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.
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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The web tying varying automakers to one another is a very complex, yet delicate thing. One strand heading the wrong direction can cause an automaker to break off another connection, and we see it every day. One prime example was when AMG hacked off its advertising ties with Ducati just because Audi bought the company. Really, what do motorcycles have to do with your competing with Audi in the automobile realm?
Well, we have another bit of info to pass on in regards to one partnership killing another. Recently PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen, increased its stake in a partnership with GM affiliate, Opel, to develop four vehicle platforms together. This leads BMW to believe that PSA will not have the ability to fulfill its partnership duties in reference to BMW’s developing Hybrid platform.
A BMW spokesperson said “We are discussing conditions for the exit of PSA but we will not make any payments,” in an interview with Reuters. In addition, PSA has accepted the fact that this new relationship with GM will force it to “change the conditions” in its partnership with BMW. This likely means that BMW will buy-out PSAs share of the investment in the project and take development into its own hands.
This will not, however, affect the other relationships that BMW and PSA have going on. The largest of these relationships is the partnership between the two to build the MINI Cooper’s engine.
We’ll keep an eye on what’s going on with this development and let you know if anything else pops up. For now, this seems like a pretty open-and-shut case.
GM may resume development of a range of RWD large cars.The plans were put on hold last month following fears that the Bush administration would raise corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards.To raise was by 4% a year on the original proposal. So fleets would have to average 34mpg by 2017 – 30% higher than today’s levels.
Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman has revealed that development will resume, even the cars will have to feature more fuel-efficient engine options. “I think we’ll wind up (...)