General Motors has unveiled the new LaCrosse sedan 2014 model. The vehicle has been greatly refreshed with plenty of new features. This is the first time that the vehicle has received a redesign of the interior and exterior.
The front end now has a more aggressive look to it, standing out even more than previously. The rear lights have LED technology, looking a lot more stylish. Upon the inside the vehicle has more comfortable seats.
Buick is now introducing more advanced technology with their models, offering more luxurious materials. This includes the new IntelliLink Infotainment system. This intelligent device contains voice recognition, brining about safer driving a whole new type of experience.
For those Americans who love luxury, the 2014 LaCrosse comes with a new Ultra Luxury Interior Package. This package includes real wood trim, suede head-liner and pillars together with sangria coloured seats. Quality leather throughout is also included.
Ven Lai was on hand to describe the new Buick LaCrosse saying “The warm color combinations, premium interior materials and advanced technology in the 2014 LaCrosse provide the interior environment our discerning luxury customers are seeking,”
The Buick LaCrosse will be released in the United States later on this summer. The Chinese car market is also set to receive the vehicle later on in the year. Since being released in 2009 Buick have managed to sell more than 500,000 of the models around the world, a pretty impressive figure.
A refreshment of the LaCrosse was greatly needed. Sales have been dipping greatly with 21.9 per cent less sales in 2012 from January to February when compared to the first two months of 2011.
Experts of the American car market are failing to see the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment. The LaCrosse’s category is a difficult one to break into with not much growth within that segment at present. In February of this year just 3.9 per cent of new car sales were taken from the large car market.
Engine ranges to come with the vehicle include a 2.4 litre four cylinder engine and a 3.6 litre V6. The former comes with a 2.4 litre four cylinder model comes with eAssist which uses a small electric motor together with a lithium ion battery. Thanks to its fantastic fuel economy, this particular model of the Buick LaCrosse is said to account for 25 per cent of sales.
For the first time in the company’s 110 year history, a Chief has been named to handle Cadillac’s global affairs.
They have never ventured outside of the United States in a serious fashion but earlier this year, General Motors bosses decided that reaching out globally is a worthy strategy.
Robert Ferguson has been given the responsibilities of worldwide marketing, brand management and advertising for Cadillac. He will report to Dan Akerson, Chief Executive of General Motors. Mr played a major role in helping to defend the controversy of the Chevrolet Volt battery problems.
Cadillac’s sales were once prospering in the United States, beating the likes of Mercedes and BMW. Now sales have dipped into a deep decline, with sales falling a huge 8.6 per cent this year compared to January to September 2011. The company have managed to sell 103,500 so far this year for the first 9 months.
From January to June, the company managed to sell 350 vehicles in Europe. That figure is 10 per cent down from 2011 when comparing the same period.
General Motors will be looking to their Chinese partners of SAIC to help bump up sales of their luxury brand in the world’s largest car market. There are expected more dealerships around China as well more in Russia. There could be triple the amount of showrooms across China with the total amounting to 210 over the next 12 months. Currently that figure stands at just 70. Russia is currently one of the best emerging car markets in the whole world. The market is being particularly kind to General Motors at present.
Mr Ferguson’s initial seems simple, pump in more money into international marketing and resources. He also mentioned that the company currently have three vehicles ready for export, the XTS, the ATS and the SRX.
Mr Ferguson has been thrown in right at the deep end. He must decide whether the company must build a new flagship sedan. If developed, it would be larger than the Cadillac XTS. He said “We are giving it serious consideration although we are not close on an actual model. There are a lot of creative ideas being discussed and we have seen some great designs on the sketch pad.”
It is no surprise that the Chevrolet Sail hatchback is to be released in India but General Motors have announced that they are putting plenty of weight on the car’s shoulders. Together with their Indian automotive partners, The AIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) believes that the car will be the number one selling car in the country. The Sail is expected to be the company’s number 1.
The small car segment is the most popular market within India and the Sail fits right in. Their ambitions for the car are quite ambitious considering that they are still struggling with sales 16 years after entering the country.
General Motors announced that the release of the Sail is imminent, with the car likely to be in showrooms by the end of this month or next month. The saloon version of the car will arrive at some point in December it is believed. Together with the hatchback and saloon, General Motors want the combined sales to become their bestselling vehicle. The Chevrolet Enjoy is expected to be released in December too.
The car will be localised 50 per cent India which will help to drive down prices. The price of a car is extremely important in the Indian car market in order to convince the target market to make purchase. Pricing is one of the most important factors. General Motors hope that 65 per cent of the car will be localised by next year. Currently its transmission is important from Austria. Exporting the vehicle from India is an option which has been openly discussed, with Board Members not ruling it out.
The vehicle is also manufactured in China too and sold throughout the Middle Eastern and North African region.
Although General Motors have not quite reached the level that they may have originally hoped for in emerging countries, their Chevrolet Beat model is selling quite well, selling 4,539 in September this year alone.
The Chevrolet Sail will come with a 1.3 litre diesel engine along with a 1 different variant alongside a 1.2 petrol engine. The new Chevrolet Enjoy comes with two fuel options of a 1.3 litre diesel engine on top of a 1.4 litre petrol engine.
We mentioned the Vauxhall Mokka a few weeks ago but the car has finally arrived, starting from £15,995.
The 1.7 litre CDTi looks like shaking up the whole segment. Its fiercely competitive price and its wonderful features help to put across a car that is quite desirable.
The car’s unique shape makes it look slightly chunky but aggressive. The front has an excellent wide grille and huge headlights, emphasising its large size. The wheelarches are pretty big but are filled with 17 inch alloy wheels.
There is not much to shout about when it comes to the cars interior. The Vauxhall Mokka’s detailing is not of the highest quality and the material looks quite cheap. The layout of the buttons means that it is not the easiest thing in the world to find the right function to select.
The best attribute about the inside is that is has quite a lot of room for the driver and passengers, making it a decent family car. The rear can easily fit three adults with a great deal of headroom and legroom. The car’s boot space measures at a huge 1,372 litres. That leaves enough room for shopping and extras.
he 1.7 litre diesel front wheel drive version is expected to be the main choice for UK buyers. The 4×4 petrol editions are not as fast and is also naturally less efficient. The diesel reaches more than 60 MPG according to Vauxhall and is also faster than its petrol counterpart. The 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine reaches 138 BHP but is not the best suited engine for the car in anyway. Acceleration is largely sluggish and the car doesn’t move very fast.
The Vauxhall Mokka’s steering is poor and quite weighty. The feedback and response is not as good as you may expect either. The suspension is quite firm but everyone within will feel the bumps over uneven road surfaces. The car’s economy reaches 149g/km of C02 along with 44.8 MPG, pretty good readings by anyone’s standards.
How well will the Vauxhall Mokka perform in the UK market? How will the car fare against the strong rivals of the Skoda Yeti, the Nissan Juke and the Kia Sportage?
General Motors will announce that they are set to create 2,000 jobs in Michigan. 1,500 of those will be at the brand new information technology innovation centre, recently built in Warren. The placements of the remaining 500 jobs are yet to be officially announced.
General Motors are set to announce three new separate projects with the innovation centre coming under one of them. The company will invest a total of $300 million for all three of them it is understood.
Those 1,500 jobs mentioned earlier will be taken on over a course of the next four years. General Motors want college graduates to take up 30 per cent of that number. This is great news for graduates who are struggling to find jobs after their studies have finished. Attracting younger workers is a major part of the company’s philosophy within this particular new project.
Most of General Motors information technology projects are being handled by 1,500 across the world, which accounts for just 10 per cent. The other 90 per cent is outsourced to the remaining 10,000. The company hope to reverse these figures with them keeping more projects in house.
These new IT jobs have already been advertised on the General Motors website. The fact that the world’s largest car company are focusing heavily on Information Technology shows that they are becoming more and more strategic car technology.
Currently General Motors has 23 data centres worldwide. Part of the company’s new strategy is to reduce that figure to just two which will be located in Michigan.
The company is spending $130 million on a data centre placed within the Warren Tech Centre. This will be home to several house data services and laboratories. Last year in May, the company received a $10 million state tax incentive. With this tax incentive, the aim was to redevelop 30 acres across Warren Tech Center for the new data centre. This is expected to create approximately 25 jobs.
The news today represents quite a bit of contrast compared to earlier this year when General Motors announced that they would close a factory. The Canadian factory took 1,500 jobs with it following a lack of demand within the country.
How will General Motors newly created 2,000 jobs affect their battle to stay as the number one car brand in the world?
General Motors top selling vehicle in the United States for September was the Chevrolet Cruze. It fell just short of setting a brand new record. Altogether sales of the car had increased by 43 per cent, selling 25,787 in September alone, meaning there were 7,700 more units sold compared to last month.
Don Johnson, the Vice President of Chevrolet Sales said that the recent success of the vehicle was down to the excellent efficiency that the car offers. He said “The Cruze came very close to setting a new record. It really goes to the strength of the entire car portfolio right now. There’s just a continued good value story with the Cruze’s great design and great fuel efficiency.” Fuel prices are still on the rise on America and motorists are reacting to that. Efficiency seems to be the car’s main weapon.
The original sales record came in August when 25,975 sales were made, turning that into an all time record. The Chevrolet Cruze was the best selling passenger car but the Siverado pickup truck managed to beat it in terms of sales, selling a total of 36,425. That was however disappointing for General Motors in the scheme of things, with sales down by 17 per cent from September 2011, when the company managed to sell 43,698. This was put down to rental companies weakening the demand according to General Motors.
From January to September 2012, General Motors sales have increased by 1.5 per cent when comparing the same period the year before.
Rivals for the worldwide leader board, Toyota and Volkswagen have made much better progress in terms of growth. Toyota growth from January to September grew by 42 per cent whereas Volkswagen’s sales increased by 34 per cent. Chrysler’s sales have increased by 12 percent with Japan’s sales falling by 1.1 per cent. Honda’s sales have fallen by 1.1 per cent.
Experts believe that customers are gaining more confidence in the new car market as banks are now offering more loans. Auto makers are also coming out with more and more fuel efficient models. Sales overall in America have hit a figure of 1.1 million which represents an 11 per cent increase from September 2011. Experts have stated that the total figure for 2012 could reach 14.5 million. If that is true, the Chevrolet Cruze will play a big part in doing so.
The 2013 Chevrolet Trax is a car that you may not have heard of yet, but it will be released here in the UK next year in the Spring time. It will rival the Nissan Juke, a car which has been relatively successful despite some initial doubts. Chevrolet does not have much of a presence here in the UK but will hope to change that with the new Trax model.
The car has an all round attractiveness, being stylish, practical and containing a great drive. One car you may have heard of here in the UK Captiva SUV, a typically large American vehicle. This vehicle is perhaps not suited to the local market here, which has contributed to a poor sales return.
It is for that reason that Chevrolet will be hoping that the vehicle will rival the Nissan Juke and give reason for the company trading here in the UK. So how does the car compare to it’s main rival, the Nissan Juke? The car is first of all larger with no oddly shape rear end. In that sense it is already a more practical vehicle. Luggage capacity for the Nissan Juke stands at 830 litres.
The Trax beats that figure considerably, containing a massive 1,372 litres worth of luggage capacity. Vauxhall and Chevrolet are owned by the same company, General Motors. The Vauxhall Mokka has been used as great inspiration for the Trax. Both contain a very similar features and overall shape.
The Chevrolet Trax has a quite large front grill length wise and bigger wheel arches, making the vehicle look more aggressive and American, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The similarities do not just end outside the vehicle. Inside the car comes the same centre console in terms of shape.
The driver gets a perfect driving position, sitting high with a clear view ahead. Engine wise, there will three made available with this model here in the UK. These include a 1.6 petrol capable of producing 114 BHP. A 1.4 petrol turbo and a 1.7 litre turbo diesel also join the line up. Not too much is known about the vehicles yet in terms of performance and economy. The 1.4 litre turbo version is said to reach 0 – 62 MPH in around 9 seconds and is able to return 44.8 MPG, respectable returns considering the vehicle type. Will the Chevrolet Trax help the company’s reputation here in the UK?
General Motors have recently have upgraded their safety technology after years and years of research and development. They have been studying typical driver habits on the road to develop a new type of system which can prevent crashes at low speeds.
General Motors have installed the technology within three separate Cadillac models. If the driver fails to spot an oncoming object in front of them, the automatic brakes will kick in and prevent an accident. The safety technology is a final resort. The front and rear brakes work together with radars and sensors. The system also ensures that high speed collision mitigation braking occurs. This does not guarantee that an accident will not occur but it does ensure that the impact will not be as harsh.
Charles Green was involved with the technology being developed. He is a General Motors performance specialists and engineer.
The new 2013 Cadillac ATS, SRX and the XTS will receive the new braking system from General Motors. They will be standard features however, they will be optional. It will come as a whole safety package available for $3,200, although prices could vary from vehicle to vehicle. The package also includes full speed adaptive cruise control.
The low speed braking system will work when the vehicle is travelling at speeds of under 20 MPH. The system can actually be switched off if necessary. General Motors said that they want drivers to feel as if they are in complete control.
General Motors’ Cadillac brand says that the technology is another step towards the milestone of autonomous cars. Recently the car maker has been in the press staking a claim within the self driving technology sector. They believe that plenty of technology that they already have within their cars will contribute to their eventual autonomous vehicles.
Volvo, Google and Ford are also attempting to develop their own autonomous technology. Google’s test vehicles have already driven an amazing 300,000 miles. Volvo’s technology includes City safety, which prevents cars from crashing when travelling at speeds of up to 19 MPH by applying the brakes when a car or object is in front of them. Infiniti, the luxury Japanese car brand owned by Nissan also offer the same technology.
General Motors are clearly keen on forcing their luxury Cadillac brand to catch up with the likes of BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Their new safety system is sure to be a huge contribution towards the development of their autonomous vehicles.
Although sales reached an all time record high for the Chevrolet Volt in August, sales did not hit the desired target.
The car has been in showrooms for the past two years. It is no longer a “new” car, everyone in the United States now knows about it. According to some sources, General Motors are losing approximately $49,000 per Volt that they sell. General Motors have released their own statement claiming that those figures are wide off the mark.
Chevrolet recently made their leasing offers more attractive in order to bring in customers. However those offers were not as effective as first thought and have driven losses even further down. In effect some customers are paying $5,000 for a vehicle that costs almost 18 times that amount to produce. If sales continue to go the way they are at the moment, it will be a few years until profit is being made on each car sold.
Although Chevrolet has had a two year head start, rivals such as Ford and Honda are releasing rivals which will give the Volt a run for their money. The competition will ensure that the vehicle is not the only one within it’s category, making the situation tougher for the General Motors owned brand.
Did the Chevrolet Volt appear too early? There is no doubt that the vehicle is a superb driving machine. The technology that went into it is indeed groundbreaking with a great deal of technology. But the car may have been over engineered. Some consumers may be overwhelmed and confused. One thing is for sure, more customers are overwhelmed by the price tag. The cost to develop the vehicle has been passed down to the price, even then it is quite generous.
The technology is so advanced that some are afraid of the maintenance costs and work of the car. The car’s battery takes a huge two hours to charge. That’s not ideal for those always on the go.
Chevrolet is not alone in experiencing the problem. The Japanese group of Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi have also been struggling to shift the hybrid cars. The Toyota Prius, the world’s best selling hybrid is the only exception.
Altogether Chevrolet has invested $1.2 billion in their Volt. They need more sales to actually start reaping the rewards of the car. That is sure not be for the next few years at least.
In order to help General Motors revive their fortunes throughout the European region, they have been advised to drop Opel.
This is not the first time that such calls for action have been made. The European based brand has been making losses for the last 12 years. Their performance this year is showing no signs of improving. Profits are down and they are a big hindrance on General Motors in their battle to keep on top of the worldwide sales charts.
The advice this time round came from a Wall Street expert analyst. The Euro Zone debt crisis is one that is not worth conquering many believe. The family car market within the European region is in dire decline. The situation was so bad last year that General Motors has to embarrassingly pull out of their original target of breaking even.
If General Motors were to dump the Opel brand, it would not come cheaply. To begin with there would be a massive bill to pay. However with European debts nowhere coming to prosperity, getting rid of the brand does seem like a sensible solution in many ways.
General Motors have come out to state that they standing by Opel on numerous occasions. There have been threats of plant closures and job losses but they are determined to eventually steer themselves into European profit.
Jim Cain has recently come out to state “Despite the tough environment for the automotive business in Europe, we believe we have an opportunity to turn the Opel/Vauxhall business around and bring it back to long-term profitability,”
The company’s commitment to their struggling brand was reaffirmed after a deal was struck with Peugeot/ Citroen.
Part of the cost cutting measures has involved the amount of contract and temporary employees in Europe. A deal is currently being sought after with IG Metall in order to cut the hours of more employees.
Opel was almost in danger of being sold before back in 2009. In the end General Motors decided that Opel were fundamental to their plans of building up sales around the world. Dan Akerson, the CEO of General Motors had been in strong favour of the sale. Many regret that the deal did not in the end go through.
There bound to be plenty more twists and turns throughout the rest of the year as far as General Motors and Opel are concerned.
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