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BLOG: Mike Colias
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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Mainstream brands have been nuzzling closer to their luxury counterparts in recent years, adding everything from heated steering wheels to high-end sound systems and high-tech safety packages.
But General Motors' Opel brand has reached a new level of luxury incursion with its redesigned Astra, a cousin of the Chevy Cruze.
Available features on the ... Continue reading "Opel pins compact car comeback on Astra's posh comforts" » Sep 18, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
One of the most distinctive design elements of the redesigned Opel Astra unveiled at this year's Frankfurt auto show is its “floating” roofline, an element likely to appear on future Opels -- and by extension, future Buicks.
Opel made the new Astra compact a bit smaller than its predecessor, but managed to increase interior space. That’s good for weight ... Continue reading "Opel Astra's 'floating' roofline likely to appear on future Buicks " » Sep 17, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
FRANKFURT -- One of the most distinctive design elements of the redesigned Opel Astra unveiled at the motor show here is its “floating” roofline, an element likely to appear on future Opels -- and by extension, future Buicks.
Opel made the 2016 Astra compact a bit smaller than its predecessor, but managed to increase interior space. That’s good for weigh ... Continue reading "Future Buicks could get Opel's 'floating' roofline" » Sep 16, 2015 6:14 am U.S. ET Permalink
Mary Barra will make her first public appearance at a European auto show as GM’s CEO next week in Frankfurt.
Her timing is pretty good.
GM’s Opel division had little to feel good about the last time the automotive world descended on its home country for the sprawling Frankfurt motor show, in September 2013. Opel had lost market share for 14 straight years. GM ... Continue reading "Why Barra's timing is good for Frankfurt appearance" » Sep 11, 2015 2:34 pm U.S. ET Permalink
If you squint hard at the label on the Cadillac CTS-V high-performance sedan that hits showrooms soon, you will see a subtle but telling shift in Cadillac’s pricing strategy.
The sticker starts at $83,995, including shipping. That’s about $11,000 below BMW’s M5 and about $9,500 less than the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
In recent years, Cadillac has tried to ... Continue reading "CTS-V sticker reflects shift in Cadillac pricing" » Aug 11, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET Permalink
We have been told to expect big things for Cadillac’s vehicle portfolio -- eight all-new models by 2020.
But a glance at its product-planning timeline shows that dealers and consumers will be waiting quite a while for much of that fresh sheet metal.
This year is a fun one productwise for Cadillac, with the arrival of three new, screamin’-fast V-series cars, a ... Continue reading "Cadillac's product onslaught: Hurry up and wait" » Jul 21, 2015 12:15 pm U.S. ET Permalink
DETROIT -- Soon, Chevrolet and GMC will gain a coveted marketing claim: Best fuel economy of any pickup.
General Motors invited reporters this week to drive a Chevy Colorado and a GMC Canyon equipped with 2.8-liter, four-cylinder Duramax diesel engines. The trucks go on sale this fall.
The GM engineers on hand were confident that the trucks' highway fuel-economy rating w ... Continue reading "Colorado, Canyon target 'best' marketing claim" » Jun 26, 2015 3:00 pm U.S. ET Permalink
DETROIT -- General Motors CEO Mary Barra and other top brass are in Kansas City today to mark the company's 500th million vehicle.
It must be hard for GM to decide when to celebrate its considerable corporate heritage, and when to pretend that it doesn't exist pre-2009.
A GM press release ticks off an impressive list of innovations that have rolled off GM assembly lines ... Continue reading "Hooray for GM's 500 millionth vehicle?" » May 4, 2015 10:39 am U.S. ET Permalink
SHANGHAI -- Since the Chevrolet Volt hit U.S. showrooms in late 2010, it's been dogged by a central question: How can General Motors drive down the plug-in hybrid's cost enough to make it affordable to more people, and eventually turn a profit?
I think I know at least part of the answer: Sell a boatload of them in a Chinese market that's fast warming to EVs.
GM has sold ... Continue reading "Why it could be the Volt's time to shine in China" » Apr 20, 2015 7:17 am U.S. ET Permalink
General Motors' swift, tidy resolution of Harry Wilson's advance on its board and balance sheet has GM CEO Mary Barra's fingerprints all over it.
By that, I mean it was handled efficiently and inclusively, without raising the temperature or decibel level in the room, by all accounts. And it left the opposing side with nothing but nice things to say.
"She ran an effective ... Continue reading "Barra's management style signaled in Wilson negotiations" » Mar 9, 2015 4:03 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Editor's note: This blog was updated to clarify details on GM Financial and on Cadillac spending.
DETROIT -- Marauders are storming General Motors’ “fortress balance sheet.” Or at least, they’re knocking loudly on the door.
Since GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, executives have used that fortress analogy to describe a fiscal philosophy marked by a comf ... Continue reading "How much damage can GM's financial 'fortress' sustain?" » Feb 10, 2015 1:54 pm U.S. ET Permalink
General Motors sold 8,147 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups last month.
Is that good or bad? It depends whom you ask.
Jalopnik leans toward bad, I guess, with this headline from Tuesday: "Is The 2015 Chevy Colorado In Danger Of Becoming A Failed Experiment?" The writer, who counts himself a Colorado fan, laments that in January, just its fifth month on the ma ... Continue reading "The magic number for Colorado and Canyon sales" » Feb 5, 2015 4:14 pm U.S. ET Permalink
DETROIT -- A year ago, just before Duncan Aldred took over as the head of Buick-GMC from his previous post at GM's Vauxhall brand, he visited the auto show here.
He didn't like what he saw.
The Buick stand, as Aldred remembers it, was like a sleepy backwater. Tucked in a corner between a line of supplier displays and Chevrolet's glitzy exhibit, there might as well have b ... Continue reading "Buick stand goes from crickets to glitz under Aldred's direction" » Jan 10, 2015 6:30 pm U.S. ET Permalink
SAN DIEGO -- It looks like the over-under bet on U.S. sales of Chevrolet’s new Trax small crossover next year is about 50,000.
I’m taking the over.
That’s not so much a wager on the Trax itself, though I found it a nimble, comfortable little ride during a media test drive here. It’s more that I’m buying into the buzz about small crossovers b ...