Strategic Vision has announced the winners of its 2013 Total Quality Index (TQI), with American automakers reinstating their position in some very competitive segments.
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Despite smaller, lighter cars being safer than they used to be, bigger and heavier vehicles still offer more protection in crashes.
You’ve probably heard of Costco members getting incentives to buy new vehicles at dealers on your local radio. However, one automaker; General Motors is taking things a step further, teaming up with the wholesale giant to sell select Chevy/GMC pickups and SUVs through a number of authorized retailers for a no haggle “preferred price.”
In addition, eligible buyers will also receive a $500 Costco Cash Card for further savings on the price of a new truck. As part of the program, GM will display vehicles at Costco outlets across the country, which according to a company spokesman for the General; Jim Cain, enables the automaker to “reach people in a unique setting outside of a dealership.”
The “preferred” price actually varies from vehicle to vehicle, though according to Cain, will be similar to incentives offered to employees of GM suppliers, who currently receive discounts on new cars and trucks.
Eligible vehicles in the Costco program include the 2011/2012 Chevy Silverado, Tahoe and Surburan as well as the Traverse, plus their GMC equivalents, Sierra; Yukon, Yukon XL and Acadia.
In order to participate, Costco members have to register online with the Costco Auto Program or call a special phone number. They must also complete surveys and redemption forms after purchasing a vehicle in order to receive the $500 Cash Card.
[Source: Automotive News]
Bob Buckhorn, the mayor of Tampa, Florida needed a safe, reliable vehicle for his family, and did what many cost-concious car buyers do – he looked for a vehicle seized by the police.
While most people have to attend an auction to purchase such a car, Buckhorn decided on a police forfeit since it meant that the city wouldn’t have to pay a dime to get him a vehicle. Buckhorn opted for a 2005 GMC Yukon Denali, and the car in question has what many classic car auction houses would call “provenance”.
Buckhorn’s Denali was formerly owned by Charles Melvin Fox, who was convicted of sex trafficking. Authorities allege that Fox’s Denali was used to transport prostitutes across state lines, making Buckhorn’s new car a pimpmobile in every sense of the word – the vehicle even had spinner rims installed, but they were eventually removed before Buckhorn took delivery. Buckhorn described the car as ”a product of ill-gotten gains is being put to good use.”
GM is recalling 10,000 trucks and SUVs that have been impacted by two safety issues worldwide. The majority of the recalls are for the 2011 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (9,215 combined) that could roll away when shifted into park due to a faulty part manufactured in China. The recall will be officially issued out on July 19th, and GM will install new automatic transmission adjustment clips. This recall impacts 6,700 vehicles sold in the United States.
Fortunately this recall (and the other one) doesn’t involve any crashes. The Colorado and Canyon recall was discovered when a vehicle failed to start while at a GM assembly plant. The other recall is being issued out to 891 SUVs and trucks for steering problems. 739 of the vehicles impacted are in the United States. Those impacted will have their intermediate steering shaft bolts properly tightened to ensure no loss of steering can occur. Those letters will be sent out on July 13th.
The 891 SUVs and trucks affected by that recall include the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Sierra all from the 2011 model year.
GM’s big SUVs harken back to an era of conspicuous consumption, when $2-a gallon gas and a lingering nostalgia of 15-foot-long American cars flooded the industry. But if the Volt is any indicator, the era of big, cheap Suburbans and Tahoes might finally come to an end with next generation trucks.
To meet new fuel economy regulations, General Motors will add a price premium to its line of full-size SUVs. Currently, the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe get a combined average of 17-mpg. But new CAFE regulations will force GM to reach a company-wide average of 35.5-mpg by 2016, and there’s no time to waste.
As a result, GM’s next generation of full-size SUVs “will be more expensive to engineer and build because of the need for lighter weight materials,” said Tracy Handler, an analyst at IHS Automotive. “I expect prices to be higher.”
Sales of full-size SUVs have sunk like, well, a full-size SUV into a lake. From a high of over 1 million units in 2003 and 2004, sales of the Suburban, Escalade, Toyota Sequoia, Lincoln Navigator, and others dropped to 372,437 vehicles. There have been prior doubts to whether this would be the last time these squirrel crushing, deer smacking, driving machines would live to see next year, but GM is still committed to introducing them in 2013 as 2014 models: it is investing over $300 million in its Arlington, Texas plant for the next Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.
“We have customers who need full-sized SUVs for work and play,” Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano said. “We will continue to provide a vehicle in that segment.”
[Source: Automotive News]
The latest in a growing list of investments, General Motors has announced a $331 million cash infusion into its Arlington Assembly Plant in Texas.
The plant currently builds GM’s SUV lineup, with models including the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. The funding will go towards new tooling and equipment for the facility and while GM hasn’t said as much, it’s believed the this is in preparation for a new full-sized SUV line, with new versions of the above-mentioned trucks expected to hit the market some time around 2014.
In addition to sprucing up the place, GM has also announced the creation of 110 new positions at the plant, adding to the 2,400 person workforce there now.
“This investment will allow us to continue building award-winning full-size SUVs that offer better fuel efficiency than ever before without sacrificing the features and functionality they’ve come to expect,” GM Manufacturing Manager Larry Zahner said Thursday. “We remain committed to providing customers the utility and capability of our world-class full-size SUVs.”
Part of a major overhaul of its production facilities and models, GM recently announced upgrades to its Detroit-Hamtramck plant and Bowling Green Corvette Factory as part of an investment strategy that will see $2 billion used to revitalize 17 plants.
General Motors’ T800 series of full-size pickup trucks and SUVs, with specific reference to 1999-03 models of Chevy Silverado, Avalance, Suburban and Tahoe, as well as their GMC counterparts, Sierra and Yukon, have been subjected to an investigation regarding rusted brake lines.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in a filling posted last week, has said it has upgraded its original investigation to an ‘engineering analysis’ covering the affected vehicles, following concerns regarding its preliminary findings.
Said findings included no fewer than 26 separate complaints of brake line corrosion which have resulted in vehicle accidents since the agency first began looking into the problem last year.
GM, in a statement last year, said that even if a brake line rusted through, one of these trucks should still be able to stop safely.
In the course of its investigation, NHTSA initially targeted 6 million vehicles, but later reduced this 1.8 million when it decided that only vehicles being driven in rust belt states (where the roads are salted in winter) are adversely affected.
Said states comprise Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia.
Considering NHTSA’s recent spate of recalls, we have to think an official recall notice is coming soon.
[Source: New York Times]
We regret to inform you that the subject matter behind the enticing title won’t live up to whatever thoughts are circulating in your head. Rather, Forbes’ list of “Americas Dirtiest Vehicles” has to do with pollution and gas mileage, and is mostly comprised of cars we ourselves would want to own.
Forbes used a variety of factors to determine what qualified for the list, with both carbon emissions and fuel consumption factoring in to the economy. “Heavy Duty” trucks were left off the list, as well performance cars that only get driven on special occasions, like the Ferrari 599 GTO (and, apparently, Mercedes’ AMG lineup).
Hit the jump to see the list for yourself
The Detroit-area wheel thieves have struck again, this time liberating the giant chrome 20″ rims off of Mayor Dave Bing’s GMC Yukon Denali.
The SUV, which police say is used by Bing’s family, was allegedly parked in a secure lot at Bing’s condominium. No other vehicles were targeted, and a replacement set of dubs were summoned via tow truck.
Ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick previously made headlines for leasing expensive SUVs on the taxpayer’s dime, while an Autoguide contributor recently had the wheels stolen off of a Lincoln MKT while visiting the city. Detroit and full-size SUVs seem to be a bad combination.
[Source: ClickOn Detroit]
In a sign that the Cash-for-Clunkers program is working and that car sales are finally starting to turn a corner, General Motors has announced that it is increasing production and adding overtime shifts at several plants.
Shifts will be added at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada and at the Lordstown, Ohio plant. The Lordstown facility is responsible for assembly of the Chevy Cobalt, while the Ingersoll facility is home to the GMC Terrain and the all new 2010 Chevrolet Equinox (pictured above).
The added shifts means General Motors will bring 1,350 employees back on the job.
Earlier this month Gm added overtime shifts at its Arlington, Texas plant where the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon are made.
The total production increase is said to be roughly 60,000 units, a move deemed necessary by General Motors to ensure its dealers have an appropriate number of vehicles on their lots after a surge in sales following the recent Cash-for-Clunkers legislation saw dealer inventories hit their lowest point since 1991.
[Source: Automotive News]