06-21-17

CANADIAN SALES MORE NUMEROUS THAN EVER IN MAY 2017; CANADIANS PAID MORE THAN EVER, TOO

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By Timothy Cain - Canadian auto sales surged to record levels in May 2017, surpassing the previous monthly record from April of last year by an 8-percent margin and topping 200,000 units for just the second time in history.

You know it's going well when, in a virulently anti-car market, passenger car sales increase, year-over-year.  And in the fifth month of 2017, car sales did indeed improve, growing 3-percent beyond May 2016 levels.

You know it's truly going well when, in a market that had already seen pickup truck market share climb to 20-percent, pickup truck sales jumped 38-percent to form 22-percent of the industry's volume.

And you know it's going exceptionally well when, in the span of just one month, the relatively small Canadian market purchases and leases 217,000 new vehicles at significantly higher prices than in the past.

According to Desrosiers Automotive Reports, Canada's auto industry climbed above 200,000 sales for just the second time in history.  Up to 11-percent, year-over-year, Canadian sales improved by roughly 22,000 units despite outside-the-norm declines from BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Volkswagen.

While losses at a handful of its brands - including a 30-percent dive at Jeep and a 25-percent downturn at Chrysler - clearly diminished some of its potential, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles still says the automaker sold more vehicles in May than ever before.  FCA volume was up 5 percent to 33,186 units.

The Ford Motor Company led all automakers with 34,475 sales, a 17-percent year-over-year improvement that drove the company to its best May since 1989.  General Motors' 36-percent improvement to 31,149 sales produced the best May for GM since 2009, including the best month in Cadillac's history.  Record sales were a common theme at numerous other auto brands as well, from Audi to Honda to Porsche.

That incentives are high is not news to Canadian car buyers.  According to J.D. Power figures revealed by Automotive News Canada, the average new vehicle discount in May 2017 measured $5,800 2-percent higher than in May 2016.

But the typical new vehicle transaction price grew by roughly $1,400 in May 2017, driving the average transaction price above $37,000.

Selling more vehicles, and selling them at a higher price?  Automakers will take that.  Not only are Canadians optioning up existing vehicles, but redesigned vehicles are arriving in Canada with base prices that reflect the weakening Canadian dollar.  The 2018 Honda Odyssey, for instance, sees its MSRP rise 12 percent.

At the heart of the market, where affordability is key, the Ford F-Series - Canada's leading line of vehicles - reported its second-best month ever in May.  Ram P/U sales reached record levels, nearly catching the No. 1 Ford.  The Honda Civic, Canada's top-selling car, was up 5-percent to 8,616 sales, 11-percent of all car sales.  The Ford Escape, a historic Canadian favorite, reclaimed its old position and led all SUVs/crossovers thanks to a 26-percent jump to 5,397 sales.

Meanwhile, May's extraordinary Canadian auto sales achievements, particularly in the light of steady incentives and rising ATPs, have led forecasters to increase their annual forecasts.  Canadian auto sales reached record levels in each o the last four calendar years.  Through the first five months of 2017, Canadian auto sales are up 5 percent.

If that rate of growth continues, Canadians will, for the first time every, buy and lease more than 2 million new vehicles in 2017.

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01-26-17

GM TAKES TOP HONOR IN IHS MARKIT LOYALTY AWARDS FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

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DETROIT - IHS Markit, a leading source of global automotive industry information, analysis and insight, has recognized General Motors (NYSE: GM) as the company with the highest overall customer loyalty for the second consecutive year.  The announcement was made at the Automotive News World Congress held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show.

IHS Markit loyalty awards are presented annually to companies and brands that demonstrate the ability to retain owners over repeat buying cycles.  They are the only fact-based awards in the industry focused on owner loyalty.  Awards are based on consumer transactions and information obtained from state registration and lease transaction information.

In addition to the recognition of GM as the company with the best "Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer" during the 2016 model year, the Chevrolet Volt, GMC Yukon Denali XL and the Cadillac brand were also honored:

  • Cadillac earned the "Most Improved Super Loyalist" award.  Super Loyalists are customers who make three consecutive brand purchases
  • The Chevrolet Volt and GMC Yukon Denali XL each received the top award in their segment for loyalty.

"Loyal customers are the foundation of our brands and they are the strongest advocates we have to attract new customers," said Alan Batey, president of GM North America.  "The recognition we are receiving from IHS Markit and the rapid market share growth we have seen in the United States follow years of steady investment in new products and every aspect of the ownership experience, including new dealership facilities, advanced technology and customer service."

GM was the fastest growing full-time automaker in 2016 based on retail market share, which was up 0.5 percentage points to an estimated 16.8 percent.  Chevrolet continues to be the U.S. automotive industry's fastest-growing brand, with retail market share up nearly 1 point in the past two years to 11.1 percent.

The Chevrolet Volt had its best sales year ever in 2016, with deliveries up 61 percent versus 2015.  The GMC Yukon XL saw deliveries increase 18 percent in 2016, with more than 60 percent of customers purchasing Denali models.

Cadillac is also growing rapidly around the world.  The brand's global sales in 2016 we up 11 percent to more than 300,000 vehicles, the most since 1986.

About General Motors

(NYSE: GM, TXS: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuiing brands.

 

 

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01-18-17

IRAQI TAXI MALIBU STORY

MalibuBelow is an incredible story sent to us by a loyal Jim Tubman Chevrolet customer.

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My name is Jamie Clarmo.  I own Clarmo Auto Repair in Metcalfe.  We have been a loyal customer of Tubman Chevrolet for years.

I was surfing the internet the other day, looking for information on one of my favorite cars ... "The Chevrolet Malibu".  I came across your newsletter for May 2016 about Chevy's new 2016 Malibu which seemed a little bias toward the new model and did not show much love for the older models, the Iraqi Taxi in particular.  Quote "Over the years, the good, the bad and the plain ugly have worn the nameplate.  The ugly badge is pinned to the tail of the so-called Iraqi Malibu."

I am not writing to you because I am upset.  I am writing this to tell you my Malibu story and there is nothing bad or ugly about it.

Malibu's have always been a part of my life.  One of the most vivid and fondest memories I have of my childhood was of my father in his baby blue 1970 Chevelle Malibu squealing the tires and driving fast making my mother yell at him to slow down!

My first car in 1989 was an light tan/gold Iraqi Taxi (I guess it was a little ugly).  My father paid $500 for it and proudly gave it to me on my 16th birthday.  In 1991 I passed down the Taxi to my younger brother, and I purchased a 1969 Malibu Convertible, bright red with a white top and white interior.  I spent every dollar I made on it, keeping me out of trouble while all my friends woke up with hangovers.  In 1992, once I had it all fixed up and shiny, it helped me acquire a first date with a beautiful young lady named Sherri, who is currently my wife.  Our son Steven is 16 and daughter Theresa is 14.

My dream as a boy was to go Drag Racing.  My first trip down the drag strip was in 1990 with my best friends 1980 two door Malibu Sports Coupe which I purchased in 1995.  It broke my heart but I sold the Convertible to rebuilt the 1980 Coupe to go Drag Racing.  (Orange pic, Sanair QC. in 1993) I have been addicted to drag racing ever since.  In 2006 I sold the 1980 Coupe to purchase another, more competitive race car (not a Malibu) but wished I could keep it.

I am now 43 years old and in January 2016, I was looking for a car for my son who was about to turn 16 in March.  Searching Kijiji for a car I got thinking of my "first" car, the Iraqi Taxi and thought ... what are the chances there are any still around .. so I typed in Iraqi Taxi and one popped up being advertised for sale in Peterborough. 1981 Iraqi Taxi with 33,000 km, all original everything, even the wiper blades!

The story is that the original owner worked at the Oshawa GM Plant where these cars were built and when the deal fell through with Iraq he bought one.  He didn't like the clutch and it hurt his knee so he parked it in 1984 in his garage and covered it in blankets.  He passed away in 2010 and his sister acquired his estate as he did not have any wife or siblings.  His sister and her husband also both worked at the GM plant in the 70's and 80's.  The Taxi had not seen daylight in 26 years and they sold it to a guy in Peterborough who got it running but only ever put 1500 kms on the car in five years so he decided to sell it on Kijiji.  I had to have it, I couldn't resist!!!  (Two tone blue pic.  Not as ugly as my old gold one).  But now I'm still looking for a car for my son!

My wife comes to me in March 2016 and says, "Your old orange race car is for sale on Facebook.  You need to buy it back for Steven (my son)".  How could I say no to that???

Steven and I spent most of last summer fixing it up and in the fall we had it back on the track (now orange and black).

Well that's my Malibu story.  I have not yet driven a 2016 Malibu, but I'm sure when I do, I will love them too!

Jamie

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By Greg Williams, Driving.ca - Malibu is a hallowed nameplate in the General Motors' garage.  First introduced in 1964, some classic Malibus can make the heart of an avid car collector beat a little big faster.  But so can the automaker's all-new for 2016 Malibu.

Reader Reviewer Greg Mundy didn't require medical attention for a raised pulse rate during his week-long test drive, but he certainly approved of GM's latest design for the Malibu.

"It's a great-looking car," Mundy said.  "The body lines are really attractive, and this generation of the Malibu has a much more premium aura about it.  It looked better than I'd expected.

"When my wife first saw the car, she said, 'This is a Chevy Malibu?' with a big question mark at the end."

The current Malibu is now in its ninth generation, having morphed from a somewhat muscular rear-wheel-drive vehicle of the 1960s to a rather staid front-wheel drive mid-size sedan in the late 1990s.  There was, however, a break in Malibu production between 1983 and 1997.

General Motors describes the 2016 iteration of the Malibu as a brand new from the ground up.  Although riding on a wheelbase 101 millimetres longer than the previous Malibu, the car is lighter by 136 kilograms.  There's increased passenger room, and fuel economy has improved.

Available in four trims, from base L to increased-content LS, LT and top-of-the-line Premier, the first three Malibus are powered by an Ecotec 1.5-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.  There's a hybrid version of the car available, and the Premier features a larger 2.0-L turbo-charged four cylinder that produces 90 more horsepower than the 1.5-L engine.

In a first for a GM front-wheel-drive car, the Premier model comes equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

"I had a 2012 Malibu as a company car," Mundy said, "and I wouldn't say it was my favourite vehicle."

However, the new $38,145 Premier version (including $1,650 destination charge and $4,450 in options) Mundy drove was a different story.

"It's night and day, the difference between the 2012 Malibu and this new one," he said.

A self-professed nerd, Mundy appreciates and embraces new technologies.  He wholeheartedly enjoyed many of the features his Malibu Premier featured as part of the $1,450 Driver Confidence and $1,350 Driver Confidence II packages.

"The lane-keeping assist, the self-parking and the adaptive cruise control features really tickled me to see, and they worked great," Mundy said.

The car also came equipped with the $1,550 power slide and tilt sunroof that has an additional skylight in the rear section.

A family man with a five-year old son, Mundy maintains a 2015 Subaru Outback as a daily driver and a 2015 GMC Sierra HD Denali with Duramax diesel to haul a fifth-wheel trailer.

He loaded up the Malibu to head down the highway to the Nanton Bomber Command Museum of Canada.  The first problem he had was finding the LATCH locations to secure his son's car seat.

"That wasn't intuitive, and what should have taken me about eight minutes took an hour," Mundy said.  "It's not well documented in the manual, and I had to walk away for a bit in frustration.  I did finally find them behind a leather panel with open sides, but they weren't where I would have expected them."

On the highway, the new 2.0-L turbocharged engine impressed him, and he said there was more than enough "oomph" to merge and quickly come up to road speed.  The eight-speed transmission seamlessly settled down into top gear and allowed the engine to loaf along with a low tickover speed.

But, Mundy added, "My complaint about the turbo and the transmission would be in city stop and go traffic, it felt a bit choppy."

The brakes were powerful and the steering was firm, and both offered good feedback.  The ride was also rated as firm, but not quite sports-car like.

Mundy found the leather driver's seat comfortable and supportive, and said the memory function is a useful feature.  The instruments and controls all made sense, and the overall layout was declared "nice and clean".

"The infotainment screen itself was one of the nicest, brightest and crispest I've seen," Mundy added.  "But the centre console is very minimalist, and the driver has to reach around the shifter to reach a beverage in the cupholder."

Mundy said the Malibu is an ideal family car, and he wouldn't hesitate to recommend one to a family of three or four; it could be used with ease, given the wide-opening doors and huge trunk.

He did mention that he'd like to see the car available with all-wheel drive, although.

"It's a car I could drive everyday for sure," Mundy concluded.  "It sure got a lot of attention, and I was sad to see it go."

DRIVER'S JOURNAL

Day 1: Striking appearance.  Chevrolet has done a nice job of designing this car.  Interior surfaces are mostly soft touch, giving the car an upmarket look and feel.  Took my wife for a drive, she was very impressed; surprised that this was a Chevrolet.  She really liked the looks of the car.

Day 2:  Family road trip to test the highway capabilities.  This necessitated me installing my son's car seat.  Chevrolet needs to better document where the LATCH connectors are behind the seat; it is not intuitive.  The 2.0-L turbo engine provides plenty of power, both in the city and on the highway.  I found myself getting up to local street speeds very fast, and on the highway I had plenty of power to spare for acceleration and passing.  The Malibu is a real treat to drive on the highway; the suspension is soft enough to be comfortable, but not so soft that there is no feedback.  Steering is unlike anything I have experienced in a Chevrolet, plenty of feedback and just the right amount of power assist.

Day 3:  Played with the electronic goodies.  This car has plenty.  The infotainment system is very fast and responsive.  My son loved the Wi-Fi, and that he could watch Netflix while road tripping.  The car has both Apply CarPlay and Android Auto; I have both types and tried them both.  Apple CarPlay is very intuitive; once you connected the USB cable, the phone and car initiate the setup process.  I had to install the Android Auto app on my phone to use it.  Once set up, it is as simple as connecting the USB cable for both devices.  Both are intuitive, although I would give the edge to Apple CarPlay, as it works just like the phone on the screen in the car.

Day 4:  Driving to work, I played with some of the safety features of the car.  The lane-keep assist is very nice; it will steer your car back into the lane if you drift out, although the lane lines had to be very clear for this feature to work consistently.  The car also has "self parking," which I tried in the garage of my office.  You press the button on the lower console, the screen in the dash then tells you what to do - drive slowly until it finds a spot, put the car in reverse and let go of the steering wheel.  It works very well.  I showed this to a co-worker, and to quote him, "That is bad ass."

Day 5:  My only complaint about driving the car is in stop-and-go traffic.  The combination of the 2.0-L turbo and the eight-speed transmission cause it to be a little jerky in traffic.  The turbo spins up, and the transmission shifts quickly and then I step on the brake to stop.  I am not sure if this would improve as the computer learned my driving style.

Days 6 and 7:  Time to return the car.  It started to rain pretty heavily on the drive and the car rides well on wet roads.

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2016-Chevrolet-Cruze-RS-109-876x535By Lesley Wimbush, Driving - Any way you look at it, the Cruze has been a success for Chevrolet and General Motors, with over 3.5 million sales, since its 2008 inception.  Sold in more than 115 countries around the world, the Cruze has been instrumental in bringing in customers, since 35 per cent of buyers are new to the brand.

"Cruze is the global face of Chevrolet," said Alan Batey, Senior Vice President Global Chevrolet, at the Detroit event.

Unveiled in Detroit today, the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is larger, yet more streamlined, shedding 250 pounds over the outgoing model.  Now 68 millimetres longer in length and 25 mm lower, the Cruze appears longer and leaner.  The extra length adds spaciousness to the interior and more rear legroom.

Inside, the Cruze now projects a more thoroughly modern, and sophisticated atmosphere featuring more soft touch surfaces, premium touches like available rear heated seats, wireless phone charging and a 4.2-inch high-res driver information display between the gauges.  There's a full suite of safety systems including Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision alert.

Replacing the current 1.8-litre base engine is a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder Ecotec with either a six-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.  An all-new 1.4-litre Ecotec turbo-four is also available.  Engineered with extensive use of aluminum and low-friction materials, the new engine is extremely lightweight and efficient and shares no common parts with the 1.4L found in the outgoing Cruze.

I's rated at 153 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, and comes with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.  An automatic start/stop system is also standard.  GM predicts that this engine should have a fuel consumption rating of 5.9 L/100 km with the automatic transmission.

A 1.5L diesel engine, nick-named the "Flusterdiesel" (whisper) which is already in use in Europe will also be available.  Transmission choices will be the six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

The Cruze will be one of the first Chevrolets to feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (Corvette will be the first).  The connectivity features have been adapted to work within Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, not replace it.  "It's an 'and', not an 'instead' situation," said Phil Abram, GM Global Connected Consumer's chief infotainment officer.

The Cruze will be able to connect up to seven different devices when equipped with available 4G LTE Wi-Fi.

"The 2016 Cruze has as many features as the Mercedes-Benz C Class at half the price," said GM CEO Mary Barra.

The 2016 Cruze will be offered in more than 40 markets worldwide, beginning with North America.  It's scheduled to arrive during the first quarter of 2016, with the diesel models following later that year.

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01-25-16

GM REPORTS THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF RECORD GLOBAL SALES

Global Sales

  • GM #1 in North America, South America and China
  • Cadillac sales up 8 percent globally
  • Buick achieves third consecutive global sales record
  • Chevrolet sales in North America up 6 percent
  • Opel/Vauxhall post best European results since 2011

 

By General Motors, Detroit - General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) global sales totaled 9.8 million vehicles in 2015, up 0.2 percent for the company's third consecutive year of record sales.

"GM continued to grow in 2015 as our focus on the customer and successful new vehicle launches more than offset the challenging conditions in South America and the curtailment of our presence in certain markets such as Russia," said GM President Dan Ammann.

Deliveries in North America rose 6 percent in 2015 to 3.6 million cars, trucks and crossovers.  In the U.S., GM grew its retail sales, which are sales to individual customers, faster than any other automaker.

In China, General Motors and its joint ventures delivered a record 3.6 million vehicles, up 5 percent compared to 2014.  Their lineup expanded through the introduction of 12 new and refreshed models.  SUV deliveries were up 144 percent, led by new models such as the Buick Envision and Baojun 560.

In 2015, General Motors' cars, trucks and crossovers were leading automotive sales in China and its North American and South American regions.

GM has several major product launches underway around the world, including the new Opel Astra with more than 80,000 orders across  European markets and the new Chevrolet Malibu in North America, which began arriving in showrooms at the end of last year.

Global Sales Highlights (vs. 2014)

  • Chevrolet grew retail market share in the U.S. faster than any full-line automotive brand, with total sales up 5 percent to more than 2.1 million cars, trucks and crossovers.  Chevrolet sales in Canada increased 3 percent while sales in Mexico went up 18 percent.  Combined sales for the brand in North America were up 6 percent.
  • Buick set a global sales record for the third consecutive year, driven by record sales in China and record crossover deliveries in the United States.  Total sales surpassed 1.2 million vehicles.
  • Cadillac grew globally by 8 percent, driven by record sales in China and the strong growth in SRX and Escalade deliveries in the U.S.
  • GMC continued to grow and achieved its 6th consecutive year of sales gains.  Based on new and significantly refreshed products, deliveries grew 11 percent to 680,000 vehicles.
  • Opel/Vauxhall achieved its best sales result in four years delivering more than 1.1 million vehicles despite its strategic departure from the Russian market.  Share of the total European vehicle market increased for the third year in a row to nearly 6 percent.
  • In the U.S., GM's total sales were up 5 percent supported by the momentum of vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, the GMC Sierra and record crossover deliveries.  Retail deliveries increased 8 percent.
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