In the automotive world, there are tons of developmental deals between car companies. You’ll see the likes of BMW and Hyundaiteaming up, but that is no biggie, as the two don’t really compete with one another. Just like Toyota and Subaru teaming up on the Subascioyota triplets. Yeah, they are both Japanese car manufacturers, but they have distinctly separate demographics.
Well, to hell with competition and demographics when it comes to No. 1 and No. 2 of Detroit’s "Big Three" and falling behind in the automatic transmission wars. You see, most of the other major car companies boast multispeed transmission with gear numbers nearing double digits, as Chrysler, BMW, Audi and Lexus all boast 8-speed automatics and a smattering of others feature 7-speed units. GM and Ford, on the other hand, are still playing around with 6-speed units.
That is all about to change and the two arch rivals are actually helping each other out. The two rival companies with about as much bad blood as Iran and Pakistan have entered in what GM is calling a “Memorandum of understanding” to develop 9- and 10-speed transmissions for the two to share.
The details of the deal are not completely known yet, but we do know that GM will head up development of the 9-speed unit and Ford will take the lead on the 10-speed. We also know that the 9-speed transmission will be aimed at propelling the boring front-wheel-drive cars, as the 10-speed will be the unit we see in pickups, SUVs, and performance models.
This means that the chances are very high that your future Mustang GT could boast the same 10-speed transmission as a Corvette ZR1. Kinda creepy, huh?
So pack up your umbrellas in the coming days, as we anticipate seeing a high probability for thunderstorms of the froggy variety…
The best-selling luxury performance car in the U.S., the Chevrolet Corvette, has finally been inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame after six decades of proving what it can do on the track. The induction is a great birthday present for the Corvette, since 2013 marks its 60th anniversary.
Corvette first competed at Sebring in 1956, and 231 Corvettes have since competed in the Twelve Hours of Sebring race. Corvette has racked up an impressive 24 class wins in this legendary race, with seven of these won by Corvette Racing, the most successful team in the history of the American Le Mans Series. In Sunday’s 60th anniversary race, Corvette Racing placed second and third in the GT Class.
“We are thrilled that Sebring has recognized the success of the Corvette on the race track by inducting it into the hall of fame,” said Russ Clark, Chevrolet marketing director for Performance Cars.
“Even more important than the awards and race wins are the benefits to our production vehicles as a result of our racing programs,” said Clark. “We have been successful at transferring racing technology to the street, especially in our high-performance vehicles such as the Corvette ZR1, Z06 and our carbon fiber models, including aerodynamic, powertrain, chassis, braking, safety and design features.”
Riding in the backseat of a vehicle for mile after monotonous mile can be very boring, and we all know the feeling. Maybe it was when you were a child going on family vacations. Maybe it was this morning in the carpool lane. Maybe your children have now been passed the boredom torch. Well, now, General Motors is looking to change all that.
GM’s newest project, Windows of Opportunity(WOO), is a revolutionary new concept being worked on by students and researchers at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel. The goal is to give the backseat passengers something to do by making the rear windows virtually touchscreen computers using "smart glass" technology. Imagine driving through a long stretch of unchanging desert and being able to change the scenery to, say, New York City. Or maybe you would prefer playing an interactive game with passing vehicles. Maybe you just want to draw pictures on the window, in color! GM is hoping this will all be possible one day through a series of apps accessed by the touchscreen rear window.
WOO was inspired by studies suggesting that rear seat passengers feel disconnected from their environment. GM has no immediate plans to implement this technology into vehicles, but, for us, it can’t come quick enough. Some of us have little ones in the backseat and DVDs only work for so long! This, we think, would be a much welcomed feature in future vehicles.
Check out the video above and let us know what you think of WOO.
As General Motors attempts to come out of its government owned era, it has the massive task of reinvigorating the American buyer. As with most large purchases, the American consumer is also rather uneducated. As we can see by the downfall of the housing market, all too often consumers over extend themselves and make poor decisions. Admittedly, the decline of the real estate market and the downfall of the big three automakers are due to completely separate reasons, but some similarities can be found.
One of the biggest struggles that General Motors will face in the coming years is making people believe that their product is superior to the competition. As emissions laws tighten and consumers become more environmentally conscious the problem for an automaker like GM is extrapolated. GM is a company built around its truck sales and the most environmentally unfriendly thing on the road this side of a Hummer is a heavy duty pickup truck.
However, General Motors has surprised us by coming out of bankruptcy so quickly and with so much vigor. Its new models are impressive and cross every segment that the company operates in. Many may think that this is the same old GM singing a new tune that will fade away soon, but the company has organized several events to educate the consumer and let them know that these changes are here to stay.
This past weekend we attended the Main Street in Motion event in Newport Beach, CA. Several years ago we were at a similar event in Las Vegas, Nevada, but this time things were a little different. General Motors brought their typical heavy hitter models like the Corvette, Camaro, Sierra, and Tahoe. They also included some of the newer, cleaner, and less known models like the Volt, Cruze, Acadia, and Tahoe Hybrid. Those who attended were able to test drive every model and see how each model handled when compared to the competition.
Hit the jump to read more about the Main Street in Motion event.
In the corporate world, things run a bit differently than they do in normal life. Business executives are treated to private planes, expensive dinners and big offices. Not to mention massive bonuses. General Motors on the other hand, has taken things to the extreme.
GM is holding auctions in 14 different states to get rid of some old materials. The most recent auction happened last week and they’ve been taking place since September of 2009. What makes this story interesting is some of the various items that were up for auction, like an abandoned Indiana church and a New Jersey golf course. We can find you 1,000 companies that have private planes and large headquarters, but find us one with a church and a golf course.
The next auction will be held on November 4th at the Pontiac Assembly Plant, so if you’re in need of some random items, stop up and place your bids. Each winning entry will help GM address its $275 billion debt.
Sales might not be as good as they were once thought to be for the Detroit automakers. New documents uncovered by Automotive News shows that these sales figures were being inflated by sales to rental fleets.
Through July of this year, GM’s overall sales were up 13 percent and Chrysler wasn’t far behind with an 11 percent increase. Yet, take away fleet sales and the game changes.
According to the documents, GM has increased its fleet sales by 53 percent, or 400,000 units. Chrysler’s doubled with 242,000 vehicles. Once these figures are taken away from the overall company sales things begin to look different, as GM’s figure would be down 1 percent, while Chrysler’s sales would fall 19 percent.
Don’t think that these two are the only ones guilty. Ford is in this party as well. Chrysler is top of the charts with 39 percent of sales going to fleets, but Ford is a close second with 35 percent, while GM sells around 31 percent to rental companies.
“We all are — every one of the Big 3, even the imports,” Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said last month. “As new models start launching, you’ll start seeing an increasing share of retail.”
Not so Mr. Marchionne. Hyundai has only sold 16 percent of its total to fleet companies and Nissan is around 15 percent. Toyota has 9 percent of its total sales going to fleets, while Honda is at 2 percent.
In years past, GM and Ford were not the best cars in terms of residual value. Now, according to Automotive News, that might be changing. The automakers are only building cars that the market needs and the projected residual value, of all automobiles, has risen dramatically.
General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. are leading the way in the residual value rise. This will help both companies offer more competitive leases.
Honda and Toyota, who are usually a buy word for residual value, remain strong. Lower incentives and shortage of used vehicles are lifting the value of the Japanese cars, as well as those from the Detroit automakers.
Automotive Lease Guide projects that 2010 vehicles from GM and Ford will retain more than 40 percent of their sticker price. Five years ago, the same vehicles were under 40 percent.
Technology is a wonderful thing when used appropriately and we have to admit although GM’s image for the next generation head-up display is pretty cool, we have to wonder how much safer it is actually making the driving experience. Let’s rewind a moment to illustrate just what this new technology will entail.
GM R&D, Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Southern California, and other institutions are working together to create a full windshield head-up system that allows the driver to see in any type of weather condition turning the windshield into a device that will hopefully keep the driver aware of his surroundings and his eyes on the road.
Check out the rest of the story plus the press release after the jump.
For some people, the work life becomes too toxic to the point that they’d do anything to get out of their jobs, even resorting to screaming at their bosses just so the company has a reason to let them go.
But that’s not the case for one Murray Butler IV, who probably has one of the best gigs in the world – at least according to him.
Butler is one of those rare kinds of people who not only enjoys the work he does, but even compares it to like “being in Disneyland.” So what exactly does he do?
After filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy last June, GM has decided to launch a marketing campaign centered on “Excellence for Everyone”. The new campaign will feature more of the Corvettes and Camaros we all love. The Detroit automaker doesn’t do a good enough job leveraging those iconic names to help the Chevrolet brand, according to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America.
"When have you ever seen ’Vettes and Camaros in ads for Equinox and Malibu?" he wrote in a web chat with the Detroit Press. "This will change."
Change is something that GM should be getting accustomed to. This effort to boost sales comes after a new CEO, multiple restructurings, and the closing down of some of their dealerships (and then the reopening of some).
We should see the news ads appear sometime in the next couple of months and although the marketing campaign is centered on “Excellence for Everyone”, Reuss assures that this will not be Chevy’s new tagline.