By on March 27, 2020

Image: GM

One should never pay too close attention to social media, but sadly, that’s where a lot of diplomacy takes place these days. Especially today.

Since dawn broke over the nation Friday, President Donald Trump has chastised General Motors and Ford for their perceived foot-dragging in getting much-needed ventilators into production, urging them to pick up the pace and suggesting that he might invoke the Defense Production Act — a wartime measure aimed at aligning industrial output with America’s immediate defense needs. In this case, the enemy is microscopic, but packs a punch.

We’re already on it, Ford and GM replied. (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2020

News arose yesterday that General Motors’ and Ford Motor Company’s battle plans rely heavily on SUV and pickup sales, rather than electric vehicles. Details of the corporate strategies, first shared by Reuters, soon circulated through the media, with many outlets upset that the pair seem to have oversold the role electrification will play in their respective lineups through 2026. One wonders how they could possibly be this surprised.

Using data issued to parts suppliers from the two automakers, AutoForecast Solutions predicted North American production of SUV models from GM and Ford will outpace the assembly of traditional cars by more than eight to one in 2026. Roughly 93 percent of those models are expected to be dependent upon gasoline. Meanwhile, Reuters compared the manufacturers’ strategy against Tesla — a company that only exists for the explicit purpose of selling EVs and has never assembled a gas-powered automobile — as if all manufacturers are equal in scope and cater to the same type of customers.  (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2020

General Motors Renaissance Center

Not much time passed after Ford chopped compensation for 300 top executives before General Motors decided to free up financial breathing room via payroll costs.

The automaker has enacted a sweeping plan to weather the coronavirus storm by cutting the pay of its salaried workforce by 20 percent, with 6,500 U.S. workers incapable of working from home placed on leave. Employees aren’t expected to swallow the loss out of the goodness of their own hearts, however — GM promises they’ll see the missing money one day. (Read More…)

By on March 24, 2020

General Motors Renaissance Center

Following in the footsteps of rival Ford, General Motors is drawing on credit to bolster its cash reserves. The company, which announced a temporary shutdown of its U.S. assembly plants last week, is in the same basket as pretty much any other automaker operating in the country.

As well, GM — again, like Ford — sees no value in its now-outdated guidance issued for 2020. That bit of predictive analysis, like a lot of things, fell victim to the sudden and disruptive appearance of the coronavirus. (Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

cami assembly factory

Much talk has been made over the past week of turning the auto industry’s manufacturing might into a so-called Arsenal of Health. In the U.S. and Canada, federal governments have turned to automakers for production of much-needed ventilators to save lives of coronavirus patients. Meanwhile, breweries and distilleries have swapped to hand sanitizer production.

Turning on a dime to crank out ventilators and face masks isn’t an overnight proposition, but an emergency effort to expand the availability of life-saving supplies would go a long way to save lives. The Detroit Three are already on it. Tesla, too. (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2020

gm

Lost in the madness of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic this week was the debut of a refreshed version of General Motors’ largest crossover, the Chevrolet Traverse.

The full-size, three-row people hauler enters the 2021 model year with updated front and rear styling, along with notable changes in content. Let’s take a closer look at this generously sized non-minivan. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2020

2018 Ford F150 assembly line -Image: Ford

Ford Motor Company says it plans to idle all North American plants by end of day Thursday, keeping those facilities offline until the end of the month in an effort to cleanse them of coronavirus. General Motors is following suit, though Fiat Chrysler has yet to detail its near-future plan to protect workers and tailor production to reduced consumer demand.

The details come after the Detroit Three automakers agreed to a partial shutdown of U.S. production after advocacy from the United Auto Workers. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2020

fca

At the urging of the United Auto Workers to do more to protect U.S. Detroit Three autoworkers, Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler have agreed to new coronavirus-fighting measures.

While the UAW initially pressed for a two-week production shutdown, the result of Tuesday’s talks was a series of rotating partial shutdowns, the union announced late last night. The move comes after extra disinfecting and social distancing measures announced by the Detroit Three late last week. It also comes as two new coronavirus cases appear at product development centers in Michigan. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2020

gm

The unexpected and potentially under-cylindered 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a vehicle you would have read about in these digital pages, had the pandemic not scrubbed a first drive event scheduled for late last week. For sure, yours truly was quite curious to see how well the model’s brace of boosted three-cylinders hauled around the tweener crossover’s modest bulk.

Alas, drive impressions are off the table as we deal with this virus thing. We’ve told you the specs already, given you a taste of what to expect from the not-quite-compact CUV and its Buick Encore GX sibling, and even revealed the EPA ratings of the latter model.

Now it’s time to hit the trail(blazer). (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

The domestic auto industry is quickly shifting into self-isolation mode as best it can, knowing full well that assembly plants can’t churn out shiny new automobiles with line workers sitting in their living rooms.

As North America moves into a new phase of the emerging pandemic, automakers are taking precautionary measures, all the while wondering how long the lights will stay on. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2020

General Motors is offering plenty of opportunity to drop mountains of cash on a next-generation GMC Yukon, but if frills are something you don’t need, easing into a 2021 Yukon can be a fairly painless process.

The longer and more spacious full-sizer carries a base price just $100 higher than 2020’s entry-level trim, though moving up the ladder will obviously see GM take home extra. There’s now an extra rung on that ladder, too. (Read More…)

By on March 11, 2020

General Motors Renaissance Center

Fiat Chrysler wants to see General Motors’ racketeering lawsuit dismissed, but the automaker’s crosstown rival isn’t in a charitable mood.

GM contends that bribery of United Auto Workers officials by FCA over years of contract talks left that automaker sitting pretty, with extra labor costs dumped on its Detroit competitors. While FCA claims GM can’t prove it’s a victim, The General says otherwise. (Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

Pontiac is one of the most featured marques of the Rare Rides series, and to date there have been seven of its models represented here. Today’s Rare Ride was in showrooms the very same time as the odd and short-lived Sunbird Safari Wagon, but was intended to entice a much more traditional customer.

Let’s have a look at the upright and respectable Bonneville coupe.

(Read More…)

By on March 10, 2020

Image: GM

The public debut of Cadillac’s first all-electric model has hit a snag in the form of the fast-growing coronavirus epidemic. A splashy (aren’t all reveals splashy?) unveiling scheduled to take place April 2 is now scrapped, Bloomberg reports.

The article, which (strangely) positions the cancellation as a major blow for General Motors CEO Mary Barra, notes that the automaker has yet to come up with a fall-back plan for the model’s debut. (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2020

2019 Cadillac XT4

God, that’s an awkward word to type… and pronounce. Regardless, the upcoming Celestiq is a halo for the brand — a fastback-style four-door electric with exclusivity in spades. General Motors envisions it as a limited-production offering, and its price will reflect its status. (Read More…)

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