At the end of September, some of my auto journo colleagues busied themselves with the French delights of Paris, covering new reveals at the Paris Auto Show.
Me? I was somewhere much more in line with my personality, surrounded by heavy-duty trucks at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. With both Ford and Ram cresting the 900 lb-ft of torque mark, the General needed to play catch-up.
Enter Chevy’s new 6.6-liter Duramax Diesel.
In September 2016, for the first time since October 2014, the Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang in the United States.
Year-over-year, Chevrolet Camaro sales jumped 25 percent to a five-year September high of 6,577.
With the worst Ford Mustang decline since (not coincidentally) October 2014, the Blue Oval’s pony car saw its share of the three-car Detroit pony/muscle car sector fall by 15 points to 34 percent.
Thus, the Camaro wins. Over the span of one month. By a small margin.
The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel returns in 2017, packing a smaller oil-burning four-cylinder and more torque than the first-generation model, but there’s another major change from its predecessor.
General Motors has rolled out a unique variant of its popular midsize Chevrolet Colorado pickup in advance of U.S. military trials scheduled to begin next year.
The Colorado ZH2, seemingly plucked from the set of a Mad Max sequel, has seen its frame and body stretched, reinforced and modified to within an inch of its life, and draws its power from a hydrogen fuel cell.
If this sounds like eco-nonsense, and you’re wondering when the U.S. Navy will announce a return to sail, hold on — there are tactical advantages to the vehicle’s powertrain.
General Motors claims Chevrolet dealers will see some Bolts arrive before the end of the year, but it’s now clear who gets the 238-mile electric vehicle first.
The first Bolts to roll out of the Orion Assembly plant will go to drivers working for Lyft, the Detroit Free Press reports.
General Motors quickly deleted the power figures for its new 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 after they were posted to the GM Powertrain website, but we now have confirmation of the heavy-duty engine’s output.
TTAC’s Matthew Guy has just sent us the figures from the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where GM is debuting its 2017 heavy duty pickups.
Unionized General Motors workers in Canada ratified a new collective agreement yesterday, with the automaker agreeing to invest $421 million ($554 million CAD) into its northern operations.
The deal, which sees full-size pickup final assembly come to Oshawa, was sealed after 64.7 percent of the Unifor members voted to approve it. With this nail-biter of a negotiation done (the last-minute deal averted a looming strike), contract negotiations begin with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Chevrolet has lifted the curtain on its next-generation Equinox, revealing a host of technological and styling updates for a long-running model that had grown long in the tooth.
The changes coming for the 2018 model year put the Equinox as a proper compact SUV, as the slimmed-down model sheds significant weight and adopts a trio of turbocharged four-cylinders. Going out on a limb in the red-hot market segment, Chevrolet plans to offer a diesel.
General Motors is searching for savings under every RenCen couch cushion as it ramps up a profit-boosting cost-cutting effort.
The automaker has already chopped plenty of what it sees as fat, and is so confident in its streamlining abilities that it now claims it could weather a major plunge in sales. Even, say, a 40-percent dropoff.
For a company that knows all about sales plunges — recent ones, too — this is pretty confident talk. It has to be, as GM wants you — yes, you! — to invest.
What will it take to get into Chevy’s EV? $37,495, which includes destination. A federal tax credit lowers that to $29,995, or five bucks below the “affordable car threshold” so sought after by EV builders.
After contract negotiations went right down to the midnight deadline, GM Canada and autoworkers union Unifor reached a tentative deal last night, averting a looming strike at Canadian GM plants.
Bargaining teams from the automaker and Unifor, which represents Detroit Three workers in Canada, reached what union boss Jerry Dias called “a framework for a tentative agreement.” Not only does the deal avert a shutdown at three Ontario GM facilities, it saves the threatened century-old Oshawa assembly plant.
No jobs will be lost, and a new (but unnamed) product will go into production in Oshawa.
GM Canada and the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers north of the border have entered their final day of contract talks ahead of a midnight strike deadline.
Unless both sides achieve a breakthrough today, there’s little reason to believe a walkout at the company’s Oshawa, Woodstock and St. Catharines, Ontario facilities won’t occur as the clock strikes twelve.
With GM Canada and Detroit Three autoworkers union Unifor making little headway in contract negotiations, the possibility of government subsidies has raised its head.
At week’s end, the two sides were reportedly far apart as the clock ticks down to possible strike action at midnight on September 19. With General Motors as its strike target, Unifor lists new investment and product at the endangered Oshawa assembly plant as its number one demand.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the Canadian workers’ union boss is encouraged by talk of indirect federal government intervention.
After promising to surpass the storied 200-mile mark with its upcoming “affordable” electric car, General Motors has revealed that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will boast an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles.
The space-maximized EV’s long electric legs gives GM bragging rights over its chief rival, the Tesla Model 3.
General Motors has a doozy of a recall on its hands after admitting that 3.64 million vehicles in the U.S. are equipped with airbags that might not deploy in the event of a crash.
The automaker has announced a voluntary recall of numerous 2014-2017 models to fix the issue, which can also disable seatbelt pretensioners. There remains a bit of mystery as to the “certain rare circumstances” that can disable the airbags.
In response to disappointing sales of the new-for-2016 Chevrolet Camaro, General Motors revealed last week that it will cut prices of the 2017 model.
Although there are plenty of 2017 Camaros already available — all of which will benefit from the newly lowered price — the issue facing GM’s U.S. dealers now pertains to the number of 2016 Camaros on dealer lots. Of the roughly 27,000 Chevrolet Camaros in stock at dealers across America, according to Cars.com, 40 percent are MY2016s, the appeal for which decreases rapidly as more MY2017s become available.
This ballooning Camaro inventory, a 139-day supply heading into September 2016, was caused by a sharp decrease in Camaro demand with the launch of the all-new sixth-generation model, a subject we’ve explored frequently in the past. Through the first eight months of 2016, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Camaro are down 15 percent.
But sales of the Camaro’s chief rival, the wildly more popular Ford Mustang, are falling, as well. Dodge Challenger sales are sliding, too.
Chevrolet has hauled the axe out of the “break in case of low sales” box, chopping prices on almost all 2017 Camaro models.
The revised prices, effective today, apply to all 2017 model year Camaros — not just those yet to be built, GM Inside News reports. The move comes after a rocky summer for the recently restyled model, which saw the Camaro battle to stay out of last place in the pony car standings.
Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that is — all things considered — the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.
For years, there’s been a chorus cry from the internet: “Buyers can’t get a simple pickup truck anymore!” Well into the ‘90s, customers could waltz into many a dealer and drive off in a Spartan, four-cylinder, stick shift, rear-wheel-drive pickup with the footprint of a Twinkie.
I could live with this car … under a couple of conditions.
Air conditioning is a must have, and I may have told you about the need for an aftermarket shifter solution.
But GM Canada’s $9,995 2016 Chevrolet Spark LS, which lacks A/C and a tolerable shifter, is nevertheless an acceptable place to spend time. Though it drives with far less verve than the not-sold-in-Freedomland $9,988 2016 Nissan Micra S, the Spark is the more comfortable and refined option.
Up the price with an array of options and the argument for North America’s second Chevrolet Spark falls apart. As a $10,000 car, however, there’s a case to be made.
Sales of midsize trucks are heating up, and General Motors doesn’t want its slice of the pie to grow stale.
Changes are coming to the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado by way a host of powertrain updates aimed at squeezing better performance and fuel economy out of its volume model.
We told you — yea, we even showed you — that the most basic 2016 Chevrolet Spark you can buy has manual locks, but also a power lock.
Fascinated? We were. After driving around in a car with manual locks that automatically locked its driver’s door at 8 miles per hour and unlocked its driver’s door when the key was removed from ignition, we were spooked and amazed and perplexed. We asked GM for comment but initially did not hear back.
Now we have.
Are you sure you want to save the manuals?
In theory, of course, you want to save the manual transmission. You enjoy driving. You enjoy enhancing the man-machine connection by synchronizing movements between your left foot, right hand, and right foot. You value the art of a perfectly timed shift, of properly holding a gear through a corner when even the most intelligent automatic would upshift. You know the corner. You know driving. You know how to get the best out of a Ford Fiesta ST half an hour before sunrise on Italy’s Stelvio Pass, even though you’ve never set foot outside Iowa, even though you drive a RAV4 Hybrid.
“What? I would’ve gotten a manual if Toyota offered one,” thou doth protest too much.
As we approach greater degrees of autonomous driving, as roads fill up and speed limits are not altered to reflect our vehicles’ huge improvements in stopping ability and safety, saving the manuals sounds like a noble campaign. Preserve that last shred of pure driving already forsaken by Ferrari, by performance-oriented Porsches, by the general populace that believes their right hands are better off holding a skinny cinnamon dolce latte than a leather-wrapped shifter.
But I’m driving proof, a $9,995* 2016 Chevrolet Spark, that we shouldn’t paint with such a broad #SaveTheManuals brush. We should save some of the manuals, but certainly not all of them.
General Motors’ 2016 Chevrolet Spark LS does not have power locks.
Correction: as shown in the high-production-quality video embedded below, the 2016 Chevrolet Spark LS has a mysterious power lock, singular.
For an advertised Canadian base price of $9,995, or $11,595 with destination charges, the 2016 Chevrolet Spark is at once both very well equipped and decidedly spartan. This is not the Ford Festiva you inherited from your ex-girlfriend’s uncle. “The bumper and hood are no good,” he told you, having recently run into a deer. “But she runs pretty good.”
No, in the base 2016 Spark, there’s a backup camera, for example, and antilock brakes, a bundle of air bags, decent seats, Bluetooth, and WiFi availability.
There’s also a bit of magic.
CleanTechnica claims that substantial deliveries of the 200-plus-mile Bolt won’t take place until January, with pre-orders moved from August to November of this year.
“Do you want to get in and out of your car easily and do you want to be able to back out of a tight parking spot?” Ford Mustang buyer and former Chevrolet Camaro shopper John Oglesby wrote to Car And Driver for its September 2016 issue. “If so, you need the Mustang.”
John Oglesby is truly representative of the market as a whole. After holding its position as the top dog in the segment for five years, the Chevrolet Camaro predictably lost its title to the Ford Mustang in 2015, the year of an all-new Mustang; the last year for the now-departed fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.
2016 hosted the launch of an all-new Chevrolet Camaro, but a return to sales leadership wasn’t in the cards. Not at any point since the nameplate’s 2009 return has the Camaro sold so poorly. Year-over-year, U.S. Camaro volume is down 15 percent compared with 2015, the Camaro’s previous worst year since returning.
Anticipating virtually nonexistent demand, General Motors will ship 15 copies of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe to the United Kingdom for deliveries in September. Another three Camaro convertibles are expected to find homes one month later.
Chevrolet, which concluded a decade-long full-line foray into Europe last year, will sell the Camaro through only one UK dealer, Ian Allan Motors in Virginia Water, Surrey. You may recall hearing that Virginia Water was the first UK locale outside London in which the average price of a new home crested £1,000,000.
British buyers heading to Virginia Water in search of a new Camaro will certainly need to have access to more funds than buyers who are keen on a new Ford Mustang. Given the blame we cast for poor U.S. Camaro sales on a pricing scheme that presents the Camaro as a premium pony car, it’s not surprising to see that Camaro pricing in the UK would be similarly lofty.
But there’s one key difference.
General Motors hopes to avoid paying up to $10 billion in liabilities by challenging last month’s appeals court ruling in the faulty ignition switch saga.
The automaker wants a rehearing after the court ruled that it couldn’t use its 2009 bankruptcy to block hundreds of crash-related lawsuits, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Green cars should cut through the air like a bird, not a wall, but a team of stylists at General Motors’ South Korean design studio wasn’t thinking of that when they put together the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.
The main goal of the team crafting the first “affordable” 200-mile electric vehicle was creating a vehicle with enough interior room to satisfy a nation of crossover fanatics. The result? A veritable brick, but a spacious one at that.
Yes, Camaro sales figures. They’re not attractive, not what General Motors was accustomed to achieving when the reborn Camaro returned in 2009 as a fifth-generation Ford Mustang fighter. Not for the first time, we told you that story yesterday. Much as we all expected that the Camaro, in its final year, would be outsold by the high-production sixth-gen Mustang in its first year, 2015 is over. This is 2016. The Camaro is the new car. The Mustang could be resigned to Yesterday’s News status.
Instead, the Mustang is outselling the Camaro by huge margins, the Dodge Challenger has outsold the Camaro in each of the last three months, and Camaro volume is down 37 percent since May, year-over-year.
What’s an automaker to do?
Detroit Three automakers need to invest in their Canadian operations or it’s no deal, the president of the union representing hourly workers said yesterday.
Contract talks kick off tomorrow between the automakers and Unifor, but a cloud already hangs over the negotiations in the form of recent threats of a strike and GM’s reluctance to talk about its Oshawa plant’s future.
General Motors just released pricing and performance figures for its 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and unless Ford comes up with a hotter Mustang, it looks like Dodge still holds the domestic performance crown.
Billed as the most powerful production Camaro ever, the 650-horsepower ZL1 comes with an MSRP of $62,135 for coupe models, $69,135 for drop-tops. Lower-end models stand to benefit from Chevy’s 1LE performance package.
There’s already plenty of evidence of a looming mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette variant, but multiple sources with knowledge of General Motors’ plans now say the near-mythical model will absolutely arrive in early 2019.
Insider sources told The Detroit News that not only will a mid-engine ‘Vette bow in 2019, it will soon be the only Corvette offered by GM.
Rather than being worried about consumer sentiment in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, GM can’t wait to put the moves on the legions of spurned diesel diehards, Automotive News reports.
Driving off the dealer lot in a longed-for new vehicle is one of life’s richest pleasures, but there’s no joy if a buyer can’t find the chariot of their dreams.
Now, imagine that your dream ride is a gray Chevrolet Malibu — a 1LT model with two common options. Doesn’t that seem like an attainable goal? Shouldn’t be too hard to find, you’d think, right? Well, one would-be buyer says otherwise.
Update: Automotive News is reporting General Motors is now focusing “on the higher end of the market while the Japanese firm sticks to selling vehicles for everyday commercial purposes,” strongly hinting that GM is the one that broke off the collaboration. We’ve added detail below.
After announcing a new bromance with Mazda just over a week ago, Isuzu is calling it quits with its old beau General Motors.
(Or maybe GM caught Isuzu cheating behind its back. Who knows? The relationship dynamics at play between automakers are difficult to flesh out.)
Regardless, midsize trucks — badged as both Isuzus and Chevrolets — will be no more in the Land of Smiles. The duo, which has a truck plant each in Thailand, will decouple their R&D efforts as they move toward engineering new global midsize pickups.
Two years of owner complaints and embarrassing media coverage forced Chevrolet to do something about the Corvette Z06’s overheating problems.
The automaker plans to dial down the engine temperature of 2017 models by installing a new hood with larger vents and a modified supercharger cover, hopefully ending the overheating warnings that plagued Z06 models that ventured onto the track.
Many industry reporters and enthusiasts attached stigma to early mass market hybrids because of the unknown reliability of their batteries. Potential owners worried that a failed battery would stick them with an expensive, out-of-warranty repair bill.
The first generation of hybrid vehicles hit the streets right around the turn of the century, right at the same time the domestic market was in love with SUVs. Anecdotes abounded about how dangerous and expensive hybrids would be to fix and maintain. Now that they’ve been on the road for over a decade, data shows — for the most part — there was no reason to fear these electrified fuel sippers.
General Motors had hoped to put the issue behind it, but a judge’s ruling just opened the automaker up to billions in damages over its faulty ignition switch scandal.
Yesterday, the U.S. Appeals Court of Manhattan ruled that lawsuits filed against the automaker for accidents that happened before the company’s 2009 bankruptcy sale were still valid. The decision overruled an earlier court decision that protected GM from such suits.
Unexpected plant investments. A suspicious trademarked model name. Colonel Mustard in the library with a revolver.
There’s been plenty of clues to fuel the inferno of rumors surrounding a looming mid-engine Corvette, but long-range images published by Autocar give us what we really want — photographic evidence.
General Motors wants better performance from its boosted engines, so it headed to the patent office with a design for a new two-stage turbocharger — one that eliminates the drawbacks of the existing setup.
According to a document published by GM Inside News, the General filed the patent on May 19. The design (mated to a four-cylinder engine) isolates the low-pressure and high-pressure turbines, calling on one or the other (but not both) at different engine speeds and loads.
A $290 million investment in General Motors’ Bowling Green, Kentuky Corvette plant could herald the arrival of a long-rumored beast.
The cash infusion, announced today by GM and reported by Automotive News, is meant for assembly upgrades and modifications, though it also supercharges speculation that a mid-engine Corvette is finally on the way.
On the Muscle Car Calendar, 2016 was supposed to be the Year of Camaro.
After outselling the Ford Mustang in the United States in five consecutive years between 2010 and 2014, it wasn’t surprising to see the Chevrolet Camaro fade into a distant second place in calendar year 2015. The Mustang was all-new in sixth-generation form for model year 2015; the Camaro was in its seventh and last year of its fifth iteration. The refreshed Dodge Challenger’s success may have played a role in the Camaro’s sharp decline, too, as 2015 was the seventh consecutive year of U.S. Challenger sales growth.
2016, with the reborn Camaro freshly reengineered and the Mustang no longer the freshest American muscle, is not turning out to be the Camaro’s time to shine.
Through the first five months of 2016, the Ford Mustang has outsold the Chevrolet Camaro by 21,324 units in the United States, a margin that may be impossible for the Camaro to overcome by year’s end.
A Seattle law firm famous for going after automakers (and lately, diesel-producing automakers) has another target in its sights: General Motors.
According to The Detroit News, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro filed a class-action lawsuit in California yesterday, accusing GM and Chevrolet of misleading buyers of Chevy Cruze models equipped with the 2.0-liter diesel engine.
“Would it kill you to buy American?” mutters Walt Kowalski after watching his son drive off in a Toyota Land Cruiser at the beginning of the film Gran Torino.
The common refrain from past and present members of the U.S. auto industry has everything to do with the sector’s impact on the domestic economy. If you’re really concerned about your car’s “purity,” however, there’s an annual report that checks just how much domestic content went into every new vehicle sold on American soil.
This year, three controversial General Motors vehicles return to take the patriotic crown. But they’re still not fully American.
It looks like a gas card mailout didn’t take all the heat off of General Motors.
After compensating owners of its full-size 2016 crossovers in the wake of the recent fuel economy controversy, a class action lawsuit filed in a California court is pointing the finger at older models and demanding the automaker pay up.
Chevrolet just announced pricing for the 2017 Cruze hatchback due out this fall, and the extra cargo volume tacks on about $4,700 to the price of a base sedan.
Buyers looking for an extra 32.4 cubic feet of cargo space (with rear seats folded) will pay an MSRP of $22,190 — a price that includes a destination freight charge, but not taxes, fees and other monetary hassles.
We were in our Honda Odyssey last Saturday, transporting our dog to a special canine event 20 miles from our home, when the gorgeous 2016 Mazda6 was taken from our house and a Chevrolet Malibu was backed into the driveway.
Not the ninth-generation Malibu, a car which drew my ire in a TTAC review last spring. This is the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, a follow-up to the abbreviated ninth-gen car that chronically underperformed despite GM’s swift (and insufficient) response to early critiques.
Surely I’m no different from many of you. I’m predisposed to disliking Malibus, not because of inexplicable inner bias or a distaste for the Bowtie or a fondness for Honda Accords, but because the Malibu has spent much of the last two decades sucking. The eighth-generation car, which GM sold from 2008 to 2012, was an exception, but its two immediate predecessors were sad examples of the midsize breed. The 2013-2015 Malibu was a step backwards. As a result, the Malibu name conjures up memories of wooden dynamics, harsh interiors, strange noises, and pitiful styling.
Yet with each passing day of its stay at GCBC Towers, I’m steadily finding more and more things to like about the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.
What’s happening to me?
To keep up with demand for its midsize pickups, General Motors signed a deal to have Navistar International Corp. take on the task of assembling its commercial vans.
The agreement, released yesterday, will see Navistar assemble the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana in a Springfield, Ohio plant starting early next year. Booting the vans out of GM’s Wentzville, Missouri plant frees up capacity to build more Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.
General Motors wants to use a model name once applied to a compact, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, and has the trademark filing to prove it.
The automaker applied to trademark the name “Chevrolet Code” for automotive use on June 2, AutoGuide reports, leading many to believe the taught, Alpha-platform Code 130R concept car shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show could soon be headed to production.
But is Chevrolet really going to slot another rear-drive coupe into the Chevrolet lineup? It’s very unlikely, and here’s why.
Yesterday, General Motors issued a release stating it will announce big news in Oshawa on Friday. According to The Star, that announcement will include 1,000 new jobs at GM’s engineering center, which now focuses on driverless and connected vehicles.
However, the announcement comes as uncertainty swirls around GM’s Oshawa Car Assembly Plant, a facility that many analysts believe is slated for closure.
The Chevy Spark Activ, marketed as a “soft-roader” in India (where it will soon be sold as the Chevy Beat Activ), shows up in the CARB document as a 2017 model, alongside the regular Spark.
You remember the hood scoop on that teased 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD? The one General Motors really wanted you to notice?
Well, GM spilled the beans on the mystery inlet, explaining that all of its diesel-powered 2017 heavy-duty pickups will receive the scoop to force-feed air into the 6.6-liter Duramax engine.
Summer’s here, and it’s never been a better time to please, please buy one of our cars, General Motors wants buyers to know.
The automaker plans to roll out a host of incentives during the month of June, Automotive News reports, to make up for a month that saw combined sales at all of its divisions sink 18 percent year-over-year.
Nissan Leaf sales have all the buoyancy of a cinder block, meaning buyers clearly weren’t impressed with the extra miles of range added for 2016.
The venerable electric vehicle recorded 979 U.S. sales in May, up from the previous month’s 787 units, but down a whopping 53.5 percent from a year earlier. If the model’s perpetually smiling face could frown, it would.
Automotive crossbreeds don’t always turn out for the better. GM’s past is littered with parts-bin-assembled cars that should never have existed. Pontiac Aztek and Hummer H3 are just two examples of good ideas gone horribly wrong.
The 2016 Camaro is not another example; this is parts bin raiding gone right, oh-so right.
In a nutshell, the new Camaro SS is what happens when you take a Cadillac ATS Coupe and a Corvette Stingray engine and wrap them in the latest Chevy stormtrooper styling. The result is something of an automotive unicorn. Under the hood lies a 6.2-liter small-block V8, yet the Camaro tips the scales at a svelte 3,685 pounds and boasts BMW-like weight balance.
After an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an Arizona dealership promised it won’t sell recalled vehicles sans repair.
Sands Chevrolet LLC of Phoenix agreed to pay a $40,000 civil penalty and will shore up its sales procedure in the wake of the probe. The dealer will now check all vehicles for outstanding recalls before delivery and whenever a vehicle is brought in for repair.
The Chevrolet Citation is so frustrating mostly because it was such a great opportunity for General Motors to own the 1980s; if it had worked as well in reality as it did on paper, it would have obliterated the competition. A roomy, modern, front-wheel-drive car with fuel economy far superior to the primitive late-70s Chevy Nova it replaced, and it was pretty good-looking in a genuinely American way …
… but it ended up being as much a humiliating disaster for GM as Operation Eagle Claw was for the Jimmy Carter presidency.
Citations aren’t easy to find now, but strangely well-preserved examples keep showing up in the self-service wrecking yards I frequent. Here’s a very clean ’81 I found in Denver a couple of weeks ago.
If you’re going to hit a pole in a Dodge Challenger, it’s better to nail that sucker head-on or it miss altogether.
That’s the takeaway from a series of crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, where Dodge’s muscle coupe scored itself a “marginal” rating in the small front overlap test.