General Motors CEO to auction Corvette for charity

General Motors’ CEO Dan Akerson will be auctioning off his 1958 Regal Turquoise Corvette, with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity Detroit.

According to a press release from GM, Akerson wants to help revitalize the Morningside Commons neighborhood in Detroit’s lower east side.

“A strong America is built on strong communities, and building those communities starts with one hammer, one nail and one person – from there it’s contagious,” Akerson said.
The Corvette is powered by a 245-HP V8, and will be front and center at the 60th Anniversary Corvette Display at familiar Birmingham Triangle where more than 200 classic Corvettes will be on display, the press release said.

“The 1958 Corvette is a great example of American passion and ingenuity, and my hope is that the auction will help bring attention and resources to Habitat’s efforts to revitalize a historic Detroit neighborhood,” Akerson said. “I love this Corvette, and if putting it on the block can help rebuild the heart and soul of this neighborhood, I am all for it.”

 

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GM highlights Corvette’s lightweight legacy

In 1953, the Corvette was only supposed to be part of General Motor’s Motorama exhibit at the New York Auto Show. To say that it was well-received is an obvious understatement, because it has become one of the most recognized cars from GM’s Chevy division.

If you can improve the technology, you can improve results. An article on GM’s website features a story how technology has influenced the beauty behind the Corvette since the very first one from the 50s.

Harlan Charles, Corvette’s marketing manager, says horsepower isn’t the only measure of performance. “Balance and low weight are just as important, and that’s where the Corvette excels. It has a heritage of employing cutting-edge technologies and materials to help optimize performance.”

Using those “cutting-edge technologies and materials” started in 1953 when the body of a Corvette was made out of fiberglass, and since then, GM says every Corvette has featured a composite-material body.

The idea of using fiberglass came from Harley Early. According to GM, it was lightweight, rust-proof and provided an economical way to create the Corvette.

By the late 60s, starting with the third generation of Corvettes, body parts were manufactured with a press mold process, GM says. SMC, or sheet-molded composite, can be molded into complex shapes without wasting material. The fiberglass material and resin were shaped in a die-like tool that produced smoother parts more quickly, and according to GM, this helped lay the groundwork for a change in the body panel’s material by 1973.

Fast forward to 1997, the first year of the C5. GM says the ‘97 Corvette was larger, longer and wider than the previous year’s model; however, it weight nearly 100 pounds less, thanks to the technology of advanced materials.

SMC body panels were made with more plastic and was composed of 40% resin, 33% calcium-carbonate filler, and 20% chopped fiberglass, with the last 7% being resin and hardeners to improve the out-of-mold surface, GM says. For the C6 Corvettes, the same material is also used.

This was just a brief summary of GM’s story, but if you want to read more about it, check out the article here.

Photo Credit: General Motors

 

 

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GM says self-driving car in Cadillac’s future

A car that drives itself may not sound too exciting. Who doesn’t like to feel the power of a classic American muscle car in the palms of your hands?

It may not sound too exciting at first, but it’s always interesting to see where technology is going.

Google is already testing their version of a self-driving vehicle, and GM says they’re not far from having one of their own.

Thanks to GPS, smart phone technology and superior radar intelligence, GM says they’re able to produce the first self-driving Cadillac in five years.

James Bell, head of Consumer Affairs for General Motors said, “We think it’s something that can really help people, especially on long drives where you might get tired or find things are distracting you. If you just set it up into what we call ‘super-cruise mode’ you’ll be in much better shape.”

According to GM’s website, the vehicle is going to offer crash risk detection and enhanced driver assistant features, such as:

• Rear Automatic Braking
• Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
• Intelligent Brake Assist
• Forward Collision Alert
• Safety Alert Seat
• Automatic Collision Preparation
• Lane Departure Warning
• Side Blind Zone Alert
• Rear Cross Traffic Alert
• Adaptive Forward Lighting
• Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
• Head Up Display

John Capp, General Motors director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation, said, “The primary goal of GM’s autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle development is safety. In the coming years, autonomous driving systems paired with advanced safety systems could help eliminate the crash altogether by interceding on behalf of drivers before they’re even aware of a hazardous situation. More than ever, consumers will be able to trust their car to do the right thing.”

Photo Credit: © General Motors


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Assembly of GM’s new Ecotech engine promises more jobs

With the Ecotec 2.5-liter engine debuting in the 2013 Chevy Malibu, about 450 jobs will be added to the 188 employees currently working there.

Spring Hill Complex Manager Ken Knight said in the press release that the fuel efficiency and power of the Ecotec 2.5-liter engine in the 2013 Malibu make it a great value for consumers. “The Ecotec 2.5-liter direct injection engine is more fuel efficient than the previous 2.4L, has 16% more horsepower, and then engine’s noise intensity has been reduced by 40%.”

So, even if the power in 2013 Chevy Malibu doesn’t get you excited, at least this is a step towards keeping jobs in the U.S.

Photo Credit: GM

Cadillac was stolen while kids were inside vehicle

Stealing someone’s ride is wrong, especially if their kids are in the vehicle while you’re doing it.

According to MyFoxAtlanta.com, two children, ages 5 and 6, were left in a car while their dad ran into the store.

As the car was being stolen, it was reported that the father didn’t call police at first. The store clerk had to call 911.

The children were found unharmed on the side of the road. According to the story, they let themselves out of the vehicle after it was abandoned by the car thief. (Guess the thief realized he was getting into more than what he had bargained for.)

Police arrested the father, and he was charged with reckless conduct.

It was argued whether or not he initially reported the kids missing. According to the story, authorities reported that the father said his keys were in the car. But a witness said that the father did report that his kids were in the vehicle, but his panicked state could have made it sound like he said “keys” instead of “kids.”

No word on whether or not the thief has been found or if there are any leads.

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GM announces plans for 2014 Chevy SS

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GM recently announced that it will showcase the 2014 Chevy SS sports sedan February 21, 2013, just before the Daytona 500, when the NASCAR version makes its debut.

Rumor has it that the Chevy SS will see improvements to fuel efficiency with innovations to lightweight construction.

Consumers can definitely expect to see a V8 option, and possibly a V6 option if demand is high enough.

Other updates include improved suspension, electric power steering and a keyless engine start.

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Ford wants to depend less on fossil fuels

Ford announced today that they’re teaming up with other companies to work on developing the use of 100% plant-based PET materials and fiber in their products in an effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Ford is partnering with Coca-Cola, H.J. Heinz, NIKE and Procter & Gamble.

GM introduces rear-wheel drive sedan

For the first time in 17 years, General Motors will introduce a rear-wheel drive Chevy performance sedan for the U.S. Market. According to the Chicago Tribune, GM has plans to sell a limited number of full-size sedans with a V-8 engine called the Chevrolet SS. It’s expected to reach dealerships in late 2013.

Who leads in sales for the month of May?

For the Month of May, Ford Mustang sold more vehicles than any rear-wheel drive performance car, beating out the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

By the numbers for May:

Ford Mustang: 10,427

Chevy Camaro: 9,023

Dodge Challenger: 4,816

Though the Mustang was ahead for the month of May, they’re still 2,213 units behind the Chevy Camaro for the year.

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