Tag Archive | "General Motors"

GM, Costco Team Up on Holiday Sales Event


SAN DIEGO, CA — General Motors has once again partnered with the Costco Auto Program on a Holiday Sales Event, which kicked off on Oct. 1 for Costco members. This year’s event will feature models from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, including models not offered last year like the Chevrolet Colorado, Buick Cascada, Cadillac XT5 and GMC Canyon.

Costco members who register for the Holiday Sales Event at Costco.com/GM, then purchase and take delivery of a qualifying vehicle between Oct. 1 and Jan. 3, 2017, will receive GM supplier pricing, as well as most currently available GM incentives. In addition, Executive Members will receive a $700 Costco Card and Gold Star, and Business Members will receive a $300 Costco Cash Card for purchasing a qualifying model and completing all eligibility requirements.

“General Motors is excited to partner with Costco Auto Program to bring this valuable offer to Costco members,” said Jim Cain, GM spokesperson. “Seeing the continued success of the Holiday Sales Event with each year, GM is pleased to offer the largest selection of vehicles to date for Costco members that will make the event just as popular, if not more so, than last year’s event.”

Last year, nearly 58,000 vehicles were sold during the three-month promotion, a 34% increase from the prior year. Additionally, more than half of the people who purchased vehicles during the event said they switched to a General Motors brand because of Costco’s promotion, according to Costco officials.

For the full year, the warehouse retailer’s lead-generation program resulted in 465,000 units sold through its 3,000 dealer partners — a 16.8% increase from 2013. The No. 1 U.S. auto retailer, AutoNation, sold 533,000 vehicles in 2014.

The Costco Auto Program promises a streamlined buying experience for Costco members through “specially selected dealerships nationwide.” Contacts at participating dealerships are trained and certified to deliver “superior customer service.” The program also provides online tools to research, compare vehicles, and locate a participating dealer to make a purchase at prearrange price. Costco also offers member advocates to guide and support Costco members throughout the purchase process.

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General Motors Names New Vice President of Global Quality


DETROIT — General Motors Co. has named Tony Francavilla as vice president of global quality, according to a company announcement. In his new role, he will be responsible or leading the company’s global quality efforts, aimed at providing customers with the highest quality vehicles.

“We intend to earn customers for life by delivering exceptional quality,” Mary Barra said. “Tony’s diverse technical expertise and global leadership experience position him well to further accelerate GM’s progress in every aspect of vehicle quality.”

Francavilla began his career with GM in 1979 as a co-op student. Before receiving this promotion, Francavilla served as the executive director of global supplier quality, according to the company.

Francavilla will report to Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of GM.

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Tesla-Friendly Bill Resurrected in Connecticut


HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, along with General Motors and Alliance Auto Manufacturers, held a joint press conference on Tuesday to speak out against proposed legislation that would allow electric carmakers to circumvent state franchise laws and sell directly to consumers.

A public hearing was scheduled for today to discuss Senate Bill 3, which was introduced by state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff last month. The measure, which is currently being considered by the state’s Transportation Committee, mirrors legislation passed late last year by the state’s House of Representatives. However, the proposal was passed too late in the legislative session and died because of Senate inaction.

If the current measure is approved by the Connecticut General Assembly, it would allow electric vehicle makers to sell directly to consumers at up to three locations as long as they don’t have a franchise agreement with any existing dealer. Currently, the only manufacturer that qualifies is Tesla Motors.

“What we want to make sure we have is one set of regulations for everybody who’s going to compete in this marketplace,” said Landon Fulmer, vice president of state affairs for the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers in an op-ed piece published in The Connecticut Mirror. “We don’t need carve-outs, we don’t need loopholes. We need to make sure everybody plays by the same rules.”

Dealerships in the state are required to apply for a dealer’s licenses in order to sell vehicles in the state; manufacturers are barred from unfairly competing with a dealer and selling directly to a consumer.

“The franchise system works,” Fleming said. “It’s efficient. It’s competitive. It understands the local market.”

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GM Unveils Technology to Help Avoid Child Heatstroke Deaths


General Motors Co said on Tuesday it will introduce a new safety system to remind drivers to check for children in the rear seats, and that it could eventually develop features to detect forgotten children, reports Reuters.

The Detroit automaker showed off its 2017 Acadia SUV that includes what it says is an industry-first feature that will alert drivers who had opened the back door at the start of a trip to check the beak seat once they get to their destination.

“Too many children are inadvertently left behind in vehicles, often with tragic results. It’s hard to fathom but it does happen, leading to dozens of fatal heatstrokes in children under 14 every year,” said GM product planning chief Mark Reuss.

The system “does not detect the presence of a child in the back seat but as a simple extra reminder to look in the rear seat on the way out of the vehicle regardless of what may be there,” Reuss said.

He also said that the Acadia is one of the most popular GM vehicles for buyers with children.

While the new GM system won’t be able to sense if a child has been left behind, Reuss said GM could eventually add that capability.

Reuss said GM “has some pretty sophisticated anti-theft motion deterrent systems” and it is possible the automaker could add technologies to detect a child left in a parked vehicle.

The move comes as GM looks to bolster its safety reputation after it recalled a record-setting 30.4 million vehicles in 2014 in North America. GM paid a $900 million U.S. Justice Department fine in September to end an investigation into ignition switch defects linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries.

In July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has no plans to require automakers to add in-vehicle technology that would alert those who leave young children behind in hot cars.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in July that if automakers “develop (systems), and they work, and they’re effective, we don’t need to get into it.”

Between 1998 and 2014, there were an average of 38 U.S. deaths a year in hot cars, according to San Jose State University.

Around half were children accidentally left in hot cars, 29 percent were children playing in unattended cars and 18 percent were intentionally left behind. That means a technological fix would likely address only about half of the total deaths.

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Mary Barra Named New Chairman of GM


DETROIT — The General Motors Board of Directors unanimously elected Mary Barra as its next chairman, effective immediately. She succeeds Theodore Solso, who will serve as the Board’s Lead Independent Director.

“At a time of unprecedented industry change, the board concluded it is in the best interests of the company to combine the roles of Chair and CEO in order to drive the most efficient execution of our plan and vision for the future,” Solso said. “With GM consistently delivering on its targets and on track to generate significant value for its shareholders, this is the right time for Mary to assume this role.”

Barra has served as CEO of GM since Jan. 15, 2014, a role she will retain. Solso said that Barra has set a clear vision for the organization over the past two years, formed a strong leadership team from within and outside the company, delivered strong operating results, and led the introduction of breakthrough vehicles and technologies.

“The board has improved the overall governance of the company over the past two years and as lead independent director, I expect to continue to build on this solid foundation,” Solso said. “The board also plans to broaden its active engagement with shareholders as we go forward.”

Prior to becoming CEO in 2014, Barra had served as executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain since August 2013, and as senior vice president of global product development since February 2011. She was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world.

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Detroit Three, UAW Will Square Off Over Wages, U.S. Jobs


The Big Three U.S. automakers and the United Auto Workers union will kick off bargaining Monday for new contracts that would set how much more robust, post-recession profits the industry shares with workers, and determine union costs to win more U.S. jobs, reports Reuters.

UAW leaders said they will insist on raises for 139,000 blue-collar workers at U.S. plants run by Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after rounds of bargaining in 2007 and 2011 that led to substantial concessions. Union leaders and chief executives of the Detroit Three are scheduled to stage public handshakes next week, starting Monday. Their current contracts expire Sept. 14.

Union President Dennis Williams has said he wants to narrow the gap between veteran workers, who make about $28 an hour, and employees hired since 2011 with a “second tier” hourly wage of $16 to $19.

Labor accounts for a declining share of a vehicle’s cost, said Sean McAlinden, chief economist at the Center for Automotive Research, noting that the three automakers’ costs for UAW members fell to 5.7 percent last year from 11.5 percent in 2007.

But executives at the Detroit Three said their ability to add more UAW jobs depends on offsetting increases in wages or benefits with gains in productivity. Health care costs promise to be a central issue, as the automakers face paying a so-called “Cadillac tax” of 40 percent on rich UAW medical plans starting in 2018.

John Fleming, head of Ford manufacturing, said the company expects to boost productivity by 6 to 7 percent in all its factories. “Every dollar that we don’t take out is a dollar that your competitor can spend on making their vehicles more competitive,” he said.

The automakers’ leverage is strengthened by the union’s failure to organize auto plants in the southern United States operated by Asian and European manufacturers, and by the growing capability of Mexican auto workers and suppliers to build cars for the U.S. market.

Ford jolted the union on Thursday by announcing plans to move production of its small Focus and C-max hybrid cars out of a factory in suburban Detroit by 2018. The company said the Wayne, Michigan, factory’s future would be a subject of bargaining in this round of talks.

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