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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Given the automaker’s sales numbers, it’s not the wildest prediction. Investment bank Morgan Stanley sees General Motors’ American passenger car lineup — or most of it, anyway — disappearing in the near future.
The move would see GM adopt a similar product strategy as its Detroit Three rivals, with sedans relegated to overseas markets and focus placed firmly on the production of trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. Barring $4 or $5 gasoline, domestic buying habits make this prediction seem inevitable — and there’s already rumblings of an impending cull in the automaker’s stable.
In all of my 35 years of exploring junkyards in the western United States, I had never found a Mexican-built, Mexican-market car until a few weeks ago, when I spotted this General Motors de México-manufactured 2009 Opel Corsa in a Denver-area self-service wrecking yard.
After forming last year, GM Defense LLC, the resurrected military arm of General Motors, is well on its way to outfitting operational personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The most promising product to emerge from the potentially lucrative division is the Colorado ZH2, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered variant of the automaker’s ZR2 off-road midsize pickup. GM debuted the vehicle a year before the creation of GM Defence, then handed it over to the military.
Apparently, the Army thinks quite highly of it, having field-tested the quiet truck during battalion-sized war games. But that’s just the start of GM’s plan to dominate land, sea, and maybe air.
General Motors has filed one of the strangest patent requests we’ve ever seen, one that gives vehicles the ability to change their shape. Up until now, a GM-branded transformer was something that only existed in the movies. But it would seem the automaker hopes to develop a real-world example someday.
While the concept and patent drawings mirror an idea I developed as a six-year old with a box of crayons, it does have some practical applications. GM has made it clear it sees a future rife with autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing. However, operating a theoretical fleet of self-driving vehicles comes with numerous hurdles. One of the biggest is finding a place to store them.
Having computer-controlled cars mill about endlessly is inefficient, but so is storing them in a central hub. Ideally, you would locate them in small clusters near the area they’re meant to serve. That’s easier said than done in urban environments. But if a car could somehow collapse itself to half its normal size, new parking opportunities suddenly become available.
Here today, gone tomorrow, back the next day. That’s basically the recent history of the Chevrolet Sonic, which formed the basis of a Wall Street Journal report earlier this spring. Chevrolet’s subcompact hatch and sedan could end production by the end of the year, the report stated, and the model’s subsequent disappearance from a 2019 model year California Air Resources Board certification document only added fuel to the rumor fire.
We reached out to GM about the Sonic’s CARB vanishing act, but never heard back. Now, the Michigan-built model has reappeared, promising a 2019 model year model for subcompact buyers.
Oh man, they even got the paint right. Who knew retro design cues could feel so authentic?
Hold on, that’s not the upcoming midsize Chevrolet Blazer — it’s a 1979 model (in alluring Cheyenne trim). Obviously, General Motors expects the public to hold fond memories of the Blazers of yesteryear, otherwise it wouldn’t affix the brawny, rugged name to its newest crossover. Yes, crossover. The Tahoe, which replaced the two-door K5 Blazer back in the mid ’90s, remains the top choice for drivers looking for bowties and body-on-frame construction.
However, there’s plenty of space between the newly downsized Equinox and sprawling Traverse. Into the breach drives the Blazer.
When General Motors first deployed OnStar, it was a little more than an emergency services hotline. Drivers in need could tap a blue button on their rearview mirror and immediately get in contact with an operator. The system could also do this automatically in the event of a crash. OnStar later introduced anti-theft measures, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote access as part of a subscription plan.
However, with General Motors seeing dollar signs wherever connectivity is involved, the automaker wants to retool the system. OnStar will continue offering existing services, but GM is changing the subscription model and placing a new emphasis on data acquisition. The good news is that the tiered payment model will offer more features starting in May. Unfortunately, some those amenities used to be free and those fed up with companies selling your data or paranoid about Orwellian Big Brother scenarios might be less enthusiastic about the long-term corporate vision.
The Buick Encore isn’t going away anytime soon. Built by GM Korea, the little crossover, its Chevrolet Trax twin, and the diminutive Chevy Spark will continue chugging out of the country’s three GM assembly plants and making a boat ride to the U.S., all thanks to a multi-billion dollar turnaround deal.
Faced with declining domestic sales and reduced exports, GM’s Korean division appeared on the edge of bankruptcy last week. A warring union resistant to the division’s wage and bonus demands and a hesitant South Korean government didn’t help matters. On Monday, however, the union representing 26,000 workers agreed to the automaker’s wage and bonus concessions. Members approved the deal today.
With GM’s end of the bargain — free up $600 million in operating funds — now complete, the taps can start flowing. There’s now $4.35 billion earmarked to turn the troubled automaker around.
Unlike Ford, which wants everyone to know that small cars aren’t something it’s very interested in building, General Motors is keeping its product cards much closer to its chest.
Still, loose-lipped sources were abuzz this spring, informing various outlets that GM might be going the same route, albeit in a slower, less public fashion. The Chevrolet Sonic was listed as one of the nameplates bound for the graveyard. Now, a California Air Resources Board engine certification document offers new evidence that the subcompact sedan and hatch will not stage a reappearance for 2019.
If you spent the weekend in a state of breathless suspense, allow us to let some air out of that balloon. General Motors’ embattled Korean division, source of America’s smallest GM cars, has pulled back from the brink of bankruptcy after reaching an 11th hour deal with its union.
The tentative bargain opens the door to government assistance for the money-losing automaker, and should keep wee little vehicles rolling out of the country’s assembly plants.
As April 20th dawns without a wage deal with its workforce, General Motors’ troubled Korean division could be well down the road to bankruptcy.
GM Korea, which recently announced the closure of an assembly plant amid a continued loss of sales and money, needed to reach a deal with its 16,000 workers by today’s date in order to gain assistance from the South Korean government. The division builds the Chevrolet Spark, Trax, and Buick Encore for U.S. customers. Since revealing its r estructuring plan back in February, GM Korea failed to gain much-needed wage concessions from its aggressive labor union.
Without this, bankruptcy might be the only option, the automaker claims.
General Motors is updating its on-board digital marketplace to allow customers to purchase fuel without ever having to leave the vehicle. You’ll still have to leave the confines of the vehicle to actually pump the gas, unless you live in New Jersey, but the exchange of money is handled entirely by the world’s first “in-dash fuel payment system.”
What a time to be alive.
The new service is available via the Shell widget, which is already featured on GM’s Marketplace app (providing directions to the nearest Shell station). The corporate collaboration allows respective patrons to select a nearby Shell station, use the map to navigate there, park, select a pump, fill up, and drive away. Payment is automatically charged through Shell’s Fuel Rewards program.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Tassos Before you rush to buy this heap of rusty metal, maybe you should wait a day or two.I hear Tim will have an Model T next time.
- Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
- 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
- Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
- ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)