John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-19-2017 In the end, the union that represents hourly workers at the Cami plant in Ontario Canada dropped the requirement that the Cami plant be the lead plant for Equinox, GM's hottest non-truck vehicle. That move would have been the best guarantee of future jobs at the location. So, like many things, the strike ended up being all about money. The Candian workers will get a raise and a bonus, which has the practical effect of moving them even further from the lower-paid Mexican workers that threaten their jobs and the Candian plant's future. GM did throw in a perq that will made it a bit harder to move the plant, but it is small potatoes. “We weren’t able to secure a lead production letter from General Motors, but we were able to improve some of our programs that would soften the event if be designated the lead plant for Equinox if there in fact is a layoff or closure in the future,” Unifor Local 88 President Dan Borthwick said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. The strike lasted a full month.
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-19-2017 Just in time for the annual SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, Chevy has dropped two great-looking special edition Colorados. The ZR2 is already styled differently than other Colorado trims with a more aggressive hood and grille as well as modified front and rear bumpers for added off-road clearance. These two new special editions take the looks up a notch. The 2018 Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition is painted all-black, and also has black Chevy bowtie emblems and custom 17-inch five-spoke black wheels - including the spare. There is also a black sport bar with off-road LED lighting and sport-bar sail panels, which bring back the Avalanche look in a way. The ZR2 Dusk Edition offers the same features as the ZR2 Midnight, but isn’t black. It can be purchased in any other ZR2 exterior finish, but the black accents remain. The ZR2 Dusk Edition show in our images is Summit White with the available 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel and the diesel-exclusive Performance Cold Air Intake. “The Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Edition models offer customers even more personalization choices from the only company with three distinct trucks: midsize, full-size and full-size heavy-duty,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Truck Strategy, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Chevrolet offers more choices because the truck market is too diverse for a ‘one size fits most’ strategy.” Chevy has not said when the new trucks will be available, but we suspect late Fall.
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-16-2017 The striking workers at the Ingersol, Ontario Canada Equinox plant, called the Cami plant, are voting today on a deal that could put them back to work as early as tonight. The new deal includes percentage raises as well as lump sum payments. CBC also reports that the deal includes provisions to ensure the work does not move to plants with lower-paid workers in Mexico. The deal's increases in pay highlight that long-term, the situation in Canada will only move farther from parity with the costs that GM pays to have its vehicles built in Mexico. Workers left the plant September 17th. The plant builds GM's most popular non-truck vehicle, the all-new 2018 Equinox.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-15-2017 Global metals supplier Kobe Steel has admitted to falsifying materials specifications and quality control reports on numerous metals for dozens of industries. The false engineering isn't a short-term error, but rather, a decades-long culture within the company according to reports. Despite the name, Kobe Steel is a key supplier to the automotive industry for metals such aluminum, copper, steel and other critical metallic components in everything from doors and hoods to gears and other drivetrain components, and even such things as LCD screens. Ford says that materials that are suspect were used in doors and hoods for its Chinese vehicles, but has not yet determined if the materials were not to spec. A spokesman for GM, Nick Richards, told Automotive News, "We are investigating any potential impact and do not have any additional comments at this time." Both Toyota and Honda use Kobe steel as a key supplier in some markets and have come forward to state that they do use metals from Kobe Steel. However, like GM and Ford, whether substandard metals were used in the production of its products remains unclear. According to Bloomberg, GM accounts for 1.67% of Kobe Steel's global revenue.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-14-2017 A tentative agreement between Unifor and General Motors may end the strike at the Cami plant in Ontario. The plant manufactures the hottest-selling crossover GM offers, the Chevy Equinox. Terms of the deal were not made public. The question we want to know is have the Canadian workers succeeded in locking up the job security they hoped for? The workers and the union have made it clear that one of the prime reasons for the strike was to secure a promise from GM that more of the work would not be moved to Mexico. We will update the GM-Trucks.com community once the details are made available.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-12-2017 The strike at the General Motors Cami plant in Ontario, Canada is about jobs. Canadian workers who build the Chevy Equinox primarily for export to the United States feel as if their jobs are threatened by GM's plant in Mexico. "Feel" is realy an understatement. GM has moved jobs from the Cami Canada plant to its Mexico facilities. The union that represents the workers in the Cami plant have made it clear that the strike is about job security. Unfortunately, GM is fed up with delays to its top-selling non-Silverado model in North America. According to Reuters, GM is now making plans to move the jobs the union had hoped to protect to Mexico if the strike does not end soon. "GM just told us today that they are going to ramp up production in Mexico," Unifor President Jerry Dias told Reuters. "They have declared war on Canada."
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-5-2017 Costco's annual GM Holiday promotion is now underway and runs through January 2, 2018. Available discounts include GM Supplier Pricing plus most currently available GM incentives, and a Costco Cash Card after purchasing or leasing an eligible model and completing a Costco Auto Program survey. “Whether members prefer horsepower, fuel efficiency or extra passenger space, our vehicle lineup has something for everyone, making this the most sought-after Costco Auto Program event of the year,” said Rick Borg, executive vice president at Costco Auto Program. “Our collaboration with General Motors on the holiday sales event has resulted in high member satisfaction and an increase in vehicle sales year over year.” Costco GM vehicle buyers rate their satisfaction as “good to excellent,” with fully 99.5% saying they will consider using Costco Auto Program again. For full details on the 2017 Holiday Sales Event, members can visit CostcoAuto.com/GM or call 1-855-722-6272.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-4-2017 General Motors issued a short press statement today saying that by 2023 GM will launch 20 all-electric vehicle models. That time frame is four model years from right now. Which seems to mean that GM has secretly been in development of 20 new models. At current count, GM produces a total of 40 individual models in the U.S. market. Of those, exactly 20 sold less than 3,000 units last month. For perspective, the Ford F-150 sold over 80,000 units last month. So, in essence, GM plans to electrify either half its fleet, increase the number of models it sells by 50%, or electrify all of its popular models. After all, why replace a Buick Regal that is presently selling 98 units per month with an EV? More likely, GM has some sort of hedge included in its plans it didn't announce. For example, some or many of the new EVs may be neighborhood electric vehicles or smaller than subcompact vehicles. Many may be for global markets such as China. GM-Trucks.com has reached out to GM for more info and will report it as it becomes available.
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-4-2017 As part of its 100-years of trucks celebration, Chevy has released a list of ten designs it feels are the most iconic in the company's truck history. The commentary below is form Rich Scheer, director of Exterior Design for Chevy Trucks. Which do you think was the most "iconic." - 1918 One-Ton: The first production truck from Chevrolet was inspired by vehicles used in plants to move parts and pieces from place to place. In the simplest terms, this is an example of form follows function. It was a rolling chassis featuring an open cab, an inline four-cylinder engine and an open frame allowing customers to install the body that fit their unique needs. One striking design element is the beautiful badge, which was clearly a designed element of this truck. The font, the proportions and the dark blue, almost black color make a very sophisticated bowtie, even by today’s standards. - 1929 International Series LD: The 1929 was the first Chevrolet truck to feature a closed cab, which created the potential for what we know as interior design today. As with all designs, once the functional elements were defined, more comfort- and style-focused features started to become important for truck buyers. It’s amazing how fast they went from the purpose-built 1918 truck to a more styled, closed-cab truck. This is also the time when we started to introduce color. The color combinations on Chevrolet cars and trucks from this period are something I still love today. - 1938 Half-Ton: This was the first truck designed in the newly formed Art and Colour department, which was later to be known as Design Center, by Harley Earl and his team. (Earl became GM’s first design chief.) This year also saw the designs of cars and trucks deviate, as Design realized the need for trucks to have their own identity. As such, it is arguably the first example of Design’s influence on trucks. The proportions really evolved from the earlier designs, creating a lower and longer truck with a styled grille and elegant, swept fenders. - 1947 3100 Series: This is one of the most iconic designs in automotive history. If you mention a vintage Chevy truck, I think almost everyone will picture this model in their mind. It was such a departure, advertisers coined the phrase “Advance Design,” because it was bigger, stronger and sleeker than ever before. The five-bar horizontal grille is a departure from vertical grilles of the past and was the very beginning of what became a signature of Chevrolet truck design. You can see that the fenders are more integrated and the lamps are on the wide part of the vehicle instead of inboard, giving it a wider, stronger presence. The result is very handsome design with great proportions. - 1955 3124 Series Cameo Carrier: Known as the Task Force truck, the Cameo Carrier is Chevy’s first Fleetside design. The bed surface is flush with the cab and fender, making for one complete, elegant shape from front to back. It was also Chevrolet’s first bumper-to-bumper styled truck, as styling didn’t stop at the back of the cab. During this time, styling became a selling point for cars, inspiring more focus on design for trucks as well. This was definitely the heyday of American automotive styling and ornamentation. - 1967 C10 Fleetside: This is the first truck that I really fell in love with. It’s a beautiful, sleek design with a hint of wheel flare. I also really appreciate the line that flows away from the top of the bed line and the beautiful balance with the front of the vehicle. This is a feature that can easily go wrong, but the designers of the time did it so right. The body side has a strong shoulder that tapers toward the rear. The Chevrolet bar on the front fascia connects the headlamp center with the bowtie — a design element that is still consistent today. This time period is also when metallic paint was introduced, which highlighted the subtleties and body lines that weren’t as obvious before. - 1973 C30 One-Ton Dually: This third-generation C/K square-body truck was the first crew cab dually to market, and many consider it to be the first modern Heavy Duty Truck. The design reflects a dramatic increase in capability for customers who used their trucks for both work and recreation. It is simple, tough and purposeful, similar to the earliest Chevrolet trucks. - 1988 C/K1500: The C/K1500 was the first truck design influenced by aerodynamics. This generation had great design reach, meaning it looked very advanced for its time. That is especially true for the new interior design, with a low instrument panel, pod-like setup and even buttons that looked futuristic. This truck still looks modern and sophisticated 40 years later. - 1999 Silverado 1500 LT Z71: This was the first generation that used the Silverado nameplate. It also introduced many of the modern design elements that customers associate with current Chevy truck design, especially the iconic Chevrolet front end. - 2007 Silverado 1500: The 2007 Silverado is simple, modern and powerful, featuring exaggerated wheel flares and a clean body side. It’s another evolution for Chevrolet trucks in creating their own identity on the road, with distinctive front and rear ends. This truck brought back the “tough truck” look and feel, even though it was still heavily influenced by aerodynamics.
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-4-2017 Chevy's new Equinox comes with seats designed to be both stylish and stain-resistant. In addition to the scuff and wear-resistant leather that is optional, Equinox also has a seat material very similar to dark denim jeans (dungarees where I come from). “The fabric is very durable, while the color and even the pattern help hide dirt and stains,” said Mara Kapsis, color and trim designer for the 2018 Equinox. “It’s also very easy to vacuum and clean, which saves owners time and helps keep the interior looking great year after year.” Many families buy their vehicles with interiors that will match expected stains. When my family was young, that meant buying cars with "Chocolate Chip Cookie" colored interiors. What say you GM-Trucks.com faithful? Is shopping for an interior with stain resistance in mind goofy or good planning?
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-3-2017 As would be expected following the loss of a half-million vehicles in the U.S. market, pickup sales are through the roof for September. In total for the month, GM outsold Ford IN pickup trucks again. GM sold a total of 87,535 trucks and Ford sold 82,302. Silverado was the big sales news for GM garnering a total of 55,236 units. Colorado also sold well with 11,271 units sold. Both the Sierra and Canyon were relatively flat. It seems that GM may have emphasized the Chevy brand on its shared production lines for the month. GMC sold 18,106 Sierras and 2,922 Canyons in September. Other sales highlights for September included crossovers form all brands. The Cadillac XT5 was up almost 60% and is now within striking distance of the industry-leading Lexus RX. The Chevy Equinox was up 80% and is now selling at a rate of about 27K units per month, putting it in the top five overall in its segment, after being nearly last. Buick's crossovers continue to make gains and the Encore is now at a rate of over 8K per month. Declines in luxury cars continue with every Cadillac car down about 30%. Buick's car sales are all but gone now. Buick's best-selling car, the LaCrosse was down over 40% to just 1,100 units for the month.
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-28-2017 Chevy's first truck was a 1918 model year vehicle and Chevy is planning 100 days of celebration to recognize this amazing milestone. The activities will start at the State Fair of Texas this week. Chevy's plans break down into four major programs, products, and events: - A new 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Special Editions - National rollout of the Chevy Truck Legends program - Branded merchandise featuring Chevy heritage bowtie - Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration on Dec. 16, 2017 Over the coming week, GM-Trucks.com will feature highlights of each of these Chevy topics starting with the new bowtie design shown above on the new truck special editions.
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-28-2017 The new 2018 Ford Super Duty debuted at the Texas State Fair today. The big news is the Limited version of the truck. The F-250 Super Duty limited will start at just over $80K. The F-350 Super Duty Limited starts at just over $82K. The F-450 Super Duty Limited starts at just over $87K. It is possible to option up an F-450 Super Duty Limited to just about $96K. If you live in a state with a vehicle sales tax of over 5%, it will be possible to write a check for over $100K for a pickup truck in 2018.
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-28-2017 Data this week from Jumpstart Automotive Media shows that shoppers in areas affected by hurricane's Irma and Harvey are shifting their preferences to pickup trucks in a big way. The study looked at the shopping choices of residents in Texas and Florida where the storms hit the hardest. They found the following uptick in shoppers leaning towards pickups: Texas: - Midsize Pickup Truck (+26%) - Heavy Duty or 3/4 & 1-Ton Pickup 1 Ton Pickup Trucks (+11%) - Full-Size Pickup Trucks (+7%) Florida: - Midsize Pickup Trucks +21% - Heavy Duty 3/4 & 1-Ton Pickup 1 Ton Pickup Trucks +14% - Full-Size Pickups +3% One of the most interesting trends is the huge swing to midsize pickups like the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Colin Thomas, senior analyst, strategic insights for Jumpstart commented on this trend, saying, “Growth in interest for Midsize Pickup Trucks in Houston and Miami (post hurricane) makes sense since these trucks are more compatible with an urban lifestyle, as well as offering the necessary comfort, space, versatility and features today’s shopper looks for.”
Gorehamj posted a topic in The NewsroomJohn Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-27-2017 Why would workers at one of General Motors' most productive North American plants running three shifts straight out building the company's most popular crossover worry about job security? "Mexico" is the answer according to a detailed story published by the Detroit News. Workers and union representatives at the Canadian CAMI plant which builds the new Equinox worry that work will shift from the higher-wage plant to a plant in Mexico. The concern is not unfounded. The CAMI plant has already lost 400 jobs and the GMC Terrain to Mexico. The Detroit News used the example of four-year CAMI plant worker Todd Sleeper. Sleeper took the job at CAMI after Caterpillar offered workers at his old job a choice; Accept a pay cut of 50% or the company would move the work to Mexico. The work moved, and he was out of a job. Sleeper sums up what the strike is about, saying, “We need to start protecting jobs here in Canada.” It should be noted that most of the Equinox vehicles built in GM's CAMI's plant are exported to the United States. The CAMI plant employs 2,450 hourly workers as well as about 300 salaried workers. The plant is located in Ingersoll, Ontario Canada about 80 miles North-East of Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan. Ten days ago, GM issued this statement on the CAMI plant strike: While General Motors of Canada and our Unifor partners have made very positive progress on several issues over the past weeks, the Company is disappointed that we were not able to complete a new agreement. We encourage Unifor to resume negotiations and to continue working together to secure a competitive agreement.
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