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GM dealers unhappy about pickup prices

Mon, 21 Oct 2013 17:44:00 EST

The backlash is beginning. Following General Motors' price hike of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra last week, dealers across the country are expressing their ire over increasing prices in the face of rebates and discounts on trucks from Ford and Ram.
Speaking to Automotive News, Sam Pilato, the general manager at Dimmitt Chevrolet in Clearwater, FL, Silverados are "selling very poorly." W. Carrol Smith, the president of Monument Chevrolet in the heart of truck country, Texas, said, "[GM's] position is that the vehicle stands on its own and it doesn't need a bigger rebate. That's not what the market is telling us."
According to AN, that's the general attitude amongst Chevy and GMC dealers across the country, where the twin pickups are getting butchered in sales by competitors offering up to $9,000 off their sticker prices. Part of the problem for GM is that its trucks are arriving on the market near the end of the current F-150's lifecycle, a fact that Ford has taken advantage of.

Kurt Busch to shake and bake (again) in Ricky Bobby car at Talladega

Sat, 19 Oct 2013 11:00:00 EST

Kurt Busch will channel Ricky Bobby for another NASCAR race, this time driving a Wonder-sponsored Chevrolet SS, in this weekend's Camping World RV Sales 500 at the Talladega Motor Speedway. Unlike past tie-ins, though, there's actually an element of sponsorship here (the "Me" car was done when Busch was running on a team without sponsorship).
It was arranged by Flower Foods, the new owner of the Wonder brand. Wonder was part of the bankrupt Hostess company, which temporarily exited the US market 2012, and set off the Great Twinkie Shortage.
Busch has made something of a habit of channeling characters from famous racing movies, most recently running Tom Cruise's City Chevrolet livery from Days of Thunder in a Nationwide Series race earlier this year. Busch kicked off his movie-inspired antics, though, at Talladega in 2012, when he raced El Diablo's ("It's like... Spanish for like a fighting chicken") "Me" car complete with a cougar on the hood. He even went so far as to channel the lovable idiot that is Ricky Bobby during the race, dropping a few catchphrases about macchiatos and slingshots.

GM already raising prices on 2014 Silverado and Sierra pickups

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 14:00:00 EST

General Motors must be pretty pleased with sales of its two newest pickups, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, as it's announced price hikes for both models, as part of a planned price tweak.
Prices will be bumped by as much as $1,500, although weirdly, they'll be offset by as much as $1,500 in cash-back offers through the end of October. Fox Business reports that GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the price hike, "With the sell down of the '13 models nearly complete, this price adjustment was planned and is a normal part of business."
The move, as Fox is quick to point out, is an interesting one, as sales of the twin pickups struggled last month relative to the Ford F-Series, while both of GM's crosstown competitors have been aggressively undercutting Silverado and Sierra prices. The F-150 starts at $24,070 and the Ram 1500 comes in at $23,600, not counting any cash on the hood. A base Silverado, meanwhile, retails at $25,575.

Man surprises girlfriend with C7 Corvette

Mon, 07 Oct 2013 17:00:00 EST

How would you react if someone just showed up at your place of work with a new, 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, complete with all the trimmings? While a lot of us would likely be flipping out over the still rare sports car, it's a fair bet many more of us would be responding like Pattie here, whose boyfriend stopped by her work to show her her new C7.
Speechless and shocked as she seems, she does end up taking it out for a drive, despite claiming she wasn't really outfitted to handle the car's seven-speed manual transmission at the time. From the sound of the video, we got the impression that she knew the car was coming, just not that it was anywhere near ready for delivery. It also, as Pattie says, seems like her boyfriend is more excited about the car than she (which, can we blame him?). Take a look down below for the full video of this C7 Stingray delivery.

GM sweetens military discount for Buick, Chevy and GMC

Sun, 06 Oct 2013 13:02:00 EST

American servicemen and women interested in a new vehicle from Chevrolet, Buick or GMC now have a bit more incentive to head down to their local dealer, as General Motors has announced plans to improve its military discount program.
The new GM Military Discount Program offers eligible consumers a new Chevy, Buick or GMC at invoice pricing, which in some cases can take very large chunks out of a car's retail price. When factored in with other incentives, most of which are available with the Military Discount, the bargains are thick on the ground for members of the US armed forces.
GM's Retail Sales and Marketing Support general manager, Chuck Thomson, said, "GM has long supported the military and military families, and we hope this simplified and enhanced discount will show our appreciation for their service and help make it easier for them to own one of our great new vehicles." The program is open to all active duty and reserve members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard, as well as veterans that have been out of the service for less than a year. Military retirees and their spouses are also eligible for the discount.

First privately owned Corvette Stingray blitzes 1/4 mile in 12.23 at 114.88 mph

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:32:00 EST

Chevrolet's latest road rocket, the Corvette Stingray, is a very quick car. If one needs further proof of that, we recommend they take a look at this video from Hennessey of what is claimed to be the first privately owned C7 Corvette to make a pass down the quarter mile. Not just any quarter mile, mind, this black C7 blitzed its way down the tuner's primary testing dragstrip. The Chevrolet ran the quarter in just 12.23 seconds at 114.88 miles per hour. That is a very quick time for a stock car.
Equipped with the Z51 package and a six-speed automatic transmission, not only does the C7 run a solid time, but it does so with little to no drama. That won't last though, as Hennessey will likely return it to its owner with far more power - we just hope they show a drag run of the completed product. Take a look below to watch the C7's 12.23-second run on video.

800k car names trademarked globally, suddenly alphanumerics seem reasonable

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 11:01:00 EST

What's in a name? This cliched phrase probably gets tossed out at every marketing meeting that happens when a new car gets its nomenclature. We know the answer, though: everything. The name of a car has all the potential to make or break it with fickle customers that are more conscious than ever about what their purchases say about them.
That's giving headaches to marketing folks across the automotive industry. "It's tough. In 1985 there were about 75,000 names trademarked in the automotive space. Today there are 800,000," Chevrolet's head of marketing, Russ Clark, told Automotive News. Infiniti's president, Johan de Nysschen, echoed Clark's sentiment, saying, "The truth of the matter is, across the world, there is hardly a name or a letter that hasn't already been claimed by one car manufacturer or another. You can go through the alphabet - A, B, C and so forth - and you will quickly see that almost all available letters are taken."
What has that left automakers to do? Get creative. In the case of Infiniti, it made the controversial move to bring all of its cars' names into a new scheme, classifying them as Q#0 for cars and QX#0 for SUVs and crossovers. So the Infiniti G, which was available as the G25 and G37, is now the Q50. The FX37 and FX50 are now the QX70.

GM 6.2L V8 claims most powerful light-duty truck engine title

Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:20:00 EST

General Motors has officially captured the horsepower crown for mainstream pickup trucks with its 6.2-liter V8. The big mill, available in both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, comes to market with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, handily outdoing its two cross-town competitors, Ram (5.7-liter V8, 395 ponies and 407 lb-ft) and Ford (6.2-liter V8, 411 hp and 434 lb-ft).
The new GM 6.2 will take a bit of an investment, though. Those that want the extra thrust will need to go with either the LTZ or High Country trims from the Chevy, or the SLT and Denali trims from GMC, which are the two highest trim levels for the respective vehicles. Trim levels aside, if you're in the business of towing, GM has you covered. Optioned with the 6.2-liter V8 and the Max Trailering Package, owners will be able to pull 12,000 pounds, a hugely impressive figure.
We still aren't certain as to what sort of economy the new engine will get, but it'll probably be a bad bet for the fuel conscious. As for availability, expect to see the 6.2-liter trucks in showrooms later in the fall.

GM says hybrid Corvette no laughing matter [w/poll]

Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:30:00 EST

When Mark Reuss was in LA recently, he sat down to have a few words with the scribes at the Los Angeles Times. When the issue of a hybrid Corvette came up, Reuss answered with "Don't laugh." The General Motors president is a complete fan of the possibility, calling it "attractive" and "really fun," believing it would improve GM expertise and that "people would love it."
Naturally, the president being supportive of an idea doesn't give indication that a hybrid Corvette is on the way. However, with supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari giving hybrid tech a solid, if remote, place in the performance car world, the inexorable trickle-down of technology means we shouldn't be surprised if and when it does happen.
And now that we have that non-negative half-answer to a speculative question, it would be irresponsible for us not to commence rumormilling for the C8 Corvette. Taking Reuss at his word, the C8 will obviously be a hybrid with all-wheel-drive - the left side wheels driven with electric motors, the right side with the mid-mounted, four-cylinder diesel engine. With coefficient of drag of just .16, figure on a 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time of under 2 seconds and an all-electric range of something like 30 miles at top speed. Don't forget, folks, you read it here first.

Diesel Power finds the ultimate modified oil-burner

Sat, 24 Aug 2013 20:00:00 EST

For nine years, Diesel Power magazine has run the Diesel Power Challenge, this year's grindfest being "a week-long torture test that features seven events, nine trucks, 8,000 horsepower, and nearly 15,000 pound-feet of torque." The road to being crowned "the most powerful truck" starts with a dyno run, and then continues through the completion of a CDL-style obstacle course, an eighth-of-a-mile drag race while towing a 10,000-pound trailer, a quarter-mile drag race without a trailer, a fuel economy test in the mountains and finally a sled-pulling test through a 300-foot-long packed-mud pit.
What kind of trucks get into such a fight? Last year's winner, for instance - who upgraded his truck this year to prove he didn't "luck into the win" - drives a 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty with a 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 upgraded with a custom intake, Elite Diesel triple turbos and a two-stage nitrous system. Another competitor has a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 powered by a 5.9-liter Cummins inline-six, upgraded with Garrett turbos, dual-stage nitrous, a seven-inch exhaust stack and twin fans built into the bed to cool the Sun Coast Omega transmission. The numbers on that truck: 1,255 horsepower, and 2,063 pound-feet of torque at the wheels. Naturally, as the image above might suggest, things don't always end well.
You'll find all five videos covering this years challenge below. A scene in the dyno video sums it all up perfectly: a competitor leaves his nitrous on too long and the crew is treated to some ominous poppings, he leans out the window, throws both hands up and shouts, "Amer'ca!"