Following the release of several spyshots earlier this week, Chevrolet has officially confirmed that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will indeed be the official pace car of the 97th annual Indianapolis 500 which will take place later this month.
Autosavant Weekly News Digest: More 2013 Model Unveils, Dodge Departs NASCAR, and We Drive the Volkswagen Golf R
This is the Autosavant Weekly News Digest — your first stop for a recap of the week’s top stories in automotive news across the wide world of cars. A true Autosavant knows the value of a good story, well told. Continue Reading →
By Carl Malek
General Motors once had plans to bring the upcoming Sonic small car to the market as the next-generation Aveo. However, after extensive evaluation, and perhaps looking back at the Aveo’s rather tepid sales numbers, GM reconsidered. The company decided that the name was not worth reusing and shelved it in favor of Sonic. However one problem arose from this decision, and that was the fate of the performance version of the Sonic. General Motors had already unveiled the Aveo RS concept at the 2010 North American International Autoshow, but would then not mention the fate of the performance variant after the switch from Aveo to Sonic was made. Since that time, many in the automotive world speculated that the Aveo RS would survive the name change and go into production as the Sonic RS but no official word or confimration had been released.
By Carl Malek
The Chevrolet Corvette has been having a hard time getting sales as of late. Thanks in part to an outdated chassis, the global economic meltdown, and the appearance of the Chevrolet Camaro, the mighty two door sports car saw its sales plummet to a 50 year low. Despite this alarming drop in sales, General Motors has revealed plans to increase the price for consumers looking to purchase a Corvette for their garage. According to the folks over at Corvette Blogger, the price hikes General Motors has planned for the Corvette lineup can range from $480 to $1.150 depending on the model you choose. The only model to see its price tag actually decrease for 2012 is the top of the line ZR1 model – but only by a mere $75.
By Brendan Moore
The chatter in Washington is that the U.S. Treasury Department is going to sell most of its shares it received in General Motors stock in 2009 as part of the auto industry bailout package, perhaps as early as this summer. The reasons are either political or financial, depending on whom you ask. Some will tell you that the Obama administration wants the sale this year so that the federal bailout of GM is a non-issue in the 2012 presidential election, and some say that the sale is going to happen this year because the Treasury department thinks the current stock price is as high as it’s going to get for the foreseeable future.
Either way, unless the share price climbs above an unlikely $53 a share before the sale date, the Treasury’s dream of making a profit on the bailout is not going to be realized. At $53 a share, the federal government breaks even on the $50 billion it “loaned” GM, but at the current share price of approximately $30 (well below the $33 IPO price of last November, which raised around $20 billion), taxpayers would lose around $11 billion.
The U.S. Treasury currently owns 500 million shares of the reconstituted GM, which represents 33% of the company’s worth.
By Carl Malek
Rather than wait until the formal start of the Shanghai Auto Show, Chevrolet has decided to give the world a sneak preview of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The lone exterior image that GM has officially released showcases the models brand new LED tail lamps, which are based off the units currently on the Chevrolet Camaro sports car and are designed to help give the car a more aggressive appearance. In subsequent days, GM released two interior teaser photos that depicted the car’s significantly-upgraded center stack. It’s clear that GM means business in terms of catching up to the class leaders in in-car connectivity and technology. The photos look great; material quality and feel still remain to be seen, of course, but the Cruze acquits itself well in this regard.
When the 2012 Malibu is formally revealed on April 19th in Shanghai, expect to see a car that will be wider but shorter than the model it replaces, as well as having a much more rakish and cohesive exterior design theme. To go with its new exterior styling the 2012 Malibu will ride on GM’s Epsilon II platform. Epsilon II is the same excellent platform that is currently used on the Buick Regal and Buick LaCrosse. As far as powertrains are concerned, the 2012 Malibu will have a four cylinder only engine lineup when it does eventually go on sale, which would most likely include the 2.4 liter Ecotec four cylinder and the 2.0 liter turbo four. Unlike the current Malibu, we expect that there will be no V6 option available.
By Chris Haak
GM and Chrysler – yes, the same two companies that shed tens of thousands of white-collar and production employees over the past few years as both firms stumbled into bankruptcy in 2009 – announced separately today that they plan to hire a considerable number of engineers. Most of the new jobs will be located in Michigan, where it seems likely that there is a large number of out-of-work, qualified engineers with automotive experience ready to start working again on a moment’s notice.
For Chrysler, which saw its US-based employment fall from 64,750 in 2006 to just 32,250 in June 2009, the new hires will come in large part from stepped-up campus recruiting efforts at 35 schools, but the company also wants to hire a mix of new grads and experienced hires. Since exiting bankruptcy in June 2009, the company has already hired some 5,000 workers, of whom at least 500 are engineers. Of the 1,000 projected new hires, about 600 will actually be on Chrysler’s payroll, and 400 will likely be contract employees. Chrysler expects to fill the openings within the next four months.
By Chris Haak
Less than a year and a half after its predecessor, General Motors Corporation, collapsed under the crushing weight of declining sales and market share, unsustainable debt levels, and enormous labor costs, General Motors Company has completed its initial public offering. Starting this morning, you can hit up your broker for a few shares of GM (the company got its old ticker symbol back) and ride what may or may not be the company’s ascent toward business success.
The company sold 478 million shares yesterday, priced at $33 per share. That price was well above the original expected price range of up to $27 per share, and also at the top end of the revised $30-33 per share. The revised range, and the higher price, reflect considerable IPO demand for GM’s stock. On top of the 478 million shares, GM’s bankers were expected to also sell another 71.7 million shares as an “overallotment,” which is allowed when demand for shares is stronger than expected. The 478 million shares raised $15.774 billion, and the 71.7 million shares raised another $2.366 billion, for a total common stock sale of $18.14 billion.
By Chris Haak
Giant industrial conglomerate General Electric has announced plans to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015 for its fleet. These purchases represent fully one-half of GE’s corporate fleet, and are an immediate shot in the arm for EV demand in the US.
Though there are certainly environmental benefits to be seen through a large purchase of [tailpipe] emission-free vehicles, the move is not purely altrustic on GE’s part. The company obviously gets a considerable amount of goodwill from stepping up to the plate and becoming an early adopter of EV technology.
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