GM Has a Compact, Unibody Pickup in the Works and We’re Worried
The Chevrolet Montana is getting replaced by a bigger, more practical compact truck that will sit on the Global Emerging Markets (GEM) platform and also share elements with the next-generation Tracker. It will be a direct competitor to the Fiat Toro and the Renault Duster Oroch in South America, but we may never see it sold in the United States.
There seems to be growing interest in compact, crossover-based, trucks, at least in Latin America where the Montana has been on sale since 2003. Its, as-of-yet unnamed, replacement will be on sale by 2020 and will follow suit on a trend kick-started by Renault and Fiat, among others. Both now offer four-door pick-up trucks and Chevrolet’s new unibody offering will boast the same number of doors. Is this a niche worth exploiting on the North-American market? We don’t know, and it’s also unlikely for GM to sell a GEM-based car here.
Your Obsession With SUVs and Crossovers like the Ford Escape and Chevy Traverse Probably Just Led to 1,500 People Being Laid Off
The growing popularity of crossovers and SUVs has been a goldmine for a lot of automakers. As the demand for these cars grows, car companies are becoming more invested in building more of them. Unfortunately, there is a downside to the strong focus being put on crossovers and SUVs, and sedans are bearing the brunt of it. Sales of sedans have fallen off a cliff across the industry to the point that some automakers are taking drastic action to curb the increasingly worrisome trend. A good example is General Motors. The American automaker owns Chevrolet, and sales of the brand’s Cruze sedan is declining at an alarming rate. As such, the General has taken the difficult step of cutting the production of the Cruze by half, and in doing so, it could also cut as many as 1,500 jobs because of it.
GMC really has no idea whether it wants to build a production version of its 2010 Granite Concept. However, it just keeps on extending the trademark. In fact, it’s extended it so many times that it just recently had to file for the trademark all over again.
After using up all five of its six-month extensions for the Granite trademark, General Motors had to reset the entire process and refile on May 26th, 2015. This constant renewing of the trademark means that this name must have some value to the brand, but the it remains unclear what the automaker plans to do with it.
For those who missed it, the Granite Concept was a C-segment crossover with suicide doors, a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that likely produced around 150 horsepower, and a high-tech cabin filled with all sorts of gadgets to keep your average tech nerd plugged in.
Why GMC never actually produced this Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, and Mini Countryman competitor is likely because the market wasn’t quite ready for an SUV this size. Now with these small SUVs sprouting like weeds in late spring, GMC is likely ready to pull the production trigger.
Now, don’t look for the suicide doors, the futuristic cabin, and all the gadgetry. Instead, look for a clean, compact people hauler with more traditional looks than its main competitors and slightly more off-road capabilities.
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Apple and Android users will enjoy easier integration between their smartphones and Chevy’s infotainment systems starting with the 2016 model year, as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make its way to 14 different Chevy models. The new software integration will utilize Chevy’s 7-inch MyLink infotainment screens. The 8-inch MyLink screens will be compatible with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year, while Android Auto is expected to be available on the 8-inch screen some time later in the 2016 model year, following further development and testing.
“For most of us, our smartphones are essential,” said Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, in a press release. “Partnering with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers.”
So far, vehicles penned for integration using the 7-inch screen include the Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Camaro coupe and convertible, and Silverado light- and heavy-duty. The 8-inch screen integration will be found on the Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Camaro coupe and convertible, Corvette coupe and convertible, Colorado, Silverado light- and heavy-duty, Tahoe, and Suburban.
Chevy also plans on bringing this new integration to markets outside the U.S., including Brazil, Mexico and Canada. You can find more information regarding Android Auto market availability here and Apple CarPlay market availability here.
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GM announced the company will unveil a new Chevrolet compact car at an auto show this fall with production to begin early next year.
The future will be built on Delta compact car architecture at GM’s plant in Lordstown, Ohio. Under the hood there will be a new 1.4-liter global engine that develops between 120 and 140 hp. Sources say mileage could easily exceed 40 mpg.
The new engine will be shared among five nameplates: Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, Opel and Daewoo, sources say. That means the Lordstown plant could build cars for export. The engine continues the trend that GM started with such cars as the Pontiac Solstice GXP and Saturn Sky Red Line.
GM also announced it will keep building the Chevrolet Cobalt through June 2010 as a 2009 model. Also, the Chevrolet minicar, the Beat, will come to the United States.