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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

GM Goodwrench Getting The Long Kiss Goodnight

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 12:52PM | By: John Welch

GM Goodwrench Getting The Long Kiss Goodnight test 1-1

In another attempt to differentiate its brand images, GM will be axing the "GM Goodwrench Service Plus" branding it has used for its service arm since 1974. Originally introduced under the "Mr. Goodwrench" name, GM will split the former halo corporations' duties between its four brands, creating Chevrolet Certified Service, Cadillac Certified Service, Buick Certified Service, and GMC Certified Service in its place. Dale Earnhardt fans everywhere could be heard issuing a collective sigh of relief, as they can now rest assured that "Goodwrench" will never be resurrected on another, less worthy driver's stock car. The number "3" is a different story; Richard Childress have commissioned its use on more than one of his grandson's race cars.

Wait, what? I digress . . . “This is another part of the effort to clear out brand clutter,” a GM source said, though the brand will remain in Canada, where it still carries some sort of cachet. In the States, the brand will officially bite the dust February 1st, 2011. It seems that GM dealers have gone against the Mr. Goodwrench credo in recent years, failing to display signage touting "Service for all GM vehicles, at all GM dealerships, using nothing but GM certified replacement parts." The Goodwrench brand, obviously, has lost some of its sway.

Steve Hill, vice president and general manager, GM Customer Care and Aftersales, explains the new branding in a statement released this morning: “Certified Service supports GM's strategy to focus on the four brands—Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac—and is a natural extension of the customer's vehicle purchase experience at the dealership.”

The name change does little to affect the bad rap GM service has earned over the years, needless to say their crappy cars. Here's hoping the recent improvements in product design and execution trickles down to the proverbial service department. The full press release can be found inside this post . . .

Ford Stocks Are Up $16 per Share For First Time In 6 Years

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 10:53AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Stocks Are Up $16 per Share For First Time In 6 Years test 1-1

Ford Motor Co. announced that the company’s shares rose above $16 in the New York Stock Exchange trading for the first time in 6 years. It was a 2.2% rise to $16.21 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Ford’s stock has not been over $16 per share since June 23, 2004.

The company's rising stock price is a result of its strong October sales and positive investor reaction to the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program, which sent stocks broadly up at the end of the week.

Lamborghini Bids The Murcielago Adieu

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Bids The Murcielago Adieu test 1-1

The Lamborghini Murcielago has had a strong nine years at the top of the Lamborghini food chain, top of most car food chains to be truthful. The successor to the Countach and Diablo is treading on becoming the last-generation Lambo flagship with the launch of the Jota getting palpably close. Such an icon doesn't fade quietly into the night, though; it goes out with a celebration of its life. Last week, Lamborghini had just that celebration, holding an event to commemorate the Murcielago and bid it farewell.

Tesla To Take An Apple Approach To Selling Cars

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla To Take An Apple Approach To Selling Cars test 1-1

Tesla has been shaking up the auto market ever since its founding. A small firm with big ambitions that has gone where the inflexible, big-name automakers can't quite effectively navigate, Tesla has made plenty of headlines for its all-out performance electric Roadster.

Tesla's innovation won't stop at the production lines, as recent news reports detail. The company plans to create a unique retail experience that breaks the mold of the traditional auto dealership. Instead, Tesla will channel  its electric roots and model its dealerships after the consumer electronics industry.


BMW Invests $751 Million In Factory To Build Electric Vehicles

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:27PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

BMW Invests $751 Million In Factory To Build Electric Vehicles test 1-1

BMW's Megacity Vehicle will be the company's first battery-powered vehicle and BMW plans to market the car under a sub-brand. The German automaker recently reported its plans to invest $751 million in a new carbon fiber production plant in the U.S. that will build its Megacity electric-powered urban car. The new BMW factory is projected to create over 1,000 jobs, according to the company. The investment will also fund a $400 million expansion project for BMW’s Leipzig, Germany automotive plant. BMW plans to create 800 jobs at the eastern German site as it adds production of the Megacity Vehicle. The Leipzig factory currently assembles BMW's 1-series entry-premium car and X1 small crossover, and produces as many as 730 vehicles daily.

Chrysler Jumps On the Profit Bandwagon, Up 5.2%

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 1:05PM | By: John Welch

Significantly Revised 2011 Dodge Journey test 2

It seems good fortune is shing on all three of the established US automakers with Chrysler announcing a $239 million operating profit for the third quarter. On the heels of GM and Ford announcements espousing essentially the same good news, Chrysler  is bringing in more revenue through an improved product line up as well as higher average transaction prices. Chrysler is currently in the process of releasing 16 new or drastically improved models, which should translate to even more success.

Posting a net loss of $84 million, the Pentastar brand is seeing a turnaround in operating costs as well. Down from the $172 million net loss of a quarter ago, this represents Chrysler's smallest quarterly loss since its government-subsidised bankruptcy 17 months ago. This all translates into positive cash flow for Chrysler; the company expects to turn $500 million in positive cash this year. The original company forecast predicted a billion dollar loss for 2010. Not bad!

GM Reveals Details Regarding IPO

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 10:40AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM Reveals Details Regarding IPO test 1-1

General Motors has finally announced its long awaited public offering of stock which the company is hoping will yield $13 billion. GM will issue 356 million shares of common stock priced between $26 and $29 per share. An additional 50 million shares of B-series preferred stock will be sold at $50 per share. General Motors Co. had a disagreement with its government owners regarding the price of the automaker’s IPO before both entities settled on a range between $26 and $29 a share, according to undisclosed sources who stated they were familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Treasury was seeking a split-adjusted price of $30 per share, which was referred to as the “Obama number” by officials in the administration. That was the price the government would be able to recover all the money spent on GM’s bailout under President George W Bush and President Barack Obama. The Canadian government (also shareholders) has been pushing for stock prices in the $30s to maximize return as well.

Mazda Working on Rotary-Powered RX-9

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 4:19PM | By: Chris Weiss

Mazda Working on Rotary-Powered RX-9 test 1-1

News of the loss of the RX-8 earlier this year had to be a hard-hitter for rotary fans. I mean, what else do you have really? That news hit hard when it was reported that Mazda is planning on phasing the RX-8 out after its rotary engine failed to meet environmental standards. 2011 is expected to be the last model year for the RX-8.

That news, however, was from a few months ago. Today, we have better news. The latest word is that Mazda is well into the development process behind a new rotary engine. This one will be both more eco-friendly and more powerful. And it will be dropped in a new sports coupe tentatively called the RX-9.

Honda Committed To EV Technology

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:54AM | By: Chris Weiss

2011 Honda Jazz (Fit) Hybrid test 2

Over the past year, Honda has been doing a slow U-turn in terms of developing and committing to electric vehicles. Plug-ins were considered a waste of resources by previous CEO Takeo Fukui, but CEO Takanobu Ito, who took over last summer, seems to view them a little less skeptically. Last week, Honda announced a new electric vehicle concept that will debut at the LA Auto Show, and Ito said of the future of EVs and Honda: "...we have been researching [batteries] all along. Since I became president, that was accelerated quite a bit." Ito recently provided some further insight into Honda's EV plans in a discussion with Reuters.

Audi To Offer Robotic Engine Note in Its EVs

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:13AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi To Offer Robotic Engine Note in Its EVs  test 1-1

Range anxiety isn't the only big issue facing electric vehicle manufacturers. About a year ago, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released study findings showing that crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists occurred more frequently among hybrid drivers than among gas-powered drivers. While the NHTSA didn't get involved in analyzing the reasons behind the discrepancy, the quiet, "silent killer" nature of the hybrid (and electric vehicle) has been a concern among road safety organizations, organizations for the blind and vehicle manufacturers. Companies like GM, Toyota and Nissan have worked on artificial systems designed to mimic the sound of a gas car and warn pedestrians of approaching vehicles.

For its own future electric vehicles, Audi has decided to take a different route. Instead of a faux engine grumble, the company is borrowing some inspiration from Hollywood.

Cheverolet Accounts for 68% of GM's Third Quarter Profit Gain

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:09AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Cheverolet Accounts for 68% of GM's Third Quarter Profit Gain test 1-1

In October, GM posted sales of 183,392 units, 13% more than it did in October of last year. Chevrolet sales increased 7%, Buick increased 39%, GMC increased 30%, and Cadillac increased 15%. The majority of the inflated sales numbers were accounted for by crossover and full-sized pickup sales. In fact, over 47,000 of the total vehicles sold were Sierras and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks. GM sold 5048 units of the newly launched Chevrolet Cruze. GM picked up 2% of the total market share and Chevy sales made up 68% of the total.