Sat, 20 Apr 2013 12:44:00 EST
At a press conference on Saturday at the Shanghai Motor Show, General Motors announced plans to further expand its presence in the Chinese market. Among those commitments are plans to build four new plants by the end of 2015, giving the automaker the capacity to produce around five million vehicles a year in the country.
Sat, 20 Apr 2013 02:15:00 EST
In order to make the most of that expansion, GM is adding 400 dealerships in China this year alone (for a total of 4,200 sales points), and it's eyeing 5,100 dealers by 2015. Yet not all of that production will stay in China - GM is planning to increase exports as well. Officials estimate the company will export somewhere between 100,000 and 130,000 Chinese-built vehicles this year - a record. And it's gunning for more.
Autoblog asked GM China president Bob Socia (above) if that means the company might eventually export new vehicles built in China to the United States, and he responded:
Here we have a concept in the true sense of the term. The Buick Riviera you see here - the name of which was last used in production back in 1999 - is said to preview Buick's future styling direction, which means we should expect to see more flowing body shapes to go along with new versions of the marque's classic waterfall grille design. Oh, and we don't believe there's a single porthole in sight.
Fri, 19 Apr 2013 10:14:00 EST
Powered by Buick's so-called dual-mode wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion system (we'll stick with the W-PHEV acronym) that allows the car to be charged wirelessly just by driving atop a special charging mat on the ground, the car's powertrain is just as futuristic as its exterior shape.
Other high-tech bits include holographic projections on the windshield showing the driver what's around him, with input coming from 10 high-res cameras and 18 micro high-precision sensors. The car also sports 4G wireless connectivity so that its occupants are always connected.
It's nighttime in China, and Buick has just concluded an evening event the day before the first - and only - press day of the Shanghai Motor Show. The star of this evening's party was the Buick Riviera concept vehicle, a plug-in electric hybrid coupe that the automaker says gives a glimpse at its future design direction, not to mention resurrecting some nomenclature from the brand's history that includes a similarly named concept from 2007.
Fri, 05 Apr 2013 18:32:00 EST
The shape of the Riviera is said to be inspired by water. While the traditional Buick "waterfall" grille is present, the front end gains a more aggressive note thanks to what appear to be vertical air inlets below each headlight.
As for the concept's drivetrain, Buick says it uses General Motors' new dual-mode wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion system, or W-PHEV for short. The keyword there is 'wireless,' as the Riviera can charge its onboard battery packs with a traditional cable or wirelessly via a "sensory recharge panel" underneath the car.
The days of changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles are long gone thanks to most cars having automatic oil monitoring systems, but about 800,000 General Motors vehicles apparently have incorrect monitoring software that is leading to premature engine component wear. According to Autoweek, certain 2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain models equipped with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines could be going too long in between oil changes resulting in a higher-than-normal number of warranty claims for the engine's balance chain. The balance chain links the balance shaft to the crankshaft, and a worn one can produce higher noise levels.
Thu, 04 Apr 2013 08:43:00 EST
As a fix, GM dealers will be reprogramming the software for the monitors in an effort to reduce the interval between oil changes, which varies based on driving habits and conditions. Through February 2015, the software update will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, but since this is not a recall, after that point, it will be up to the discretion of dealers as to whether or not they will charge for the service. What isn't immediately clear is whether GM plans on giving assistance to out-of-warranty customers who are experiencing engine issues from the worn chain.
General Motors has issued a recall and a stop sale for the 2013 Buick Encore due to an issue that could result in the steering wheel falling off on certain models. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM says that 144 Encores equipped with heated steering wheels could have been incorrectly retrofitted due to a parts shortage.
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 08:58:00 EST
Needless to say, a loose or separated steering wheel would likely cause an accident if it happened while the vehicle was in motion. The recall doesn't go into effect until April 12, but concerned Encore owners can use the official recall notice (attached below) to contact GM.
The sixth edition of the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards have crowned a wide range of winners - in a couple of cases the recipient of the laurels might say more about KBB users than they do about the actual winner. Compiled from the responses of more than 12,000 shoppers on KBB.com over the past year, there are 13 categories broken into non-luxury, luxury and truck segments "representing the combined wisdom of the American car-buying public."
Wed, 27 Mar 2013 09:30:00 EST
The award categories have been revamped this year, with some dropping off, some new ones appearing and at least one other given a new term. What isn't surprising is that Honda won Most Trusted Brand for the second year running, Best Value Brand for the third year in a row and took Best Overall Brand, which wasn't on last year's list of awards.
On our own shores, in the non-luxury categories Chrysler got Most Refined Brand and Buick took Best Value Luxury Brand. Neither one of those marques won anything in last year's Brand Image Awards, while Cadillac, which won Best Interior Design Brand and Best Comfort Brand last year - those awards disappeared this year - went home without a single accolade.
Following the introduction of the updated 2014 Buick LaCrosse and Regal, the oldest vehicle in Buick's lineup will be the Verano, which was just introduced last year. Having such a fresh product mix bodes well for Buick as it tries to create a new image in the US, and after checking out the amount of luxury being stuffed into the new LaCrosse for 2014, GM's awkwardly positioned brand may finally have the ability to stand out.
Wed, 27 Mar 2013 07:58:00 EST
Granted, the model unveiled was the all-new, top-of-the-line Ultra Luxury Interior Package, but this package brings top-notch leather and soft suede covering everything above the beltline as well as real ash wood accent trim throughout the cabin. While there was no mention of price, we don't expect this model to come cheap in terms of what we expect from Buick, although it will likely be competitively priced with similarly equipped rivals like the Acura TL or Lexus ES. Adding even more to the LaCrosse's interior, dual eight-inch displays make up the gauge cluster and center stack, and the number of buttons on the center stack have been greatly reduced, creating a cleaner look for the instrument panel.
Another big change is the next-generation of Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system that brings with it all of the recent enhancements of the Cadillac CUE and Chevrolet MyLink systems. Differentiating itself from other GM infotainment systems, the new Buick IntelliLink stands out by allowing users to customize the apps they can add and not just being limited to what GM sees fit.
Although the first day of the 2013 New York Auto Show kicks off bright and early this morning, Buick got a jump on the competition by unveiling the 2014 Buick Regal lineup last night. While the Regal received many upgrades for the 2014 model year, most of our attention was focused on the sedan's drivetrain.
Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:30:00 EST
When the new Regal hits dealers this fall, buyers opting for the new Regal Turbo will be welcomed by an additional 39 horsepower and 35 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0-liter turbo engine; the 2014 Regal GS now features the same output of 259 hp and 295 lb-ft, meaning that it has actually lost 11 hp over the 2013 model year. Buick says the reason for the GS' power loss comes from the fact that the newly available all-wheel-drive system forced the car to use a smaller diameter exhaust system, but representatives on hand assured us that the reduction of horsepower won't affect the car's performance and could even help improve fuel economy. And who knows? Maybe downgrading the power of the Regal GS also helps create a little breathing room for a future Grand National or GNX model...
Although the power under the hood is now the same, it is still impossible to confuse the two cars from the outside. Minor updates give both a fresher look, but the Regal GS has an unmistakeable aggression to it. The GS' interior also helps it stand apart from lower Regal trim levels with an eight-inch configurable gauge cluster similar to what is offered in the 2014 LaCrosse. The cabin of the Regal wasn't given an extensive makeover like the LaCrosse received, but the upgraded IntelliLink infotainment system and the cleaner center stack and steering wheel controls are appreciated changes.
Although the current Buick Regal hasn't even been on the market for very long, General Motors is using the New York Auto Show to unveil an updated version of the sedan in a similar fashion to what we saw yesterday with the 2014 LaCrosse. Like the LaCrosse, all 2014 Regal models will be getting a new look both for the exterior and interior design, but the big news takes place under the sedan's skin.
Mon, 25 Mar 2013 08:00:00 EST
Except for the base Regal eAssist, the Regal Turbo and Regal GS will both be adding the benefit of all-wheel drive, but there is no word as to how much weight this system will add to each car's curb weight. The Regal Turbo's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has received a decent bump in output from 220 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque to 259 hp and 295 lb-ft; unfortunately, these same figures are carried over to the Regal GS, which means that car drops from 270 hp. Both turbocharged models (Regal Turbo and Regal GS) will now be offered with all-wheel drive and the ability of sending more than 90 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels.
In terms of styling, the 2014 Regal gets similar styling changes found on the updated Enclave and LaCrosse, including reworked fascias, scalloped headlights and a full-width chrome strip spanning between the new LED taillights. Inside, key changes were made to the Regal's cabin technology, such as the instrument gauge cluster and infotainment system. On the Regal and Regal Turbo, a new 4.2-inch color display is available for drivers to see information for the vehicle, navigation and audio systems, but the Regal GS' cabin is slightly different with an eight-inch configurable gauge display. One of the best changes may be the overall reduction in buttons on the center stack, creating a cleaner-looking and easier-to-use cabin.
Buick might have one of the smallest lineups among major automakers, but by the time the 2014 model rolls around, it will definitely have one of the freshest. Debuting at the New York Auto Show this week, the 2014 Buick LaCrosse receives numerous styling changes inside and out, and it benefits from many of the same new features found on closely related models like the Cadillac XTS and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
Exterior changes are relatively minor, but they still help give the car a fresh, new look. The new face of the 2014 LaCrosse fits in with recently new or redesigned Buick models with its oversized waterfall grille, LED-trimmed headlights and the signature hood vents being moved to the side of the hood rather than the top. Similar changes have been made to the rear, like the reshaped LED taillights, the full-width chrome trim and a new fascia design; LaCrosse models equipped with the 3.6-liter V6 will still get the integrated exhaust finishers but they're executed in a more stylish manner than the current model. Finishing off the exterior, new wheel designs are also being introduced, which will include bringing 20-inch wheels to the sedan's option list.
Inside, Buick redesigned almost the entire cabin to create a more luxurious and upscale appearance. The instrument panel is essentially carried over, but pretty much everything else has been redesigned and updated with the biggest change being to the driver's area. Dual eight-inch configurable displays make up the center stack and gauge cluster, while the overall number of buttons have been reduced from 17 down to just seven. The 2014 LaCrosse will also be offered with the next-generation IntelliLink, which receives many of the same enhancements as Chevy's latest version of MyLink adding better customization, improved voice commands and more features including Pandora. Additionally, new door panels, seat and center console complete the LaCrosse's interior redesign.