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General Motors tops 2013 Initial Quality Study of JD Power

General Motors has topped the latest J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study, an annual survey that measures new-vehicle quality that is now on its 27th year. GM is the only carmaker that has less than one problem per car, as its all four brands averaged 98 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed. The US carmaker is followed by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., both tied at second.

Each of the Japanese carmakers has 103 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed. GM has two brands -- GMC and Chevrolet -- barging into the top five of the latest J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study. Topping all brands is Porsche, followed by GMC, Lexus, Infiniti and Chevrolet. Among vehicles themselves, the Lexus LS sedan that was redesigned for 2013, considered as the most trouble-free vehicle with 59 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed.

David Sargent, vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and author of the study, remarked that GM has the best quality of any carmaker in the survey, noting that it is the first time the US firm made it to the top. He also noted that GMC and Chevrolet have never finished in the top five before. Settling at the bottom of the survey are Scion and Mitsubishi.

Read the entire article General Motors tops 2013 Initial Quality Study of JD Power

Ford won’t use GM’s 9 speed automatic transmission due to cost, efficiency snags

Several years ago, on April 15, 2013, Ford and General Motors signed an agreement to jointly use automatic transmissions that both automakers had developed. This was developed mainly for models like the F-150 and the Mustang. For the former, their part of the deal was to share its own 10 speed gearbox to rear wheel drive cars with GM, and in return, they will be able to use the 9 speed gearbox which they can use in front wheel drive crossovers, for a smoother and more efficient drive.

The gearbox seen in this photo, the Hydra-Matic 9T50, which was originally introduced in Chevy models with the 2017 Malibu, 2017 Cruze Diesel and the 2018 Equinox will not find its way inside a Ford model. Rather, the automaker opted to use an eight speed box for models like the Edge and the MKX that replaces the Lincoln Nautilus.

So what made them change their mind? Well, Ford believes that GM’s transmission is not good enough to handle the extra weight that comes from the new gear. That is not all, because it also argues that it does not justify the increased cost required for it to adapt to the Ford models. AutoPacific Inc. analyst, Dave Sullivan, even joked that if he was offered a transmission that did not require much work, outside of tuning it for a specific vehicle, he would take it and run.

Read the entire article Ford won’t use GM’s 9 speed automatic transmission due to cost, efficiency snags

GM hints at possible full-scale comeback to Europe

General Motors has long faced issues in the European market. After years of experiencing losses, as well as weakening sales, the brand earlier this year sold off not only its Vauxhall brand but even the Opel brand. Opel is the main brand name that GM uses in Europe with the exception of the U.K. In the United Kingdom, Vauxhall, a British subsidiary of Opel, uses its very own brand name.

GM had disclosed that its European operations experienced a $257 million loss, the 16th year it had done so. GM would then sell the Opel and Vauxhall brands to the PSA Group in a deal valued at $2.3 billion.

For those familiar with the matter, the European operations of Chevrolet, known way back as Daewoo, was also halted in 2013. This was after the Chevrolet brand experienced losses amounting to $18 billion over several years. The phaseout was completed by the later part of 2015. Saab, which is another GM brand, was initially sold in 2010 before succumbing to bankruptcy by 2012.

Read the entire article GM hints at possible full-scale comeback to Europe

GM gets closer to producing fully autonomous vehicles with acquisition of Strobe Inc.

Just last year, Cruise Automation was acquired by General Motors, and today, it is the self-driving startup that is gobbling up companies on its own. General Motors is stepping their game up once more. To make things easier for them when it comes to the development of autonomous cars, they decided to acquire California-based Strobe, Inc. Not a lot of you may have heard of this company, but Strobe specializes in LiDAR technology, and that is a huge step forward for companies who are into autonomous systems for automobiles. After the acquisition, Strobe engineers will become part of the automaker’s Cruise Automation team.

Julie Schoenfeld, Founder and CEO of Strobe, Inc., said in a statement that the successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will have to depend on the availability of LiDAR sensors. Furthermore, GM and Cruise will benefit from Strobe’s deep engineering talent and technology backed by a number of patents. And hopefully, the automaker brings these autonomous vehicles sooner than we would think.

LiDAR is different from radar systems because the former uses laser pulses to “see” an area, whereas the latter relies on radar systems to do the same thing. And the LiDAR, as we know, is much more detailed as it creates a better picture of its surroundings, which translates to a more accurate processing of information. In other words, the LiDAR system can see a more realistic picture of what’s around it - from cars, pedestrians, and the road. Therefore, the LiDAR systems will play a pivotal role in the current and future development of autonomous cars. However, radars and LiDARs can complement each other to create a more robust and fault-tolerant sensing suite, operating in a wide range of environmental and lighting conditions.

Read the entire article GM gets closer to producing fully autonomous vehicles with acquisition of Strobe Inc.

What is your favourite colour? Is your car finished in the colour that reflects your personality? Nissan recently did a study about the correlation between the colour of a person’s car and their personality, and they say that you should care more about the colour of your car.

Nissan conducted a poll around Europe about car colours and choices, and they found that 86 percent of those who took the poll own a car that is painted in the absolute wrong colour for the kind of personality they have. And they are dead serious about this.

Now, you are probably wondering why Nissan would randomly decide to want to know everyone’s taste in car colours. Well, this study was conducted by them so they could promote the fact that Nissan Micra buyers can customize their new hatchback and choose from a wide array of colours that are available. Currently, customers can pick from 10 different exterior liveries that all stand out - from a bright and alive Energy Orange to an electrifying Pulse Green. And that’s not all they have to offer. Nissan’s personalization program lets customers add more detail to the car with options like contrasting shades to both the exterior and interior parts.

Read the entire article Nissan wants your car colour to match your personality

Which vehicle brand is the most appealing among customers in the United States? To answer that, a definite study has to be taken. Good thing is that for around 22 years, J.D. Power has been conducting its own study measuring emotional attachment and level of excitement that owners feel from their own new vehicles.

For this year, J.D. Power conducted the 2017 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. And among the 32 brands that were included in the survey, Porsche was considered as the most appealing. The 2017 APEAL Study measured the answers of nearly 70,000 buyers and lessees of new (2017 model year) vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The survey – conducted from February through May 2017 – considered 77 attributes, which are then combined into an overall APEAL index score as measured on a 1,000-point scale.

Porsche received the highest index score of 884 points, allowing it to dominate the survey for the 13th time in a row. Only 15 points behind is Genesis at 869 points. Rounding up the top 5 were the big three German luxury carmakers -- BMW (855), Audi (854) and Mercedes-Benz (851).

Read the entire article Porsche is the most appealing brand in the US, says 2017 JD Power APEAL Study

The ride-sharing fleet of sharing Lyft Inc. will soon include thousands of specially fitted self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, courtesy of General Motors. If plans push through, Lyft’s clients would be riding in autonomous EVs as early as start of 2018, according to a report by Reuters, citing sources privy to GM’s plans.

This brings the partnership between GM and Lyft to a new level – a technologically advanced collaboration that involves not just innovative electric vehicles, but also ground-breaking autonomous ones. Deploying thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV to Lyft would allow the United States-based carmaker to accelerate tests of its autonomous technology on its zero-emission cars. One of Reuters’ sources divulged that Lyft is planning to deploy these autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs for testing in a number of states across the US.

GM’s plans are in line with pronouncements of its executives and with its investor presentations in 2016 that it intends to build a high volume of self-driving vehicles and then deploy them in ride sharing services like Lyft. Despite these pronouncements ad presentations, details are still vague as to how many autonomous vehicles will be built or when the US carmaker is specifically planning to deploy them. In fact, GM has only said in recent statement that its autonomous vehicle technology will be featured in an on-demand ride sharing network application sooner than people have expected. It should be noted that the GM acquired a minority stake in Lyft in 2016 for around $500 million.

Read the entire article GM to deploy thousands of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs to Lyft’s ride-sharing service

It looks like Opel/Vauxhall will have a new owner soon. This comes as the PSA Group and General Motors are currently holding talks over the possibility of GM selling its Opel unit to the French carmaker.

The discussions were first reported by Reuters and Bloomberg News, citing sources. In a recent statement, GM confirmed that the two carmakers are exploring several strategic initiatives with the objective of improving profitability as well as operational efficiency. GM added that the discussions included a potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by the PSA Group. GM also noted that the carmakers have been in alliance since 2012, with the partnership covering three projects in Europe.

Selling Opel to the PSA Group wouldn’t be an easy thing to do for GM. There are quite a number of financial, industrial and political considerations that needed to be factored in. That said, both GM and PSA could also earn some benefits from such transaction.

Read the entire article GM confirms holding talks to sell Opel to the PSA Group

A definitive fruit of a 2013 master collaboration agreement between American carmaker General Motors and Japanese auto company Honda has finally been realized.

Considered as two of the leaders of in fuel cell technology among carmakers, GM and Honda inked in 2013 a long-term agreement to co-develop the next-generation fuel cell system as well as hydrogen storage technologies. The two carmakers also aimed to advance refueling infrastructure to improve the viability of fuel cell vehicles. To achieve this, GM and Honda planned to share expertise and economies of scale as well as pursue common sourcing strategies – thereby making fuel cell systems less costly to produce for the carmaker and more affordable to end consumers.

The agreement resulted in the establishment of the Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM), a manufacturing joint venture – as its name obviously indicates -- that will focus on the mass production of an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be employed in the upcoming products from GM and Honda. The two carmakers will invest in equal amounts a total of $85 million in the joint venture – the first in the auto industry – with an aim to commence mass production operations by the end of the decade (2020). FCSM will be based within GM’s battery pack production site located in Brownstown, Michigan.

Read the entire article GM and Honda create Michigan-based joint venture for mass production of fuel cell systems

It seems that the much publicized breakfast meeting between the new President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, and the chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler was a success, given the optimistic attitudes of the carmakers’ top honchos after the discussions.

Also present in the meeting – which GM CEO Mary Barra called as “very constructive” – Matt Blunt, a former Republican governor of Missouri who now serves as head of a US automaker trade association, Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and other senior administration officials.

Basically, the meeting centered on bringing more jobs back to the US, which is one of the primary promises that Trump made during the presidential campaign. Discussions also included the possible policies that Trump intends to implement in the auto industry and how he plans to make it more enticing for carmakers to build more assembly plants in the US to create more jobs, thereby keeping jobs in the country.

Read the entire article President Trump meets with Big Three CEOs over efforts to open jobs in the US

General Motors has teamed up with OnStar and IBM to create another technological innovation in the automotive world. The OnStar Go, General Motor’s new cognitive mobility platform, aims to help its customers “connect and interact” and purchase items even when on the go.

OnStar Go will make use of the IBM Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence software and tech platform that reveals various requested data with the use of natural language processing and machine learning. It will then go through the data to identify patterns in the driver’s preferences including their decisions and habits; this information will then be sent to brand and marketing professionals who work with IBM and OnStar for them to provide individualized location-based interactions with their target audience and customers. In short, OnStar Go will provide in-car advertising in each GM model.

This new technology will be making its way in future GM models, and will be the equivalent of a Google Assistant or Siri. It will serve the same purpose as these smartphone assistants, suggesting nearby restaurant offers and even locate the nearest gas station.

Read the entire article GM teams with IBM to create new OnStar Go cognitive mobility platform in 2017

A study commissioned by Hyundai Motor UK revealed that on average, women drivers were 12% angrier compared to their male counterparts.

The study was conducted by behavioral psychologist Patrick Fagan who hails from Goldsmiths, University London, a public research university well known for specializing in, among others, the social sciences. Fagan looked into 1,000 drivers from the U.K. in order to know how the different senses, sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch, could incite emotional responses with regards to certain driving conditions.

According to Fagan, psychologically, women scored higher when it comes to verbal and emotional intelligence compared to men. In addition, he added, women were also more likely to display the personality trait known as neuroticism. The study reveals that the bad temper women show can likely be traced back to the time when humans were hunters and gatherers.

Read the entire article UK Study Says Women Are Angrier Behind the Wheel

In a bid to streamline its various processes in racing engine design enhancements and its eventual application to production car models, General Motors recently announced the opening of its all new GM Powertrain Performance and Racing Center. Located in the Pontiac, Michigan campus, the new facility will house the soon-to-be relocated Performance and Racing team currently housed in their Racing Center in Wixom, Michigan facility.

The new center is part of the $200 million investment of the Pontiac campus and is now directly connected to GM’s Global Powertrain Engineering Center. Comprised of nearly 100 engineers, engine builders and support staff, the Performance and Racing team is mainly responsible for developing new engine designs for NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar, and IMSA, among others. On the other hand, the Global Powertrain Engineering group is in charge for the production of powertrains for production vehicles.

Dan Nicholson, VP for General Motors Global Powertrain applauds the move. Nicholson observes that with the two divisions within easy reach, the set up offers faster communication between racing engineers and powertrain engineers allowing faster integration of racing tested new technologies to mainstream vehicle production. Nicholson added that “we race to win and learn” which means that racing ultimately benefits the end customers with better performing and safer vehicles.

Read the entire article GM opens performance and racing center

According to a General Motors (GM) Company executive, the automobile manufacturer will raise the production rate of its Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup, which has suffered from low supply since it was launched for customer sales 18 months ago.

Production and assembly of the Chevrolet Colorado are being held at GM's plant in Wentzville, Missouri, where its sibling vehicle GMC Canyon is also produced. According to Chevrolet Director of Truck Marketing Sandor Piszar, there is a "hard tooling capacity on the line.”

To meet the demand for the trucks, Piszar said that the company will increase the production capacity at its Wentzville plant. Additionally, GM Wentzville plant spokesman Darin Copeland confirmed that the company is working on the line speed to produce more trucks.

Read the entire article GM expands production of Chevrolet Colorado, Canyon at Wentzville Plant to meet global demand

General Motors and Lyft Inc. have entered into a long-term strategic alliance to establish an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the United States. As part of the agreement, GM will make a $500-million investment in Lyft and will hold a seat on the ridesharing service company’s board of directors.

The alliance between GM and Lyft has four key elements: Autonomous On-Demand Network; Rental Hub; Connectivity; and Joint Mobility Offerings. Under the agreement, GM and Lyft will jointly develop a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles.

This project will leverage the carmaker's already deep knowledge of autonomous technology and Lyft’s capabilities in providing ride-sharing services. Likewise, with immediate effectivity, the carmaker will become a preferred provider of short-term use vehicles to Lyft drivers through a number of rental hubs spread across various cities in the US.

Read the entire article GM and Lyft ink long-term cooperation deal to build US autonomous vehicle network

A prototype of the Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup that’s meant to run on a commercially made hydrogen fuel cell propulsion cell is currently in the works. However, it’s not meant for the consumers just yet.

This Colorado prototype is a collaboration between General Motors and the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC). According to Charlie Freese, who is executive director for Global Fuel Cell Engineering Activities at GM, the collaboration is meant to test GM’s hydrogen fuel cell technology to its limits.

Freese said that collaborating with the military creates an opportunity for the company to use heavy military usage as a means to gauge the performance of the technology. As for TARDEC, its director Paul Rogers stated that the collaboration will give the outfit the opportunity to gauge the potential that hydrogen fuel cell technology can bring to the military.

Read the entire article Hydrogen Fuel Cell Chevrolet Colorado on its way thanks to US Army TARDEC and GM

You may have heard about specific car models that have sold a little above $100,000 or, at most, $200,000. Very impressive figures, but these figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how expensive cars can be when it comes to auctions where everyone tries to outbid each other by raising offers.

Yes, the Tesla Model S P85D and the new Ford GT are, without a doubt, excellent models of American cars. However, they are not the priciest, so to speak. If you’ve been avidly following auto news, you’ll find that prices for the most expensive cars in America have been skyrocketing beginning in 2004.

The bar is actually at $4 million and higher! These are not your ordinary cars either; these include historic examples that are decades older than the first car you’ve driven. Of course, European cars have always fetched an auspicious price when it comes to auctions, especially Ferraris, but it would be interesting to look at what prices American cars have been auctioned for.

Read the entire article Top 10 American classic cars and the staggering prices they fetch at auctions

Chevrolet and General Motors announced that its employees, dealers, and even customers, are joining the fight against breast cancer for October. This will be the fifth year in a row that the two companies have joined in this commemoration.

For this year, the aim is to surpass the $1.2 million it managed to raise in 2014 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). This will be primarily done through the nationwide grassroots support of Chevrolet for the ACS’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks.

The company and its many participating dealers across the U.S. will also be supporting the walk through various activities like customer engagement, sponsorship, and team participation, among many others.

Read the entire article Chevrolet and GM support fight against breast cancer with #IDriveFor campaign

Even as General Motors reported a 4% drop year-on-year in July for its sales in China, the company insists that it is still on track to reach an optimistic goal for profit margins for 2015 in this country, which is its second biggest market. In a statement posted on its website, we learned that GM and its joint ventures in China sold 229,175 cars.

It said that the drop in sales is due to the model changeovers. In June, the company reported a 0.2% increase while in May, it had a 4% decline. For the period from January to July, GM posted a 3.3% increase in sales compared to the same period in 2014.

China’s economy has been growing at its slowest pace in 25 years and the auto industry has been faltering. However, GM spokeswoman Irene Shen said that the automaker is keeping its prediction of achieving strong margins of about 9-10%, a goal that GM China chief Matt Tsien confirmed last May to be its target for this year.

Read the entire article GM remains upbeat in China even as sales fall 4% in July 2015

The steep drop in the demand for vehicles in China has had a major impact on many global automakers, particularly Volkswagen and General Motors. China is where a huge chunk of the profits of these two brands come from. VW and GM are heavily exposed to the Chinese market.

While it continues to grow, Barclays (a prominent trade group) has downgraded its forecast for 2015 sales throughout the auto industry. Both VW and GM fail to provide a convincing plan on how they will offset the sluggish growth in the Chinese market with other business segments.

Last Thursday, Barclays reduced GM's stock to "equal weight" from "overweight” because it was expected to be the worst hit among the U.S. automakers of the drop in Chinese demand. Its analysts downgraded the entire U.S. sector to "negative.” They wrote that GM has “a lot to lose” and that there are “few catalysts” in the vicinity.

Read the entire article Drop in China auto demand will hurt VW and GM the most