John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-16-2019 It was announced this afternoon that GM and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative contract agreement. Please pardon the brevity of this report. GM has not issued any details yet. We will update this story when the UAW and GM provide details.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-10-2019 Costco's Season of Values Automotive discount program has begun and will run through January 2nd, 2020. The program offers Costco members amazing deals on qualifying Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs.. “Costco Auto Program continues to deliver excellent value to Costco members,” said Mark DerGarabedian, Costco Services director. “Whether members prefer horsepower, fuel efficiency or extra passenger space, this year’s vehicle lineup has something for everyone. We are excited about the opportunity this promotion brings Costco members.” The discounting includes: -GM Supplier Pricing -Compatible GM Incentives for which they qualify -Costco Shop Card after completing a Costco Auto Program survey - $700 for Executive Members - $300 for Gold Star and Business Members Did you know the Costco Auto Program includes more than just new vehicles? The program also includes prearranged pricing on certified pre-owned vehicles (CPO). Costco members also receive a discount on the majority of parts, services and accessories at participating automotive service centers. “I'm thrilled with my Buick Encore that I got through Costco Auto Program,” shared Costco member Elsa H. about her promotional purchase. “Saved a TON! Got a terrific small SUV that drives like a dream and found out about so many other products and services that Costco offers. Who knew?" To check out the deals, visit CostcoAuto.com for more information.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-7-2019 The United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against General Motors has entered its fourth week. After initial reports a week ago, and also last Friday, union negotiators now say that the bargaining has "Taken a turn for the worse." The union claims GM backtracked on some provisions that were important to the union. "The leadership is a little bit nervous about being able to ratify and so everything is taking longer. You don't have the leadership leading, they're looking over their shoulder at the membership all the time wondering if the deal is gonna fly," said economist Patrick Anderson. The leadership is also being arrested for corruption. This weekend, the UAW announced it had put a 17-state union manager, Vance Pearson, on leave. Pearson is being charged in a federal corruption probe. Related Story: UAW Strike Results In Closure Of Mexican GM Truck Plants
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-7-2019 The likelihood of finding a great deal on a new truck depends on the color you opt for. The researchers at iSeeCars.com analyzed over 4 million new vehicle transactions to determine which color vehicle is most likely to be offered as a deal. They define a deal as 10% better than the average asking price for that model, year, and trim. When it comes to trucks, buying a white one is likely to result in the best chance of a deal. As you can see from the chart above, white is the color most likely to be offered as a deal. “White is the most popular color for pickup trucks, because they are often used for work purposes and white makes it easier to post recognizable signage on the vehicle,” said Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars.com. “Because they are so common, the supply is higher for these color trucks in the used car marketplace, which could make dealers competitive with their pricing.” Truck fans will be glad to hear that the most common color is also the one that is most likely to be discounted. We took a look back at some dealership images we snapped and noticed that ALL the vehicles shown were white. Chevy also advertises white trucks quite a bit. With regard to other vehicles, beige is the color that is most likely to be discounted. Include in that group tan, gold, sand, and "champagne," Toyota's oddly popular color. You can check out more on this study at iSeeCars.com here. If you have owned a white truck, tell us in the comments below if you found it to be offered at a great price.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-3-2019 If there was any doubt that General Motors' new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was the hottest supercar in the world, today's reveal of the car fitted with a retractable hardtop ended that debate. “We put the world on notice when we introduced the first mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette a few months ago, and now we’re raising the bar with the first-ever hardtop Corvette convertible,” said Brian Sweeney, Chevrolet U.S. vice president. The two-piece convertible top can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 30 mph and it retracts in as few as 16 seconds. The top is powered by six electric motors and uses encoders for precise motion control. Chevy says electric motors are more reliable than hydraulic systems. A body-colored roof is standard. Those who want some added pizzazz will like the optional Carbon Flash metallic-painted nacelles and roof. Despite the roof needing a place to go when down, the new Stingray convertible has ample storage. The rear cargo area is the size of two golf bags. The frunk is still there as well, and it can hold a carry-on bag size piece of luggage. “Our goal from the beginning was to make sure customers didn’t have to sacrifice any functionality, performance or comfort when choosing the hardtop convertible,” said Josh Holder, Corvette program engineering manager. “We managed to keep the same design theme as the coupe, as well as the exceptional storage capacity and track capability.” Chevrolet engineers ensured that engine could breathe when stored underneath the tonneau cover. When down, the top is stored in a compartment made from lightweight composite panels and shielded from heat damage by engine heat.The divider glass window in the middle of the car is power actuated and can be lowered when the top is either up or down. Like most convertibles this divider glass glass helps to manage wind noise in the cabin for improved quietness. Performance is also not impacted. The convertible has identical drag to the coupe. Chevy also tweaked the chassis for the convertible's suspension to provide the same level of performance as the coupe. The new 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible will be priced $7,500 more than the entry 1LT Stingray coupe. Those interested in configuring a new Corvette can check out the Chevy build site. A dedicated Chevrolet Corvette Concierge team is also available to provide customers with answers about the vehicle discovery, buying and ownership process. The team can be reached by calling 866-424-3892
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-1-2019 A components shortage due to the United Auto Workers' strike against General Motors in the United States has resulted in a GM plant in Mexico being closed. GM reports its has shut down its pickup truck and transmission factories in Silao, Mexico. The Associated Press quotes GM Spokesperson Dan Flores as saying that production at the factories ended Tuesday morning, affecting 6,000 workers. This marks the third North American plant outside of the United States that GM has closed due to the strike action against the company. GM had already been forced to close a Mexican engine plant and an assembly plant in Canada due to the strike. As of late last week, GM had over 80 days of Silverado inventory on hand at dealers. The company had upped production and increased dealer inventory ahead of the strike which is now entering the middle of its third week. So far, workers at the GM plants who are on strike have missed on paycheck. They are not missing their GM 97% subsidized health benefits. GM is continuing to pay for workers' health insurance despite them not being on the job. The United Auto Workers opted to pay themselves $250 each from the Union's nearly $1 billion in strike pay fund yesterday. The money is not subject to federal income tax. Trucks, and the American jobs creating them, are protected by a 25% import duty in the United States and have been since the Johnson Administration in the 1960s. However, Canada and Mexico are excluded from that tariff as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Photo courtesy of GM is for representation purposes only.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-26-2019 The general vibe today is that the nationwide United Auto Workers strike against GM over a contract renewal is about to wrap up. GM opted to pay UAW members' health care benefits after all. While knowing very little about how the negotiations are actually going, that certainly seems like a gesture that GM can point back to as part of its image maintenance. Today is Thursday. This author feels that the strike may wrap up over the weekend. GM's motivation to put workers back on the lines certainly does not seem to be a lack of available vehicles on dealer lots. At our request, the folks at iSeeCars.com were kind enough to spend a bit of time and energy calculating their estimate of how many "days of inventory" GM's dealers had of top-selling GM models. The numbers indicate that the dealers are likely glad to be moving some of this iron off the lots. Here's the breakdown we got from iSeeCars: As you can see, the dealers may have a shortage of some individual "hot" trims, but overall, the inventory is healthy. This study corroborated others we have seen reported that showed up to 11 weeks of inventory were built up ahead of the UAW action. We find it interesting that the imported from Korea Buick Encore is the model with the most days available. With about 80 days of trucks available, there is also no shortage of pickups on dealer lots overall. As this story is published, the strike is still on. How long do you think it will last?
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-26-2019 GM is using the Texas State Fair to show off its two most popular tims, which it is bringing back to the new generation Silverado for 2020. Chevy says the new 2020 Silverado Midnight and Rally Editions will be available for order in October and will arrive at dealerships later this year. “Customer choice is a competitive advantage for Chevrolet, because no two truck drivers are alike,” said Mark Sobczynski, Silverado marketing manager. “Whether it’s the sinister Midnight Edition or a sporty Rally Edition – special editions offer our customers a custom look direct from the factory that fits their unique personality.” Sobczynski added, “Whether at auto shows, local car shows or on the road, people turn their heads when they see our special edition trucks. Our dealers often put these special editions at the front of their lot because they attract people into the store and draw attention to the entire truck lineup.” Midnight Edition - Off-Road Focused Chevy offers the Silverado Midnight Edition on the LT Trail Boss and Custom Trail Boss trims. This trim includes a 2-inch factory suspension lift and comes with the Z71 Off Road Package with Rancho off-road shocks, a locking rear differential, skid plates, 18-inch black painted wheels and off-road tires. The Midnight Edition styling has its classic an all-black theme with black Silverado badging, a black grille, black Bowties, black bumpers, black exhaust tips and black off-road assist steps. To give the truck some color, Chevy adds red recovery hooks. The Custom Trail Boss Midnight Edition is available with either a 5.3L V-8 engine with six-speed automatic transmission or the up-powered 6.2L V-8 engine with 10-speed automatic transmission. The LT Trail Boss Midnight Edition comes only with the 6.2L V-8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Street-Focused Rally Edition The Silverado Rally Edition is available on the Custom and RST trims. It has a sporty vibe and is, available in Black, Red Hot, Silver Ice Metallic or Summit White colors. The street-focused Rally edition includes a body-colored grille, black Rally stripes on the hood and tailgate, black Chevrolet tailgate lettering, black badging, black Bowties, black exhaust tip(s) and black assist steps. The Custom Rally Edition will have 20-inch black painted wheels and comes with Chevy's new 2.7L Turbo engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. The RST Rally Edition has bigger 22-inch black painted wheels and can come with the boosted four, or two additional choices, the 5.3L V-8 with 8-speed automatic transmission or a 6.2L V-8 with 10-speed automatic transmission. Tell us which trim you like better in the comments below. We will add more preview images when GM makes them available.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-24-2019 Would you ever buy a rear-wheel drive truck? Or a front-wheel drive truck? Surprisingly, many folks do. Not by percent, but every major automaker in America offers a 2WD truck. At landscape and construction companies your author has worked at, 2WD trucks were very popular with both the workers as personal vehicles and as work trucks at the companies. iSeeCars.com has just finished up a study looking at which states have the highest percentage of AWD and 4WD vehicles. Of course, the numbers are skewed by location. Snow and ice are big incentives to opt for a vehicle that powers all of its wheels. Not surprisingly, mountain states have the most 4x4 vehicles. “‘Montana’ translates to ‘mountain’ in Spanish and has over 100 mountain ranges within its boundaries as well as many dirt roads,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “The state receives snow most months of the year, leaving roads snowy or icy, which helps explain why these all-weather vehicles are so popular.” If you have a 2WD truck tell us in the comments below if you wish you had opted for 4x4 of if you are glad you made the choice you did.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-18-2019 General Motors has discontinued its contribution to UAW workers' health care costs and directed striking hourly United Auto Workers to the COBRA law for ongoing health insurance yesterday as the strike moves into the middle of its first week. The company and the union see health care paid for by the company during a strike differently. "It's unfortunate that General Motors is using current heath care benefits -- that over 47,000 GM workers and their families depend on as a way to leverage unfair concessions," UAW spokesman Jason Kaplan told FOX Business in a statement on Wednesday. "This is a disappointing fork in the road for GM. Regardless, UAW will pick up the tab through our emergency strike fund." General Motors issued a statement on the topic as well, saying, "We understand strikes are difficult and disruptive to families. While on strike, some benefits shift to being funded by the union’s strike fund, and in this case hourly employees are eligible for union-paid COBRA so their health care benefits can continue.” For those who have been fortunate enough to never need it, COBRA is a law, not a health insurance policy. Here is how the COBRA website defines it; "COBRA is a way to keep your health insurance for you and your family after you lose your job, quit your job, or retire from your job. Since it is an extension of the plan you had while you were working, the plan itself is exactly the same – same doctors, same copays, same deductibles, same prescription costs, everything. The main difference with COBRA insurance is that you 1) must pay the entire premium without any employer help, and 2) it is temporary and only lasts for 18 months in most cases." If you would like to share you opinion on whether a company should pay benefits to workers who are not on the job feel free to use the comments below.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-17-2019 As the UAW and General Motors negotiate hard to find a contract solution both parties can live with, we'd like to ask the GM-Trucks.com readership if they have a firm position now. Who do you support? This writer grew up in a union neighborhood, in a dual-income half-union household. Dad was a union welder, mom worked in retail and was not in a union. Paid union dues himself for a short time (UPS), and watched as those good-paying, blue-collar manufacturing jobs (at General Electric in Lynn Mass.) shrank, and eventually went away. These issues affect many families. Where do you stand? - If you want some background on the contract that has just expired, click here. - If you want updated profit sharing info, click here. - Want to know how much the CEO of GM makes? Click here. Test your knowledge: - Which two industries have the highest-paid union members? - Name the last American President who was a (non-government) union member and his party. - Name the last (non-government) union-member American President who preceded that president and his party. (Hint, he was actually also a union president).
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-16-2019 For the first time in more than a decade, General Motors workers will walk off the job and strike effective midnight tonight (Sunday September 15th). This is not a targeted strike at limited facilities, but will include 46,000 GM autoworkers at 55 factories. “We are standing up for our members and for the fundamental rights of working-class people of this nation,” Terry Dittes, vice president for the UAW General Motors Department, said. “Going into the bargaining season, our members have been very clear of what they will and will not accept in this contract.” General Motors feels it is offering a fair deal to workers. “We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways and it is disappointing that the UAW leadership has chosen to strike at midnight tonight. We have negotiated in good faith and with a sense of urgency. Our goal remains to build a strong future for our employees and our business.” GM released a statement Sunday which outlined aspects of the offer. These include: Over $7 billion in investments and more than 5,400 Jobs: -Solutions for unallocated assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio -Investments in eight facilities in four states -Introduction of all-new electric trucks -Opportunity to become the first union-represented battery cell manufacturing site in the U.S. -Additional new vehicle and propulsion programs Best-in-Class Wages and Benefits: -Wage or lump sum increases in all four years -Improved Profit Sharing Formula -Ratification payment of $8,000 -Retain nationally-leading health care benefits -New coverage for autism therapy care, chiropractic care and allergy testing The current negotiations have been conducted concurrent with a federal probe into corruption at automakers and within the UAW. Check back on Monday for updates. Source Note: Some content reported here was found at the Detroit Press.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-11-2019 General Motors has announced that NHTSA is mandating a safety recall for the following vehicles: 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Pickups (1500 / 2500 / 3500) 2015-2018 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon vehicles 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade NHTSA reports that the amount of vacuum created by the vacuum pump may decrease over time. The group says that as the vacuum level drops, the brake assist decreases, and that this increasing braking effort, extending the distance required to stop the vehicle, thereby increasing the risk of a crash. This new recall covers 3.4 million vehicles. The Problem: The brake pump uses engine oil to lubricate itself. If the pump becomes clogged with engine oil sludge the units ability to create vaccum is diminished over time. As a result, braking force and ability also drops. The issue is usually accompanied by a "Service Brake Assist" warning message in the dash. The Fix: GM will reprogram the computer that controls the secondary brake assist pump. The secondary pump will now activate at lower speeds and different situations quicker to compensate for any lost output from the main pump. Since the pumps are not failing, GM has decided not to replace them. GM's number for this recall is N192268490. In compliance with federal law, GM will notify owners, typically by snail mail. GM says that its dealers will reprogram the Electronic Brake Control Module. However, GM has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-630-2438, Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006 or GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782. If you own one of these vehicles and wish to check to see if your vehicle is included (or not) you can do so at this link immediately. As with every safety recall, customers will not be charged by GM for the needed repairs or modifications. NHTSA's public information on this issue indicates that many accidents have been reported to NHTSA including some with injuries. This recall is the result of a NHTSA investigation that lasted nearly a year. In its investigation report, NHTSA noted the following details about the problem:
In Massachusetts, if a driver on a contingent license, under 18, gets a speeding ticket the penalty is exactly that. Loss of license and a special school, plus a retake of exam. The basic drivers' Ed class is 40 hours in-person and 12 hours with an instructor in vehicle. The parents also have to take a class. Distracted driving is hammered home constantly. Other states have different requirements.
Studies of this type are pretty simple to understand. Models in which the technology is optional were compared to see the accident report rate differences between VINs equipped with the system and those that were not. So in other words, a specific model of the same year with and without the system are compared. You can read the full report here. It includes, "The GM safety content dataset contained VIN-linked data on 3,785,419 vehicles across 22 models (across all GM brands, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC) and five Model Years (Model Year 2013-2017). GM provided data for a model/model-year pair only when a (forward) Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system was available on at least one trim level for that model/model-year pair. This was done to enable comparing the relative field effectiveness of active safety systems that range from camera systems (e.g., rear vision camera) to “alert only” systems (e.g., forward collision alert, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, and park assist) to automatic controloriented systems (e.g., AEB, reverse automatic braking, and lane keep assist with lane departure). As seen in Table 1, during this period of emerging active safety roll-out (which as mentioned earlier is ideal for assessing system effectiveness), this meant that the majority of models were only included for a subset of the Model Years examined. It also means that the vehicles available for matching increased sharply for later Model Years (as seen in Table 2). Overall, this analysis included 3,785,419 Model Year 2013-2017 vehicles."
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