posted by GM Fan on Nov 12

Carl-Peter Forster, president of Opel and GM group VP, will vacate his post as the head of the company’s European operations and will most likely advise Opel to find a new top executive.

Forster’s departure triggers the hunt for the next CEO but the most likely replacement is no longer a stranger to GM, no one else but its czar Bob Lutz.

These decisions and movements come after General Motors decides to keep Opel that sell most of its shares to Sberbank and Magna. Bob Lutz will most likely be the Chairman of the supervisory board for Opel.

European operation is not new to Lutz who started his career with GM Europe from 1963 to 1971. He also played the role of executive VP for the BMW sales between 1971 and 1974. He also served as chairman of the European division of Ford in the early 1980’s.

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posted by GM Fan on Aug 7

General Motors returns to leasing some of their luxury vehicles after exiting about a year back. The program was recently re-launched to include some models from their 2010 and 2009 fleet. Consumers can check out some units from Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC.

The program is operated in collaboration with U.S. Bank. Pilot runs of the leasing program include vehicles of GM sold in Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. The new gen Cadillac SRX is being offered for lease nationally by the bank. The initial run will go through August 31, 2009.

GM was forced to cut their leasing program last year due to the drop in profits. Consumers also showed low demand for vehicles because of the recession. The economy is starting to fix itself and the demand for cars has been up recently. According to statistics that monitors the demand in the leasing market, there was a 22% jump in the market demand for the Escalade of Cadillac. The Enclave from Buick has an 18% rise.

Although GM sales was doing okay without the leasing program, the car manufacturer believes that they have a sector which really needs it. The crossover Cadillac SRX really adds excitement to the luxury leasing program since it is offered nationwide.

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posted by GM Fan on Jul 15

Last weekend, a bankruptcy court judge gives a nod for the sale of assets for the most valuable assets of GM to end bankruptcy protection from the ownership of the government.GM Flag This means that the car manufacturer is a step closer from getting out of bankruptcy.

Robert Gerber, the judge who ruled on the case, described it as a necessary step to prevent the death of a critically ill patient. The court has given a stay of four days which permits a close as early as July 10.

The sale will transfer in essence all of the properties of General Motors to the NGMCO Inc. which was established by the Department of Treasury. NGMCO will be known as General Motors Company once the sale is completed and will operate through the corporate GM and all of its sub brands.

Fritz Henderson will be the CEO of the newly established GM. The cost of operations will also be competitive in terms of its structure with standing agreements with the UAW and CAW, organizations of Auto Workers in United States and Canada, respectively.

The new status of GM will allow it to operate and gain profits at lower volume of productions. GM attributes this foresight to the cleaner debt sheet and better balance sheet post bankruptcy.

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posted by GM Fan on Jul 3

About a week ago, General Motors denied that it will be licensing the Synergy Drive hybrid system of Toyota. Over the weekend, there are rumors that Toyota might be pushing the Prius over to the GM camp and be re-branded wearing a GM badge.

The picture is not that clear especially when one considers the effort of GM in developing the Volt and the Buick crossover. But with the announcement of General Motors that it will be withdrawing from its partnership with Toyota at the NUMMI or New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated, the move of re-branding the Prius may be a logical move.

The withdrawal was made after a final agreement as to which future product line up should be developed cannot be made between the two parties.

A spokesperson from GM North America informed the press that the joint venture between Toyota and their company has no future units planned for production.

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posted by GM Fan on Jun 26

There is no such thing as a smooth exit route from bankruptcy, and auto industry giants like General Motors and Chrysler created some buzz on all media when they declared Chapter 11. Everyone doubts that they will be out of it within the plotted 60 days but it seems GM will be setting up a new shop by 15 July.

According to some reports, there will still be some impediments to overcome before GM can see its new beginning. Most of these processes will not have GM calling the shots— the bankruptcy judge still needs to rule on urgent matters by July 1. The court will hear a call for sale based on Section 363 which will involve putting on the market of the GM assets.

The General Motors is eyeing to form a new company by mid July and try to cut its time in the bankruptcy court. Among the major issues needed to be addressed is the reorganization.

The car manufacturer aims to chop of from its rank hundreds of dealerships across the United States before the end of 2010. The dealers who will remain in business can definitely smile but be ready for tougher demands for their businesses.

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posted by GM Fan on Jun 17

The cost of labor may be one of the major factors in the current slump the US auto industry is experiencing. Up to a certain degree, that statement can be true, but without labor there will be no cars. General Motors is looking that the possibilities with the UAW to cut the gap of labor costs versus the non-labor auto producers.

The move is supported by as much as 74% of the union locals and is set to help make the American brands more competitive with the foreign brands of vehicles rolling into the US shores.

The deal with the UAW focuses on the essential elements like decreasing the production cost per unit and explore possibilities on retirement plans. These points will help GM handle its large population of retired workforce and its current wages and benefits for the employees. At present, the changes will affect about 54,000 employees across 46 plants and offices in the United States.

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posted by GM Fan on Jun 3

General Motors is planning to build small and fuel efficient cars in the United States that can compete with the B segment of the market as tougher mileage guidelines may be implemented based on the proposal of the Obama administration.

GM executives reveal that it might structure one of its plants that is scheduled to go on idle for the production of the vehicle. The plan will create 1200 jobs, which includes salaried and hourly labor. The car manufacturer has not selected a specific plant yet, but the investment is said to be between $600 million and $700 million.

In the US and around the globe the segment of small cars is the fastest growing market. The GM designers believe that the new generation of small cars will be ahead of the pack in terms of customer appreciation.

The specs of the new car have not been revealed. It will not be like Chevrolet Aveo which is built in South Korea or the Spark which is due for release in 2011. The Volt and the Cruze belong to the segment of larger cars. The company has also shown small, concept cars like the Groove and the Trax.

Cars in the B segment are considered entry-level, small cars. The Toyota has the Yaris in the B class while Honda has Fit, and Ford markets Fiesta. Aveo represents GM in this cluster.

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posted by GM Fan on May 21

Three firms— Fiat, Magna, and RHJ— lead the pack to buy Opel, a General Motors subsidiary. Bids for buying Opel were due last Wednesday and it has been confirmed that the Italian car maker Fiat, Belgian investment firm RHJ, and Canadian company Magna International formally placed their offer.

General Motors is against the wall as it faces the June 1 deadline of the federal government to restructure their business and come up with compromise deals with its debtors so they can get more loans.

Insiders have warned that the car manufacturer might not be able to beat the deadline. Experts foresee GM to seek bankruptcy protection when the bell rings on June 1.

Earlier reports cited Fiat as the favored bidder with greater than 50% potential of winning the Opel takeover as based on the expertise that the company has. The latest information suggests that some German officials have expressed preference for the offer from Magna International.

GM officials are also skeptical of the plans of Fiat top executives to combine the Opel business with its stakes on Chrysler LLC and the automaker’s operation in Europe and Latin America.

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posted by GM Fan on Apr 29

During the General Motors press conference at the North American International Auto Show, it was announced that two fuel efficient Chevrolets will hit North America in 2011—The Chevrolet Spark mini-car and the seven-seater Orlanda multi-purpose compact vehicle.

The Chevrolet Spark was formerly introduced as the Chevrolet Beat Concept at the New York Auto Show in 2007. While most of the Beat’s concept was adapted, the implementation of larger windows is the most notable change. The fog lamps, headlights, and grille have been changed; the front has been altered to appear less sporty; and the Spark also looks as if it has been raised higher off the ground.

“Chevrolet Spark will bring great style, roominess and versatility to the segment of extremely fuel-efficient small cars in the U.S.,” Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, said. “The decision to add the Spark to Chevrolet’s portfolio reflects the brand’s commitment to being a fuel efficiency leader in the country.” The full production form of the Chevrolet Spark will be shown in March 2009 at the Geneva Auto Show. Europe will get the first glimpse of its sales in 2010.

Green Chevrolet Spark

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posted by GM Fan on Apr 5

Problematic financial books of the General Motors forced it to delay the development of an advanced 4.5L diesel engine for their line of light duty trucks.

The engine is designed with cylinder heads that eliminate the exhaust and intake manifolds. The castings of the journals of the crankshaft bearing and oil circulation set up are also especially engineered.

This engine with a very lightweight block is due under the hood of the next generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. If the production of the engine would have pushed through next fall, these vehicles would have been more fuel efficient.

The move to delay the production of the engine in Tonawanda New York is just one of the desperate moves of the autoworld giant to stay afloat amid the rough hits of the financial crisis. GM has been trying to sell off some assets, get rid of some brands to create a miracle after four years of being non-profitable.

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