General Motors (GM)

General Motors (GM) cars

Holden has official re-released the Holden Thunder Ute, which we all assume will eventually makes its way to the U.S. as the resurrection of the El Camino. With its reintroduction, Holden needed a new advertising campaign. With an advertising campaign comes the need for a new slogan, and “The Ute , Americans are begging us to let ’em use it’” is just too long.

Well, Holden turned to its fans to come up with the new slogan, via everyone’s favorite medium, Facebook. Fortunately, those Aussie blokes are rather creative, as they came up with the slogan “No backseat drivers.” That makes perfect sense, as the Thunder Ute has only two seats and a truck bed. It would have been a little more difficult had GM chosen to go the Subaru Brat route and put two seats in the bed. Then, you technical would have backseat drivers. You can even see the new ad slogan in use in the above Thunder Ute commercial.

For a refresher, the Ute Thunder comes standard with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 standard and has an optional 360-horsepowerpower 6.0-liter V-8. It also has a special charcoal-colored 19-inch rims and a slew of other standard features.

Now the only question remaining is when will GM officially start “leaking” information about the Thunder Ute coming to the U.S. as the El Camino ? We are willing to put a dollar on it being here within five years. Then again, it was rumored to be returning with the previous Ute rendition, so we could be in for just a bunch of teasing and jealousy.

Mini Cooper & Cooper S

The web tying varying automakers to one another is a very complex, yet delicate thing. One strand heading the wrong direction can cause an automaker to break off another connection, and we see it every day. One prime example was when AMG hacked off its advertising ties with Ducati just because Audi bought the company. Really, what do motorcycles have to do with your competing with Audi in the automobile realm?

Well, we have another bit of info to pass on in regards to one partnership killing another. Recently PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen , increased its stake in a partnership with GM affiliate, Opel, to develop four vehicle platforms together. This leads BMW to believe that PSA will not have the ability to fulfill its partnership duties in reference to BMW’s developing Hybrid platform.

A BMW spokesperson said “We are discussing conditions for the exit of PSA but we will not make any payments,” in an interview with Reuters. In addition, PSA has accepted the fact that this new relationship with GM will force it to “change the conditions” in its partnership with BMW. This likely means that BMW will buy-out PSAs share of the investment in the project and take development into its own hands.

This will not, however, affect the other relationships that BMW and PSA have going on. The largest of these relationships is the partnership between the two to build the MINI Cooper ’s engine.

We’ll keep an eye on what’s going on with this development and let you know if anything else pops up. For now, this seems like a pretty open-and-shut case.

Source: Reuters

We all hate what Chevy did to the Monte Carlo following its axing after the 1988 model year. 1988 was the final year for the “Manly” Monte, if you can call a 180-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 “Manly.” Most of its testosterone came from its throaty V-8 exhaust note and relatively edgy look, when fitted with the SS package.

In 1995, the Monte Carlo essentially came back as a two-door version of the Lumina. It was fattened to extreme proportions in 2000, as Chevy attempted to make this neutered muscle car somewhat resemble its earlier muscular years without adding any real muscle to it. Apparently, some people see these circa-2000 Monte Carlos as disposable machines, as one man decided to turn his into a V-6-powered missile, then launching it into General Motors’ headquarters, also known as the Renaissance Center for a reason unknown to us.

According to reports by witnesses, the driver, donning all black clothing, lined up the car perfectly with the revolving front door. After sitting there for a short period of time, the driver punched the gas on this flabby, 180-horsepower coupe and smashed into the revolving front door. GM was likely pretty happy that the driver chose this car as his weapon of choice, as its 8-second 0-to-60 mph time greatly limited the damage done and the automotive giant expects the damage to be as good as new in just a day.

There is no motive yet behind the kamikaze Monte Carlo driver, but the police do have the suspect in custody and are questioning him. With the craziness that is happening these days, the possible motives are endless. We’ll let you know why exactly this man chose to plow his beloved Chevy into GM’s headquarters once we learn the motive.

Buick Riviera Concept

Back in 2007, Buick unveiled a cool Riviera Concept which many thought would move on to production form. Nothing has been heard about this concept since then, but on May 3rd General Motors filed a trademark for a Riviera name, citing it for use on automobiles. Although they did not say it would be used for a Buick model, the previous concept makes us consider this as an option.

In fact, last year, it was rumored that GM wanted to produce a sporty coupe, possibly based on the rear-wheel drive Alpha platform. Then, at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the company announced it was considering bringing the Riviera name back, but in a rear-wheel drive form. The concept unveiled back in 2007 was a sporty coupe built on an Epsilon front-wheel drive platform.

So, the Riviera name may be used either for either a production version of the concept which would arrive sometime in 2015, or a new Riviera concept. We’re hoping for the first scenario!

A beat-up, burnt Porsche 996 is a sight for sore eyes. To put it plainly, the finest in German engineering doesn’t deserve to be treated like this by an engine fire that rendered it virtually catatonic.

Fortunately, LS1tech forum member "1dirtyZ" has come to save this particular 996 from the jaws of a junk shop incinerator. Taking the completely destroyed 996, 1dirtyZ bought the Porsche sports car to give it a complete make-over, one that specifically involved changing the powertrain and putting in a General Motors LS1 V8 engine to replace the 996’s old 3.6-liter H6 engine that produced 316 horsepower. With the LS1 V8 engine, the Porsche 996 is looking at a new output of around 345 horsepower and 350 lb/ft of torque.

The project is far from a finished product - as you can see, there’s still plenty of work left to be done - but from the looks of things, it should be done sooner than later. In the meantime, there are a couple of videos you can watch of the GM-powered Porsche 996 - how often do you hear that? - hitting the road for some test runs after the jump.

Posted on by Alexander + 17

Aspiring presidential candidates are already busy gearing up for the 2012 elections with hopes of becoming the most powerful man in the U.S. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, and luckily they have a presidential limo that can withstand the job.

At first glance, the Cadillac One just looks like a modified Cadillac DTS , but General Motors did not actually assign the presidential state car a specific model name. This may be due to the fact that it carries many different components from many different GM models, including Cadillac Escalade headlights, side mirrors, and door handles; Cadillac STS sedan taillights and back up lights; and what looks to be the GMC Topkick commercial truck’s chassis and driveline. GM went through a lot of trouble building the perfect presidential vehicle, but what happens to the car after the base build is what makes it capable of keeping our president utterly and unbelievably safe.

For starters, the car’s chassis has a 5" reinforced steel plate that runs underneath the car in case a bomb finds its way there. Then the entire bodywork is a combination of dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium, and ceramic which breaks up projectiles upon impact. The doors and gas tank are armour plated, but the gas tank also receives a specially designed foam that prevents it from exploding. The tires are Kevlar reinforced and are shred and puncture resistant. If anyone successfully tears them apart, the steel rims underneath the tires will allow them to get the Cadillac One to safety.

The Cadillac One also has a number of accessories that enable it to solve problems quicker than they come around, including night vision cameras, pump action shotguns, tear gas cannons, and blood. Yes, that’s right. The Cadillac One is equipped with bottles of the president’s blood just in case he gets hurt and needs a blood transfusion. Take that, suckers!

Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.

Posted on by Alexander + 9

Toyota got a lot of crap last year for the millions of vehicles that were recalled due to problems with unintended acceleration, but where would the company fall in a list of the top automotive recalls? Our next piece in the Car Infographics series answers that very question with the largest recalls in our automotive history.

It happens more often than we would like, but recalls are just a part of the automotive business that we all have to become accustomed to. After all, these machines are man-made and as we all know, people can very easily make mistakes. So who tops the list?

Let’s step back to Toyota for a moment. In 2010, the company had to recall 5.3 million vehicles due to reports of the driver side floor mats getting wedged underneath the gas pedal, causing unintended acceleration. Models involved in this recall included the likes of the Camry and Prius , as well as other models ranging from 2004-2010. 5.3 million is a large number, but Toyota only captures the #4 spot.

Hit the jump for the top three position fillers.

Source: MSNBC

And here we thought that recalls were left behind in 2010. How silly of us. 2011 is barely a month old and we already have our first recall of the year.

Taking in the honor is General Motors who is recalling 26,751 SUVs and trucks from its 2011 model line-up. According to GM, the problem concerns a defect in the rear-axle cross pins, which were not heated properly and, as a result, could fracture and get displaced within the rear axle, creating an interference condition and, eventually, causing the rear axle to lock. This, in turn, could affect the driver’s ability to maintain directional control of the vehicle and a crash could occur without warning.

Affected GM models of the recall include the 2011MY Cadillac Escalade , Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche , Colorado , Silverado , Suburban , Tahoe , GMC Canyon , Sierra , Yukon and Yukon XL vehicles.

As is the case with all recalls, General Motors has instructed their dealerships to install a new rear axle cross pin to any affected vehicle at no cost to the owner. As expected, GM’s dealers will install a new rear axle cross pin free of charge, with the safety recall to begin before the end of the month.

Posted on by Bryan 1

Who can say they don’t listen to music while they’re driving? If you raised your hand as if we could see you, then there is no need for you to read on. But if you love the sound of your favorite tunes coming out of the car’s stereo like we do, then, thanks to Matt Kirsch, we have some songs to test out those speakers.

Kirsh, a former General Motors audio engineer has published a list of songs that tests the capabilities of your stereo. And no, they are not sings that will bust your eardrums. It should be interesting to see how many think of their systems after going through this ten song list.

The list is varied between every sort of genre and artist and should give those tweeters, subwoofers, and mid-range units a real test. If you don’t want to search for all those songs, Kirsh has put them for download on iTunes.

Source: USA Today
Posted on by Bryan 12

With North America taken care of, General Motors is turning its attention to the European market, where the company is struggling with high operating costs with its Opel and Chevrolet brand.

The European vehicle lineup is a bit different when compared to the one in America. Where as its American lineup was outdated and uncompetitive a few years ago, the European products are just fine. The Opel Insignia was 2009’s European Car of the Year and the Astra was third in 2010.

Instead of product failures, it’s the high operating costs and mediocre sales that are hurting the company. On top of that, GM’s increased emphasis on importing cars from Korea has lowered production costs.

GM of Europe has seen its market share in Germany plummet to 8 percent during the first quarter of 2010. On the plus side, an increased demand for Chevrolet in the United Kingdom has seen the company’s European market share climb by 0.6 percent.

During the second quarter, GM did manage to reduce losses, but it was at a terrible cost. There were massive job cuts - around 8,000 people - and the closure of a plant in Belgium. Many believe this, and GM’s overall downturn, has hurt the brand’s image. GM even tried to sell Opel, but they changed their minds.

Source: Detroit News

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