The Week: Most Recent Auto Industry:General Motors recent posts.en-usMon, 14 Jan 2013 14:25:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Auto Industry:General Motors from THE WEEKMon, 14 Jan 2013 14:25:00 -0500The new Corvette Stingray: Worth the wait?<img src="" /></P><p>"It's finally here, folks," says Nelson Ireson at <em>The Christian Science Monitor</em>, "and it looks great." General Motors on Monday officially unveiled the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray at Detroit's North American International Auto Show. It's the seventh generation of the iconic American sports car, and the first new version in eight years. (See a close-up of the new Corvette and a vintage one below.) The look and the resurrection of the Stingray subtitle, which dates to 1963, "hint at the past of the Corvette," while some other cues &mdash; the old round tail lights are gone, the hood is vented...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:25:00 -0500The government's plan to get out of General Motors: Too soon?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Critics of the Obama administration won't have "Government Motors" to kick around anymore. The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced that it would <strong>sell its entire stake in General Motors</strong> within 15 months, bringing to close a controversial $50 billion bailout that saved more than 1 million jobs. GM will buy back 200 million shares for $5.5 billion, or $27.50 a share, an 8 percent premium on GM's closing share price on Tuesday. That will leave the Treasury with 300 million shares, equivalent to 19 percent of the company, which the government plans on selling in small batches.</p><p class="p1">The deal is part...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Wed, 19 Dec 2012 13:53:00 -0500Time for the government to sell its stake in GM?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">General Motors, sick and tired of being mocked as Government Motors, is putting pressure on the Obama administration to sell its 26.5 percent stake in the car company, say Jeff Bennett and Sharon Terlep at <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>. GM says the government's ownership stake, part of a $50 billion bailout in 2009, "is a drag on its reputation and hurts the company's ability to recruit talent because of pay restrictions." In addition, GM executives aren't happy about government rules that limit their use of corporate jets. Mitt Romney has pledged to immediately sell the government's GM shares if he...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 18 Sep 2012 14:55:00 -0400The Chevy Volt's $89,000 production cost: A waste of money?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">"General Motors sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August," say Bernie Woodall, Paul Lienert, and Ben Klayman at <em>Reuters</em><em>.</em> "But that probably isn't a good thing for the automaker's bottom line." Even though the environmentally friendly Volt's base price is about $40,000, says <em>Reuters</em>, production costs per vehicle run a stratospheric $89,000 &mdash; given the car's pricey lithium-polymer batteries, hybrid gas-electric engine, and next-age electronics. That means GM is losing $49,000 for each Volt it sells. Worse: GM has been offering two-year leases for a mere $5,000 to get customers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 11 Sep 2012 17:12:00 -0400Why is GM barring Obama and Romney from its plants?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">"Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive." That's the message Vice President Joe Biden is hammering home as the campaign barrels toward November &mdash; and there's no easier way to make politics-averse "GM executives cringe," say Nathan Bomey and Todd Spangler at <em>The Detroit Free Press</em>. Of course, the auto giant probably wouldn't be here if it hadn't received billions of dollars from the government in 2009, making GM a hot topic on the campaign trail. Indeed, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, caused a huge controversy&nbsp;when he suggested that President Obama was to blame for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 31 Aug 2012 16:00:00 -0400Will GM go bankrupt again?<img src="" /></P><p>General Motors CEO Dan Akerson reportedly plans to reorganize the struggling automaker, hoping to make it more efficient by replacing regional "fiefdoms" with global marketing, purchasing, and product development efforts, according to a <em>Bloomberg </em>report. GM reclaimed the global sales crown from Toyota last year, but its stock has slid by 35 percent since a 2010 IPO following a $25 billion federal bailout and government-backed bankruptcy restructuring. The company's net income dropped by 50 percent in the first half of this year as its U.S. market share slipped and it lost money in Europe. Is GM...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 17 Aug 2012 13:35:00 -0400GM's 'love it or return it' offer: Desperate move?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">In a radical move "that makes car buying akin to shopping for shoes at Nordstrom," says Jerry Hirsch at <em>The Los Angeles Times</em>, General Motors this week launched a "love it or return it" program that allows consumers to return their new Chevrolets if they're dissatisfied. The deal, which promises a 60-day money-back guarantee, applies to all of Chevy's 2012 and 2013 models, as long as the cars are returned undamaged and with fewer than 4,000 miles on their odometers. The promotion also comes with "no haggle" low prices that are intended to clear Chevy's 2012 inventory. GM's offer is an attempt to...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 12 Jul 2012 13:40:00 -0400Team Romney claims Mitt saved GM: 'The height of hypocrisy'?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Mitt Romney's campaign has news for you: It was Romney, not President Obama, who saved the U.S. auto industry. This week, Romney's campaign manager, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the reason General Motors and Chrysler survived the recession is because Obama followed Romney's prescription to put the automakers through a "managed bankruptcy process." That means "the only economic success that President Obama has had," Fehrnstrom said, "is because he followed Mitt Romney's advice." Fehrnstrom is referring to a <em>New York Times</em> editorial that Romney penned in 2008, in which he called for a "managed bankruptcy...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 01 May 2012 12:20:00 -0400Dan Akerson's $7.7 million salary: Is the GM boss underpaid?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">General Motors had a historically successful year in 2011, posting a record $7.6 billion profit. It's a robust turnaround for the once-enfeebled company, which needed a hefty cash injection from the government to avoid going under, and is still partly owned by Uncle Sam. But GM is less sanguine about a new government pay freeze on bailed-out companies, and in announcing its pay package for CEO Dan Akerson, who received a cool $7.7 million in compensation, GM complained that the restrictions "do not permit us to reward our senior executives in a manner reflecting the level of achievement of our...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 27 Apr 2012 11:35:00 -0400Petty controversy: Newt Gingrich vs. the Chevy Volt<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The story:</strong> Newt Gingrich was all up in General Motors' grill this week. The Republican presidential candidate branded&nbsp;GM's hybrid Chevy Volt an "Obama car" because "you can't put a gun rack in a Volt." His remark, clearly intended to tap into the Right's aversion to subsidizing green technology, prompted GM spokesman Selim Bingo to shoot back that you <em>can</em> equip the Volt with a gun rack. "The real question is, 'Why would you?'" he asked. "Seriously, when is the last time you saw a gun rack in <em>any</em> sedan?" To prove GM's claims, one enthusiastic Volt fan even created a video demonstrating the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 23 Feb 2012 11:47:00 -0500G.M.'s record-smashing profits: 6 talking points<img src="" /></P><p>General Motors hauled in a record profit in 2011, and regained its status as the world's top seller of automobiles. It's an extraordinary comeback for a company that went through bankruptcy only two years ago, and needed a massive $50 billion government bailout to boot. "So why isn't everyone doing handsprings or uncorking champagne?" asks Michelle Krebs at <em>Forbes</em>. Here, six things you should know about G.M.'s record year and ongoing recovery:</p><p class="p1"><strong>1. G.M. racked up hugely impressive sales figures</strong><br />The famed automaker made a $7.6 billion profit in 2011, surpassing its previous yearly record of $6.7 billion...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 17 Feb 2012 15:29:00 -0500Chevy Volts' potentially flammable batteries: Are the cars still safe?<img src="" /></P><p>General Motors' new electric car, the Chevy Volt, has won top customer satisfaction ratings, but it's getting plenty of demerits from the federal government. Days or weeks after the government conducted side-impact tests on Volts, the cars' lithium-ion batteries caught fire, and the government is investigating why. (The same type of battery has been blamed in the past for flaming, over-heated laptops.) Anxious to defend the car's reputation, GM is saying the cause of the fires is still unknown. Still, the automaker is taking the unprecedented step of offering to buy back the vehicles from any owners...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 05 Dec 2011 15:59:00 -0500The auto industry's 'surprisingly' good September: 6 theories<img src="" /></P><p>Despite fears of a double-dip recession and sputtering consumer confidence, U.S. car and truck sales were actually up in September, "surprising the auto industry and raising hopes that a bumpy year will end on a high note." General Motors reported a 20 percent sales jump from September 2010 to September 2011, while Chrysler's sales were up a whopping 27 percent &mdash; the company's best September since 2007. Ford also saw a 9 percent uptick, and U.S. vehicle sales were up 10 percent overall from last September. To what do we owe this rare bit of economic good news? Here, six theories:<br /><br /><strong> 1. Americans...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 04 Oct 2011 16:19:00 -0400Could the big, 'bold' Ciel make Cadillac great again?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video:</strong> In recent years, Cadillac has struggled to compete with European behemoths Mercedes and BMW. But last Thursday, General Motors' luxury brand introduced a new concept car that could change that. (View video below.) In Palm Beach, Calif., a few days ahead of the Concours d'Elegance car show, the automaker unveiled the Ciel convertible, a larger,&nbsp;"bold" car that is both an homage to giant Caddies of decades past (the Ciel is as long as Mercedes' S Class), and, with a V-6 engine paired with a hybrid system, a nod to the future. While the convertible is still just in the concept phase...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 22 Aug 2011 11:48:00 -0400GM's new self-driving pod car<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The image:</strong> General Motors reportedly plans to start selling a two-seat, self-steering electric "pod" car around 2020. GM developed the design of the futuristic "Electric Network Vehicle" (EN-V) with the help of Segway, and the car balances itself using the same gyroscopic technology that keeps the two-wheeled Segway scooter from tipping over. (See an image of the pod car below.) The EN-V will be able to operate autonomously, going where its passengers tell it, and using GPS signals to find its path. It's programmed to avoid collisions with cars and other obstacles. The prototype is touring car...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 02 Aug 2011 14:43:00 -0400GM turns a profit: Why isn't that good news?<img src="" /></P><p>On Thursday, GM reported its first annual profit in six years &mdash; earning $4.7 billion on $136 billion in sales &mdash; exceeding expectations and continuing its impressive rebound from government-assisted bankruptcy. Great news, right? Investors didn't see it that way: GM's stock plummeted 4.5 percent, to just pennies per share above its IPO price in November. Why didn't Wall Street applaud GM's comeback? (Watch a GM press conference)</p><p><strong>This was the easy part:</strong> GM's $4.7 billion profit is certainly a "welcome departure from its recent track record," says Joann Muller at <em>Forbes</em>. But after its...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 25 Feb 2011 10:29:00 -0500