Archive for the ‘GM’ Category

Exterior Airbags Could Save Lives of Passengers and Pedestrians

ZF bag automatically triggers ahead of an collision.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Auto supplier ZF has developed exterior airbags to help mitigate injuries to both vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians.

Today’s cars are loaded with smart safety systems, including technology like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, designed to prevent crashes. But when a crash does occur, airbags can substantially reduce the risk for vehicle occupants.

Today’s airbags can pop out of all sorts of nooks and crannies, including the steering wheel, the instrument panel and a vehicle’s headliner. But ZF has unveiled a new airbag concept that is mounted outside the vehicle where it can be triggered in the milliseconds before a crash occurs, rather than after an impact already has taken place.

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“Occupant safety is paramount when developing new vehicles for automated and autonomous driving,” said Michael Büchsner, head of ZF’s Passive Safety Systems Division. “Our concept of the pre-crash external side airbag is a great example of how ZF wants to achieve its Vision Zero, a world without accidents and emissions.” (more…)

GM Rams $150 Million into Flint Plant to Up HD Truck Production

Move marks second big truck investment in a month.

by on Jun.12, 2019

General Motors President Mark Reuss touted the "opportunities" available to the company with the $150 million investment the Flint Assembly plant.

General Motors is in the business of building trucks and if the company’s move to invest $150 million into its truck plant in Flint, Michigan, is any indication, business is good.

Just last month, the company announced plans to invest $24 million into its Ft. Wayne, Indiana plant to help expand its light-duty truck production. Today’s announcement is to ramp up production of GM’s heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

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“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. (more…)

Trump Criticizes GM Investment in China

Says company is having to pay more because of tariffs.

by on Jun.12, 2019

President Donald Trump criticized GM's investment in China on CNBC.

General Motors’ investment in China has come under fire from President Donald Trump who declared in recent interview it was a bad investment.

GM now sells more cars in China than it does in the United States and during the past two decades the company has insisted the investment in China has not hurt its operations in the U.S. Instead, profits from its Chinese operations has helped it invest in new products in the United States and helped it meet pension obligations.

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Only a small part of GM production of more than 3 million units is exported back to the U.S. and the Trump administration recently refused to roll back the tariffs on the Chinese-made Buicks GM sells in the U.S.  (more…)

Automakers Push Back on Trump Plan to Relax Mileage Rules

Expected White House plan would trigger legal actions and “untenable” uncertainty, 17 OEs warn.

by on Jun.07, 2019

Pres. Donald Trump thought he would win industry support from industry leaders over CAFE cuts but has seen opposition, instead/

In an unusual move, 17 automakers, including giants General Motors, Ford and Toyota, have sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him not to move ahead on plans to roll back federal fuel economy standards – a move that puts the industry more in line with environmentalists than the anti-regulatory White House.

The Trump Administration has signaled since it was first inaugurated its intention to roll back Obama-era guidelines that would have seen the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard rise to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The administration’s draft plans would freeze the numbers at 2021 model-year levels, or about 37 mpg.

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The proposal has already generated significant opposition from environmental and consumer groups, as well as the State of California which would effectively lose its current right to set standards higher than those established by the federal government. California has played lead in the various legal actions that have been filed to block any rollback even before the original outline of a plan the White House announced was formalized.


EVs Will Reach Cost Parity with Gas Cars “Sooner than People Think,” says GM’s Reuss

That would be good news for an industry pumping billions into EV development.

by on Jun.07, 2019

GM's Mark Reuss believes that EVs will reach cost parity with gas-powered vehicles sooner than people think they will.

The auto industry is planning to spend in excess of $100 billion over the next decade on the development of electrified vehicles, pure battery-electric models, in particular – so much that even industry giants like Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota are opting to partner with traditional competitors to spread out spending.

One of the concerns is that manufacturers will have to not only put out that money up front but then swallow some of their production costs to keep those battery-cars competitive once they reach market because they will be more expensive to build. That was a warning delivered by a top Toyota official during a briefing in Tokyo on Friday morning.

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But that may not prove nearly as dire a problem as anticipated, General Motors President Mark Reuss said during a conference early this week where he said he sees the cost of a BEV and a comparable gas model will “reach parity a lot sooner than people think.” (more…)

Cadillac Expanding Coverage of Hands-Free Super Cruise

Luxury marque adds 70,000 miles of territory.

by on Jun.06, 2019

Cadillac will add another 70,000 miles of roadway to Super Cruise's coverage by this fall.

Cadillac is adding more highway miles to range of its Super Cruise feature, which allows for hands-free driving on limited access roadways.

Super Cruise will now be availability for travel to an additional 70,000 miles of compatible, divided highways in the United States and Canada. This expansion will make the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance feature available on more than 200,000 total miles of compatible highways by the fourth quarter of 2019, according to official from General Motors.

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“We are constantly working to make Super Cruise the most beneficial system for our customers,” said Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer. “Expanding our offering of compatible highways will allow people the ease and convenience of traveling hands-free more often.” (more…)

GM Shareholders Vote Down Two Proposals at Annual Meeting

Downed proposals get more support than expected.

by on Jun.05, 2019

GM's Mary Barra can continue to hold the chairman and CEO jobs at the same time after a proposal to split them failed.

Two shareholder proposals opposed by General Motors top management went down to defeat during the company’s annual shareholders meeting, but not before the two measures gained significant support from shareholders.

The final tally showed that 37% of the shareholders favored a proposal to split the post of chairman and chief executive officer, creating an independent chairman. Mary Barra currently holds both jobs and the proposal to split the jobs has major support from institutional investors, which means it will return for another vote next year and will continue to exert pressure on GM’s board and senior management. The same measure got just 35% of the vote last year.

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The second proposal, which received more attention during the meeting, received 29% of the votes from investors calls on GM to disclose its lobbying practices. (more…)

GM Revives Trailblazer Name for Small Korean-Built SUV

Move sidesteps Trump's push for more U.S. production.

by on Jun.05, 2019

General Motors is ignoring pressure from President Donald Trump to build more vehicles in the U.S, building its new small SUV in Korea.

General Motors Co. is resurrecting an old name for a new sport-utility vehicle built in South Korea for sale in the United States. The Trailblazer returns as a small ute starting in 2020.

“We consider several factors when selecting where to manufacture vehicles,” a GM spokeswoman noted in an email. “There were efficiencies to use the existing production facility in Korea. At this time, we can confirm these markets for Trailblazer: U.S., Canada and Korea.”

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The decision suggests GM’s management has decided to continue down the path of globalization despite the hectoring by President Donald Trump to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. (more…)

GM, Michelin Team Up to Let the Air Out of the Tire

Airless Uptis concept could go into production by 2024, the two partners announce.

by on Jun.04, 2019

Steve Kiefer, GM’s global purchasing chief, talks about Uptis, the revolutionary new tire being tested by GM and Michelin.

The pneumatic tire revolutionized transportation, and while it might often be ignored, it’s an essential part of the modern automobile. But not for much longer, at least if a new partnership between Michelin and General Motors pans out.

GM said on Tuesday that it will begin testing the French company’s prototype wheel/tire combination, called Uptis, with a goal of putting the airless design in production by “as early as 2024.”

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“I would consider it revolutionary,” said Steve Kiefer, GM’s global director of purchasing, during a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday. If it works out as well as preliminary tests indicate, “We end up with a tire that’s maintenance-free,” while matching the basic characteristics of conventional pneumatic tires. (more…)

GM Wants to be Part of Solution to Climate Change

Automaker finding ways to reduce environmental impact.

by on Jun.04, 2019

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the company is attempting to mitigate its impact on the environment.

General Motors does believe it has to be part of the solution to climate change, said Mary Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer, during what was billed as the company’s first virtual annual meeting.

Barra said that for some years now GM has heeded the science behind climate change and is taking steps to mitigate the company’s carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

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“We are taking steps,” she said. “About 20 of our plants are powered by renewable energy.”  (more…)