GM to Halt Car Production, Including Camaro and Corvette

Camaro going out of production... temporarily.

Camaro going out of production… temporarily.

General Motors has a problem with crossovers. The high-riding family-friendly vehicles have effectively kicked their sedan brethren out of production. Quite literally, in fact, as GM plans to shutter five U.S. assembly plants next month to help ease a supply problem at dealers. With crossovers high on the wish list of U.S. consumers, sedans, and the people who make them, are starting to suffer.

Just last month GM laid off 2,000 of its factory workers due to the elimination of a third shift at two plants.

The entire closure of five plants, for up to three weeks each, is another sure sign that the crossover is the vehicle of choice for American drivers.

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GM and Toyota Dive Deeper Into Car Sharing

MAVEN

How would you like to rent a car in less than a second?

The idea of instant access to a vehicle could be appealing, especially for people who don’t own a car and live in a big city. General Motors and Toyota are the latest major automakers to get on board the car-sharing trend and could help turn it into a new normal for urban-dwelling commuters.

The idea of a car company venturing into the by-the-hour car rental business might seem to fly in the face of their desire to sell cars meant for individual ownership, but the younger generation seems to be demanding a change in how they transport themselves.

They don’t want to own cars, but they want convenient, inexpensive access to them.

Cue Maven.

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GM Easily Wins Battle of the Big SUVs

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Suburban

Take a guess on how much money General Motors makes every time it sells a Tahoe. I’m not going to tell you yet, but I will say that knowing might change how you negotiate for the biggest of the big SUVs.

You probably won’t score much of a discount, though, because it’s those profits that help keep GM afloat and allow it to field entries in other, less profitable, markets.

The Suburban, Yukon, Escalade, and Tahoe make up about half of the full-size SUV market in the United States. There is some competition in the market, and prices can be incredibly high, which makes me wonder: Are GM’s SUVs selling because they’re great or because the competition is too expensive?

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Aluminum: Best for Beer Cans or Trucks?

Did it collapse like a beer can?

Did it collapse like a beer can?

News of Ford’s use of aluminum in the body of the new F-150 shook the auto world in 2014. Some saw it as a revolutionary step in the evolution of the pickup truck, while others mocked the decision as an expensive experiment that would end poorly.

Competing brands touted the strength of steel and took issue with the high cost and questionable durability of aluminum. In an interview with Car and Driver, Michael Cairns, vehicle line executive for Ram, said,

It’s the best material to use for beer cans.

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Rusty Undercarriage? Don’t Blame the Carmaker

Don't let this happen to your car

Don’t let this happen to your car

Bad things happen when brake lines leak. Who’s to blame when they do?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has wrapped up a 5-year investigation into the cause of rust on the undercarriages of about 5 million GM vehicles.

The problem has been the rusting of brake lines on 2007 and older Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC pickups and SUVs. Usually an investigation of this magnitude results in an expensive recall and the mandatory repair of affected vehicles.

This time the NHTSA let General Motors off the hook and blamed someone we can’t sue for the problem:

Us.

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Chevrolet Wants to Be More Like Ford

2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150

Talk about being ahead of its time.

There’s nothing better for a company than introducing a new product so revolutionary that your closest competitor can’t touch it for about 4 years.

Even better is when the competition’s product chief wants to get his hands on your product and examine how it was done so it can be copied. That’s called hitting a home run.

That is what Ford has done to GM. It’s not a knockout punch by any means, but the blow has effectively left the General staggering and grasping for ways to catch up. Round 1 goes to Ford.

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The Worst Idea of 2014

1969 Opel GT

We’re only 8 days into the new year, and already they worst idea of the year has surfaced.

This idea will surely outlast all other bad automotive ideas to come during the remaining 357 days of this year. Nothing good or productive or profitable can possibly come from this idea, and I’m left shaking my head at the very thought of it.

The idea probably won’t ever see the light of day, but even sitting in the dark, behind closed doors, it’s truly awful.

What could be so abhorrent that the very possibility makes me wonder if third graders are running car companies now?

Opel coming to America.

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GM’s New Behemoths: Can the Tahoe, Yukon and Suburban Win Buyers?

2015 GMC Yukon Denali

People just don’t buy giant SUVs anymore. The old body-on-frame people-movers have been replaced by car-based crossovers and miniature versions of the big utes that used to rule American roads.

It’s hard to even find full-size truck-based SUVs anymore. One automaker, though, is determined to not let the big land yachts die and has released images and some specs of its next round of unapologetically large vehicles.

Say hello to the brand new 2015 Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon.

They are so good, you should probably buy a used one instead.

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Going CPO? Look to GM!

2013 Buick LaCrosse

There are two ways of looking at Certified Pre-Owned cars:

As overpriced used cars As value-priced new-car alternatives

Yes, buying a CPO vehicle will cost more than buying an as-is used car from a dealer or private party. The upside, though, is a warranty of some kind along with the peace of mind that comes with knowing the car underwent a 2,163-point inspection or whatever is standard now at dealerships.

The target market for CPO cars is people who want an alternative to a new car, but with the same assurance that if something goes wrong, they’re covered.

Virtually all automakers offer some kind of CPO program, and General Motors’ has recently been recognized as one of the best.

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Pretty Convincing: GM Makes Remote Start Standard

GM RemoteLink key fob

Automakers want to convince us all that buying a new car is preferable to buying used. Dealers just hope you buy a car—new would be nice, but there’s good money to be made selling used ones, too.

Consumers obviously are left to make the choice and sometimes spend hours researching whether new or used makes the most sense. Much of that decision comes down to financials, since the features in new cars do not vary much from what’s available in recent used vehicles.

General Motors would like to add more tech-laden features to new cars, so tech-savvy buyers might be convinced to pony up for new instead of used.

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