How’s this for a sign of increasing global presence? General Motors has just announced that for the first half of 2010, the Detroit-based automaker has sold more cars in China than they have in the entire USA. We’re not making this up.
According to Bloomberg, GM’s vehicle sales in China through June 30 has already reached 1.21 million units, head and shoulders above the 1.08 million units sold of GM vehicles in its own home country. The unprecedented sales numbers GM put up in China is also the first time an international country has outsold the company’s own auto market. Put some perspective into that for a second. GM’s been around for over a century and not once has an outside market outsold the US market in any year. Until now, of course.
GM’s remarkable showing in China should also bode well for a company that’s still recovering from one of the worst global financial crisis in history. The mere fact that GM vehicles are going over so well in a country that’s about four times more populated than the US is a testament to the country’s increased efforts in opening itself up to the Western world. Add to the growing awareness of GM’s line of vehicles and we wouldn’t be surprised in the least bit if this figure – this 1.21 million units in the first six months of 2010 – is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
We’re not expecting 20 million vehicles sold in six months, but with the way things are shaping up; we wouldn’t be surprised the least bit if it hit 2 million pretty soon.
Spyker’s purchase of Saab is finally complete after the Dutch supercar maker announced that the company has completely paid General Motors for every penny, nickel, and dime left in the purchase.
With the last payment on the 15th of July, Spyker opted to pay GM the remaining $24 million it owed ahead of schedule, officially finishing the deal that saw the General turn over Saab to Spyker earlier in the year. Even more impressive is the fact that Spyker didn’t have to take on any loans or add to its debt to make the payment, opting to use funds that came from the company’s internal sources.
Now that Saab is officially the property of Spyker, the latter has become extra aggressive in building the Saab brand back up to respectability, a stark contrast from where it stood a year ago when it was on the verge of shutting down permanently. The latest we heard was that Spyker is looking into ramping up and expanding Saab’s dealership networks in the US and in doing so, would also open the doors for its own line of Spyker supercars, which the company is also looking into ramping up as well, to join the fold.
We gotta say, we thought Saab had one foot in its grave before Spyker swooped in from the Netherlands to save the beleaguered Swedish brand. Now it looks like the brand is on the rebound to become a player in the auto industry once again.
General Motors’ quick and sudden move to give Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Gallaraga a Chevrolet Corvette convertible cost them $53,000. However, despite giving away the car for nary a penny, GM is still all smiles about the whole thing.
Proving that they’re also shrewd businessmen, General Motors made a calculated decision of giving Gallaraga the Corvette, not just because they wanted to reward the man who lost out on a perfect game because of an errant call by an umpire, but also because they thought that by doing so, the media mileage behind that story would’ve made everything worth it. Turns out, the gamble paid off. Big time.
According to Joyce Julis & Associates, a Michigan-based firm that deals with stuff involving sponsorships and their public reach, GM’s give-away of the Corvette to Gallaraga netted them a ton of media coverage, thanks in large part to how big the whole story became. JJ&A estimates that the media mileage GM received was equivalent to that of $9 million, which in case you’re wondering is a far cry from the $53,000 Corvette they gave away.
General Motors is in the process of beginning a global recall of GM cars and trucks over what is feared to be a glitch in the cars’ and trucks’ windshield wiper fluid heating system. According to GM, the malfunction could potentially lead to the system igniting a fire and, as such, the company is doing a pre-emptive strike on the dangerous issue by recalling over 1.53 million vehicles all over the world.
This isn’t the first time General Motors has diagnosed a potential problem in their vehicles’ fluid heating system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM faced a similar problem two years ago when fires resulting from an electrical short cut in the system were reported.
And to make things worse for the company, their supplier, Micro-Heat, is already out of business after having filed for bankruptcy in 2008, which, incidentally was shortly after GM decided to drop them as a supplier after the first recall happened.
So what exactly happens to all of these 1.53 million vehicles (1.36 million of them are in the US)? GM will be permanently disabling and will be completely removing the heated-washer fluid module from all the affected vehicles. On top of that, they’re also giving each affected owner a $100 refund for taking out the module completely.
Sometimes, we often catch ourselves imagining what it must feel like to be Jay Leno. No, we’re not interested in how he gets all of these celebrities to appear on his show - okay, maybe a little - but more so because, as we all know, there’s not a lot of people in this world that can boast of having a similar car collection as the one the comedian has.
But out of all his cars - yeah, there’s a lot of ’em - the EcoJet is one of those that doesn’t fail to illicit drools from all of us. Powered by a Honeywell LT101 jet turbine engine that produces over 750 horsepower and 700 lb/ft of torque while churning out 48,000 rpm while using biodiesel as fuel.
Recently, Jay Leno brought his EcoJet to the All GM Show in Van Nuys, California where it was, as expected, one of the stars of the show. Check out this video of the EcoJet’s appearance at the show, courtesy of our buddies over at ConcoursBlog.
General Motors company Opel doesn’t appear to be getting the funding that they will need. Germany is seeking new sources of funding for the company, but the country will officially reject a state-aid request, according to Automotive News.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is opposed to granting Opel aid from the government rescue fund. The fund was set up to distribute loans and assistance to companies that are affected by the economic downturn. That being said, Germany is still seeking to help Opel. One option includes asking the European Investment Bank for funding.
A steering committee for aid assistance will reject the GM’s application for 1.1 billion euros in federal and regional loans. Part of the reason for this rejection is because GM has enough cash to restructure Opel and the downturn of the company was caused by model failures in the U.S, not by the financial crisis.
The committee will meet again later today.
In total, GM is looking for 1.92 billion euros in aid from European countries. The aid will help GM reorganize Opel, which will include shutting down a plant in Antwerp, Belguim. The closing of the factory would eliminate 8,300 jobs.
Europe was the only region where GM posted a loss in profit in the first quarter, as the company posted an $865 million net profit in total.
“The first responsibility for Opel very clearly rests with GM,” Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle told German public broadcaster ARD television, adding that GM has about 10 euros in free liquidity after fully paying back credits from U.S. and Canadian governments. “GM is able to reorganize itself through its own funds.”
By now, you’ve probably seen and heard all about the recent Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians baseball game where Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga’s perfect game was robbed from him after first-base umpire Jim Joyce missed an obscenely obvious call with two outs at the bottom of the ninth inning.
The resulting backlash from the controversial call has been a firestorm, to say the least, but to Galarraga’s credit, he was neither bitter nor resentful at Joyce for taking his perfect game from him. Now, as a sign of how much the perfect game meant to Galarraga and how he handled the fallout afterwards, General Motors is doing its part in lessening the devastating effect of the perfect-game-that-wasn’t by giving Galarraga his very own 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport .
Mark Reuss, GM’s North American president and an acquaintance of Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, said the Corvette was given not only because of Galarraga’s amazing performance, but, more importantly, because of the gracious way he handled the fallout after getting robbed of a perfect game.
"It is only fitting we help give back for all the Ilitches have done for Detroit and to celebrate Armando’s pitching and sportsmanship during one of the most captivating evenings in Tigers history," Reuss said.
That’s pretty nice of GM to be give Galarraga a Corvette as somewhat of a consolation prize, but as life-long baseball fans, we can tell you how hard it is for a pitcher to get a perfect game in the big leagues so we’re pretty sure that it’s still stewing in the back of the minds of all those involved in that game, especially Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce.
If you haven’t seen how the whole controversy went down, check out the video after the jump and prepare to get shocked.
It’s a big day in Detroit, as Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Co. posted a double-digit sales increase last month. The increase is down to each company’s new models and strong fleet sales.
Chrysler led the Big Three with a 33 percent increase compared to a year ago, with Ford in second with a 23 percent increase, and GM brought up the rear with a 16.6 percent increase.
Sales of Chevrolet , Buick , GMC , and Cadillac rose 32 percent compared to May of last year. Last month, GM sold 223,822 vehicles and then proceeded to post its fifth consecutive month of double-digit sales gains. Ford sold 192,253 vehicles last month and posted its sixth consecutive month of sales gains. That streak should easily be pushed to seven with the new Fiesta only months away. Chrysler sold 104,819 vehicles, the first time the company sold over 100,000 units since last year.
GM’s Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering Karl Stracke has a lot to say. In fact, he is pretty much spewing all kinds of information on GM’s plans to take on the automotive world.
In a recent interview with Motor Trend, Stracke said: "Our goal is Cadillac against BMW — very clearly. We will bring performance to these cars…and be on par or better than BMW. That is our plan." Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Their hopes for Cadillac go beyond just improving themselves enough to pass BMW by a hair: "We will be better than BMW on unsprung mass." And for that Cadillac will prevail with an approach that relies on high technology and basics, like weight reduction.
The most surprising bomb to drop from Stacke’s mouth was the confirmation of the Camaro Z28 . Its resurrection hasn’t exactly been a secret, but up until now, confirmation has not been achieved so openly. According to him things are going to change for the next Camaro Z28; it will be built on a new Alpha platform (and not the Zeta like the current car). He also said that he doesn’t like the steering wheel controls on the Camaro because they are placed too far and the driver needs to remove his hands from the wheel when trying to reach them. A couple of other tweaks will be made to ensure the new Camaro will be exactly what he wants it to be. “We need to win,” he said repeatedly. “Not just shoot for the middle.”
For Buick , he is preparing a full lineup of vehicles, starting with a compact sedan based on the same global architecture as the Cruze and a small crossover below the Enclave .
And he ended up with defining the new GM: "We know what we need to do. Good products…strong products…with the right powertrain."
Octane ratings are more than just stickers posted on gas pumps; they have a pretty important purpose too, and one that - if not used the right way - could lead to problems for the 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover.
According to General Motors, the SRX, which comes with a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 engine, could have a pretty embarrassing chink on its armor wherein putting in gasoline with an octane rating that’s lower than 91 could lead to some pretty serious problems causing pre-ignition. As such, GM is trying to nip the problem in the bud by recalling about 547 SRX crossovers that have been tagged by the NHTSA as potentially having this deficiency.
So if you happen to own a 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover, you might want to head over to your GM dealership to have your Engine Control Modules reprogrammed at no cost.