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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."
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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)
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?
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.
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.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-24-2019 Ford has been working hard behind the scenes to develop the world's first mass-produced, mainstream electric pickup truck. That development is now to the point where Ford is ready to start showing off a bit. This week, Ford's chief engineer for the F-150, Linda Zhang, hooked up the test mule to ten double-decker rail cars. She then tugged that train 1,000 feet. To add a bit of drama, she then loaded up 42 F-150s into those rail cars and did it again. Clearly, electric trucks will be tow monsters. Ford is one of the best-positioned automakers to advance its fleet with electric drive. Ford is now a partner with not only Rivian, who is developing a luxury EV pickup, but also with VW. No other automaker has as much to lose by falling behind in the EV transition, and no other automaker seems better positioned to profit from EVs when they are finally ready for the masses. Related Story: Is GM Working On EV Pickups?
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-10-2019 The 2020 Enclave Premium and Avenir trims from Buick will up the ante this coming year. Buick is offering massage front seats in these trims. Massage seats have long been one of the benchmarks we at GM-Trucks.com look for in a vehicle that claim to be luxury vehicles. Two others are a heated steering wheel and Android Auto. “Buyers are choosing the Buick Enclave because it is everything they want in a premium crossover with its distinct styling, quality and driving dynamics,” said Phil Brook, vice president of Buick and GMC marketing. “For the 2020 model year, we’re upping the comfort with available massaging seats, bringing in a new and different look for customers with Sport Touring and enhancing our in-vehicle technology to provide more of what these customers want.” The combination of Android Auto, massage front seats, and a heated steering wheel are not available on any current Lexus, Rolls Royce, or BMW vehicle sold in America. Maybe someday they will earn our luxury designation...
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-9-2019 GM is recalling 159,000 Sierra and Silverados in Canada equipped with power sliding rear windows. GM says that part of the rear window defroster can overheat and that can lead to risk of a fire. Here are the vehicles and model years included: 2014-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 2015-2019 Chevy Silverado HD 2014-2018 GMC Sierra 1500 2015-2019 GMC Sierra HD To see if your GM vehicle has an open recall, simply click this recall lookup by VIN. Hat tip to TFL Trucks for the scoop on this story.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-9-2019 GM-trucks.com is testing the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer over the coming two weeks. We are just a few days into the testing and we are already in love with this vehicle. It has many great features that we are planning to go into great detail on in a long-format review soon. One of the most impressive features is the new rear camera mirror our RS tester came equipped with. The new camera mirror is dead simple to operate. The mirror is still a reflective mirror until you flip up the little tab we used to call the dimmer. Once that is done, the image changes to the camera view. The camera view is wider, brighter, and higher in resolution than what one sees in the reflective mirror. It is so good, and so wide, we found that we no longer needed the side-view mirrors in most circumstances. The camera performed great in daylight, at night, and in the rain. GM cleverly incorporates a washer for the camera that is located directly next to the backup camera on the rear tailgate above the license plate. When you wash the rear window the camera also gets a spritz. If you happen to be at a GM dealership ask someone there to let you check out the new rear camera mirror in one of the vehicles. You will instantly fall in love with this new technology. If you own a GM vehicle with the camera, please tell the membership how you like it so far in our comments section below.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-5-2019 Each quarter GM breaks down the company's deliveries (often called sales). Normally, the breakdown is by model. That means the Silverado is one line item. Same with Sierra. However, the auto press is all abuzz with reports that the Silverado has slipped to number three in sales overall behind Ram. While true, there is more to the story and we are not ones to make excuses for GM here as you know if you follow the GM-Trucks.com news page. What is really happening is that GM is crushing it. Everything the company is focusing on is doing great. Including Silverado and Sierra. GM is still transitioning the generations and the sales & deliveries are following the production ramp. To help illustrate this, GM included -for the first time- a breakdown of the Sierra and Silverado trucks by capacity. In other words LD (light duty) HD (heavy duty) and MD (medium duty). We won't bore you with a long list of numbers, but we took away one interesting fact we suspected could never really prove. GM sells three times as many LD trucks as it does HD. MD is a very small segment. So now we know that! Here's what GM had to say. “The light-duty segment is the highest-volume part of the pickup market and we are expanding choice to make sure that we meet the needs of every customer,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “Heavy-duty trucks, by contrast, are about 25 percent of full-size pickup sales. Our HDs are purpose-built machines for people who need maximum capability, and we are poised for significant growth.” GM also came right out and said what its fleet sales volume is - 23% of all sales. Contrast that with Honda that is nearly zero and you can see that the two companies, though they have some overlap, are in different businesses. Also important to GM, since it is quitting on "cars," is that its crossovers are selling like hotcakes. And it makes no difference where they are built. Buick's imports from China are selling well, as are the Mexico-built Chevy's. As are the SUVs made in the U.S. Here are the GM Highlights from its sales report this week: -Crossover sales set a new second quarter record after sales grew year over year by 17 percent. -Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab were both up 12 percent year over year. -The Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse and GMC Canyon all delivered record second quarter sales. -Sales of every Buick crossover were up year over year, with the Envision posting a 28 percent sales increase. The Enclave was up 21 percent and the Encore was up 5 percent. -Buick deliveries were up 5 percent and GMC deliveries were up 10 percent. -The all-new Cadillac XT4 continues to lead its segment and the all-new Cadillac XT6 has begun shipping to dealers. Cadillac crossover deliveries were up 19 percent in total year over year, helping the brand grow both total and retail sales. -The Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe and GMC Yukon XL were each up more than 20 percent compared to a year ago. Here Are Some Truck-Specific Notes: -GM has installed new body shops, upgraded paint shops and reconfigured general assembly at its plants to increase capacity by 20,000 units compared with the outgoing model. -Based on the most recent data available, retail customers have registered more GM full-size light-duty pickups in 2019 than either Ford or Ram. GM light-duty registrations have also led Ford F-150 in 11 of the last 12 months. -The first new GM models to launch were the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra crew cabs in late summer 2018. Sales of each were up more than 12 percent in the second quarter versus a year ago. -After two consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year growth, GM’s crew cab mix has risen from 60 percent of sales to almost 75 percent. -Full production of all cab styles started in March for both retail and fleet orders, and inventory is approaching target levels, especially for the most affordable regular and double cab models. Sales of these models were down year over year due to limited availability. -Customer demand for Chevrolet’s new Trail Boss models — the first full-size pickups equipped with a 2-inch factory-installed lifted suspension — have far exceeded expectations, so GM will double production. In addition, for 2020, Chevrolet will offer both Trail Boss models with a 420-hp, 6.2L V-8 engine. -More than 95 percent of all-new GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab sales are high-end trims including SLT, AT4 and Denali. -GM is introducing a new refined, very powerful and extremely fuel-efficient 3.0-liter Duramax diesel that is expected to be available later this quarter. -GM has consolidated heavy-duty pickup production at its Flint (Michigan) Assembly plant. The company has installed new body and paint shops and created 1,000 new jobs to support a capacity increase of 40,000 units compared to the outgoing model. -The company is sharply increasing production of crew cab and diesel models to meet customer demand. -Early production will be focused primarily on crew cab models, similar to the light-duty launch cadence. Trucks began shipping to dealers in the second half of June, with availability expected to grow throughout the third and fourth quarters.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 7-2-2019 The new Ford Ranger did pretty well on its newest safety tests by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), but it did not have the scores to earn either level of the Top Safety Pick award. The Ranger fell short in three ways overall. First, it scored Acceptable for its passenger side small frontal overlap crash test. Like some other manufacturers, Ford does not reinforce the passenger side of its Ranger as robustly as it does the driver's side. That boots the Ranger off of the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. Next, the Ranger's best headlights are only Marginal. That boots it off of the Top Safety Pick list. Finally, the child safety anchors are scored Marginal, which does not factor into the IIHS scores, but makes parents swear quite a bit. You can see detailed score info at this link. IIHS has a good video with more details below.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-25-2019 GM is adding another $20 million to its recent $1.2 billion investment in its Arlington assembly plant. The plant builds GM's full-sized SUVs. It is the only plant that makes the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade. There are rumors that a new GM SUV may join the mix when the next generation begins production in the coming year. “We’ve been building trucks in Texas for more than 20 years, and our additional investment in Arlington Assembly is proof of our commitment and confidence in our Arlington team,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “We are counting on the Arlington team to continue focusing on building the highest quality products possible for our customers while preparations continue for the launch of the next generation of our full-size SUVs.” The Arlington plant opened in 1954. It presently employs about 4,500 workers directly and had a payroll in 2018 of $405,231,063. The plant paid the state of Texas $47,883,571. in state income tax last year. The first vehicle ever built there was a 4-door black Pontiac Chieftain. The plant has also built the GTO and El Camino. Arlington is unusual in many ways. One is that the plant is powered by wind GM sources from green power suppliers in the region.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-21-2019 GM's latest addition to its in-vehicle marketplace is an app that will let you order Dominos Pizza from your infotainment screen. We have high regard for GM's infotainment systems. If you don't agree, try a new Lexus on for size and let us know how you like a hot mess of touch-pad mice and no Android Auto. No, GM does everything important right. Still, how many times per trip or per 100 trips does one need to order a pizza? Maybe one time per 100 trips? Maybe one time per twenty trips if your family gets pizza once per week (like mine did growing up). In-dash apps should be ones which drivers need during routine trips. Things they will use frequently. Waze is a perfect example. It will warn you of a new pothole, of upcoming traffic, and even that the po-po are just around that turn. Stuff that you need on each trip. You can even add in your own helpful markers. It's an app you need on the infotainment screen because you need to interact with it while you drive. Pandora, Google Maps, and other apps that you use during each trip make good sense. Let's face it, an app on your phone that orders pizza makes some sense, because your phone isn't burdened by such an app sitting dormant in the app tray where it hides until you need it. Here's what Chevy says about the new app: “Domino’s has offered pizza lovers innovative ordering and delivery options for years. At the same time, Chevrolet put technologies in place that allows us to add capabilities to vehicles already on the road, like the ability for our drivers to order pizza through the touchscreen,” said Scott Goddard, Marketplace line of business leader, Chevrolet. “This new in-vehicle solution is a natural collaboration that both Chevy drivers and pizza connoisseurs can enjoy.” I enjoy pizza and may have starved in college if not for Dominos. Still, as much as I am a fan of both pizza and GM, I already know that every vehicle in America with a hands-free Bluetooth connection already has an app that can call in a pizza. And you can operate it from the steering wheel. Simply touch our Push To Talk button and say "Dial Main Street Dominos." If your local Dominos phone number is stored in the mobile device you link, the call will be made without you touching the infotainment screen. When Dominos answers, they already know you from your phone number and they already know your order history. And you never took your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. GM isn't guilty of any sins here. It just seems like they have run out of ideas if the newest infotainment update is an app that is redundant and will likely be used only a few times each month at most. My $0.02.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-19-2019 If you are a fan of vintage Chevy trucks, you need to check out Wheeler Dealers Episode 3 of season 20. You can find it on the "Motor Trend" channel on your TV feed, or you can go to this link and watch it on your computer free (if you sign up for a 14-day trial.) GN-Trucks.com has no affiliation with Motor Trend. If you had "Velocity" on your TV feed, this is the replacement channel for it. As a fan of Wheeler Dealers who has seen every episode, I will warn you that this particular one is unusual in some ways. In many episodes Ant actually builds his own tools to do maintenance and repairs, and he even fabricates parts from scratch. This turnaround is more of an upgrade to an already awesome truck. There is a great transmission shop scene and the shots of the underside of the truck when they work on the suspension will make anyone living in the snow belt jaw drop. The truck is PERFECT underneath. We can't show you much more of the episode or even images without stealing from someone else's family bread, but you can see a quick shot of the truck in the image at the top of our page. Feel free to weigh in if you've seen it, or to chat about Wheeler Dealers in general. Just for the record, I loved Edd, but I am now also a big Ant fan (Makes sense if you know the show).
I just want to hug that engine.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-18-2019 Shortly after American Honda Motor Co. first opened for U.S. business in 1959, the company chose Chevy pickups to deliver its motorcycles to its new dealers across Southern California. One of these trucks was captured in an iconic photo in 1961 parked in front of Honda's original office in Los Angeles. Tradition and history matter to most Asian manufacturers. Underscoring the importance of those early Chevy trucks to its success, American Honda restored a vintage Chevy truck to perfectly match the one in the old photo as part of the company's 60th-anniversary celebration. The Chevy trucks helped Honda establish a U.S. market foothold, starting in Southern California. Six years later, Honda was the best-selling motorcycle brand in America with a market share of over 70 percent. To prepare the Chevy truck for its debut at American Honda's 60th-anniversary celebration on June 11, it was given a mild mechanical freshening and new factory-correct white paint. Two vintage Honda motorcycles, a Honda 50 (AKA the SuperCub) and CB160, like those originally carried in the trucks, were placed in the truck bed. The completed Chevy truck package is now on display in the lobby of American Honda's Torrance, Calif. headquarters. The Chevy truck is a half-ton chassis with an 8 ft. bed. It has a 283 cu. in. V8 engine with a whopping 160 HP coupled to a 3-speed manual transmission. Who remembers these trucks fondly from their youth? Does anyone have a vintage one new? Post up your pics and comments below.
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