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Chevy Unveils Two Special Edition Colorados to Mark Truck Centennial

GM kicks off truck part at State Fair of Texas.

by on Oct.18, 2017

Chevrolet is marking 100 years of truck production with two new Colorado ZR2 special editions: Dusk and Midnight.

As Chevrolet celebrates a century of building trucks during the 2018 Model Year, it is expanding its midsize truck line-up with two new editions for the Colorado as it readies for the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas.

The 2018 Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition features an all-black exterior finish, black Chevy bowtie emblems and 17-inch five-spoke black accessory wheels, including the spare. The ZR2 Midnight also features a black sport bar with off-road LED lighting and ZR2 logos on the sport-bar sail panels.

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The ZR2 Dusk Edition offers the same content as the ZR2 Midnight, but can be purchased in all other ZR2 exterior finishes, with black accents throughout. (more…)

NAFTA Talks Bog Down as Sides Take Recess

Canadians suggest U.S. demands undoing 23 years of progress.

by on Oct.18, 2017

Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo said that each country in the NAFTA talks has its "limits" and warned against rash decisions.

Top trade officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico squabbled openly as they wrapped up the most recent round of negotiations aimed at changing the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has become a key prop for auto production in the U.S.

Representatives were openly critical of each other’s positions, acknowledging in a joint statement that “new proposals had created significant conceptual gaps” between them.

News on NAFTA!

Talks are expected to resume in Mexico Nov. 17, but are not expected to be completed until sometime next year, which means they would bump into the Mexican presidential campaign. Observers have warned pushing the talks into the next year could lead to serious political problems, particularly in Mexico. (more…)

Average Price for Gasoline Continues Sliding

Inventories building so prices likely to keep falling.

by on Oct.17, 2017

Gas prices are falling as inventories continue to build after the hurricanes. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

The price of gasoline continued to drop in states east of the Mississippi River, with the exception of a handful around the Great Lakes, paying as much as eight cents less at the start of this week, according to AAA.

While gas prices are more expensive than a year ago, the past five weeks of sustained weekly declines indicate that demand may be leveling out as travel declines after a busy summer alongside refineries and pipelines returning to pre-hurricane operations, AAA reported.

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“Gas stations are steadily dropping pump prices for the majority of motorists, especially regional markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South and Southeast,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Drivers will see stabilized or decreasing prices at the pump throughout this month due to high refinery production rates and seasonal demand.” (more…)

BMW Expects to Sell 100K Electrified Vehicles in 2017

German maker's already set new record.

by on Oct.17, 2017

BMW Board Member Ian Robertson stands alongside the updated i3 and new i3s models.

The sales of electrified vehicles by the BMW Group in the first three quarters of 2017 have increased 64.2 % and have exceeded those achieved in the whole of 2016, the German automaker reports, adding it now expects to sell 100,000 electrified units for the first time ever this year.

Carmakers all over the world have made commitments, under pressure from government policy makers in places such as China, to build and sell more electric vehicles despite consumer resistance.

Global Auto News!

In September, BMW’s sales of electrified exceeded 10,000 units for the first time in a single month, the automaker reported. With the company’s electrified line-up totaling nine models, the automaker’s sales of electric vehicles increased by 50.5%. In all, BMW delivered a total 10,786 BMW i, BMW iPerformance and Mini Electric vehicles were delivered during September, bringing the year-to-date total to 68,687. (more…)

Canadian Workers Ratify New Pact with GM

Longest strike in nearly two decades over.

by on Oct.16, 2017

The strike by Unifor workers at GM's plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, ended with a new four-year deal.

This story contains updated information.

Striking workers at the General Motors plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, have ratified a new four-year contract with the automaker, ending the longest walkout at a GM plant in nearly two decades.

Unifor Local 88 announced the results of the ratification vote Monday afternoon and said workers would begin returning to work begin immediately. The agreement was passed by 85.9% members and 78.7% of trades, the local said.

Union News!

“The ratification of a new four-year agreement between GM Canada and Unifor Local 88 at CAMI Assembly is welcome news for our company, employees and the community,” Steve Carlisle, president and managing director, General Motors Canada, in a statement.

“We have an outstanding new product at CAMI with the Chevrolet Equinox and I am confident that we will quickly pull together to continue to demonstrate to the world the outstanding productivity, innovation and quality that is synonymous with the CAMI workforce.”

The tentative agreement came late Friday after GM had warned Unifor Local 88, the union representing some 2,750 workers employed at the plant, the company was prepared to shift more production of the popular Chevrolet Equinox from Canada to Mexico if the four-week-old strike continued.

(GM reaches deal with Canadian workers. For the story, Click Here.)

The threat had appeared to lead to a deadlock in the talks, which had stalled out the previous week.

Local 88 employees were angry about GM's decision to move production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico.

Details of the tentative agreement are being withheld pending ratification, but one of the union’s key demands was a commitment from GM that the Ingersoll plant would remain the lead plant for production of the Equinox, a compact sport utility vehicle that is one of the most popular vehicles sold by GM in North America.

The union wanted a written commitment from GM that Ingersoll would be the lead plant, meaning production would be reduced at factories in Mexico if production of the Equinox need to be reduced because of a decline in sales.

(Click Here for details about Unifor’s demand for new product in Ingersoll.)

Inventories on dealer lots had dwindled to less than 40 days and GM faces stiff competition for sales in the segment from competitors such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV and Ford Escape.

The dispute over the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement. GM has long-favored NAFTA, which allows it to build vehicles and components in Mexico duty free, while Unifor, like its counterpart in the U.S., the United Auto Workers, has criticized the trade pact claiming it’s destroying jobs in the U.S. and Canada.

The dispute in Ingersoll intensified in July after GM laid off 600 employees and shifted production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. GM countered that it had already invested $800 million in the remodeling the plant but layoffs led directly to the strike union representatives said when the strike began Sept. 17.

(To see more about the negotiations between GM and Unifor, Click Here.)

“This strike has shown all of Canada why a renewed North American Free Trade Agreement must address the needs of working people first,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias in a statement after the tentative settlement was reached.

Tesla Purges Hundreds of “Underperforming” Employees

EV maker says workers will be replaced.

by on Oct.16, 2017

Tesla reportedly fired hundreds of underperforming workers at its plant in Fremont, California, as well as its Palo Alto headquarters.

Claiming it was weeding out underperforming employees, Tesla dismissed hundreds of employees at its Palo Alto, California, headquarters campus and its Fremont assembly facility, according to multiple reports.

The San Jose Mercury News puts the number of firings at between 400 and 700 people, and they affected everything from factory workers to engineers to managers. According to that report, workers were not given advance notice of the decision.

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Tesla, in a statement, cited a company-wide annual review and said that it had not laid employees off, but rather that it let employees go based on lackluster job performance. (more…)

GM Reaches Deal with Canadian Auto Workers

Uniform Local 88 holding ratification vote on Monday.

by on Oct.15, 2017

After four weeks on the picket lines, it appears Unifor employees have struck a deal with GM. (Photo credit: Arnie De Vaan)

Striking Canadian auto workers said late Friday they had reached a tentative deal to end a four-week-old walkout at a key GM assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.

“The Master Bargaining Committee, along with our Unifor National Representatives, is pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been achieved,” Unifor Local 88 said on its website.

Union News!

“Details of the Tentative Agreement will not be released until the membership ratification meeting,” the Local said in its announcement, adding it would hold a ratification meeting and vote on Monday. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Volvo V90 R-Design

An engaging package of style, performance and luxury.

by on Oct.13, 2017

The Volvo V90 may be the leader of the pack when it comes to the resurgent station wagon segment.

Don’t look now but the station wagon is quietly making something of a comeback.

It might not be a huge comeback and a fair number of manufacturers are loath to even mention the words “station wagon” in their various sales pitches. However, with the appearance of the V90, Volvo is definitely embracing the station wagon.

Reviews You Can Use!

Moreover, the V90 is hardly a retro-vehicle eager to get in touch with some kind Mad Men-era chic. Instead it’s a fully updated vehicle with a luxurious interior and an exterior that completely re-invents the appearance with fresh lines, curves and angles kept well within envelope traditionally occupied by station wagon with its low but elongated profile.  (more…)

GM Appoints Bolt Boss to New EV Post

Fletcher named Vice President, Global Electric Vehicle Programs

by on Oct.13, 2017

Pam Fletcher, GM's electric vehicle chief, and North American President Alan Batey hold the Motor Trend Car of the Year trophy. for the Chevrolet Bolt.

With the pressure mounting in several corners of the globe to promote the use of electric vehicles on the road, General Motors Co. appointed Pamela Fletcher to the newly created position of Vice President, Global Electric Vehicle Programs.

Fletcher, who has spent a substantial part of her career with GM working on electric vehicles, led the team that launched the Chevrolet Bolt EV and “created the plan to accelerate us along the pathway to our vision of a zero emissions world,” the company noted.

News You Can Trust!

The Bolt has been considered a technical success and is considered an integral part of the company’s future fleet of autonomous vehicles and GM’s car sharing initiatives. (more…)

Asian Makers Sweep Green Car of the Year Nominations

Honda gets two chances at the title.

by on Oct.12, 2017

Honda's new 2018 Accord is one of the nominees for the Green Car of the Year Award.

The list of nominees for the 2018 Green Car of the Year award, which will be handed out in late November during the Los Angeles Auto Show press preview, is dominated by Asian automakers, including two nominations for Honda.

The 2018 models include the Honda Accord, Honda Clarity, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Camry, according to Green Car Journal. Noticeably absent from the list? Tesla Model 3.

Global Auto News!

The all-new 2018 Accord champions style, efficiency, and performance with three advanced new power plants – two direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engines and the third generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid powertrain. (more…)

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