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Auto blogWed, 05 Dec 2012 18:44:00 EST
Automotive News reports that General Motors may slash production or ramp up discounts in order to deal with an oversupply of pickup trucks. GM currently has more than double the standard supply of pickups, and the vehicles are threatening to dampen the automaker's profits for 2013. Typically, automakers try to sustain a 60- to 75-day supply of vehicles, but GM is currently loaded with a 139-day supply, as of last month. At the end of November, the automaker was sitting on 245,853 units.
The manufacturer says that it will adjust production accordingly before laying any incentives on the profitable pickups. Even so, there's some concern that the inventory swell could hurt the roll-out of the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM actually began slowly stepping back production in August, but it's clear the company will take further action as it heads toward the end of the year and into the next. Analysts predict the automaker could reduce pickup manufacturing by nearly half in the first quarter of 2013.
That still may not be enough to keep GM from laying extra cash on the Silverado and GMC Sierra. While the company's incentive spending was down in November compared to the same month in 2011, both the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 saw double-digit percentage increases in sales last month while the Silverado and Sierra numbers slid compared to a year prior. Incentive spending could help move more trucks and add some balance to the GM inventory surge.
JD Power has released its annual Sales Satisfaction Index Study, and once again Mini and Lexus have taken top honors. Overall, buyers are more satisfied with the auto-buying sales experience than they were last year, with those surveyed reporting an average score of 664 points on a 1,000-point scale. That's up from 648 in 2011. Dealer satisfaction also increased by five points over last year as well.
All told, Lexus brought home an index score of 737, which was high enough to put it atop the luxury brands for the second year in a row. JD Power says Infiniti came in second in that category with a score of 728 and Cadillac rounded out the podium with it's rating of 725. Speaking of Infiniti, that brand saw the single largest jump in sales satisfaction of any brand on the survey, popping up 52 index points over 2011.
Among mass-market brands, Mini ranked highest with a score of 712, followed closely by Buick with 706 and GMC farther down the line with 683. You can check out the full press release below for more information.
For those who are interested in the reworked 2013 GMC Acadia, we now know how much you can look forward to forking over. Base MSRP for the 2013 version of the full-size, three-row crossover has been set at $34,875 (*not including a $825 destination charge). If you are interested in the range-topping Denali trim, be prepared to pay $46,770.
The 2013 Acadia will come standard with a backup camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel, USB port and recycled visuals from the now-dead Saturn Outlook.
Upping to the Denali trim gets you a head-up display, blind spot monitoring system and GMC's new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system. According to GMC, most trims will also receive IntelliLink connectivity as standard equipment. The Acadia will also get the industry's first front-center airbag, an innovation it shares with other Lambda-based crossovers like the refreshed 2013 Buick Enclave. The idea behind the new tube-shaped airbag is that it can provide a buffer between driver and front seat passenger in the event of an impact, or better hold the driver in place if he or she is alone.
After a door-fire investigation that dates back to February, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has officially announced a recall today that affects around 250,000 General Motors SUVs for a faulty driver's door module. The recall applies to the Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X from the 2006 and 2007 model years, as well as the 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL for vehicles sold and/or registered in the Snow Belt.
Road salt use in these midwestern and northern states can lead to corrosion of the driver's door module on these GMT360 and GMT370 vehicles, which allows water to come in contact with the circuit board. If shorted out, the vehicle's power door locks and power windows will not work, and could possibly lead to overheating and, in some circumstances, a fire. No official word on how many total vehicles caught on fire, but back in June, 28 fires had been reported to the government agency. A fix for the problem is still being worked out, but all affected vehicle owners will be notified by GM.
Scroll down for the official NHTSA statement.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is evidently keeping itself very busy these days, as the federal agency has just announced it is launching or renewing investigations into Toyota, Honda and General Motors crossovers.
2006-2008 model year Toyota RAV4 crossovers are under review for allegations of rear tie-rod rust which can result in failure. NHTSA also said it is probing some 35 complaints about 2005 Honda Pilot models with inappropriate activation of the vehicles' stability control system. The alleged malfunction can cause the vehicles to slow down or stop in bad unsafe situations. At the moment, NHTSA is reviewing a petition regarding the Pilot issue, a move that will determine whether it needs to open a full-blown investigation.
In addition, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia three-row crossovers built in 2007-2009 are getting looked at for "loss of low beam headlamp" function. One complainant said the wiring in his Outlook overheated and melted. NHTSA says it has received 415 complaints about the problem and a GM spokesman confirmed that the automaker already started a "Customer Satisfaction Program" in December to address the issue.
General Motors unveiled the company's refreshed GMC Acadia at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show yesterday, and if you were paying attention, you may have noticed something curious about the vehicle. While the new Acadia looks considerably better than its predecessor, a few components of the design looked more than a little familiar. Upon closer observation, it appears that GM has simply repurposed elements of the now defunct Saturn Outlook crossover on the 2013 Acadia. Both vehicles seem to share the same wrap-around rear glass, back hatch, tail light openings and exaggerated, squared-off fender arches.
While the vehicles are differentiated by badging, tail lamps and a rear valance, there's no denying the similarities toward the vehicle's rear. Up front, both share similar fenders, though adjustments have been made for the varying headlight designs.
That's good news if you just can't imagine life without the Saturn Outlook.
2010 Buick Enclave - Click above for high-res image gallery
The summer of 2010's recall hit parade continues unabated today, with General Motors having just announced that it is asking 243,403 owners of its 2009-2010 Lambda crossovers to bring their three-row haulers in for inspection. The culprit? Second-row seat belts in select Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook CUVs have "failed to perform properly in a crash."
According to GM, a second-row seat-side trim piece is to blame, as it can impede the upward rotation of the buckle after the seat is folded flat. As a result, if the buckle makes contact with the seat frame, cosmetic damage can occur, potentially requiring additional force to operate the buckle properly. So far, no great shakes, but in the process of applying that additional force, the occupant may push the buckle cover down to the strap, potentially revealing and depressing the red release button. As a result of this, the belt may not latch, or in certain cases, it may actually appear to be latched when, in fact, it isn't.