Corvette enthusiasts await debut of 2014 model

DETROIT, Mon Jan 14, 2013 — Members of America’s Corvette Club can’t wait to see General Motors Corp.’s 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the first new Corvette in nine years, which the automaker will unveil this week at the annual Detroit auto show.

The seventh generation Corvette, called C7 by fans of the iconic American sportscar, has a front-mounted engine and a shape like a race car. GM showed it to the media on Sunday and will make pictures and video available to the public.

But 100 members of the Corvette Club from southeastern Michigan are counting the hours until January 19, when GM will give them a chance to see and touch the car an hour before the doors of the auto show are opened to the public, said social director Peter Shilland, who owns an exclusive 2009 Corvette Callaway edition.

“We want to hear from the engineers and see how far they’ve come with the C7,” said Shilland, a former GM employee.

The car has been has been redesigned from the ground up and goes on sale next summer.

Dan Akerson, GM chief executive officer, said the Corvette is a “halo car” that will draw buyers to the Chevrolet brand, which accounted for 71 percent of the company’s U.S. sales in 2012.

Akerson said the Corvette is indicative of the risks the company is willing to take with its new products and called the new Corvette “a balanced risk.”

Chevy says 2014 Corvette will debut in January

DETROIT, Thu Oct 18, 2012 – An all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, the seventh generation of the uniquely American sports car in six decades, will make its debut Jan. 13 on the eve of the North American International Auto Show, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand said on Thursday.

Eagerly awaited by auto enthusiasts, the new Corvette – dubbed C7 by the faithful but known to GM and its suppliers by the development code Y1X – is widely expected to have a radically restyled exterior, a more upscale interior, a lighter chassis, and a more efficient engine and transmission.

There will be a 6-month gap between the 2014 Corvette new C7 and the current C6 version, a Chevrolet spokesman said in an email. GM will stop building the 2013 model in early February, and is due to start producing the 2014 model in volume in July.

The first of the new C7 Corvettes is expected to roll off the line in Bowling Green on June 30 – 60 years to the day that the first 1953 model was produced, according to two suppliers familiar with the automaker’s plans but are not authorized to speak on behalf of GM.

The C7’s formal unveiling in mid-January also marks the anniversary of the Corvette’s debut in January 1953 as a GM Motorama “dream car” concept in New York. Since then, GM has built and sold more than 1.5 million Corvettes, although annual sales have slowed in recent years as higher vehicle prices, rising fuel and insurance costs, and growing competition from Europe and Asia have eroded its once fiercely loyal owner base.

GM recalls nearly 474,000 cars over gear shift problem

DETROIT, Fri Sep 21, 2012 – General Motors Co. is recalling 473,841 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn sedans globally to fix a condition that could lead the cars to roll when the drivers think they are in park, the No. 1 U.S. automaker said on Friday.

GM said it was aware of four crashes that resulted from the problem, but no injuries.

The company said the recall affected Chevy Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura cars from model years 2007 through 2010 and equipped with four-speed automatic transmissions. GM will repair the condition in which the transmission gear position may not match the gear on the shifter.

The recall affects 426,240 in the United States, 40,029 in Canada and 7,572 in other markets.

Dealers will reinforce the shift cable end fitting to prevent that part from fracturing, GM said. Owners will be notified by letter to schedule the free repairs at dealers, and those who have had the work done already will be eligible for reimbursement.

The company also said it was recalling 6,475 Chevy Sonic subcompact cars globally because they might not alert the driver to a faulty turn-signal bulb.

Dealers will reprogram an incorrectly calibrated module for the cars built between May 29 and Aug. 29 at GM’s Orion, Mich., plant.

The recall affects 4,716 cars in the United States and 1,759 in other markets.

GM said it was unaware of any crashes or injuries stemming from the problem. Owners will be notified of the Sonic recall by letter beginning Oct. 3.

GM recalls 4,300 Malibu Eco cars in U.S. for airbag issue

DETROIT, Thu May 24, 2012 – General Motors Co. said on Thursday it is recalling 4,304 Chevrolet Malibu Eco cars sold in the United States to reprogram a module that controls airbag deployments.

The U.S. automaker said in what it described as rare cases under extremely aggressive turning, the roof rail airbags in some 2013 model year Malibu Ecos might inflate. It also said in another scenario it described as rarer that the airbags and safety belt pretensioners might not deploy.

GM said no crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue.

GM said it discovered the problem during a development test in which one of the cars was performing extreme maneuvers. It said letters will be mailed to car owners on June 1 with instructions to have the reprogramming done at no cost at a dealer.

GM’s Chevrolet to introduce small crossover SUV

DETROIT, Mon May 14, 2012 – General Motors Co.’s main brand Chevrolet will introduce a new small crossover SUV at the Paris auto show in September, the company said on Monday.

The Chevrolet Trax will be sold in 140 countries and will be introduced first in Mexico in the fourth quarter of this year. But it will not be sold in the United States.

The Trax is slightly smaller than the Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUV, which is sold only in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

The Trax will be built on the same underpinning platform as the Aveo and Sonic subcompact sedan. That subcompact sedan is sold as Sonic in the U.S. and Canadian markets and as the Aveo in the rest of the world.

Details including price, weight, length and fuel economy of the Trax were not released.

U.S. sales of the Equinox crossover SUV rose 16 percent to about 70,000 in the first four months of this year.

Among crossover SUVs, the Equinox is No. 3 in the U.S. market, behind the Honda Motor Co. CR-V at about 98,000 sales through April and the Ford Motor Co. Escape at nearly 75,000 in sales.