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  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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:
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-9-2019 In order to gauge how effective its various driver assist safety systems are, General Motors recently partnered with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The resulting study shows the safety systems provide impressive safety gains. Perhaps the most notable is that forward collision prevention has reduced accidents with the technology by 46% in rear-collisions. Ask yourself it you want that technology in the vehicle behind you, or the car behind your child's. “This study is groundbreaking in terms of the broad range of vehicles and active safety and headlighting features examined,” said GM Safety Technical Fellow, Raymond Kiefer. “The results show that the GM active safety systems evaluated are addressing a wide range of common crashes that cause a staggering amount of injuries, property damage and cost to our customers and society, putting GM well on its way toward a vision of zero crashes.” GM says that the study leveraged 3.7 million GM vehicles across 20 different models from 2013-2017. Fifteen different systems were evaluated using police report crash databases available to UMTRI from 10 states. The infographics list the impressive results. Previous studies involving GM and other manufacturers have shown similar safety gains. Forward collision prevention and lane departure warning have been available on the Silverado and Sierra since 2014. The U.S. auto industry is about two model years away from having this technology standard on almost all vehicles.
  8. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-6-2019 Today, GM announced new technology that will enable "...customers to bring their digital lives into future connected vehicles." after listening to customers needs, GM has decided to work with Google to bring out a new suite of in-vehicle technology across all brands by 2021. "“We are re-envisioning the future in-vehicle customer experience, and this is just the first step. The integration of select Google technology and services into our vehicle infotainment systems will foster a more connected and efficient driving experience,” said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for Global Connected Customer Experience, GM. “We will continue to offer our own unique infotainment features that only GM can deliver, such as service recommendations, vehicle health status, in-vehicle commerce and more, with the Google applications and services complementing our offerings.” Are you on team Android now, like many of the GM-Trucks.com staffers? If so, you will be happy to hear that future GM infotainment systems will be powered by Android, which GM says will bring familiar and enhanced experiences from Google to the vehicle. Here is a selection of what GM says is coming: -Voice Assistant: With the built-in Google Assistant, drivers can make the most of their time in the vehicle and easily get things done hands-free using just their voice. Drivers can use the Assistant to make calls or text a friend, play a favorite radio station or podcast, close the garage door (requires compatible smart home devices) or even change the temperature in the vehicle, all while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. -Embedded Navigation: Google Maps in the vehicle is constantly up-to-date and helps drivers navigate with real-time traffic information, automatic re-routing and lane guidance. With the Assistant, drivers can use voice to navigate home, share their ETA, find the nearest gas station and EV charging stations (based on availability) or ask about a store’s hours without needing a phone. -In-Vehicle Applications: The Google Play Store lets drivers find their favorite apps and services designed specifically for in-vehicle use. Drivers can listen to the same albums, podcasts and audiobooks in the vehicle as at home and stay connected with their most important contacts on communication apps. “GM is a trailblazer with Android in automotive and a leader in vehicle connectivity,” said Patrick Brady, vice president of Engineering, Google. “We’re incredibly excited to work with them to transform the way people consume media, stay in touch, navigate and access information on the go.” The above all make sense to us except the "embedded navigation." Isn't the beauty of Android Auto that we don't need to pay for embedded Nav? And don't we already have the ability to select vehicle-focused apps like Waze and Pandora and have Android Auto work seamlessly with the vehicle controls and screen? Maybe we are missing the point. What say you members? Thumbs up or down?
  9. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-3-2019 The busy folks over at iSeeCars.com have uncovered an interesting fact for GM fans looking for a new midsized car; GM is sitting on a lot of NEW 2018 sedans. According to the group's research, GMstill has a lot of 2018 sedans in stock at dealerships, and they are new - not used. The models include the Volt, Malibu, and Cruze from Chevy, and the ATS from Cadillac. GM-Trucks.com did not re-create the iSeeCars facts, but we did search for new 2018 cars from GM in our area within a 20 minute drive and we found multiple cars in stock, including both the Cruze and Volt. These 2018 cars are overlapping new 2020 inventory already on dealer lots. We suspect they would be very happy to throw a fat stack of cash on the dash to get you to adopt one. “Cars become discontinued because of low demand, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are low-quality vehicles,” said Phon Ly, the CEO of iSeeCars.com. “In the case of these cars, it’s because of the declining popularity of the sedan segment, which means that they could still be suitable cars for buyers who aren’t interested in SUVs or trucks.” Check out the full report at iSeeCars. If you are a Jeep Wrangler fan and would consider a 2018, the news is even better.
  10. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 8-30-2019 General Motors has committed to an "all-electric future." However, that commitment is hard to see in practice. The most recent additions by the company are a long list of crossovers powered by conventional engines that are all imported to the U.S. and a new Corvette that still has a small block V8. Hey, don't take us the wrong way, we love Corvettes and V8s, but a little truth in marketing would be refreshing. Mary Barra, at last check, drove an Escalade. To its credit, GM has had the most most success with affordable EVs of any manufacturer in America. Its Volt EREV* remains the top-selling affordable EV in America of all time. It was a top-3 seller when GM killed it off in March. That left the Bolt BEV* to carry forth the torch (or maybe rechargeable LED flashlight) for GM in the green car world we hear so much about via the daily news feed. The problem with the Bolt is that, despite being a top-3 affordable EV seller, EVs are tanking in the marketplace. EV sales were down across the board in America last month and also in China. We bet you didn't see that headline in the New York Times. What makes the Bolt's sales situation a bit scary is that it is no longer maintaining a 1,000 unit per month run-rate. Just for comparison, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD has maintained a 10,000 unit-per-month rate for the past few months. The Prius remains at about a 5,000 unit-per-month rate. Affordable green cars still sell, just not EVs. The Bolt's top sales month was December of 2017. In that month, Chevy sold 3,227 Bolts, and Chevy had an average of about 2,000 Bolt sales per month for well over a year. Last month, Chevy sold just 985 Bolts. Dealers and GM are certainly helping as much as possible. Five-figure discounts on Bolts are now common. In Massachusetts, a target state for EVs, multiple dealers are offering discounts of over 10,000 on Bolts - a quarter of their MSRP. The Bolt also has the taxpayers' support. There is a federal tax deduction available of $3,750 and a state rebate of $1,500. That totals $18,500 in discounts on the Bolt. Base Bolts are now costing consumers under $20K. Yet sales are diving. Inventory is not an issue, just one dealer in Mass has 80 in stock right now. August will set an all-time record for vehicles sales revenue in America. In a report today, J.D. Power's spokesperson said, "August will be a blockbuster month for the industry. Sales are expected to post the largest year-over-year gain since December 2016. Strong volumes coupled with higher average sales prices means that consumers will spend more purchasing new vehicles in August than any month in history." It would be easy to believe that the Tesla Model 3 is taking the sales away from all of the other EV models on the market. Except the Model 3 was down in July and is now selling at about half its former run rate in the U.S.. Welcome to the all-electric future. *Note: EREV= Extended Range Electric Vehicle. BEV = Battery-Electric Vehicle
  11. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 8-29-2019 Multiple sources are reporting that Federal Investigators raided the Detroit home of United Auto Workers Current President Gary Jones and the California home of former President Dennis Williams in recent hours. The Detroit News reports that this is part of a long-running investigation into bribes, kickbacks, and attempts by automotive manufacturing executives to influence contract negotiations with the union that builds many of America's vehicles. The investigation has already resulted in many arrests and charges. “This weakens the union’s position at the negotiating table,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor. “The team could be in handcuffs in a week.” “It is rare if not unprecedented to raid a UAW former or current president’s house,” said Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley who specializes in labor and the global economy. “The timing is particularly disturbing.” The UAW is presently in negotiations with three automakers over contracts. More on this to follow as the story develops. Image Note: GM's Mary Barra shown with former UAW leader Dennis Williams. Second Image is Gary Jones.
  12. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 8-15-2019 General Motors' Chevrolet division has announced the price for the new rear-mid engine Corvette and it is a pleasant surprise for fans. Chevy says the new Corvette's base price is $59,995. Fans will want to take note that the price does include the destination fee. For a vehicle with such amazing capabilities, this price point is almost unprecedented. “Most people thought when we moved the Corvette to mid-engine it would no longer be attainable, but we knew we couldn’t mess with a winning formula and the 2020 Stingray proves it,” said Brian Sweeney, Chevrolet U.S. vice president. What may be even more of a surprise, is that the highest-trim of the Corvette, the 3LT, has a price tag of $72K. You can view the features and content breakdown below. GNM isn't holding anything back it seems. The full pricing and order guide is now available at CHevrolet's website for future owners to check out. If shoppers still have questions, Chevy has set up a dedicated Chevrolet Corvette Concierge team that will provide 2020 Corvette customers with answers about the vehicle discovery, buying and ownership process. The team, which is based at General Motors headquarters in Detroit, is working 12-hour shifts each workday and can be reached by calling 866-424-3892. (Our apologies for the image quality)
  13. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-31-2019 A new study by our friends at iSeeCars.com lists out the most driven vehicles in the U.S. market. Five of the top ten are built by GM. The list includes the Suburban at number one, the Yukon XL at number two, Tahoe at number five, the Yukon at 7, and the Cadillac Escalade ESV at number ten. All exceed the annual average of just under 12,000 miles by a substantial percentage. With 14,862 miles per year, the Suburban is 4% higher than average. “Full-size SUVs are built on truck platforms so they have the durability of a truck and the cargo space for up to eight passengers, which makes them popular family vehicles,” said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly. He went on to add, “The vehicles with the highest annual mileage tend to also be the vehicles that last the longest. People who drive their cars the most are likely to prolong the lives of their vehicles with regular service and maintenance because these vehicles may be a large part of their livelihood, and in the case of large SUVs, they are expensive to replace.” We think Mr. Ly nails it win his last statement. Our suspicion is that the full-size SUVs from GM are being driven in large part by ride-share services such as Uber, Lyft and private livery companies making airport runs. Why do you think the GM vehicles top this list?
  14. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-30-2019 Polaris buyers can now order their side-by-side ATV with the loudest, highest-performing audio system available direct from the factory. Polaris has teamed up with Rockford Fosgate, an industry leader in high-performance audio systems, to delivery high-quality audio on is new General and RZR XP. "In working with the team at Polaris we see that they are as passionate about off-road as we are about our music," said Bill Jackson, Rockford CEO and President. "We both strive to deliver class leading products to enthusiasts of our brands, and I believe that the fact that Polaris recognized this opportunity to give their owners features they demand in vehicles fully equipped from the factory reinforces their position as a market leader." These are audio systems specifically designed for off-road use. "Our team of designers here at Rockford are proud to be leading the way for the next generation of audio in off-road vehicles," explained Jake Braaten, Rockford Vice President of New Product Development and Engineering. "It was a challenge to figure out the best solution to integrate premium sound into these models, but after optimizing the speakers and their locations, we knew that we could deliver an amazing sound experience in the General." Rockford Fosgate also offers systems for Polaris vehicles that have already been acquired. Learn more at the company's website. GM-Trucks.com staff have sampled Rockford Fosgate audio in many vehicles and have always been impressed. This pairing seems like a perfect match to us.
  15. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-25-2019 General Motors reported this morning that the all-new Silverado equipped with the 3.0-Liter Duramax diesel engine has earned an EPA-estimated 33 MPG Highway in 2WD configurations. Here is a quick look at the numbers we have so far: 2WD Silverado Duramax = 33 MPG Highway, 23 City 4X4 Silverado Duramax = 29 MPG Highway, 21 City Here are a couple of quick comparisons: 2019 Ford F-150 2WD Diesel = 30 Highway, 22 City 2019 Ford F-150 4WD Diesel = 28 Highway, 22 City 2019 Ram 1500 2WD Diesel = 27 Highway, 20 City 2019 Ram 1500 4WD Diesel = 27 Highway, 19 City **2020 Chevrolet Colorado 2WD DIesel = 30 Highway, 20 City **2020 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD DIesel = 28 Highway, 19 City “We designed the all-new Silverado and the all-new 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel to deliver both performance and efficiency,” said Tim Herrick, Silverado executive chief engineer. “The engine utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to optimize every drop of fuel, and takes advantage of architectural changes to make Silverado larger, lighter and more aerodynamic than before. The resulting combination offers all of the performance, refinement and capability customers want in a full-size truck, with highway fuel efficiency you would expect from a family sedan.” The trade-off for fuel economy alone will worth calculating. In addition to the higher fuel cost compared to gasoline, for the LTZ and High Country, the 3.0L Diesel is a $2,495 option (identical to that of the 6.2L V-8). For the LT and RST, it is a $3,890 increase over a 2.7L Turbo engine. For those looking for diesel towing capability, the choice will be an easy one. The EPA has not yet published full MPG and emissions information on the new Duramax at its site, www.fueleconomy.gov. Once data is posted we will do a more in-depth post on the comparison to some other Silverado models. First deliveries of the 2020 Silverado with the Duramax engine will be this coming fall.
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