While General Motors and Ford seem to be on the right track to re-establishing their brands in America, the same cannot be said for Chrysler .
In a recent survey highlighting vehicle quality, Chrysler seems to have fallen way short compared to its two other American competitors. It’s another blow to a company that, like GM and Ford, is trying to regain its foothold in America.
After a series of bad decisions, which was aggravated by the global economic crisis, it seems that Chrysler would – or should - have done something, especially in terms of producing high-quality vehicles, before the whole thing went into a tailspin.
The alarming figures for Chrysler begin with the fact that more than half of its cars were rated below Consumer Reports’ testing and subscriber survey. Compounding the situation even more is that this particular survey is one of the largest running surveys on vehicle quality. This year alone, the magazine has collected responses on 1.4 million vehicles.
After months of negotiations – including an almost deal-breaking episode – General Motors and Koenigsegg have finally reached an agreement over the transfer of the much-maligned Saab brand from the American auto giant to the Swedish supercar makers. GM confirmed that it had reached a stock purchase agreement, transferring Saab to its compatriot, Koenigsegg. While this is the latest significant step undertaken by both parties, the completion of the deal is still subject to a number of issues, not the least of which is how Koenigegg will go about financing this deal.
While the agreement certainly clears up a few potential stumbling blocks, Joran Hagglund, the Swedish government’s main liaison to the auto industry, remains cautious saying that, "The most decisive factor" is whether Koenigsegg can raise additional capital required.” One of the last remaining hurdles before the completion of this sale is finalized is Saab’s loan request, which is estimated at around 500 million Euros, and whether the Swedish government can commit to granting this loan without making any intention of providing state support to the beleaguered auto brand.
In any event, the final decision on whether Saab gets the loan will be handed out when the EIB reconvenes on September 22. In the mean time, the agreement of transfer between GM and Koenigsegg marks as the biggest step undertaken by both brands in completing this deal as soon as possible.
For those who know their American car history, they would know that the name ‘Pontiac’ is synonymous to ‘American original’.
For over 80 years, Pontiac has been responsible for producing some of the most iconic vehicles in the US, responsible for the likes of the Bonneville, the GTO, the Grand-Am, and the Firebird. But while Pontiac has enjoyed a remarkable run, spanning generations of Americans, the road has finally come to an end for Pontiac.
And as soon as the last production Pontiac vehicle - thePontiac Solstice – rolls out of the plant, Pontiac’s doors will now forever be closed.
For the longest time, General Motors was the undisputed champion in car sales in Canada among American manufacturers. It seemed that GM’s invincibility north of the border would never go challenged, that is until Ford turned the tables on the perennial powerhouse in June.
Ford rose to the top of the June monthly sales in Canada with 27,408 cars sold in June, supplanting General Motors on the top of the list for the first time in 50 years. Ford’s total sales are a little over 5,000 more than GM, which sold 22,334 cars. Ford’s surprising surge to the top was in large part caused by the high demand for locally-manufactured Ford vehicles including the Crown Victoria, the Grand Marquis and theLincoln Town Car . The Crown Victoria ’s high demand among Canadians stems from the fact that these cars are widely used as fleets of taxi cabs and police cruisers all over the country.
Ford owners aren’t the only ones who need to go pay a visit to their local dealerships. General Motors has a fix for one of their smaller cars. There are many reasons why cars are recalled by their manufacturers. Whether it’s a faulty engine or gearbox problems, auto makers are being extra careful these days with the fear of losing its customer base over the most minor of infractions.
Having said that, it comes as no surprise to us anymore that about 44,451 Saturn Vue models are being sent back to production plants because of…wait for it…sticky door handles.
We’re right in the middle of summer and it seems that everybody’s just about ready to put on their sun blocks and head out for a vacation. But before doing so, you might one want to hear about this interesting new promotion by General Motors:
The 72-Hour Sale.
While this sale doesn’t exactly translate into GM cars being offered at slashed prices at discount bins, it does allow prospective – and well-qualified - buyers to be offered a low-rate financing of 0 percent for up to 72 months on a number of 2009 and 2010 cars, including the Chevrolet Silverado, the GMC Sierra , GMC Yukon XL SUVs, the Chevrolet Impala , and a slew of Pontiac models including the Vibe, the G3, the G5, the G6, and the G8. Other GM models also have their own reduced rates of financing of 0 percent for up to 60 months – also for well-qualified buyers. For more information on this once-in-a-lifetime program, including a full list of current offers, conditions, and eligible vehicles, prospective buyers can log on to http://www.gm.com/shop/currentoffers/
After having endured so much in the past months, it was about time that General Motors caught a break.
And it seems fitting that the Camaro - one of GM’s most popular brands under Chevrolet – would be the one to break them out of their doldrums.
Despite the state of the economy these days, car buyers are still ordering the Camaro in droves so much so that GM is apparently having trouble meeting the skyrocketing demand for the American car icon. It’s a welcome breath of fresh air for General Motors after having to endure a year that has seen them teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
The demand for the 2010 Camaro has also given its dealers reason to smile considering that orders are continuously being punched like lotto tickets despite selling the cars for $500 to $2,500 above its SRP (standard retail price)
Just when Toyota opened its doors to a new partner in Aston Martin , it closed another door on a 25-year partnership with General Motors.
With news circulating that the Japanese auto giant and Aston Martin have forged a partnership together to produce Toyota’s iQ car in the UK under the Aston Martin brand, it came as a surprise to a lot of people when General Motors announced that it would discontinue its relationship and forego its ownership stake in the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) partnership the Detroit-based automaker created with Toyota 25 years ago.
GM’s announcement came on the heels of its decision to completely drop the Pontiac brand from its roster of cars – a decision that has virtually made the Nummi plant in Fremont California, where the Pontiac Vibe was being produced, meaningless to GM.
It’s beginning to look like Hummer is not moving to China after all.
Weeks after it was reported that General Motors was on its way to selling the beleaguered car franchise to investors from the East, strong objections towards the impending sale may have killed all the talks between GM and the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp.
China’s planning agency was apparently behind the blocking of the sale, saying that purchasing the Hummer would go against China’s new energy-saving policies.
In addition to that, China’s National Development and Reform Commission also noted that while the Hummer remains one of the most popular SUV brands in the world, selling it off to a buyer that has neither the expertise nor experience to produce the Hummer would only hurt the franchise’s credibility in the long run.
You may recall the surprising news a while back that General Motors found a suitor for the Hummer from China, which caught a lot of people by surprise. And now, it may not come to fruition, after all.
We haven’t heard any response from General Motors yet, but with the strict laws in China regarding foreign purchases – they require regulatory approvals, by the way – it’s becoming more and more likely that GM should open the possibility of having to look for a different buyer for the Hummer franchise because as it stands, the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp may have been pulled out of purchasing the Hummer by its own government.
This is a television ad from the Ad Hoc Committee of Consumer Victims of GM and Chrysler urging the President and Members of Congress to make sure consumers are still protected from defective Chrysler and GM vehicles. Those are some pretty harsh words being spoken to the American automakers. It’s enough to make you think twice.