Auto blogWed, 17 Sep 2014
General Motors has an early success on its hands in the form of the initial rollout of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks. According to the automaker, dealers have ordered nearly 30,000 of the trucks thus far, a number that far exceeded GM's early expectations.
This high demand for the Colorado and Canyon twins has prompted GM to add a third shift to its Wentzville Assembly plant where the trucks are built, starting early next year. An extra shift will add an additional 750 jobs at the location to the 1,315 that were already employed there, according to the press release that you're welcome to read down below.
Such positive sales projections for the Canyon and Colorado may portend good things for the midsize pickup segment, which was once hugely popular but has more recently contracted, with the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma standing firm as the market leaders. Now that GM's entries are the most up-to-date, and with the segment's first diesel engine on the way, it will be interesting to see how the trucks continue to sell and if their hopeful success leads more automakers back onto the playing field.
Carbon fiber is known for its properties of combining amazing strength with extremely low weight, and its frequent use in high performance vehicles gives the material a somewhat aggressive air. GMC is hoping to play on some of that mean reputation with its upcoming trio of Sierra Carbon Editions. However, despite their name, there's no actual carbon making its way onto these trucks (at least in the form of CF). Instead, the special edition is a graphics package with some extra equipment thrown in.
All three specials are based on the 2015 Sierra 1500 and can be ordered in two- or four-wheel drive configuration and with the standard 4.3-liter V6 or optional 5.3-liter V8. Things kick off with the standard Sierra Carbon Edition for $33,075, including destination, available only on the double cab body. Buyers get a black grille, carbon fiber decals on the hood and tailgate and body color trim for the door handles and mirror caps. The edition also adds keyless entry, a 110-volt outlet and LED cargo box lighting.
Buyers wanting just a touch more style can opt for the Carbon 20 Edition on the SLE double cab that gets the same exterior tweaks, plus 20-inch aluminum wheels, and retails for $38,275. Finally, there is the Carbon 22 Edition starting at $42,270 on the SLE in double- or crew cab models. It adds further black 22-inch wheels, tubular side steps, fog lights, keyless start, a universal home remote, dual-zone climate control and 110-volt outlet.
While the news of today is destined to be dominated by a certain plucky Japanese roadster, props to Chevrolet and GMC for announcing its own significant bit of news about their newest pickup twins, the midsize Colorado and Canyon. The two GM-owned brands announced that the twins' 3.6-liter V6 will return up to 26 miles per gallon on the freeway.
To get such efficiency from the 305-horsepower mill, you'll need to live without four-wheel drive and be okay with a max city fuel economy of 18 mpg. The combined rating for the 2WD model sits at 21 mpg. Adding four-wheel drive drops the city and combined ratings by one mpg, while the highway rating dips from 26 to 24 mpg.
As for the twins' eagerly anticipated 2.8-liter diesel engine, it's destined for model year 2016, meaning we've got a ways to go before its efficiency and output are certified.
Fri, 08 Aug 2014
The stiff punishments are part of broader transportation legislation, but clearly McCaskill has automakers in her sights.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill threw down the gauntlet this week, proposing a bill that could send auto executives to prison for life if they were found to have delayed a recall. She also wants to eliminate the limit for fines for auto safety violations, which are currently capped at $35 million.
Following last week's mild uproar after it was discovered that Ford and General Motors were removing some optional parts from their pickups to lower the curb weight and consequently increase the maximum payload, GM has come out and committed to a base curb weight for its upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact trucks (although it has yet to publish them) and its current Silverado and Sierra. The company will do the same for its heavy duty offerings, although those numbers have not been finalized yet.
"This will make our curb weight and payload specs more consistent with those of most other truck makers, making it easier for customers to compare vehicles," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told Autoblog in an emailed statement.
As GM notes - and as every manufacturer has noted since this story broke - customers still shouldn't take max payload ratings as gospel. Instead, they should refer to their truck's Tire and Load Label, like the one shown at the inset, which will offer detailed information on max payload, specific to their truck.
It's not unusual for there to be a lag between an automaker announcing a recall and the official documentation showing up on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. So it's no surprise that a recent GM campaign took about a month to appear in its official capacity. However, there appears to be some big differences between the two reports with potential safety implications.
In late June, GM announced that it needed to recall 181,984 examples of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7x from the 2005-2007 model years, plus the 2006 Chevy Trailblazer EXT and 2006 GMC Envoy XL. The new documents paint a slightly different picture with 184,611 needing repaired and different model years listed.
The reason for the fix is still the same, though. It's possible for fluid to contact the master power window switch module in the driver's door, which can corrode the part. Eventually this could cause a short circuit, leaving the buttons inoperable and potentially leading to a fire. But the new NHTSA documents add an important note: "A fire could occur even while the vehicle is not in use. As a precaution, owners are advised to park outside until the remedy has been made."
General Motors has just announced pricing for its new midsize pickup trucks, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Chevy's truck starts at $20,100, *not including $895 for destination, and the GMC starts at $20,995, **not including $925 for destination. These prices are for the base, extended cab models with the 200-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine.
Comparatively, these prices fit nicely with the $18,125 starting MSRP of the Toyota Tacoma and the $21,510 of the Nissan Frontier. Compared to the Colorado, the Canyon's extra $895 gets you niceties like LED running lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a four-way power driver's seat.
Both trucks come standard with the 2.5-liter engine, and a more powerful, 305-hp 3.6-liter V6 will also be available. Pricing has not been announced for the upcoming diesel model, which is expected to launch for the 2016 model year.
The row between Ford and Ram over who boasts the best-in-class tow rating for heavy duty pickups has revealed a number of things. Chief among them is a report that Ford removes items like the spare tire, jack, radio and center console from its vehicles in a bid to lower its base curb weight and therefore keep the truck's gross vehicle weight rating down.
For those that need a refresher, GVWR is the vehicle's curb weight plus its maximum payload. A lower GVWR allows Ford to station its F-450 among the so-called Class III pickups, despite the fact that internally, it has the makings of a more brutish Class IV truck.
Ford explains away these deletions, saying a customer could order their vehicle in such a manner. It has also come to light that Ford is not the only automaker to engage in such practices.
The invitation to come out and sample product at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, MI is rarely dull, and after spending this morning driving preproduction versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon all we can say is... under strict embargo. Sorry, America, we were as excited as many of you are to learn more about GM's new midsize truck range and take note of how they go down the road, but it's going to be September before we're allowed to share that with all of you. Here's to sweet suspense.
While we might not be able to talk about refinement or handling yet, we did find some of the product positioning and marketing statements from GMC and Chevy officials on hand at the program to be pretty interesting.
Of course, we all know that the literal competitive set for Canyon and Colorado is comprised of two comparatively ancient Japanese midsize trucks: the Toyota Tacoma (which currently owns this segment) and the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier's bones are as old as the 2005 model year, with 2009 marking the last time the truck was updated. The Taco was also launched in 2005, though it did see a freshening for 2012. The point remains that, in every facet from powertrain to dash plastics, the GM midsize truck twins are going to look positively space age by comparison when they hit the market for MY 2015.
General Motors has announced yet another sprawling recall campaign, with six separate elements covering 717,950 vehicles on US roads. At this point in 2014, it's starting to seem like there are more days with a GM recall than without. Perhaps most troubling about this latest volley, though, is that every vehicle is from the past few years, indicating that GM's quality woes may not be limited to pre-bankruptcy vehicles.
The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, and includes the 2011 to 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, 2010 to 2012 Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX and the 2011 to 2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse. Only vehicles with powered, height-adjustable seats are covered. In these particular cars and crossovers, the bolt that secures the height adjuster actuator may loosen of its own accord and in some cases fall out completely. If this happens, the seats will be able to move both up and down. GM claims the vehicles are safe to drive, provided drivers don't vertically adjust their seats. This particular issue has caused one crash and three injuries.
The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, including the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac SRX and the Buick Regal and LaCrosse.