Archive for March, 2014

GM Recalls Another 1.3 Million Vehicles

Power steering issue prompts the latest action.

by on Mar.31, 2014

GM recalled 1.3 million vehicles today, including the 2009 Pontiac G6, for power steering issues.

The torrent of General Motors’ recalls continued today when the company announced it was recalling 1.3 million cars because they may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering.

The recall of GM products is becoming a regular occurrence and this action puts the automaker at more than 5 million vehicles recalled in March.

Subscribe and Stay on Top!

Last Friday, the maker added another 971,000 products covered by a deadly ignition switch problem as well as another 172,000 newer Chevrolet Cruze sedans and 490,000 full-size Chevy and GMC pickups and sport-utility vehicles. (more…)

All New Vehicles Must have Backup Cameras by 2018

Rules finalized requiring makers to install cameras.

by on Mar.31, 2014

Backup cameras are becoming increasingly common but the government made them mandatory for all new vehicles by 2018.

On the heels of a study showing backup cameras save lives, the U.S. Department of Transportation laid out the standards requiring automakers to have cameras on all new vehicles by 2018.

The graduated requirement is for vehicles less than 10,000 pounds. In 2016, 10% of vehicles must have the cameras. That rises to 40% in 2017 and 100% in 2018.

Automotive Insight!

“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of back-over accidents – our children and seniors,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement today. (more…)

2015 Mustang Gets New Safety, Handling Features

Ragtop version gets easier to close top.

by on Mar.31, 2014

The 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible gets an easier to close top for 2015.

Mustang owners and fans often think of the pony car as a high-powered beast that snarls as it prowls around town. However, the 2015 Mustang will come with several new safety features will also make it one of the safest sports cars on the road.

In addition to those new safety options, the convertible version gets a new, easier-to-fold top for the next year.

Your Automotive Source!

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said plans for the full-launch of the Mustang early in the fourth quarter are right on schedule. (more…)

Detroit Electric Abandoning Detroit Production Base for Sports Car

Maker may still turn to Motor City for later models.

by on Mar.31, 2014

CEO Albert Lam with a prototype of the Detroit Electric SP:01 battery sports car. The car will now be built in Holland instead of Detroit.

Call it Not-So-Detroit Electric, apparently. Already a year late in plans to produce a $135,000 limited-edition sports car, the start-up firm says it will turn to Holland to produce its little SP:01 model starting later this year.

But the company still hopes to return to the Motor City when it launches a more mainstream, battery-powered sedan later in the decade.

The Leader in Global Automotive News

Named after a Michigan-based battery-car company that folded during the Great Depression, Detroit Electric was introduced by Hong Kong businessman Albert Lam, a former Apple executive, during a splashy news conference nearly a year ago. At the time, he admitted the project walked a fine line “between sanity and insanity,” and would be a challenge to get into production. (more…)

GM Pulls Opel Out of China; Will Play Larger Role in U.S.

New move in global brand realignment.

by on Mar.31, 2014

The Opel Adam S is not going to be available in China as GM is pulling the brand out of the country.

As part of a continuing global brand realignment, General Motors has pulled Opel out of China. The move comes barely a month after the Chevrolet brand was yanked out of Opel’s home market in Europe.

German-based Opel has been struggling to gain traction in China since entering the market there two decades ago. Even though GM is the second-largest manufacturer in the Chinese market – generating 3.16 million sales in 2013 – Opel’s 22 dealers sold a mere 4,365 vehicles there last year.

Stay on Top!

But Opel won’t vanish entirely. Its product engineering operations will continue to assist in the development of new products for China – as well as for the U.S., Opel announcing it will produce a new model for Buick that will be exported to the States later this decade. (more…)

GM Adds Millions of Vehicles to Recall List

Latest announcements come as CEO Barra prepares to face Congress.

by on Mar.31, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra will face two days of hearings on Capitol Hill this week.

Even as General Motors prepares for what is likely to be a tough grilling on Capitol Hill later this week, the automaker has been rapidly expanding the list of vehicles covered under a variety of safety-related recalls.

That includes not only another 971,000 added to the list of products covered by a deadly ignition switch problem but 172,000 newer Chevrolet Cruze sedans as well as 490,000 full-size Chevy and GMC pickups and sport-utility vehicles.  Even the maker’s new Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid has been targeted by a new service action, albeit in relatively miniscule numbers.

Automotive Insight!

The flood of safety-related problems could lead to an even tougher grilling when Barra, GM’s first female chief executive sits down in front of Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday to explain the maker’s response to an ignition switch problem so far linked to at least 12 deaths and 31 crashes.

(more…)

GM Adds Nearly 1 Million More Cars to Recall List

Good ignitions switches replaced with faulty ones.

by on Mar.28, 2014

GM expanded its ignition switch recall today to include another 970,000 vehicles.

After further investigation, General Motors added another 970,000 vehicles to its faulty ignition switch recall as 90,000 cars may have had good switches replaced with faulty ones.

The recall impacts all versions of the 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Sky, Saturn Ion, Pontiac Solstice and Pontiac G5. It also includes the 2008-2011 Chevy HHR. According to GM, the recall impacts 824,000 cars in the U.S., 132,000 in Canada, 5,700 in Mexico and 9,000 in other parts of the world.

The Leader in Global Automotive News

The recall initially included versions of those vehicles from 2003-2007. (more…)

Ford Gives Mulally a 10-Percent Raise in 2013

Most of company’s top executives also get increases.

by on Mar.28, 2014

Based on his 2013 compensation, Ford CEO Alan Mulally could buy a few 2015 Mustangs.

Ford Motor Co. boosted the compensation of chief executive officer Alan Mulally by approximately 10% in last year to $23,204,534 from the $20,955,806 he earned during 2012, according to the company annual proxy statement, which was filed with Securities Exchange Commission.

Mark Fields, Ford chief operating officer, got a 20% bump in salary to $10.370,578, while executive chairman William Clay Ford Jr., took a pay cut as his salary dropped to $11,955,829 from $14,836,013. The drop was followed a $3.2 million drop in Ford’s deferred compensation, which fell to zero in 2013.

The Last Word!

Robert Shanks, Ford’s chief financial officer, saw his 2013 compensation also dropped by 20% to $4,089,621 as the deferred compensation fell to zero last year from $1.9 million in 2012. (more…)

GM Orders Halt to Chevy Cruze Sales

Automaker tells dealers not to sell cars, but not why.

by on Mar.28, 2014

GM ordered dealers to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Chevy Cruzes without telling them why.

The bad news for General Motors continues to rain down. The company sent dealers a letter telling them to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Chevy Cruzes with 1.4-liter turbo charged engines.

Dealers say that the letter, called a “stop-sale” order, isn’t all that unusual. Typically, it means there is some sort of issue – usually a safety-related problem – that needs to be fixed. However, the maker did not give a reason for the order leaving dealers baffled.

High-Flying Headlines!

“This is something we don’t see every day,” a dealer told the Wall Street Journal. “To not be given a reason must mean GM has spotted an issue and is still trying to get its arms around it.” (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Mulls Expanding Sprinter Line-up in US

Growing small commercial van market powerful draw.

by on Mar.28, 2014

Mercedes-Benz is considering expanding the Sprinter van line-up with a smaller, commercial version.

The tall, awkward-looking Sprinter van may be getting a little brother in the U.S. in the near term. Mercedes-Benz is looking at adding a small, commercial-oriented van to the Sprinter line in the U.S., a key MBUSA executive said this week.

Bernhard Glaser, vice president of MBUSA’s new van division, said during a visit to Detroit that demand for small commercial vans is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years, making it a promising market for potential expansion of the maker’s van lineup in the U.S.

Auto Insight!

“It’s certainly something that we’re keeping an eye on,” he said. (more…)