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Auto blogMon, 20 Jun 2011 19:57:00 EST
Bob Lutz sits down for Autoline Detroit - Click above to watch video after the jump
Autoline Detroit recently played host to Bob Lutz, and, as is always the case, the former General Motors vice chairman dished out some great commentary. Lutz was promoting his new book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business, and talk quickly turned to his role as it related to product development and high-level decision making at GM. While on the topic of brand management, Lutz revealed a few rather interesting tidbits about his former employer:
All Chevrolet vehicles were required to have five-spoke aluminum wheels and a chrome band up front, as part of the Bowtie brand's overall image.
You can now put prices to your wildest option-sheet dreams of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. A microsite for the full-size pickup truck twins has been up since January, and now the full-blown configurator is live and ready to take your virtual orders. The only two chassis configurations available at the moment are the Crew Cab with either a short or standard bed - Regular and Double Cab versions will come later. In Silverado flavors that will run you $32,710 for the short box, $33,010 for the standard box, while the Sierra adds a $1,500 premium to both of those prices, and destination and handling for both models adds another $995.
Since these are American pickups the list of modifications is lengthy, but we added $11,450 in just two steps by starting with the Silverado Crew Cab and standard bed, then checking four-wheel drive and the LTZ Z71 package. Our final truck, resplendent in Brownstone Metallic paint, heated and cooled Cocoa/Dune perforated leather seating and tasty details like chrome recovery hooks, and engine block heater and LED cargo box lighting, rang up $57,285 at the candy store.
They'll be on dealer lots sometime this summer, so now's a good time to start practicing your box-checking.
According to a letter from General Motors to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, flaws in the build process of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu have led to the recall of 8,519 cars. Units built between December 6, 2011 and January 15, 2013 may have been assembled with rear suspension cradles that had insufficient torque applied to certain bolts. That out-of-spec assembly could lead to issues ranging from slight noises to a loss of vehicle control.
The problem was first noticed in December of last year by a GM test fleet driver and eventually tracked back to the improperly torqued bolts on the suspension cradle assembled through July 2012 by a supplier located not too far from the Malibu's Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant. Since an official NHTSA recall notice has not been issued yet, it isn't clear whether or not Detroit-built Malibus were the only ones affected (the 2013 Malibu is also built at GM's Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas). Dealers will fix the problem by inspecting vehicles for proper torque specs, retightening if not within specs and, in some cases, perform a rear-wheel alignment.