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GM And SAIC To Co-Develop Engines and Transmissions

GM And SAIC To Co-Develop Engines and Transmissions

Detroit automaker, General Motors, and Chinese company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), started working together a few years ago when GM began building a $250 million facility in China to develop alternative fuels. This loose partnership filled with many projects has provided GM with a lot of monetary benefits throughout these past few years and it seems the benefits will keep on rolling on as these two companies have started another project together. Their newest venture will be the co-developing of a few small engines and advanced transmissions.

The engines will range from 1.0 to 1.5-liter and they will use direct injection and turbocharging technology. They hope that these motors will produce decent power while returning great fuel economy. They will be used in front-wheel drive cars and will be connected to a dry dual-clutch automatic transmission that the two will also be working on.

The products will be developed here in the United States in Michigan and at the joint venture Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center in Shanghai. After development, the engines and transmission will be used in cars throughout the world.

"The GM-SAIC partnership is the most successful one in China’s auto industry. There is a big chance that SAIC may take a stake in GM and bring their relationship to the next level," said Sheng Ye, associate research director at industry consultancy Ipsos’ Greater China region to Rueters.

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GM scores $9 million for giving Armando Gallaraga a $53,000 Corvette

GM scores $9 million for giving Armando Gallaraga a $53,000 Corvette

General Motors’ quick and sudden move to give Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Gallaraga a Chevrolet Corvette convertible cost them $53,000. However, despite giving away the car for nary a penny, GM is still all smiles about the whole thing.

Proving that they’re also shrewd businessmen, General Motors made a calculated decision of giving Gallaraga the Corvette, not just because they wanted to reward the man who lost out on a perfect game because of an errant call by an umpire, but also because they thought that by doing so, the media mileage behind that story would’ve made everything worth it. Turns out, the gamble paid off. Big time.

According to Joyce Julis & Associates, a Michigan-based firm that deals with stuff involving sponsorships and their public reach, GM’s give-away of the Corvette to Gallaraga netted them a ton of media coverage, thanks in large part to how big the whole story became. JJ&A estimates that the media mileage GM received was equivalent to that of $9 million, which in case you’re wondering is a far cry from the $53,000 Corvette they gave away.

That was some grade A, top notch business sense.

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Jay Leno's EcoJet makes appearance at "All GM Show"

Jay Leno’s EcoJet makes appearance at "All GM Show"

Sometimes, we often catch ourselves imagining what it must feel like to be Jay Leno. No, we’re not interested in how he gets all of these celebrities to appear on his show - okay, maybe a little - but more so because, as we all know, there’s not a lot of people in this world that can boast of having a similar car collection as the one the comedian has.

But out of all his cars - yeah, there’s a lot of ’em - the EcoJet is one of those that doesn’t fail to illicit drools from all of us. Powered by a Honeywell LT101 jet turbine engine that produces over 750 horsepower and 700 lb/ft of torque while churning out 48,000 rpm while using biodiesel as fuel.

Recently, Jay Leno brought his EcoJet to the All GM Show in Van Nuys, California where it was, as expected, one of the stars of the show. Check out this video of the EcoJet’s appearance at the show, courtesy of our buddies over at ConcoursBlog.

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga receives Chevrolet Corvette from GM after getting robbed of a perfect game

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga receives Chevrolet Corvette from GM after getting robbed of a perfect game

By now, you’ve probably seen and heard all about the recent Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians baseball game where Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga’s perfect game was robbed from him after first-base umpire Jim Joyce missed an obscenely obvious call with two outs at the bottom of the ninth inning.

The resulting backlash from the controversial call has been a firestorm, to say the least, but to Galarraga’s credit, he was neither bitter nor resentful at Joyce for taking his perfect game from him. Now, as a sign of how much the perfect game meant to Galarraga and how he handled the fallout afterwards, General Motors is doing its part in lessening the devastating effect of the perfect-game-that-wasn’t by giving Galarraga his very own 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

Mark Reuss, GM’s North American president and an acquaintance of Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, said the Corvette was given not only because of Galarraga’s amazing performance, but, more importantly, because of the gracious way he handled the fallout after getting robbed of a perfect game.

"It is only fitting we help give back for all the Ilitches have done for Detroit and to celebrate Armando’s pitching and sportsmanship during one of the most captivating evenings in Tigers history," Reuss said.

That’s pretty nice of GM to be give Galarraga a Corvette as somewhat of a consolation prize, but as life-long baseball fans, we can tell you how hard it is for a pitcher to get a perfect game in the big leagues so we’re pretty sure that it’s still stewing in the back of the minds of all those involved in that game, especially Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce.

If you haven’t seen how the whole controversy went down, check out the video after the jump and prepare to get shocked.

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First pre-production model of Chevrolet Volt rolls out of assembly line

First pre-production model of Chevrolet Volt rolls out of assembly line

Over the course of a number of months we’ve been bombarded by Chevrolet with photos, videos, and even a detailed description of the Chevy Volt.

By the sheer amount of time and money being invested on this car, you would think that it should, at the very least, already be in the production stages, right?

Well, as it turns out, developing such a car takes longer than any of us ever expected. Yet, despite the slow-rolling of the Volt, Chevy has remained pretty steadfast in their commitment to making the Volt a reality and their latest piece of good news seems to be a step in the right direction.

According to Chevrolet, the first pre-production Volt recently rolled out of the company’s production facility in Hamtramck, Michigan.

Just so we don’t get ahead of ourselves, we have to point out that the car is a pre-production model, which is pretty much a glorified test car to determine whether the Volt is up to par to the enormously high standards General Motors has given it. But even if it is a ‘pre-production’ model, the mere fact that something finally rolled out of the assembly line leads us to believe that the Volt could very well end up out on the road one day.

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GM files copyright infringement on Mongoose Motorsports over replica Corvette Grand Sport

GM files copyright infringement on Mongoose Motorsports over replica Corvette Grand Sport

At any other time, this would have been a really cool replica to have. But one company seems to think otherwise and unfortunately for Mongoose Motorsports, that company just happens to be General Motors.

The Ohio-based company produces unlicensed replicas of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, a car that’s as rare as any car you can find in history. Despite its exclusivity and rarity, Mongoose seems to have learned to make a detailed replica of the down to every last curve of the ’63 Corvette. They do it so well, in fact, that GM saw fit to file for copyright infringement. As part of the lawsuit, GM wants access to Mongoose’s financial records, in addition to an undisclosed amount in financial damages.

Continued after the jump.

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GM exec Bob Lutz to retire - again

GM exec Bob Lutz to retire - again

This time, General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz is definitely having no second thoughts. After temporarily holding off his retirement plans last year to lead GM’s marketing department and act as a senior advisor to GM chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, Lutz has officially called it a day.

According to CNBC, the larger-than-life Lutz will officially retire from General Motors effective May 1st.

The man a lot of people refer to as ‘Maximum Bob’ for his boisterous personality is also widely regarded as one of the principal figures responsible for jump-starting the company’s product development after it became a little too stale back in the early part of the millennium.

Continued after the jump.

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Ford Mustang outsells Chevy Camaro in 2009

Ford Mustang outsells Chevy Camaro in 2009

The Chevy Camaro may have been one of the most popular cars of 2009, but despite the enormous success it garnered, the Camaro still fell short against its one-true rival - the Ford Mustang – in the one category it so desperately wanted to win: sales numbers. According to sales data released by Ford and GM, the Mustang outsold the Camaro in 2009 by a tally of 66,623 to 61,618 – a difference of only 5005 units.

Despite the relatively close numbers, the Camaro’s late charge in sales towards the latter part of the year still wasn’t enough to overtake the Mustang for pony car supremacy, which got a shot in the arm of its own after posting 6,327 sold units in December - a 60% increase from its sales figures in November.

We all know just how popular the new Camaro has been but we figure that this is going to be a bitter pill to swallow for the folks of GM. You can have all the awards in the world but at the end of the day, the only number that matters is the number of cars sold for the year and the Camaro – at least for 2009 – will have to settle for second place to the Ford Mustang.

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Buick and the PGA Tour end 50-year partnership

Buick and the PGA Tour end 50-year partnership

It seems like a PGA calendar isn’t complete without a Buick-sponsored event being mixed somewhere in there. But after everything that’s happened in the auto industry, the fifty-year partnership between Buick and the PGA has now reached the final hole.

For the longest time, Buick has been an institution in the US pro golf circuit, having sponsored a plethora of golf tournaments – including two big PGA events, the Buick Open and the Buick Invitational – over the years. The car brand’s latest tournament – and apparently, last one too – occurred barely a week ago when Tiger Woods bagged his fourth Buick Open title.

Details regarding the amicable split have been kept under wraps but if you’re one to read between the lines, it seems that GM’s current restricting may have had something to do with it.

GM’s restructuring has long been an open secret, especially considering that the company was dangerously close to being shelved altogether. Now that their slowly getting back on their feet, GM is hard at work in re-establishing their brands to once again become the major players they once were.

Continued after the jump.

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Bob Lutz takes back his comments on possible G8 rebirth

Bob Lutz takes back his comments on possible G8 rebirth

Maybe now Bob Lutz has learned a lesson about making promises he can’t keep. It wasn’t that long ago when the high-ranking GM official talked to Automobile Magazine and all but guaranteed that the Pontiac G8 would be spared from the chopping blocks and be re-christened as the Chevrolet Caprice.

Lutz’ declaration was met with raised eyebrows, especially those coming from GM CEO Fritz Henderson who previously said that the G8 – and all subsequent Pontiac models – would cease to exist by the end of the year. Turns out that Lutz may have bitten off more than he could chew and in a recent entry on GM’s blog took back his proclamations and said that upon further review, the supposed G8-turned-Caprice wouldn’t make too much sense given the unstable state of the US auto industry.

Continued after the jump.

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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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General Motors sells its good assets and restarts with a clean slate

General Motors sells its good assets and restarts with a clean slate

General Motors has long been itching to get back on its feet after a disastrous stretch that saw it come on the brink of bankruptcy. Thanks to the government’s intervention and a company-wide house-cleaning meant to give the company a fresh start, General Motors is finally ready to roll. In a move that will change the complexion of American car manufacturing, GM decided on veering away from their ‘business as usual’ approach and instead, work on a new attitude of quality over quantity, a promise made with the intent of paying more attention to its customers and vehicles.

After selling the last of its good assets to a new, government-backed automaker, GM CEO Fritz Henderson declared that GM is ready to turn another chapter in their storied history, a chapter he says will bring GM back to the top of the auto industry.

“The last 100 days has shown everyone, including ourselves, that a company not known for quick action can indeed move very fast,” he said. “Starting today, we want to take that intensity, the decisiveness and the speed of these last several weeks, and transfer it from the battlefield triage of the bankruptcy process to the day-to-day operations of the new company.”

Continued after the jump.

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GM says: no small cars for US

GM says: no small cars for US

Back in July, GM announced it will bring the Groove or Trax minicars to USA by 2011. But, no! After announcing the Beat will not be offered on the US market, GM now announced there will be no small cars coming in here.

The company considers that compact cars like Chevrolet Cruze or subcompacts such as the Chevy Aveo are more likely to be successful in the US.

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General Motors increases Hybrid Fleet to Eight.

General Motors increases Hybrid Fleet to Eight.

GM increase fleet to eight hybrids

General Motors increase their hybrid fleet to eight, with a view to take it twelve in the future.

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TopSpeed Headline News

TopSpeed Headline News

Ferrari F1 Team’s technical director Ross Brown remains undecided. AutoExpress
Alliance between Nissan, Renault and GMC called off. DetNews
Ghosn wants Ford as a partner, know that GM is out of the way. DetNews
Williams Renault sabotaging Alonso’s victory? Itv
Biggest International Boat Show in the West – Long Beach. PR
Rolls-Royce is to add secondary car line in the next 4 years. AutoWeek
Biggest Hybrid market remains California. AutoWeek (...)

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GM to showcase high feature test facility at Milford Proving Ground

GM to showcase high feature test facility at Milford Proving Ground

General Motors Corp. will today hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to showcase one of the most sophisticated powertrain vehicle development facilities in the world. GM’s new state-of-the-art High Feature Test Facility at the GM Milford Proving Ground is designed to simulate any type of road system or climatic condition found in the world.
Capable of achieving temperatures between 40 degrees below zero to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, humidity and altitudes from 700 feet below sea level to 12,500 (...)

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General Motors, Cinch Jeans and Monroe Truck Equipment Teamed Up

General Motors, Cinch Jeans and Monroe Truck Equipment Teamed Up

A new partnership was announced today between Cinch Jeans, a Western clothing brand, General Motors and Monroe Truck Equipment Inc. to develop a Cinch edition medium duty truck. The new truck is specifically tailored to fit the lifestyle needs of Western enthusiasts - men and women who spend a considerable amount of time each year on the road, hauling high-dollar horses and cargo, and look for distinctive features in consumer products that showcase their passion for all things Western. (...)

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General Motors announces collaboration with State Of Michigan

General Motors announces collaboration with State Of Michigan

General Motors today announced plans for the addition of approximately 20 new E85 ethanol fueling sites in the southeast Michigan area through a collaborative partnership with Meijer and CleanFUEL USA. The collaboration is part of a broader, national GM campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E85 fuel in the United States. The announcement was made today during an event at the State Capitol presided over by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.
“ The production of ethanol (...)

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General Motors recognizes Earth Day 2006 with activities around the U.S.

General Motors recognizes Earth Day 2006 with activities around the U.S.

In honor of Earth Day 2006, GM is participating in a number of environmentally-focused events and activities around the country. As part of this, the company is building on its existing “Live Green Go Yellow” campaign to promote the use of the cleaner-burning alternative fuel, E85 ethanol, with a special Earth Day advertising campaign and E85 ethanol fueling partnership announcement in the state of Michigan today.
“Among GM’s Environmental Principles is the commitment to creating products and (...)

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