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Chevrolet is updated their 2012 Equinox with new features and equipment including their MyLink in-vehicle wireless connectivity, customized infotainment options and new safety-enhancing features. The Equinox has become a hot ticket item for Chevrolet, with a 52-percent increase in its retail sales for the first 10 months of this year.
Chevrolet’s MyLink will be a great addition to the Equinox, seamlessly integrating online services such as Pandora internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio by using hands-free voice and touchscreen controls via Bluetooth-enabled phones. In addition, it’ll add audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones. This is all controlled through a 7-inch full-color touchscreen display.
The 2012 Equinox also features a GM-exclusive crash-avoidance system, using a single camera to help drivers avoid front-end collisions at an affordable price – only $295 on LTZ trim levels.
No pricing was announced for the 2012 Equinox.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevrolet Equinox
In perhaps a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, head of the Canadian Auto Worker’s Union, Ken Lewenza has expressed some concern over a tentative new agreement south of the border between the UAW and General Motors.
The problem centers around the fact that in order to meet the new UAW bargaining agreement, part of GM’s production of its small SUVs, the Chevy Equinox and GMC Equinox might be moved from the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, down to Spring Hill, Tennessee.
At present, GM hasn’t made any official announcements regarding the move, though an article in Nashville based newspaper, the Tennessean claims the General is seriously considering such a strategy, citing economic officials.
The resulting story was enough to cause concern for the CAW, making the matter more worrisome is the fact that GM has already pulled such a move, shifting production of it’s full-size Chevy Impala sedan, from Oshawa, Ontario, to the Hamtramck plant on the outskirts of Detroit, something Lewenza says he also first heard about through the newspapers.
As regarding the Tennessee rumors, during an interview with trade publication Automotive News, Lewenza said “where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.”
[Source: Left Lane News]
Although the U.S. economy is slowly spluttering back to life, some industries seem to be doing better than others. In the auto sector, sales are up, particularly for Domestic manufacturers and on the truck side too.
For the month of November, Bloomberg predicts overall car and light truck sales for the year at approximately 12.2 million units, nearly rivaling August 2009 when the U.S. Government’s controversial ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ program helped push sales to almost record levels.
Out of the November totals, both Ford and Chrysler have increased their overall sales percentage by around 20 percent, while General Motors has seen an approximately 13 percent increase. And a lot of that has to do with light truck demand. According to Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmumds.com; truck sales rise “as it gets colder, plus we’ve seen higher demand as gas prices have been stable for some time.”
And among the overall increase in truck demand, individual vehicles have scored particularly significant gains. Sales of Ford’s F-Series pickups have climbed by 30 percent through October, while sales of Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV (recently revamped for 2011) rose by 41 percent in the same period. GM’s Chevy Equinox has also seen robust demand for some time.
The increase demand also corresponds with what seems to be a more optimistic outlook from the automakers. For example, Jesse Toprak V-P of industry trends at TrueCar.com, says GM’s increases are likely in part a result of the company’s historic IPO. “If you see the company performing, the stock price holding up, and perhaps GM posting another profit in the fourth quarter, that adds to brownie points with consumers,” Toprak said.
Chrysler, despite delivering a third quarter operating loss this year ($84 million), has raised it’s full-year operating profit forecast to about $700 million. “The mood of customers is exceptional. I have a very positive attitude toward our products. It’s a strong month for November,” said David Kelleher, a Chrysler dealer in Glen Mills, PA.
According to an official release from General Motors, total U.S. sales of vehicles from its four major brands in June 2010, stood at 194,828 units, marking the sixth straight month of increases. Many analysts cite recovering demand in the pickup and SUV markets as a prime factor in the sales increases and according to GM’s Vice President of Sales Operations Don Johnson (no, not that one), combined sales of the popular Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, as well as the Chevy Avalanche were up 27 percent versus June 2009.
“As companies continue to invest in their business, we expect this segment to continue to recover,” stated Johnson. “We think that the release of some pent-up demand in the pickup market is indicative that a fundamental part of the US economy is strengthening.”
Besides these vehicles, the compact Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover utilities continue to be hot sellers. GM reported 16,093 deliveries of these vehicles for the month of June, which according to the company’s year-to-date findings, represents a 193 percent increase over 2009. Month end total vehicle dealer inventory for June in the U.S., stood at approximately 438,000 units, about 30,000 higher than the previous month, but 144,000 less than the same time last year.
The U.S., along with much of Western Europe is experiencing a slow and somewhat painful economic recovery after the virtual collapse of the banking sector in 2008. Although there are signs that optimism is growing among consumers, many auto manufacturers, including GM are still using major sales incentives to move many models off dealer lots.
Volkswagen and Subaru fill up final spots on short list
The short list for North American Car & Truck of the Year just got a lot shorter and the list of finalists includes one GM product and one Ford product in each category. The three finalists for 2010 North American Car of the Year include the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf. As for Truck of the Year, the three nods go to the Ford Transit Connect, the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback.
The winner will be announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 11th. The North American Car & Truck of the Year is decided by a panel of 49 journalists from both the U.S. and Canada.
Last year the winners included the Hyundai Genesis and Ford F-150, marking the first time a Korean automaker had won Car of the Year. Domestics have won Car of the Year eight times, with European countries taking the award four times and the Japanese three times. Truck of the year has long been dominated by domestic automakers, taking the award 10 times, compared to four for the Japanese and two for the Europeans.
AutoGuide will be covering the 2010 North American Car & Truck of the Year awards live at the Detroit Auto Show starting January 11th.
[Source: Automotive News]