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GM to Invest Additional $1 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing

GM to Invest Additional $1 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing

Ever heard the term “Insourcing?”

General Motors has announced an investment of $1 billion into its U.S.-based manufacturing powerhouse spread across multiple vehicles, advanced technologies, and component projects. The sizable investment is expected to crease 1,500 new and retained jobs, while insourcing manufacturing that is currently taking place in Mexico. Chief among the insourced components with be pickup truck axle assemblies ready for the next-generation Silverado and Sierra trucks.

Mary Barra, General Motor’s Chairman and CEO, said, “As the U.S. manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners. The U.S. is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value.”

The billion-dollar investment is only the latest in sizable investments and job creation made by GM. In the last four years, GM says it has created 25,000 jobs inside the U.S., which along with raises, account for nearly $3 billion in additional annual wages and benefits to its U.S. workforce. Broken down, those jobs include 19,000 engineering, IT, and professional positions, along with some 6,000 hourly manufacturing jobs. Additionally, GM says it has insourced 90 percent of its IT work formerly being outsourced outside the U.S.

GM is also working with its independent parts suppliers in creating industrial park complexes near its main manufacturing and assembly plants. This self-contained parks allow for ultra-short-distance transportation of components from third party suppliers to GM’s assembly plants. Ultimately, this cuts down on cost and streamlines the assembly process.

All told, it seems General Motors is diligently working to reinvigorate its U.S. operations, both in blue- and white-collar positions.

Continue reading for more information.

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More General Motors Trademarks: "Scottsdale" And "Silverado Big Sky"

More General Motors Trademarks: "Scottsdale" And "Silverado Big Sky"

The trademark filings continue for General Motors, this time with a new name and the return of an old favorite. Filed on February 9th and 12th respectively, the Silverado Big Sky and Scottsdale names seem very likely candidates for near-future trim levels or special editions in the GM truck lineup. In fact, it doesn’t take much imagination or guess work to figure out that both names will accompany the Chevy Silverado.

The more obvious name is the Silverado Big Sky. This will likely be a subset option package group to an existing trim level, say the mid-range LT or LTZ, and bundle several popular options together for a one-click option box shopping experience. Conversely, Chevy may follow Ford’s lead and introduce a panoramic sunroof option. This is less likely, but still a possibility.

The Scottsdale on the other hand, may end up being a new trim level altogether. The Scottsdale name dates back to the third generation of the Chevy C/K-series trucks of the 1970s and 80s. Back then the Scottsdale was a mid-range trim package. It continued in that role into the C/K’s fourth generation, eventually being retired after the 1998 model year.

The argument for the Scottsdale name being a trim package is further strengthened when reading GM’s trademark filing description. It says it’s for, “Motor land vehicles, namely automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, vans, engines therefore and structural parts thereof.” That’s pretty inclusive when compared to the Big Sky’s description of, “Motor land vehicles, namely, trucks.”

Perhaps Chevrolet will compete with Ram’s Express trim level by putting the Scottsdale trim level between the WT and LS options. The trim level could spill over to the Colorado, Tahoe, and Suburban as well.

Click ’Continue Reading’ to learn more about General Motor’s new trademarks.

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General Motors Trademarks "Badlands" Moniker

General Motors Trademarks "Badlands" Moniker

General Motors has filed for a trademark on yet another truck name, this one just as promising as the Z71 Trail Boss name that came before it. This time, it’s “Badlands.” While the name conjures up thoughts of blasting over sand dunes and through deep streams, there is still no clue what GM might use the name for, or even at all.

The fine folks at GM Authority spotted the February 16th filing with he U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The official paperwork leaves a slew of questions unanswered, with the description only stating, “Motor land vehicle, namely, trucks.” Could this be the Raptor fighter we’ve all been waiting on? Could it be a mere concept? Only time will tell. Until then, we’re left to speculate.

Perhaps one of the more tantalizing uses of the Badlands name is that Jeep Wrangler fighter GMC is rumored to be building. Said to be taking inspiration from the defunct Hummer brand, the off-road-ready GMC would bring some long-overdue competition to the Jeep. Like the Badlands name, there is no official word or even solid rumors as to what the General has planned.

Conversely, the Badlands name could end up being just another special edition package on one of GM’s many trucks. Let’s just hope for the former. In the mean time, stay tuned for any further developments.

Click ’Continue Reading’ to learn more about GM’s new "Badlands" moniker.

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Fisker's Battery Supplier, A123, Files Bankruptcy and Sells off Assets

Fisker’s Battery Supplier, A123, Files Bankruptcy and Sells off Assets

A123 has been put through the ringer in recent history, most notably with its massive battery recall, and now it is just about belly up. Things were starting to look up for the battery make when it announced that a $450 million deal had been reached with Wanxiang Group Corp, but that deal recently fell through.

Now the inevitable is upon A123, as news came across the board that A123 had filed for bankruptcy protection, despite having received a $249 million government grant. With this bankruptcy filing also comes the likely liquidation of its assets. It appears as if A123 has already gotten a head start on this liquidation by negotiating to sell off its automotive business to Johnson Controls – well-known for building nearly every lead-acid and gel battery sold.

The deal is not yet done, but it is reportedly for the sum of $125 million and will include the Fisker, GM, and BMW contracts that A123 has already inked. Part of the proposed deal includes Johnson Controls fronting A123 $72.5 million in “debtor possession” funds to keep the bankrupt company running while the sale is being completed. There is no timetable for the completion of the deal, but per the press release, things will continue as usual for A123 during the entire sale process.

All we can hope for is a full turnaround once this technology gets in the hands of Johnson Controls, as the fate of the EV realm rests heavily on the technologies developed by A123. This could possibly be part of the reason that Fisker wasn’t shy about announcing that the upcoming Atlantic was delayed. We’ll also keep an eye on the Chevy Spark EV project to see if that is put on hold until this situation is resolved.

We’ll keep you updated.

Click past the jump to read A123’s press release.

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General Motors: Building Houses and Bailing Out Previously Bailed-Out Banks, Using Bailout Funds

General Motors: Building Houses and Bailing Out Previously Bailed-Out Banks, Using Bailout Funds

General Motors does some pretty weird things, but also some really fantastic things. One of the latter is that GM’s CEO, Dan Akerson, will be auctioning off his 1958 Corvette, which holds a value of somewhere between $50,000 and $135,000, for charity. All of the proceeds of this auction will go directly to Habitat for Humanity Detroit, an area that truly needs the help.

We’d like to give Akerson nothing but praise here, but we can’t quite do that. Around the same time this report of generosity came out, we found out that GM is in the midst of playing Russian roulette with taxpayer dollars.

GM is the only automaker not to pay back its bailout loan, and it is now considering using this bailout money to buy international operations from Ally, the only bailed out financial institution not to repay its bail-out loan. In a fit of irony, Ally needs this bail out from the bailed-out GM in order to try and pay off its own unpaid bailout loan ... You got all of that?

So on one hand, GM is showing its compassionate side and carefully pulling the wool over our eyes, while the other hand is greedily reaching in our wallets and purses to grab a little more money. Granted, GM “paid back” the government in stock, but that is a losing effort to date and it will likely never turn into a breakeven deal for taxpayers.

In addition, if Ally needs to sell these operations to get the money together to pay back its bailout, what does GM expect to make with these operations? But that’s okay, Akerson is donating his `Vette! So pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

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GM Workers in Columbia Protest in Painful Fashion

GM Workers in Columbia Protest in Painful Fashion

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?

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Car Infographics: Obama's Cadillac One is a Tank!

Car Infographics: Obama’s Cadillac One is a Tank!

Aspiring presidential candidates are already busy gearing up for the 2012 elections with hopes of becoming the most powerful man in the U.S. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, and luckily they have a presidential limo that can withstand the job.

At first glance, the Cadillac One just looks like a modified Cadillac DTS, but General Motors did not actually assign the presidential state car a specific model name. This may be due to the fact that it carries many different components from many different GM models, including Cadillac Escalade headlights, side mirrors, and door handles; Cadillac STS sedan taillights and back up lights; and what looks to be the GMC Topkick commercial truck’s chassis and driveline. GM went through a lot of trouble building the perfect presidential vehicle, but what happens to the car after the base build is what makes it capable of keeping our president utterly and unbelievably safe.

For starters, the car’s chassis has a 5" reinforced steel plate that runs underneath the car in case a bomb finds its way there. Then the entire bodywork is a combination of dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium, and ceramic which breaks up projectiles upon impact. The doors and gas tank are armour plated, but the gas tank also receives a specially designed foam that prevents it from exploding. The tires are Kevlar reinforced and are shred and puncture resistant. If anyone successfully tears them apart, the steel rims underneath the tires will allow them to get the Cadillac One to safety.

The Cadillac One also has a number of accessories that enable it to solve problems quicker than they come around, including night vision cameras, pump action shotguns, tear gas cannons, and blood. Yes, that’s right. The Cadillac One is equipped with bottles of the president’s blood just in case he gets hurt and needs a blood transfusion. Take that, suckers!

Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.

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GM repays loans and invests in Poletown to produce 2012 Chevy Malibu

GM repays loans and invests in Poletown to produce 2012 Chevy Malibu

General Motors has been speeding down the track like a train with a purpose. What is GM’s purpose? To pay out all of their outstanding loans and invest for a better tomorrow. General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive confirmed today that General Motors has made payment on the $5.4 billion loan (2 billion of the loan was already paid) to the U.S. government, $700M of which was interest. Ouch. This payment was made five years ahead of schedule and illustrates GM’s progress since declaring bankruptcy last July. General Motors has also been able to repay loans to the Canadian and Ontario governments totaling $1.1 billion (in addition to the $400 million already paid). How’s that for progress?

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Steven Rattner steps down as head of US auto task force

Steven Rattner steps down as head of US auto task force

It can be argued that Steven Rattner, the head of US President Barack Obama’s auto task force was the person responsible for saving the US auto industry. After all, he was the one who oversaw the bankruptcies of both GM and Chrysler and he was the one who initiated the bail-out plan that ultimately saved both companies from extinction.

And now, after only six months on the job, Rattner has decided to call it a day, filing his resignation, which was announced by the White House last Monday. Rattner’s decision - he said was brought about because he wanted to go back home to his family in New York – has resulted in talks that he relinquished his post due to an investigation regarding an investment scandal.

According to the Associated Press, Rattner has become the subject if an investigation with regards to a state pension fund that provides numerous benefits to more than a million government employees. That, of course, comes at the heels of another controversy involving Rattner and his association – he’s an investor - with Cerberus Capital Management, which, incidentally was the former owner of Chrysler.

Continued after the jump.

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Civilian Who Leaked Corvette Images - to be or not to be arrested

Civilian Who Leaked Corvette Images - to be or not to be arrested

Yesterday we brought you a few images of the 2009 Chevrolet SS. Now, we have to tell you that the civilian who did that is in big trouble. Initially there were rumors that he was arrested, but shortly after that it was confirmed that he wasn’t. Either ways it seems that General Motors is very unhappy that his future was brought on the first pages of every magazine.
Although he wasn’t arrested or placed in police custody, it is sure that he won’t slip through only with his job lost, but he (...)

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GM statement regarding 2006 Click It or Ticket mobilization

GM statement regarding 2006 Click It or Ticket mobilization

As the nation launches the annual national mobilization to encourage America to buckle up, General Motors commends the U.S. Congress; the Department of Transportation; and national, state and local traffic safety organizations for their ongoing commitment to increasing safety belt use.
GM specifically recognizes the thousands of law enforcement officers across the nation whose commitment saves lives daily.
In 2005, the national belt use rate reached a record 82 percent, 2 percentage (...)

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