts at its Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan later this year. The need for extra output isn’t because of rising sales in the United States, however.

In GM’s second-quarter 2018 sales report, the Bolt’s U.S. tally fell to 3,483 vehicles, down from Q1’s 4,375 deliveries, as well as Q2 2017’s 4,500 units. Last year’s Q2 sales came when the Bolt hadn’t even reached all U.S. markets. No, GM needs more Bolts because other countries want them.

Read more
Can We Interest You in a Cruze? GM Claims Ford/FCA's Loss Is It's Gain

It’s gotten to the point where those seen buying a traditional sedan or hatchback are viewed as being unlikely candidates for procreation. After all, you can’t raise a kid in the absence of a vehicle belonging to a segment where “rows” matters more than horsepower or fuel economy. I blame Lee Iacocca for sparking the non-car trend.

Anyway, with Fiat Chrysler out of the small and medium-sized car game, and Ford eager to follow, General Motors feels this new automotive landscape could work to its advantage. Never mind all that doom and gloom (and some very GM-centric rumors).

Read more
Two Fewer Cylinders Spells a Price Drop for Volume 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Trim

Full-size truck buyers looking for the latest thing are spoiled for choice this year. Besides an all-new Ram 1500 (currently unavailable with a V6) and the usual offerings from Ford, there’s a next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra arriving this fall.

Unlike those other models, the GM twins went somewhere full-size truck builders fear to tread: the land of four-cylinders. Looking at GM’s newly released price list for the 2019 Silverado, it’s clear the new 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four stands to save buyers money in more ways than one.

Read more
2019 Chevrolet Volt: The Overlooked 'Electric' Wants You to Plug In More Often

It’s not a pure EV, but in the early part of this decade, Chevrolet’s Volt offered one of the few mass-produced electric driving experiences on the market. Now in its second generation, GM’s “extended-range electric vehicle” — which packs a 1.5-liter gas generator — has seen its status dwindle as all-electric competitors rivals sprout like dandelions (among them, the confusingly named Chevy Bolt). Lesser plug-in hybrids abound.

Though the Volt still represents an easy-to-live-with compromise between gas-fueled convenience and emission-free commuting, GM knows it needs to do something to sweeten the pot. Extending the range beyond 53 miles seems pointless. But what if the car could charge almost 50 percent faster?

Read more
Chevrolet Blazer Bound for Mexican Plant, UAW 'Disappointed'

The new Chevrolet Blazer is the hot-ticket auto creating the most buzz right now, but it’s also generating mild controversy. Many who remember the original were more than a little disappointed seeing the name affixed to a unibody crossover with front-drive origins. While mainstream shoppers aren’t likely to mind, former Blazer owners aren’t thrilled with General Motors’ decision.

It’s probably more financially viable for the automaker to do it this way. GM can definitely serve most customers for less money. But you get the sense that they’ve watered down the automotive broth to stretch the C1XX platform as far as it will go. At least it means more jobs for Americans, though, right? Well, not exactly.

Read more
2019 Chevrolet Blazer: Forget the Past, This Is Our Future

General Motors has pulled the wraps off its 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, a vehicle that in no way reminds anyone of past vehicles bearing that heritage-steeped nameplate.

Sporting two rows of seating, an edgier profile than either its smaller Equinox sibling or its hulking Traverse big brother, and two engine choices, the Blazer’s main competition seems to be the Ford Edge, rather than its three-row GMC Acadia platform mate.

Read more
Take a Wild Guess What This Means

General Motors enlivened the perpetually grim Twitterscape Wednesday with a tweet depicting what Corey Lewis calls a “pure trust fund” gentleman wearing natty duds. After the initial discussion surrounding the nature of the tweet, your author, Chris Tonn, and Lewis attempted to pin down the particular hue of this fellow’s outerwear.

Celery. Pistachio pudding. 1960s motel bathroom. All applicable.

But wait, that wasn’t the purpose of the tweet! Surely this can’t have something to do with a gaping hole in the Chevrolet brand’s crossover lineup?

Read more
Ace of Base: 2018 Chevrolet Cruze L

For years, this place has been saddled with accusations of an anti-GM bias, yet a quick headcount of current contributors who have a product from The General in their driveway reveal more of our own dollars being willingly spent on a Chevy or GMC than most may think – including your author, who just traded away his 2010 Ram for a 2018 Sierra. More on that in another post.

The car shown here occupies a segment of the market where margins are razor thin and profits are cut to the bone. FCA has bailed and Ford is following suit, leaving Chevy to soldier on as the lone Detroiter peddling a Civrollantra alternative.

Spoiler alert: it’s not a penalty box.

Read more
Buy/Drive/Burn: 2018 Midsize Four-door Trucks

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn trio was generated by an interesting conversation last week over in TTAC’s Slack room. The recent resurgence in midsize truck offerings has presented buyers with much more choice than just a handful of years ago. Should buyers pursue surety in resale value, comfort, and the newest design? Is it possible not to buy too much truck?

Maybe burning some trucks to the ground will help us answer these questions.

Read more
Sick Burn: GM Offers Actress Chevrolet Bolt in Wake of Tesla Fire

Never let a crisis go to waste, goes the saying. In this case, it’s an actress and her husband facing a car shortage and a rival automaker sensing an opportunity for a juicy dig.

Mary McCormack, who appeared on the endlessly referenced political drama The West Wing, tweeted a video of a Model S in flames Friday, claiming the blaze broke out “out of the blue” as her husband’s Tesla cruised through traffic in West Hollywood. She directed her tweet at Tesla.

General Motors has since capitalized on the unsolved blaze, offering McCormack and her husband, identified as director Michael Norris, a new Chevy Bolt.

Read more
No Fixed Abode: Plate Tectonics of the Prestige Drift

It’s June, which means it’s the time of year for my son to visit his grandfather in South Carolina and spend a week at golf camp. Sometimes I have to spend the week working, sometimes I spent it traveling, and sometimes I get to spend it hanging out with my dad and his friends.

Most of them are cast from the same group of molds: either self-made or with only minor family advantages, a long history of executive positions or highly remunerative small business ownership, more millions left in the bank than they have years left in the tank. They’re not interested in art or literature, they have a casual and hilarious disrespect for modern social ideas, they maintain a sort of gruff good humor about everything from heart attacks to coastal hurricanes. We will not see their like again, which is kind of a shame.

Yesterday one of them came over to say hello, meet the grandchildren, and to ask me a couple of questions about his next vehicle purchase. I long ago figured out that these fellows don’t necessarily want my authentic opinion regarding the merits of the SL65 or the Continental GT. Rather, they want me to nod approvingly at whatever they’ve already decided to buy, at which point we can have a nice lunch and engage in some mutual appreciation of our good fortune in life, regardless of how unevenly said fortune is distributed.

This fellow was different. He came prepared: with notes, impressions, questions. He had hard financial limits in mind, which is vanishingly rare among a class of Baby Boomers who no longer bother to count pennies or Krugerrands. Most importantly, he gave me something to think about long after he’d left.

Read more
GM Looking at Ways of Squeezing Cash Out of Cruise: Report

The small San Francisco startup bought by General Motors in 2016 could generate a lot of money for the automaker in the near future.

According to sources who spoke to Bloomberg, GM wants to unlock the value of its self-driving Cruise Automation division (officially GM Cruise LLC) — a 50-person company valued at $600 million at the time of purchase. Japan’s SoftBank, which recently pledged a $2.25 billion investment in the division, now values Cruise at $11.5 billion.

To put that figure into context, GM’s market capitalization hovers around $50 billion. The word “Cruise” should be accompanied by an old-timey cash register sound.

Read more
Add a Couple More Vehicles to the List of Products That Might Be Chinese

Despite the negative stigma long associated with Chinese-built goods, we’ve grown used to — if not accepting of — the idea that some of our domestic vehicles might originate from a Chinese assembly plant. The Cadillac CT6 Plug-in, for example, hails from the Orient, as does all versions of the Buick Envision crossover. Volvo S90s sold in the U.S. also call China their birthplace.

Now, according to a 2019 model year VIN decoder document sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from General Motors, there’s two additional models that might carry Chinese heritage. Keep a lookout for a VIN starting with “L.”

Read more
Chuck Stevens Calling It a Day, Rising Financial Star Tapped As GM's CFO

Chuck Stevens joined General Motors’ Buick division as a very young lad in 1978, one year after the automaker’s gargantuan full-sizers hit the gym and sent buyers flocking to dealerships. Now 58, Stevens says he’ll step down from his role as chief financial officer and executive vice president at the beginning of September. He’ll remain as an advisor until March 2019.

GM named Stevens CFO for its global operations in 2014; before that, he oversaw the automaker’s North American finances starting in 2010 — a turbulent time for The General.

In his wake, a woman whose actions helped rustled up quite a bit of cash for the automaker will pick up where he left off.

Read more
Your Future Honda EV Might Have a General Motors Battery

Not if you’re planning on leasing a Clarity Electric, of course, though future iterations of Honda’s greenest model could use what General Motors is pushing. Which is: a far more energy dense battery.

On Thursday, the two automakers announced a partnership to develop smaller, longer-ranged batteries for use in electric vehicles, primarily those sold in North America. Once the two achieve a breakthrough, GM will become Honda’s supplier.

Read more
GM to Europe: Don't Be so Down on Diesel

Even though General Motors gleefully offloaded its European division to the French, it still maintains a slight presence in the region. A powertrain engineering center in Turin, Italy remains in the GM fold, which gave the automaker an opportunity to dish on a much-maligned propulsion source: diesel fuel.

Hey, this stuff’s still useful, the automaker’s CEO of global diesel development, Pierpaolo Antonioli, told an uncertain European crowd this week.

Read more
Bang & Blame: GM Making Running Safety Updates to Terrain, Equinox

The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal,” which is news to me, since I most definitely am not equal to Fernando Alonso in terms of driving skill, for example, although I am pretty adept at lounging in a camping chair.

One item that is most definitely not created equal is the Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain twins. A running change being implemented on the production lines means some of the GM trucklets are safer than others.

Read more
Yes, You Can Get a Four-cylinder in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet’s next-generation 2019 Silverado will be available with a turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder, making it the first full-size pickup truck to “go there.”

Displacing the same volume as Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, Chevrolet’s all-new motor ditches two cylinders, though it ditches even more under light loads, thanks to General Motors’ Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) system.

It’s a good thing GM shaved a good deal of weight off the new truck.

Read more
  • FifaCup Loving both Interior and exterior designs.
  • FifaCup This is not good for the auto industry
  • Jeff S This would be a good commuter vehicle especially for those working in a large metropolitan area. The only thing is that by the time you put airbags, backup cameras, and a few of the other required safety features this car would no longer be simple and the price would be not much cheaper than a subcompact. I like the idea but I doubt a car like this would get marketed in anyplace besides Europe and the 3rd World.
  • ScarecrowRepair That's what I came to say!
  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.