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Protests can be a great way to get a point across peacefully. Typically, they occur without any pain and suffering and an agreement is met at some point. In Columbia, we guess they do things a little differently.

Several ex-workers at GM plants in Columbia started protesting in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bogota to settle a grievance. The charges that the ex-workers are seeking reparation for are being fired after getting injured on the job and failure of the company to cover the resulting medical expenses. These workers now want GM to pay the medical bills and provide help to ousted workers in finding new employers.

Both requests seem typical of a protest, but recently the protest has taken an eerie turn, as the workers have gone on a hunger strike. How are they proving they aren’t eating? Well, they have literally sewn their mounts shut with needle and thread.

Their mouths are bound just tight enough to not allow food through, but loose enough for them to mumble out their points. Today would mark the 20th day these workers have gone without food and, according to the protesters, they are willing to die for their cause. If you look closely at the images, these guys have IVs in their hands and arms, so we are curious if they are getting nutrition and liquids fed to them intravenously. Regardless, they have to be getting fluids somehow, as you cannot survive 21 days without water.

The amount of time you can live without food varies, depending on your body, but somber examples – Northern Ireland protests in 1981 – have shown you can live up to 73 days without food.

GM’s response to these protests? "GM Colmotores is respectful of the law and has never put the health or the well-being of its employees at risk," GM said. "Furthermore, the company would like to reassure and reaffirm that no employee has been discharged for health reasons."

The protesting workers state that GM is taking advantage of the country’s lenient labor laws to get away with not providing compensation for medical costs and firing them. Some of the protestors have undergone years of injuries and costly surgeries and now find themselves without a job and drowning in medical debt.

Let’s just hope this gets itself sorted out by GM stepping up or the ex-workers putting a stop to this starvation protest. Are medical bills and unemployment really worth losing your life?

Almost everyone has worked for a faceless corporation before. Part of working for a faceless corporation typically includes going through a ridiculous training program in your first week, or so, that really has very little to actually do with the job you will be doing. The majority of these training programs get slept through or totally skimmed over just to get through it.

Well, GM is taking a new approach to training its engineers and it is one where they will actually learn something that will benefit them in their jobs. GM is placing newly hired engineers on various racing teams that the company sponsors in hopes of these youngsters learning the ins and outs of a racecar.

In the automotive repair world, you learn that former racecar mechanics typically make the best repair technicians, so we would figure that the same would ring true for engineers. Working on a racecar is like seeing a car go from 0 miles to 250,000 miles in a single race, thanks to the amount of stress these things endure. Learning how to maximize the lives and quality of these racecars, while keeping costs minimal and working on a tight deadline, is something that these engineers can transfer directly into the Impalas , Malibus , and Lacrosses we all drive.

Fortunately for the incoming engineers, there are plenty of race teams available to choose from, as GM has stake in eight major racing circuits, including: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Truck Series, Grand-Am Road Racing, NHRA, SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge, American Le Mans Series and Indycar.

Unfortunately, GM can’t take all of the credit for this innovative idea, as Honda’s been doing it for many years now. Regardless of who got there first, we have to give GM a lot of credit for taking their quality so seriously.


The "GMC Truck" marque first appeared on vehicles exhibited at the 1912 New York International Auto Show. Now, 100 years later, GMC will bring the Yukon and Sierra Heritage Editions to celebrate the company’s centenary. The new Heritage Editions will be offered on the Sierra 1500 Crew Cab, Yukon, and Yukon XL models in SLT trim, priced at $2,645 for Sierra and $1,970 for Yukon and Yukon XL package.

The new models will be distinguished by commemorative exterior badges on the doors, a chrome package for Sierra, a new set of 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, and different equipment for the interiors. Three colors will be available – a new, exclusive Heritage Blue ($195), White Diamond ($995), or Onyx Black (no additional cost). Interior colors for the Yukon are Ebony and Light Tan.

"The GMC brand always looks forward, but this day provides an opportunity to celebrate 100 years of the proud GMC name," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing. "Sierra and Yukon are two of our longest-running and most-respected nameplates, so it makes sense to use them to represent our heritage."

Hit the jump for a full list of equipment.

Posted on by Timmy Calloway 9

General Motors has officially revealed the highly anticipated 2013 GMC Terrain Denali ahead of its public debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show . Not only does the Terrain finally get the Denali trim as an option for the 2013 model, but it also gets a bigger, more powerful engine. The current 264 HP 3.0L V6 option gets replaced with a new 301 HP 3.6L direct injected V6. Those who want to stick with the standard Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder will get the best of both worlds; best in class fuel economy and, thanks to the Denali trim, the most luxurious SUV in its segment.

The Denali trim has been very successful for GMC vehicles, and the Terrain has been eagerly waiting to wear the Denali emblem ever since the very first one rolled off the assembly line in late 2009. The Terrain is already GMC’s hottest seller with the 2012 model’s sales up 37 percent from 2011, and adding the Denali trim will only boost sales further. Last year, over half of all GMC Yukon s and Yukon XL s sold included Denali trim. GM global marketing chief Joel Ewanick calls Denali, which accounts for 15 percent of total GMC sales, "a brand within a brand."

The first Denali offering was revealed at the 1997 Detroit Auto Show with the 1999 Yukon Denali. It was GMC’s goal to set the Yukon apart from its Chevrolet counterpart. Over a decade later, GMC is still setting itself apart even though all of GMC vehicles are built on platforms shared with Chevrolet.

Updated 06/12/2012: Chevrolet announced today prices for the new 2013 Terrain Denali that will go on sale in the third quarter of this year. Prices will start from $35,350, including an $825 destination charge. Options like all-wheel drive can rise the base price to $37,100, while a V-6 can be paired with either drivetrain for an additional $1,500.

Hit the jump for more details on the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali.


The GMC Acadia began its history back in 2007 when the standard model was first introduced to the market. In 2010, GMC added the Denali version and just one year later, in 2011, the model had the best sales in its five-year history. Wanting to keep the momentum going, GMC is offering some refreshing updates to the 2013 model year for both the standard and Denali versions, which it introduced at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. Sales will begin in late 2012.

"With an award-winning combination of space, capability and fuel-efficiency, Acadia epitomizes GMC’s ’never say never’ attitude," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing. "For 2013, our engineers and designers applied that same attitude to developing the new Acadia."

Changes for the 2013 GMC Acadia include a new exterior design highlighted by signature LED lighting, plus a refined interior with soft-touch materials, accent stitching, and ambient lighting. As for power, GMC has kept the usual 3.6L direct injection V-6 engine under the hood.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 GMC Acadia.

Posted on by Matt McDonald 7

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.

Fresh off of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, the next major auto event is ready to kick off in a little over a week’s time at the Windy City in Chicago. From February 9th-20th, the Chicago Auto Show will be the center of the automotive universe - in the US, at least - and is expected to draw a sizable number of manufacturers from all over the world.

Here at Topspeed, we make sure that you’re on top of everything as it pertains to these type of shows and just like Detroit, we’re here to give you a low-down on what cars to expect at the Chicago Auto Show.

We’ve compiled a list of cars that are scheduled to make their production debuts in Chicago, and to give you a better idea of what models to expect, we have the full low-down on all attending brands and the respective models that they’re expected to unveil next week.

Details after the jump.

As the first major international auto show of the 2011 calendar year, the North America International Auto Show sees no shortage of manufacturers all looking to break in the new year with a bang.

Some make a tremendous impression on all of us, whereas others just fade into obscurity as soon as the show ends. The challenge for these automakers is to make sure that they bring out products, whether its of production material or it’s a concept that will stand out from the rest.

All the happenings of the Detroit Auto Show took at the Cobb Center in Detroit a few weeks ago so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what vehicles served notice at the event.

This recap will cover all the cars that were officially unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Check out the list and let us know which of these new toys on the block you’d want to be taking home to with you.

Check out the list after the jump.


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.

We kind of get the feeling that 2011 is going to be a big year for automakers. We don’t have a tangible explanation for it, but there’s something about the air this year that feels like the next 12 months will be filled with more ups than downs and, hopefully, a lot less recalls than 2010.

We’re barely a few days into the new year and we’re already getting excited over the first major event for 2011, the North American International Motor Show . All the happenings will take place at the Cobb Center in Detroit on January 10, 2011 so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what to expect when the floor opens.

The list of vehicles we’ve included on the list are cars that have officially - and unofficially - punched in their tickets for Detroit. Some cars that will appear are still being withheld for suspense purposes, but what’s the fun in having a preview if we can’t dig up the cars that want their presence to be a surprise?

Either way, we’ve included all of these models so head on over past the jump to see which cars to expect when the NAIAS opens its doors next week.


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