Auto blogWed, 12 Nov 2014
Challengers come and challengers go, but the Jeep Wrangler continues to push forward even after vehicles like the Toyota FJ Cruiser and the entire Hummer brand have been shut down. Now GMC reportedly wants to take a stab at the quintessential Jeep, as well.
The news comes directly from Buick-GMC vice president Duncan Aldred, speaking with our compatriots over at Edmunds. Although Aldred said there are no plans currently on the table to expand GMC's lineup beyond the current range, "there is plenty of room everywhere in the hierarchy."
That could include a rival to the Wrangler, as well as a flagship luxury SUV positioned above the current Yukon Denali (pictured above). Just when (or for that matter, if) such models might come into fruition remains a big question mark, but it's certainly interesting to see what GM's dedicated truck brand has on the drawing board.
Considering that crossovers are a rapidly growing portion of the US auto market, it's not surprising to hear that General Motors is preparing to build even more of them. The company is investing $63 million to expand its Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant that builds Lambda platform CUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.
According to GM, the expansion will add roughly 263,000 extra square feet of space to the plant. Of that, 181,000 square feet will be for an updated body shop with cutting-edge robots. There will also be 54,000 square feet of additional room in the paint shop and 28,000 square feet of more area for general assembly.
GM isn't saying as much, but there is the possibility that this extra space could allow for additional models produced at the factory. Cadillac reportedly dropped plans to build a three-row SUV on the Lambda platform earlier this year, however, dealers for the luxury brand were recently pitched the possibility of adding large and small CUVs, an ATS convertible or a sedan below the ATS.
People are a weird sort. Even after registering over 70 recalls through the first three-quarters of 2014, General Motors saw its best Q3 results since Jimmy Carter was in the White House, registering over 2.4 million global sales between June and September on the back of strong results in the US and China.
US sales were marshaled by good results for GM's pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which bumped the manufacturer's truck market share to 35.6 percent, up nearly three points from Q1 2014. Buick has seen healthy growth as well, with the Encore dominating its segment for the sixth month running.
It was China, though, that really bolstered GM's sales, as the company's efforts to top last year's record-setting 3.16 million units continued apace. Small SUV sales saw massive growth, with Encore, Chevrolet Trax and Captiva figures jumping 90 percent in Q3. Brand-wise, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick all saw sales gains in the PRC, with each recording double-digit year-over-year jumps. Cadillac sales alone were up 63 percent compared to the first nine months of 2013.
Fri, 03 Oct 2014
The recall affects 2,432 vehicles, though only 138 had actually reached consumers.
General Motors quickly fixed an airbag-wiring problem with the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, but is still conducting a small recall to repair the midsize trucks that are launching this fall.
General Motors is issuing a stop-delivery order for its latest midsize pickups, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, because the driver's side airbag might not be wired correctly. The total number of vehicles affected is still being determined.
According to the statement from GM, the problem, "affects the vehicles' two-stage airbag system by reversing the deployment sequence and disrupting the deployment timing of the driver airbag stages." That means in an accident the bag may not work correctly.
Most of the affected trucks are still on the assembly line, in transit or unsold at dealers, says GM. Until a way to repair the problem is found, customer deliveries are stopped. However, "a small number" of them are in the possession of buyers. GM is contacting these people by phone and by FedEx letter to have the vehicles returned to dealers. In the meantime, they'll be given a loaner to drive.
General Motors has issued a stop-sale to dealers and has notified the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration of its intention to recall 117,000 vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Of those vehicles, only 4,500 are at dealerships.
The affected vehicles include the Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans, fullsize SUVs (Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL), Lambda-platform crossovers (Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia), heavy-duty pickups (Chevy Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD) and fullsize vans (Chevy Express and GMC Savana). The sedans and body-on-frame SUVs include model years 2013 and 2014, while the CUVs, heavy-duty pickups and vans are limited to MY2014.
GM confirmed the recall to Autoblog via an emailed statement (which we've included below). According to the statement, the issue at hand in what is the company's 69th recall of 2014 covers the chassis-control module. Automotive News is reporting that a problem in the chassis-control system could cause a short in the module, which could cause the engine to stall or fail to start. The fault could also affect the trailer-brake control, provided it's equipped.
This weekend will see the world's collector car crowds descend on Las Vegas, NV for one of the biggest shows on Barrett-Jackson's popular auction circuit. There are hundreds of vehicles up for bidding, ranging from a brand-new Lamborghini Aventador to a spattering of Art Deco classics and a huge swath of classic muscle cars.
While it's virtually impossible to assemble an inarguable list of the best cars coming during the three-day, 700-plus vehicle auction, we've sifted through the listings for this year's show - it was a tough assignment, we promise - and assembled a list of what we think will be some of the most interesting lots. We'll admit, it's a bit heavy on American iron, but if you browse BJ's listings, you'll come to a similar conclusion. Still, scroll down for our list of what we think will be the most interesting vehicles at the upcoming auction.
As discussed earlier today, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is a new standout in terms of midsize trucks. But the Colorado wasn't the only pickup the General Motors team brought to San Diego for us to sample. Also along for the ride was a pack of GMC Canyons, the slightly more expensive and polished platform-mate to the Chevy.
There's no question that the Canyon and the Colorado are a lot alike under the skin - almost entirely, in fact - so GMC has worked to first create some daylight between the two trucks by way of sheetmetal. This is most obvious from the front view, where the blocky and blingy GMC grille replaces the more subdued tone and shape seen on the Chevy's nose. Projector headlights with LED running lights come as standard, and, again, with the squared-off look that is typical of the brand. 16-inch aluminum wheels come stock on the GMC, too, with the 17-inchers seen on my photo truck offered as standard equipment on the top-trim SLT.
GMC considers the Canyon to be the only premium truck in the segment (which is clearly true), and the team has spent a ton of time and effort to get the interior correct to prove out that point. "Any trim that looks like metal, is metal," I was told at the product briefing, a certain indication that the company is serious about bringing a new class of buyer to a truck segment that it hopes to redefine.
Before even officially going on sale to customers, the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup twins are already proving to be a success with dealer orders exceeding original projections. Now, there is even more good news for these siblings, with the fuel economy for their four-cylinder engines netting class-leading numbers and the 3.6-liter V6 getting segment-best payload ratings.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the two trucks makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, and in rear-wheel drive and six-speed manual trim it has an EPA rating of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Opting for a two-wheel drive configuration with the six-speed automatic bumps those figures slightly to 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Finally, a four-wheel drive model with the automatic 'box carries a 19/25/21 rating. Those numbers are a tick better here and there compared to what's offered by the optional V6.
The twins' major four-cylinder, midsize pickup rivals are the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, but they're both getting somewhat long in the tooth. To compare fuel economy and power, a two-wheel drive Tacoma with its 2.7-liter four-cylinder is rated at 159 hp and 180 lb-ft, and achieves 21/25/22 mpg. The Frontier with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder is good for 152 hp and 171 lb-ft, and carries 19/23/21 mpg figures.
Forget about the so-called sporty Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition. If you want a General Motors pickup with some added style, this one looks like a more cohesive, well-done package to our eyes (though it's also not "sporty," despite GM using that term over and over again). It's called the GMC Sierra Elevation Edition, and it hits dealerships later this year.
For its more stylish truck, GMC has fitted the 2015 Sierra Double Cab with a body-colored grille surround, door handles, mirror caps, side moldings and bumpers. The truck also rides on black 20-inch aluminum wheels.
The Elevation Edition, which GMC contends qualifies as a sport truck, comes standard with the Sierra's 285-horsepower, 4.3-liter V6, though buyers can opt for the more powerful 5.3-liter V8 with 355 hp. Other standard goodies include OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and Bluetooth, all housed in the 4.2-inch Intellilink color display.