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Category Archives: General Motors

Chevrolet to announce diesel Malibu wagon in New York

A poorly-paid artist's rendering of the 2015 Malibu Diesel Wagon, yesterday

A poorly-paid artist’s rendering of the 2015 Malibu Diesel Wagon, yesterday

General Motors today announced that Chevrolet will announce a new diesel-powered Malibu wagon at next week’s New York Autonouncement Show.

“This is an effort to improve critical opinion of the Chevrolet Malibu among automotive influencers,” announced Chevrolet spokesannouncer Randy Dog. “The 2013 Malibu was poorly received by the press, and the updates we made for 2014 haven’t helped. So we’re going for broke. We’ve yet to meet an auto writer or blog commenter who doesn’t love a diesel wagon.”

The Malibu TDZ Diesel Sport Diesel Wagon will be powered by a 2.2 liter turbodiesel developing 150 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.

“The Malibu Sportdiesel Wagon’s diesel engine was conceived and designed in Europe,” announced Dog. “It’s built in our GM European Diesel Plant in Europe, then shipped to Orion Township where the diesel-powered Malibu Dieselsport will be assembled. We then send the engine back to Europe to be inspected by a European guy who lives in Europe, then it returns to Michigan once more to be installed in the car. Anyone who says this isn’t a true European diesel can kiss my European ass.”

Asked of the addition of a diesel-powered wagon to the Malibu lineup was a move to pander to the press rather than provide a vehicle actually demanded by buyers, Dog announced, “You’re damn right we’re pandering to the press. It works for BMW and now we’re going to make it work for General Motors. Seriously, a 4-series with four doors and a hatchback? Who else but an underpaid and overpampered car-magazine hack would want one of those?”

The diesel-powered Malibu Sportdiesel Wagonsport wagon will come exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive, and hydraulic power steering. Fuel economy estimates have not been calculated, but Dog announced that they will be at least twenty percent lower than the car is actually capable of achieving, so that auto writers can point to their better-than-EPA figures as proof of how stupid the American public is for not embracing diesels.

Dog announced that the diesel wagon is expected to account for roughly 0.004% of 2015 Malibu sales, or about eight cars in total, six of which will be provided as long-term loaners to various car magazines.

“We’re very excited,” announced an excited Dog. “This will be the first time the Malibu has been available as a wagon with a diesel engine.” When Autoblopnik pointed out that the Malibu wagon was offered with an Oldsmobile diesel in 1982 and 1983, Dog announced, “Yes, but we like to pretend that never happened,” and then added, “Nerd.”

© Autoblopnik

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BREAKING NEWS: GM explains Cruze stop-sale order

A Chevrolet Cruze stopped from selling, yesterday

A Chevrolet Cruze stopped from selling, yesterday

Days after General Motors mysteriously ordered dealers to stop selling certain versions of the Chevrolet Cruze, the formerly-Government-financed company finally issued an explanation for the unusual directive.

“Basically, we stopped selling the Cruze because it’s not a very good car,” said GM  spokestopper Teddy Ragout. “It was two years out of date when we introduced in 2010, and it’s not exactly aging gracefully. Our new CEO said we’ve entered a new era of transparency, and the transparent truth is that our customers would be better off buying a Honda Civic.”

GM’s sales-stopping directive only affects Cruzes equipped with the 1.4 liter turbocharged engine.

“The 1.8 liter Cruze  is still a good deal,” Ragout  explained. “But $1,300 extra for an engine that produces the same amount of horsepower and saves you maybe three bucks a month in gas? No way, man. No friggin’ way.”

Asked if there were any other circumstances leading to the cessation of sales, Ragout says “Of course not. The only reason we’re pulling the Cruze off of the showroom floor is because we don’t like it very much.” He paused, then added, “That, and the slight possibility that the right-hand axle shaft could short-circuit the ignition switch and set the car on fire.”

© Autoblopnik

General Motors lets a woman drive

Mary Barra flashes that sexy smile, yesterday

Mary Barra flashes that sexy smile, yesterday

General Motors is preparing for Mary Barra to take over as the first female CEO in the company’s 106-year history.

“There’s this perception that General Motors is run by boring old white men in boring gray suits,” said General Motors spokesuit Teddy “Free” Rhadical. “Now the world will see General Motors being run by a woman in a skirt. And let me tell you, when Mary wears a skirt, it sure as hell ain’t boring! High five! You know what I’m talkin’ about!”

Current CEO Dan Ackerson told Autoblopnik he firmly believes that Barra is the woman who is most qualified to run GM.

“Mary has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, an MBA from Stanford, and a caboose that could make the Pope stay home from mass,” he said. “Let’s just say she’s perfect for the head position! Get it? Head position? Yeah, baby! Lemmie tell you, the Virgin Mary, she ain’t!”

Dan Akerson describes the effect Mary Barra has on him, yesterday

Dan Akerson describes the effect Mary Barra has on him, yesterday

Cardigan immediately denied that Ackerson’s comments implied any form of personal relationship between Barra and Ackerson.

“Listen, even if Dan did nail that tail — and I’m not in any way saying he did, but could you blame him for trying? — the fact is you cannot sleep your way to the top of General Motors. Just ask Carlos Tavares.”

“Truth is, there’s never been a better time to have a gal run General Motors,” Ackerson said. “We’ve redesigned the bulk of our most significant vehicles, and we have enough new product in the pipeline to carry us through 2016. The government loans are just about repaid and the ledger looks good. We can coast for the next couple of years while the little lady takes the helm. Of course, once we get to the point where we need to do some heavy lifting, we’ll give her a golden pat on the ass and put a man back in charge.”

UPDATE: Um, yeah, so… the purpose of this article was to point out the inherent sexism in an industry which is chock full of talented female executives and has been for some years, and yet is only just now getting around to putting one in charge. A few people saw it as sexist and misogynistic, and a bunch more saw it in poor taste. Apologies to all who found it offensive. — Otto

© Autoblopnik

General Motors issues massive apology

Dan Ackerson waves his hands in the air like he just doesn't care, yesterday

GM CEO Dan Ackerson waves his hands in the air like he just doesn’t care, yesterday

General Motors today issued what it called “a heartfelt apology to our customers, employees, shareholders, dealers and supporters throughout the country and around the world.”

“We wish to express our depest regrets,” said CEO Dan Ackerman in a written statement. “We understand the trust you put in our Corporation and our products, and we have violated that trust. We take full responsibility and are genuinely sorry for any harm or upset that has been caused.”

“The days of shying away from things like this are long past us,” Teddy Cardigan, GM’s VP of public relations, told Autoblopnik. “When a situation occurs, we need to stand up and say ‘We acknowledge this, we own this, and here’s what were going to do to remedy the situation.’”

In his statement, Ackerson said that the company was taking “a serious look at all levels of the company” to find “the root cause”.

We’re not looking for a scapegoat,” Ackerson wrote. “We need to change our culture, not just our personnel, to make sure this doesn’t happen ever again.”

Other Detroit automakers said they are carefully watching the reaction to General Motors’ apology. Ford spokesapologist Sid Deet said he thought General Motors was “doing the right thing,” and that his company was prepared to follow suit with an apology of their own if need be. Chrysler told Autoblopnik that they are also prepared to apologize, just not to NHTSA. Toyota, a company with a great deal of apology experience, said they were considering their own apology, while a Hyundai representative said “We’ll do whatever Toyota does, except for making floor mats that step on the accelerator by themselves.”

Autoblopnik made several inquiries to General Motors to find out what exactly they were apologizing for, but our calls and emails were not returned.

© Autoblopnik

Automakers halt sports car development due to Nürburgring uncertainty

Some cars on a track with writing on it, yesterday

Some cars on a track with writing on it, yesterday

Several automakers, including BMW, Audi, Toyota and General Motors, have announced that they will halt all sports car development and production in light of the financial uncertainty surrounding Germay’s famed Nürburgring racetrack.

“Development at the Nürburgring has become the price of entry for high-performance cars,” said General Motors spokestalker Teddy Cardigan, speaking on the condition that we paid for lunch. “There is simply no other track like it in the world. If we can’t develop cars like the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V on the Nürburgring, then screw it, we don’t want to develop them at all.”

The famed German racetrack has been considering a bankruptcy filing since July, and attempts to secure public funding for a bailout loan have run into problems.

Audi spokesmein Helmut Schickelgruber expressed concern about the potential impact of new track management on the automaker’s development costs. “We don’t sink ze Nürburgring will close for good, but we’re concerned about what ze new owners will do to the rates. At 26 Euros per lap we can afford to go around a few times, but if ze price goes up, it could wreak havoc with our development budget. We just can’t take zat chance, so we are halting production of our S and R series cars immediately.”

Toyota, which used the Nürburgring for development of the Lexus LFA supercar, said they experimented with fine-tuning the car at famous American racetracks, but stopped after realizing they would not be able to evaluate performance in right-hand turns. Fortunately, they said, of the 500 LFAs built, they still have enough unsold cars to meet demand until the year 2307.

Jaguar Cars Limited, which has been testing their new XFR-S at the Nürburgring in recent months, was unconcerned about the tracks’ financial troubles. “We’re a British car company,” explained spokeschap Sir Nigel Peter Jesus Victoria Withington-Smythe III OBE, Second Earl of Batterson-on-Sea. “Bankruptcy doesn’t bother us.”

© Autoblopnik

Joel Ewanick ponders next career move, saves US aircraft industry

The aircraft industry, yesterday

The aircraft industry, yesterday

Former General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanick granted an exclusive interview to Autoblopnik in which he said he is going to take some time to decide on his next career step, but is eager to return to the automotive industry.

“When you’ve worked as many jobs as I have in such a short time, sometimes it’s good to take a break and get some perspective,” the Wharton graduate told Autoblopnik from his office at the Boeing Aircraft company, where he was just one hour into his new job as Vice President of Marketing for the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer. In that time, Ewanick had already doubled the number of aircraft orders he generated at European rival Airbus, which had employed him as Director of Sales the previous afternoon.

“General Motors is one of the world’s great companies,” Ewanick said, breezing out of his office to accept a job as chief of marketing for Pepsi-Cola, where he increased overall market share by seven percent before being hired away for the rest of the afternoon by Johnson Wax. “Yes, it was harder to get things done than it was at Hyundai, or Nissan, or Porsche, or Home Depot, or Black & Decker, or Wal-Mart, or Pep Boys, or the State of Idaho, or even Dell, though maybe not as tough as General Dynamics or Burger King or Weyerhauser. Still, it’s cool to say you worked at General Motors, even when you’ve headed up marketing for companies like US Shoe and Dunder-Mifflin and Kroger Markets and been head of research for Corning Labs and DKNY.”

During a break for dinner, which he spent turning down positions at RJR Nabisco (“I hate smoking,” Ewanick explained) and Target (“Homophobes”) and briefly taking over as the Prime Minister of Uganda, Ewanick said he would love to work in the automotive industry again, and that he has had “productive talks” with Mazda, Ford, Chrysler-Fiat, Kia, Fisker, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW, Suzuki and Audi, some or all of which he planned to work for in the next week.

“The goal is to find a company where I can settle down for a good long time,” he told us as he contemplated a job offer from NBC-Universal and designed a sneaker that lets you jump to the moon. “Like maybe a month.”

As the sun set behind the picture window of his new office at 3M, which hired him just as our interview was drawing to a close, Mr. Ewanick leaned back in his chair, invented a kind of toothpaste that doesn’t make orange juice taste terrible, and picked up a picture of wife and children.

“These guys are all that really matters,” he said, pausing to wipe away a tear and cure cancer. “The people who love you. That’s what is really important.”

© Autoblopnik

Joel Ewanick fired after staying at GM too long

Joel Ewanick, yesterday

Joel Ewanick, yesterday

General Motors shocked the automotive community on Sunday by announcing that marketing chief Joel Ewanick had been asked for his resignation.

“We’ve told a few press outlets that we had issues with his Manchester United deal,” said GM spokesguy Teddy Cardigan, speaking on the condition that we write a positive review of his brother’s restaurant on TripAdvisor. “But the truth is that we never expected him to stay as long as he did.”

Ewanick is best known for inventing the Hyundai Assurance program that helped the South Korean automaker grow sales in a declining market. He came to Hyundai from Porsche, and was then hired by Nissan before jumping ship to General Motors.

“He was at Nissan for, what, ten minutes?” Cardigan said. “And that was after he ran away from Hyundai like his ass was on fire. We figured he’d stay in the job for a couple of months, maybe come up with something snappy like he did for Hyundai, and then take off, and we could say we hired the hottest marketing guy in the industry. If you’re a car company, hiring Ewanick is like banging J-Lo.  But then the guy just wouldn’t leave. We moved him to a smaller office. We gave him the most crotchety personal assistant we could find. We even tried giving him a Chevrolet Aveo as a company car. I guess some people just can’t take a hint.”

Sales grew during Ewanick’s tenure at General Motors, but their growth trailed the rest of the industry.

“I guess he was just out of good ideas,” said Cardigan. “Okay, maybe he was right about Facebook, since junior high school students don’t buy cars, but dumping the Super Bowl for English soccer? And ‘Chevy Runs Deep’? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

© Autoblopnik

Chevrolet Volt target of new safety concerns

A Chevrolet Volt, not on fire and not injuring anyone, yesterday

A Chevrolet Volt, not on fire and not injuring anyone, yesterday

Hot on the heels of a Chevrolet Volt bursting into flames three weeks after a crash test because no one could be bothered to read the manual, General Motors’ innovative range-extended electric hybrid car is once again under fire over alleged safety concerns.

Citizens United for New Technology, a Denver-based consumer advocate group that no one has ever heard of, is calling the Volt “unacceptably dangerous,” saying the car has potential to cause serious head injury after an incident involving a valet in Reno, Nevada.

CUfNT alleges that Norman “Rod” Hailey, 19, a part-time community college student who has been parking cars at the Adventure Inn and Wedding Chapel since late last month, struck his head on the Volt’s roof while getting in to park it. Hailey treated his own injury by putting his hand on his head and yelling “Ow! Fuck, dude!” and was able to return to work after a couple of seconds of rehabilitation.

“This is a serious safety flaw,” said CUfNT spokesman Daniel Waiting. “It’s a miracle that young Mr. Hailey’s injuries from this serious safety flaw weren’t more serious. Head injuries cause concussions, bleeding, even death. How many people have to die before this serious safety flaw is addressed? How much carnage must litter our highways before General Motors acknowledges that the Volt is an unacceptably dangerous car with serious safety flaws that are serious?”

Mr. Hailey blames the accident on his own inattention, saying he was staring at what he calls a “totally hot MILF” with “a righteous rack” and “a booty you could bounce all night long” who was getting out of a vehicle nearby, but Waiting dismissed this as irrelevant.

“Totally do-able MILFs show up to shady Reno hotels all the time,” says Waiting. “General Motors should have designed the Volt for this possibility. Instead they’ve built an unacceptably dangerous car with serious safety flaws that make it seriously dangerous. Sorry, I mean unacceptably dangerous.”

CUfNT is calling on General Motors to recall the Chevrolet Volt and every other car they’ve ever made and “just do something.”

“The Nissan Leaf has never been involved in an incident like this,” Waiting points out. “Why can’t General Motors do anything as well as the Japanese?”

Asked for a comment by Autoblopnik, a General Motors spokesperson pointed out that the nearest Nissan Leaf is owned by a woman in Sacramento, California, 132 miles away, and does not have enough range to drive to Reno.

© Autoblopnik

Car review in haiku: Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

Leather so serene,
Chromy glitz, but underneath
It’s just a LaCrosse.

  • Model/price as tested: 2013 Cadillac XTS Platinum, $59.080
  • Powertrain: 3.6 liter V6, 304 hp, front-wheel-drive
  • Fuel economy: 17 MPG city/18 MPG highway

Autoblopnik attended a press preview, to which we were not invited, in order to facilitate this review.

© 2012 Autoblopnik

Chevrolet releases teaser photo of upcoming rear-drive economy car

"Teaser" photo of Chevrolet's upcoming rear-drive economy hatchback

“Teaser” photo of Chevrolet’s upcoming rear-drive economy hatchback

Chevrolet has released a teaser photo and initial details of a new retro-styled rear-wheel-drive coupe that it says is right for today’s style- and economy-conscious market.

“In the conceptualization of this new car, we looked at the most successful aspects of current in-market products,” said Chevrolet spokesman Michael Vincent “Captain Lou” Albano. “Consumers are excited by rear-wheel-drive cars like the Subaru BRZ, retro cars like the MINI and Beetle, and economy-minded sporty cars like the Hyundai Veloster. We believe that by drawing on GM’s traditional strengths, we can blend all of those elements in one vehicle.”

Albano says the car features several retro details as illustrated in the teaser shot, including round sealed-beam headlights, stamped-metal wheel covers, and what Albano describes as “an available wood-trim applique”. The styling, he says, will look “strikingly familiar to Americans old enough to remember Paul Simon before he ruined his career with that stupid Graceland album.”

GM has not released technical specifications, and Albano would only say that the car is based on “an existing platform” and “makes extensive use of proven components.” Insiders tell Autoblopnik that in order to keep costs down, the 1.6 liter engine will be carbureted, and transmission choices will include a 4-speed manual and a non-computerized 3-speed automatic. Albano would neither confirm nor deny, but did acknowledge the application of what he calls “heritage technology,” adding that the new car will achieve 43 MPG on the highway.

Chevrolet has not announced the new car’s name, only saying that it is a portmanteau that means “small Chevrolet” and “reflects the car’s relationship to powerful performance icons like the Corvette.” Alleged automotive supersite Edmitts.com speculates that the car will be called “Minicorvchevy” and used their proprietary high-end computer imaging software to extrapolate a composite image based on the teaser photo.

Edmitts.com's exclusive computer-generated illustration of the new car, yesterday

Edmitts.com’s exclusive computer-generated illustration of the new car, yesterday

“The new car will go on sale in the first quarter of 1975,” said Albano. “Um, sorry, I mean 2015.”

© Autoblopnik

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