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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 17 2013, 12:32 PM

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Soon-to-retire General Motors CEO Dan Akerson maintains that the U.S. government’s choice to bail out the Detroit giant saved money despite losses after the Treasury Department offloaded its remaining shares. 

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 |  Jul 22 2013, 8:02 AM

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Within the next two years, Cadillac will launch a model larger than its XTS sedan according to General Motors CEO Dan Akerson.

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 |  Jul 19 2013, 8:32 AM

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General Motors CEO Dan Akerson believes Tesla could become a disruptive force in the automotive industry and is moving to ensure the American automaker doesn’t get caught off guard.

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 |  Jun 24 2013, 5:42 PM

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At an investor’s conference at General Motors‘ Detroit proving grounds this month, CEO Dan Akerson expressed his desire to add the Opel Adam and Cascada to the Buick model lineup.

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 |  Aug 19 2012, 2:01 PM

Dan Akerson will be auctioning off his classic 1958 Chevrolet Corvette with all its proceeds benefiting the Habitat for Humanity Detroit.

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 |  Aug 10 2012, 5:01 PM

Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors, is more than a little upset that workers seem to be disloyal to their employer, something he made clear during an employee meeting and conference call on Thursday.

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 |  Feb 29 2012, 7:01 AM

General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën inked a deal yesterday that will see the companies partnering to further their interests in Europe.

“This partnership brings tremendous opportunity for our two companies,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. “The alliance synergies, in addition to our independent plans, position GM for long-term sustainable profitability in Europe.”

The companies plan to share vehicle platforms, components and modules and to create a global purchasing joint venture that will improve both groups’ leverage in sourcing goods and services from suppliers by commanding $125 billion in purchasing power.

As part of the deal GM will acquire a seven percent stake in PSA Peugeot Citroën.

“This alliance is a tremendously exciting moment for both groups and this partnership is rich in its development potential. With the strong support of our historical shareholder and the arrival of a new and prestigious shareholder, the whole group is mobilized to reap the full benefit of this agreement,” Philippe Varin, chairman of the managing board of PSA Peugeot Citroën said.

The alliance will initially focus on small and midsize cars, MPVs and crossovers, the first of which is expected to launch in 2016.

 |  Dec 07 2011, 4:30 PM

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General Motors is moving closer to a solution for the fires that occurred in Volts after crash testing earlier this year.

Fox News reported yesterday that, according to an unnamed source, fires sparking inside Chevrolet‘s lauded green car might be caused by coolant crystallizing on the car’s battery after a crash, leading to a short circuit.

Since then, Reuters reported that GM is moving towards a set of dealership-implemented fixes to ensure post-crash safety in the cars, though the solution isn’t finalized.

“To the best of my knowledge, we’re not discussing exact solutions at this point,” GM spokesman Rob Peterson said.

Despite that, rumored solutions continue to surface by unnamed sources. Among those unofficial fixes, it seems that GM might laminate the 400-pound battery pack as well as strengthen the casing around it. They may also take steps to better protect against coolant leakage after a crash.

While those possibilities aren’t certain, GM senior management expects a solution by the end of the week. Barring demand by U.S. safety regulators for a deeper-reaching solution, the fix is expected to cost less than $1 million, or roughly $1000 per car.

GM is also offering current Volt owners loaner cars to drive until their vehicle is bolstered against the potential disaster. The aggressive repair policy signals how serious GM is about making the Volt their symbol of future progress.

As far as the EV market is concerned, others are on the way, but for now the Volt’s sole competitor is the Nissan Leaf. The key difference between the two is that the Leaf runs solely on battery power, whereas the Volt has a 1.4-liter gasoline engine that extends driving range. The Leaf didn’t experience the same problems after crash tests, possibly because it doesn’t a use liquid-cooled battery.

Last week GM CEO, Dan Akerson told the Associated Press that GM plans to buy back Volts from any customers concerned about the cars catching fire. He also maintained that they are safe to drive and that owners shouldn’t worry about the issue.

“I think it behooves everyone including General Motors and all of our competition, but more importantly our customers, that we get it right,” Akerson said.

Getting it right definitely involves fixing hazardous issues, but how right is it that GM knew about the problem as early as May without making the public aware? In an earlier story, we reported that it’s possible both GM and the NHTSA knew about the problem but failed to disclose it until last November.

For now, Akerson seems confident in GM’s solution, citing that Lexus had quality issues when they started, but that Toyota dealt swiftly with the issues and pushed the brand on to be a success.

[Sources:  Reuters]

 |  Sep 28 2011, 10:00 PM

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While General Motors seemed desperate to sell Opel back in 2009, GM CEO Dan Akerson now says that the terms of the sale were a “bad deal” and that Opel, along with GM’s other global divisions, are now profitable.

Nick Reilly, GM’s European president, said that GM Europe will be profitable – albeit not by much more than the break-even point – once the 2011 restructuring plan has finished at the end of the year. ”In 2012, we won’t have those restructuring charges,” Reilly said. “They’re mostly done. We’ll get the full 12 month benefit of the restructuring that we’ve done.”

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Aug 11 2011, 1:00 PM

Yesterday, the CEO of General Motors, Dan Akerson purchased $250,500 in shares of the automaker, buying 10,000 shares at $25.05.

As of yesterday, Akerson owns 103,600 shares in the company. This last week has seen the worst stock market decline since 2008, with the crash has wiping out more than $6.7 billion from the value of the stock held by the U.S Treasury Department.

GM shares fell $1.62, or 6.34 percent, closing at $23.92 in the NYSE yesterday.The US Treasury holds 500 million shares of GM. At its peak, the stocks were worth $19.5 billion on January 7, closing at $38.98 per share. Today, the Treasury’s holdings are worth $11.96 billion.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Aug 04 2011, 1:00 PM

General Motors has announced a second quarter net income of $2.5 billion or $1.54 per fully diluted share. By comparison, GM’s Q2 2010 performance showed a net income of $1.3 billion or 85 cents per diluted share. Revenue has increased from $6.2 billion to 39.4 billion compared to the second quarter of 2010.

Earnings before interest and tax adjusted was $3.0 billion compared to $2.0 billion in the second quarter of 2010. GM also ended the quarter with very strong total automotive liquidity of $39.7 billion. The automakers cash and marketable securities, including Canadian Health Care Trust restricted cash, was $33.8 billion compared with $30.6 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2011.

“GM’s investments in fuel economy, design and quality are paying off around the world as our global market share growth and financial results bear out,” said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of GM.  “Our progress has been steady and we’re preparing to launch more new products this year, including the Chevrolet Sonic in North America, the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira in Europe and the Baojun 630 in China to keep the momentum going.”

 |  Aug 01 2011, 12:45 PM

GM’s CEO Dan Akerson believes that the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle won’t be feasible until at least 2020. Let’s hope GM calls the right prediction this time.

“We’re looking at hydrogen fuel cells, which have no carbon emissions, zero,” said Akerson. “The car is still too expensive and probably won’t be practical until the 2020-plus period, I don’t know. And then there’s the issue of infrastructure.”

This hasn’t been the first time GM’s pulled a Nostradamus on fuel cell vehicles: back in 2002, it claimed that hundreds of thousands of them would be on the road by 2010. By 2006, GM lowered that vague number to 1,000. Last year came and went, and it missed that goal.

GM cited high cost and a lack of hydrogen fueling stations for fudging the thousand-car goal. But it hasn’t stopped speculating on the next generation of fuel cell vehicles that it could build: the car will use half the expensive precious metals, be half the size, and 220 pounds lighter than current fuel cell vehicles, it said in 2009. That same year it said that by 2015 the fuel cell vehicle will be “commercialized,” and by 2022 it will be cost-competitive.

“They’re very expensive now,” said Akerson, “but we’ve, just in the last two years, reduced the price of that technology by $100,000.”

No other car company has brought a fuel cell vehicle to the masses, or intends to by 2015; Honda’s gee-whiz FCX Clarity is only available in California, and only about 200 examples are on the road. GM may have a point—but, just as we never launched a spaceship to Jupiter in 2001 like we did in 2001, speculating on the future with such concrete dates usually ends up, well, looking dated.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Jun 14 2011, 8:48 AM

Given its recent financial performance and the fact that that GM’s CEO isn’t happy about the situation, nor the time it’s taking to re-structure Vauxhall/Opel; rumors have been flying once again that the General’s European operations might be up for sale.

However, during a recent phone conversation between Dan Akerson and Opel boss Karl-Fredrich Strake, the former assured the latter that GM isn’t in talks to sell Opel.

Nevertheless, speculation, particularly in the German media continues, with reports that GM is ‘reviewing options’ for its European unit, with possibly Volkswagen AG and Bejing Automotive Industry Holding Co being named as potential buyers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and local labor groups have asked GM to go on the record and comment on the rumors that Opel might be for sale, though so far, the automaker has declined.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Jun 09 2011, 2:52 PM

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson is looking forward to the day when he can relax on his yacht, sipping Mai Tais on the deck…and knowing full well that the federal government has finally sold its stake in GM, and has completely divulged itself from the company as it did with Chrysler.

But it’s still a long way until the government can recoup its shares from taxpayers, acknowledged Akerson. GM has technically already repaid its debt to the Treasury Department: the $50 billion it received in 2009 came in the form of equity stakes, which were held by the Department. But according to a recent report by the White House National Economic Council, the government will have to write off about $14 billion of the $80 billion total bailout—money that was supplied by taxpaying Americans.

GM’s executives are “doing our level best” to recover this amount, said Akerson. The company has made five consecutive quarterly profits and managed to earn $4.7 billion last year, and if things go well the Treasury can sell its shares as soon as August.

[Source: New York Times]

 

 |  Jun 07 2011, 3:38 PM

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson discussed the future product line of his company in an interview and bashed the Lincoln brand while at it .

Akerson began the interview explaining that next year, GM will unveil a powerful bifuel engine for commercial trucks that will run on compressed natural gas or gasoline. He then spoke of Cadillacs plans to introduce the XTS and the ATS vehicles by summer 2012. Akerson was then quoted as saying Chevrolet “is going to be a killer brand” within the global market. Chevrolet is hoping to infiltrate unconquered markets with its new sophisticated hybrid vehicles.

Akerson finished his interview with Detroit News by bashing the Licoln name. He was quoted saying ”They are trying like hell to resurrect Lincoln. Well, I might as well tell you, you might as well sprinkle holy water. It’s over.”It is very odd that Akerson would bad mouth Lincoln, but he must be doing so because he sees the Lincoln brand as a threat.

[Source: egm CarTech]

 

 |  May 10 2011, 4:27 PM

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General Motors will invest $2 billion across 17 plants, as the company retools existing plants to build new products and hire more workers. GM confirmed that their Toledo, Ohio plant would receive $250 million in improvements and create 250 new jobs.

CEO Dan Akerson didn’t announced which plants would be infused with new capital, but the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant that builds the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS will almost certainly be one of them. The plant also builds the Chevrolet Volt, making it to be a prime contender for GM’s attention.

GM announced prior investments in other plants, including the Corvette’s factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but the latest round of capital is considered separate from these announcements. Some have speculated that GM’s reluctance to announce their plans could also be a means to gain publicity and avoid affecting upcoming negotiations with the UAW.

[Source: The Detroit News]

 |  Apr 14 2011, 11:54 AM

A program initiated by General Motors CEO Dan Akerson meant to cut $10,000 from the cost of the Chevrolet Volt is well under way, according to a report by the Detroit News.

“We have a cost reduction plan all the way through 2020 and Generation 3,” said Alan Taub, vice president for global research and development, while speaking to the paper at the SAE World Congress. “In fact, we’ve been challenged by our new leadership team to pull those earlier in time, and we’re on track to meet our new cost reduction targets.”

Taub said that the next generation will also improve battery technology as well as overall efficiency, and that the third generation would appear no later than 2020.

[Source: The Detroit News]

 |  Mar 23 2011, 2:19 PM

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British radio personality Tim Westwood may have bought a Cadillac Escalade, but the brand has had inconsequential sales throughout Europe for its entire life. Even GM’s poor attempt at a Euro-friendly Caddy, the ill-fated BLS sedan.

The misfortunes of Cadillac hasn’t stopped GM CEO Dan Akerson, who was quoted by Autocar as saying “The only thing you can do is try, try and try again with Cadillac in Europe,”perhaps in the hope that persistence, rather than product, will pay off.

Along with the upcoming compact ATS sedan, the XTS, positioned as Cadillac’s flagship, will also make the trip over, but without the diesel engines that are necessary to be truly competitive in Europe. Akerson even admitted to Autocar that the marketplace is a tough one, on account of the saturation of premium European brands. Perhaps that resilience is also mixed with a bit of realism.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Mar 10 2011, 5:46 PM

After 14 months on the job and one IPO, General Motors CFO Chris Liddell is stepping down, and will be replaced by treasurer Dan Ammann. Liddell was viewed as a potential successor to CEO Dan Akerson, but said he wants to move on from his CFO position, after having previously holding the title at Microsoft and International Paper Co.

GM has undergone a number of management changes recently, most notably appointing Mary Barra as the head of product development from her former post in human resources. An analyst at Morgan Stanley noted the management shift came at “…a time of heightened geopolitical and macroeconomic risk.”

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Mar 09 2011, 5:40 PM

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For all the dismissive attitudes surrounding GM CEO Dan Akerson, his latest machinations seem particularly astute, even if they don’t quite jibe with the tastes of “car guys”.

For months, Akerson has been creating a contingency plan for when oil prices rise to $120 per barrel. Akerson is on record stating that “I don’t think the industry learned a lot of lessons from 2008 — they will this time around,” and who can blame the guy. GM was sunk last time around in part because there were too many SUVs and trucks sitting on dealer lots when gas prices were high and credit was unavailable.

Cars like the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic (above) and Buick Verano should help flesh out a lineup that was devoid of small cars during the last crisis, and Akerson has also demanded that the company find ways to reduce the cost of the Chevrolet Volt by $10,000. GM sources say that the goal has nearly been achieved, and that the Volt could either see an increase in production, a price cut – or more likely, a bump in profits for GM.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Dec 22 2010, 10:42 AM

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General Motors is working on a plan to more than triple sales of electric cars in the near future says company CEO Dan Akerson. According to a report by Automotive News, Akerson wants to reach this goal by the middle of the decade. Arguably, tripling sales of GM’s current EVs (ie. the Chevy Volt) wouldn’t be all that hard, but Akerson is setting as a goal triple the output of what is forecasted for 2012 – a rather significant 45,000 units.

In previous statements GM has said it will build 10,000 Volt models next year, jumping to that 45,000 number in 2012.

To achieve this goal GM is rumored to be working on several new products using the Voltec powertrain, including an MPV based on the Chevy Orlando (called the Volt MPV5) which was first shown at the Beijing Auto Show last year, as well as a version of the Cadillac SRX crossover. In addition, GM will also sell the Volt in other markets as the Opel Ampera.

Helping promote Volt sales for now is a $7,500 tax credit (along with additional credits for certain regions, like California). That, however, will dry up once GM manages to move 200,000 EVs – although that target could still be a long way off

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Dec 17 2010, 12:20 PM

With General Motors recently announcing plans to increase production of the Volt, it now appears poised to bring that revolutionary technology to even more consumers through varied packages.

Recently GM applied for trademarks on the Amp and Strobe – with the Amp rumored to be a production version of the Volt MPV5 concept, itself based on the Orlando.

Now GM looks to move its Voltec technology up-market with plans to build a plug-in hybrid based on the Cadillac SRX crossover. Initially it seemed that GM would have to limit production of Voltec powered cars based on the ability to produce the complex drivetrains and source the available parts, but GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky has now said higher production volume is possible.

Chief Executive Dan Akerson has confirmed GM will offer the Volt powertrain in different body styles and vehicles, as well as under different GM brands.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Nov 30 2010, 1:22 PM

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General Motors has announced that it’s hiring 1,000 people over the next couple years to help improve electric vehicle related infastructure, as well as charging, motor and battery technology.

While the jobs aren’t as glamorous as developing the next generation of electric vehicles, there’s no question that without any of the above, EVs will forever be a niche for wealthy tree-hugger types and peak oil conspiracy nuts. All of the jobs will be located in Michigan, which should provide a nice boost to the states flaccid economy.

The announcement came as Chevrolet prepared to start production of the Volt at GM’s Hammtrack assembly plant.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Nov 18 2010, 3:09 PM

General Motors long awaited IPO began trading on Thursday, and was up approximately $2 as of 12 noon, Thursday. Listed at $33 a share, the stock price quickly climbed to $35 a share, as GM’s CEO Dan Akerson rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

IPO’s are often volatile, with new startup Tesla Motors stock price dipping to around $15 over the summer, and now trading at over $30. The original GM stock was once one of the world’s most popular stocks before GM was forced into bankruptcy in 2009. With the IPO, the United States Treasury was able to unload 75% of their shares and recoup $12 billion of taxpayer money. GM stock would need to rise to $41 a share for the government to break even on its bailout.

[Source: Left Lane News]