Saturday, January 19, 2013

First 2014 Corvette Stingray Offered at Barrett-Jackson

Chevrolet will offer the first retail production model of the 2014 Corvette Stingray – with the Vehicle Identification Number ending in 0001 – at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale collector car auction this weekend. Proceeds will benefit the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, renowned for its automotive design program.

“The new Stingray features a modern, dramatic design that will inspire a new generation of Corvette enthusiasts,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “With the proceeds of the new Stingray going to the CCS, the new Corvette will also help cultivate the next generation of designers who may work on modern, dramatic Chevrolets in the future. In fact more than 170 CCS alumni already work in the GM Design studios.”

The sale is scheduled for Saturday evening, Jan. 19. Bids can be submitted in person at the auction or online at

The College for Creative Studies is regarded among the world’s premier institutions for industrial and transportation design. CCS’s enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing undergraduate degrees in 12 majors or graduate degrees in Design and Transportation design.

Founded in 1906 as the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, CCS grew into an arts education organization. In 1933, the Society attracted national attention as one of the first art institutions to recognize the automobile as an art form. It has since been inextricably linked to its home city’s signature industry.

All-new Corvette Stingray comes to New York City 60 years to the day after Motorama debut

Sixty years ago tomorrow, spectators lined New York City’s posh Park Avenue, waiting to get a glimpse of the ground-breaking Chevrolet Corvette on display at the General Motors’ Motorama show. On Thursday, the Corvette will be back in The Big Apple, marking the historic milestone with the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

The all-new Corvette Stingray debuted earlier this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“The all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most advanced and engaging Corvette in the long, prestigious legacy of this uniquely American success story,” said Chris Perry vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “It is a car woven into the fabric of American culture and it got its start right here in the Big Apple.”
The introduction of the original Corvette took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Jan. 17, 1953. That year, more than 1.4 million people saw the curvaceous design and futuristic approach of the Corvette at displays around the United States.

The enthusiastic response prompted Chevrolet to accelerate production plans and by late June that year, Corvettes were rolling out of a specialized assembly facility in Flint, Mich. Only 300 were built in 1953 – all of them white with a red interior. They represented an auspicious launch for a car that would become synonymous with performance, technology, design and aspiration.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray remains true to its roots as a two-seat sports car that delivers an engaging driving experience through advanced engineering and lightweight materials. Its technologies are supported by a racing-influenced design and features engineered to work cohesively and deliver the most connected driving experience in the nameplate’s history. It is also the most powerful standard model ever and the most efficient, with 450 horsepower (335 kW) that enables 0-60 times of less than four seconds and projected highway fuel economy greater than 26 mpg.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013.

Corvette Fast Facts:
  • The Corvette was originally championed by GM’s legendary styling director Harley Earl, who insisted there was room for an American entry in the European-dominated sports car market. It was also his idea for Corvette to have a fiberglass body.
  • Corvette was named for a small and fast class of naval ships.
  • The 1953 Corvette had a base price of $3,498 and offered only two options – a heater for $91 and an AM radio for $145.
  • Every Corvette model has used innovative materials, from fiberglass in 1953 to advanced carbon-nano technology and carbon fiber on the 2014 Corvette Stingray.
  • A V-8 engine was first available in 1955. That year, it was selected by 90 percent of customers. After that, all Corvettes featured strictly V-8 power.
  • The Stingray name was first used for a prototype race car, the design of which influenced the second-generation Corvette that debuted in 1963. The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split-window coupe has since been called one of the most beautiful and influential designs in automotive history.
  • Corvette’s legacy of mainstreaming technology previously reserved for high-end luxury cars includes the introduction of fuel injection in 1957, independent rear suspension in 1963, four-wheel disc brakes in 1965, antilock brakes in 1986 and a tire-pressure monitoring system in 1989.
  • Corvette is the longest-running, continually produced sports car in the world.
  • Nearly 2 million Chevrolet Corvettes have been sold since it went on sale in 1953 and in 2012, it accounted for approximately one-third of all sports car sales in America.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Ford Mondeo Mk IV
Ford Mondeo Mk IV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ford, the UK’s favourite car brand, triumphed at the 2013 What Car? Awards, winning an unprecedented four trophies.
While the acclaimed Ford Mondeo took Best Family Car and Best Estate awards for the third year running, the new Ford Fiesta and Focus ST also received accolades from What Car?.
Ford’s trophy haul of four awards is the most the top-selling car brand has won in the event’s 25-year history.  Ford’s success at the 2013 What Car? Awards comes in the same week as latest vehicle sales figures confirm the company has sold the most cars in the UK for 36 consecutive years and been top commercial vehicle brand for 47 years.

Mighty Mondeo

The Ford Mondeo remains both the UK's Best Family Car and Best Estate according to What Car?, the leading car buyer’s guide.  In reaffirming the flagship Ford’s 2012 and 2011 achievements in both categories, What Car? said:  “The Mondeo is rewarding to drive, with agile handling and a comfortable ride.  It will satisfy the family man and the business user, being as assured on twisty lanes as it is on motorways.
“The Ford Mondeo estate is spacious enough to keep even the tallest adults happy, while its boot can cope with everything from the family dog to furniture.”

Award-winning new Fiesta

As the new Ford Fiesta goes on volume sale this month, What Car? has already declared it Best Supermini.  Fiesta has been the UK bestseller for four consecutive years and saw sales rise by 14 per cent to almost 110,000 cars in 2012.
“If ever a car feels like it has been touched by greatness, it’s the Ford Fiesta,” said What Car?  “Freshly face lifted for 2013, it now comes with sweeter engines and improved safety credentials.”

Sporty ST

The 154mph Ford Focus ST, available as both a five-door and an estate, is Ford’s first global performance car.  Yet its turbo-charged, direct-injection 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine returns 39mpg while delivering CO2 emissions of 169g/km.
In making it Best Hot Hatch, What Car? said:  “Fast and thrilling when you want it to be, yet also perfectly happy pottering around town or trundling along the motorway.”
Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief, said:  “Ford really deserves its four What Car? category awards, it’s a fantastic achievement.  It’s great to see a mainstream volume car maker building award-winning cars.”
Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain managing director, said:  “Ford’s flying start to 2013 has been accelerated by winning so many What Car? Awards.  Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo are the most familiar models in Ford’s line-up, so What Car? recognising each of them is a fine testimony to our latest range.”

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Popular Mechanics selects Ford SYNC® AppLink™ Developer Program as Editor’s Choice

English: Ford SYNC logo
English: Ford SYNC logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Ford SYNC® AppLink™ Developer Program announced at the International CES in Las Vegas this week has been honored with an Editor’s Choice award from Popular Mechanics magazine. The Developer Program is the first of its kind in the automotive industry, providing a free software development kit to mobile app developers that enable them to harness the power of SYNC voice control. Click here for the full list of winners.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ford Cars, Utilities and Trucks All Post U.S. Sales Gains in 2012; Company Posts Best December Sales Since 2006

Ford Escape PHEV photographed in New York City...
Ford Escape PHEV photographed in New York City, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  •     Ford Motor Company delivers U.S. sales gains across its lineup in 2012 – with cars up 5 percent, utilities up 7 percent and trucks up 2 percent
  •     F-Series sales up 10 percent for year; now America’s best-selling pickup for 36 years and best-selling vehicle for 31 years
  •     Ford commercial truck sales up 7 percent in 2012, marking the best sales year since 2008
  •     December total company sales up 2 percent – with the strongest December since 2006

Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales grew across the board in 2012, with cars up 5 percent, utilities up 7 percent, and trucks up 2 percent for the year. Overall, the Ford brand ended 2012 with 2,168,015 vehicles sold – the only brand to top 2 million U.S. sales.

“Ford finished 2012 strong, with retail sales showing improved strength as more customers returned to dealer showrooms,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Ford’s fuel-efficient cars and hybrid vehicles showed the most dramatic growth for the year, and we achieved our best year for commercial vehicle sales since 2008.”

Sales of Ford’s small cars were up 29 percent in 2012, with 316,006 vehicles sold, and overall car sales were up 5 percent in 2012, with 760,646 sold. Focus sales gained 40 percent during the year, and the all-new C-MAX continues its strong selling rate. In the first four months of sales, 13,309 C-MAX vehicles were sold, making it the fastest sales start of any hybrid vehicle in the industry.

Ford again became America’s best-selling brand of utility vehicles in 2012, with 619,470 vehicles sold. Escape broke its 2011 record sales levels with 261,008 vehicles sold, up 3 percent. Explorer gained 17 percent for the year, with 158,344 vehicles sold.

Ford trucks continued to dominate in 2012 – with F-Series America’s best-selling pickup for the 36th straight year and 31 consecutive years as America’s best-selling vehicle. Overall, 645,316 F-Series were sold, a 10 percent increase versus 2011. Total Ford brand truck sales – including Transit Connect and E-Series – were up 2 percent for the year at 829,477 vehicles sold.

Ford also remained America’s largest maker of commercial trucks for 28 years, posting a 7 percent increase in 2012. That marks Ford’s best year for commercial truck sales since 2008.

Last month, Ford delivered its best December sales results since 2006, with 214,222 vehicles sold – a 2 percent increase.

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Ford Boosts UK Market Lead in 2012

Ford extended its UK market lead in 2012 while recording 36 consecutive years of car sales leadership and 47 years of UK commercial vehicle (CV) sales leadership.

Ford's full-year car sales beat overall UK market growth, increasing by 6.0 per cent in 2012, compared with 2011.  Other highlights of the official full-year 2012 figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) include:

  •     Ford is the number one UK car brand for 36 successive years.
  •     Ford commercial vehicles have been the UK's favourite for 47 years.
  •     Ford stretches its lead over its closest rival by almost 60 per cent.
  •     Ford Fiesta is the UK best seller for the fourth successive year.
  •     Ford Focus tops UK sales in November and December.
  •     Ford Transit maintains its clear lead in CV sales.

According to the official SMMT figures full year car sales in the UK in 2012 were up 5.3 per cent at 2,044,609 registrations, compared with 2011.  Ford sold 281,917 cars in the UK last year, up from 265,894 in 2011.

Ford Fiesta was the UK car sales leader again in 2012, having taken the position from the Ford Focus in 2009, with 109,265 registrations up from 96,112 in 2011.  Ford Fiesta also increased its market share to 5.4 per cent, from 5.0 per cent in 2011.

Other Ford models with increased sales in 2012, compared with 2011, included the Ford Ka, Ford Focus, Ford Kuga, Ford Mondeo and Ford S-MAX, while the new Ford B-MAX has proved immediately popular with 3,199 sales recorded already, since its October launch.

Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain managing director, said:  "Ford beat overall market growth in 2012 and extended its sales lead in a fiercely competitive market thanks to the launches of award-winning vehicles and technologies and the unrivalled strength of our dealer network.

“More people choose Ford over any other vehicle brand in the UK and as we face similar, difficult market conditions in 2013 we will look to satisfy the needs of our private and business customers by strengthening our vehicle range still further and providing the best sales and service offering in our dealerships."

Ford Transit has led the UK CV sector from its launch in 1965 and Ford’s CV market leadership remains unchallenged with a 21.6 per cent share for the full year 2012.  Ford medium commercials secured 30.7 per cent of the segment in 2012, up from 26.8 per cent in 2011.

The official figures released by the SMMT today show that in December UK car sales were up by 3.7 per cent to 123,557 units, compared with December 2011.  Ford car sales increased 6.6 per cent to 15,656, up from 14,689 in December 2011 and Ford's overall share of car sales was 12.7 per cent for the month, up from 12.3 per cent in December 2011.

The Ford Focus was again the UK’s best seller in December, repeating its November result.  Critical acclaim for the new Fiesta suggests that it will reclaim its clear No 1 sales spot in 2013 and it enters the year alongside the ingenious Ford    B-MAX with both cars available with the award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which also features in the Ford Focus, the Ford C-MAX and the Ford Grand C-MAX.

USA TODAY App Launches for Ford SYNC AppLink Providing Drivers with On-Demand News, Sports and Weather

News junkies can get their fix in the car with voice activation now available via Ford SYNC® AppLink™ integration.

With simple voice commands, users can access, navigate, search and listen to morning and evening editions of the USA TODAY headline content they love in a rich audio format via a hands-free, eyes-free experience.

“Staying informed is important, and the USA TODAY app provides news, sports and more directly to smartphones and tablets,” said Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink. “The USA TODAY app shows how smartphone apps can add convenience to the driving experience using voice control through SYNC AppLink.”

How it works
By voice command, drivers can tell their car, “Play news story” or “Listen to sports stories.” Users can customize their news or opt to skip stories as well.
Drivers can hear the latest top headlines across their favorite categories such as News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel. They can play, pause, skip, or go back within and between stories to customize the listening experience even further.
More than 1 million Ford vehicles already on the road have SYNC AppLink built in. AppLink enables drivers to take advantage of their mobile data to stay connected while they keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

2014 Silverado Rolls Through Detroit Skyline

Silverado in the rain
Silverado in the rain (Photo credit: Perfesser)

The Detroit People Mover is taking on the persona of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado during the 2013 North American International Auto Show.
Two People Mover trains are wrapped to look like the new Silverado towing a horse trailer while the People Mover station in the General Motors headquarters at the Renaissance Center features images showcasing the Silverado’s design cues, inside and out.
New from hood to hitch, the 2014 Silverado is engineered to be the strongest, smartest and most capable Silverado ever.

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GM Consolidates Operations in Africa

English: Logo of General Motors Corporation. S...
English: Logo of General Motors Corporation. Source: 2007_business_choice_bro_en.pdf (on GM website). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

General Motors is consolidating its Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa operations into a new unit, GM Africa, effective immediately.

Mario A. Spangenberg, currently president and managing director of GM North Africa, will become president and managing director of GM Africa. He will be based at GM Africa’s headquarters in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. With this consolidation, Tarek Atta will become managing director of GM Egypt and North Africa, reporting to Spangenberg.

Edgar Lourençon, who has served as managing director of GM South Africa and president of GM Sub-Saharan Africa since November 2009, will assist in the transition and repatriate to South America later this year. He will report to Mark Barnes, GM International Operations vice president, Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, and chief country operations officer, Africa and Australia.

“Bringing our operations in Africa together will enable us to take advantage of synergies across the continent,” said Tim Lee, GM vice president, Global Manufacturing, and president, International Operations. “It will put GM in a strong position to expand in a part of the world that has tremendous long-term potential for vehicle sales growth.”

GM does business in more than 50 markets in Africa, and has manufacturing operations in South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. In 2012, GM sold 180,493 vehicles in Africa, an increase of 17.5 percent from the previous year.

“We are pleased to have Mario, a proven leader and an agent of change, overseeing our Africa operations,” said Barnes. “He has done an outstanding job growing GM’s business in North Africa, despite intense political and economic challenges.”

Spangenberg has been in his present position since July 1, 2011. He earlier held key posts in other parts of the world, including director of Sales Operations for GM de Mexico, managing director of International Sales for GM Daewoo Auto & Technology in South Korea, and director of Marketing for Adam Opel AG in Germany. He began his industry career in 1980 at Volkswagen.

In addition to his most recent assignment in GM International Operations, Lourençon has held several important positions in South America, including director of Quality and director of Sales and Field Operations for GM in Latin America, and president and managing director of GM Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Bolivia. He joined the company in 1977 as an engineer in Manufacturing Engineering at GM do Brasil.

“We thank Edgar for strengthening our operations in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Lee. “In the short term, with his background and expertise, we will look for Edgar to provide his leadership in two critical areas – overseeing the launch of our new pickup in South Africa and further strengthening the Isuzu relationship.”

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Chevrolet Will ‘Find New Roads’ as Brand Grows Globally

Logo de Chevrolet
Logo de Chevrolet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chevrolet is the world’s fastest-growing major automotive brand and as it continues to expand its global operations it is aligning its engineering, design and retail operations behind a single vision and communications platform – Find New Roads.

The foundation of this new guiding principle is Chevrolet’s legacy of innovation and commitment to doing the right thing for consumers. Find New Roads will be the touchstone for the brand as it develops new products and technologies for sale in more than 140 markets.

“Find New Roads embraces the spirit of ingenuity that has been in Chevrolet’s DNA since the beginning and it will continue to guide every aspect of our business moving forward,” said Mary Barra, senior vice president of Global Product Development. “We have sold Chevrolets around the world for almost a century, but this is the first time we have aligned behind one global vision.

“As we develop new products our designers and engineers will be empowered to find smarter solutions to address customer needs and make their lives better.”

Since the launch of the Cruze mid-size sedan – the brand’s first truly global vehicle – in 2009, Chevrolet sales have grown about 38 percent.

“This is the right time to launch this initiative with over 20 vehicle launches globally in 2013,” said Alan Batey, vice president, U.S. Sales, Service and Global Marketing. “We are continuing to grow globally, especially in key emerging markets, and Find New Roads will help us drive even more consistency – both internally with our employees and externally with customers.”

Chevrolet’s approach to marketing and the retail experience is already aligning with this new global vision.  Last year Chevrolet selected Commonwealth, a newly formed advertising agency, to service Chevrolet advertising around the world.  The brand also has launched a program to train dealership personnel to approach every aspect of their business differently to improve the retail experience.

In addition to driving internal consistency for Chevrolet, Find New Roads also will be used in advertising around the world, beginning in the United States this quarter.

“Find New Roads will enable the whole company to rally around a consistent theme for the brand, and at the same time serve as an external message that works in all markets,” said Batey. “The theme has meaning in mature markets like the U.S. as well as emerging markets like Russia and India, where the potential for continued growth is the greatest.”

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year.  Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

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