(this article was originally published on gmc.com)
Parents on Yukon, Yukon XL design team pushed for family-friendly mirror
DETROIT – Your parents weren’t kidding – mothers and fathers really do know best, especially when it comes to incorporating family-friendly features into automobiles.
Members of the 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL team leveraged their own parental experiences, and added a conversation mirror – a secondary rear-view mirror that helps drivers keep an eye on kids seated in the second and third rows.
Kelley Blue Book’s data for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period is the basis for the awards. Categories include lowest projected depreciation, expected fuel costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, and state registration fees.
Kelley Blue Book data suggests substantial potential in cost-of-ownership savings for these three vehicles.
Model Average Difference to Vehicle Category Average
Entry-Level Luxury Car
Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover
Luxury Full-size SUV/Crossover
KBB.com’s 5-Year Cost to Own information is developed using Kelley Blue Book® Residual Values to calculate depreciation costs. Kelley Blue Book calculates total ownership costs for new vehicles by applying a sophisticated valuation methodology along with critical financial data from third-party providers.
(this article was originally published on buick.com)
DETROIT – Vehicles act differently on snow and ice depending on whether they have front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. You may know which drive system your vehicle has, but do you understand how it works?
Here’s a brief spin through the options. Remember, almost every new vehicle includes an electronic traction control system that intervenes automatically to improve performance in slippery conditions.
Front-wheel drive (FWD): Simply put, engine power is channeled to the front wheels to propel the vehicle. Standard on all Buicks, FWD is the most popular and prevalent system in the market because its compact setup enhances fuel efficiency and frees up more room inside the vehicle. Plus, the weight of the powertrain is concentrated over the driving wheels, so it offers good traction when it’s slippery.
Rear-wheel drive (RWD): As the name implies, engine power is sent to the rear wheels to propel the vehicle. In passenger cars, RWD reigned until the advent of FWD in the early 1980s. But RWD can more effectively handle higher engine power and higher vehicle weights, which is why it’s still favored in large trucks, larger performance vehicles, purpose-built race cars and law-enforcement pursuit use.
All-wheel drive (AWD): Don’t confuse all-wheel drive with four-wheel drive (below). Both engage all four wheels, but they’re designed and operate differently.
Generally, an AWD drivetrain operates as a FWD or RWD system – most are FWD. Buick’s AWD system pre-emptively sends power to front and rear axles on every launch to prevent wheel slip, then backs down if no slip occurs. Power is transferred automatically via a single-speed transfer case. (A transfer case connects to the transmission to split power between the front and rear wheels.) The beauty of AWD is no driver effort is needed to activate the system.
AWD scores high with buyers who want excellent on-road capabilities with the added traction on grass, mud, sand or gravel in light, off-road conditions where a front- or rear-wheel-drive vehicle may get stuck. Buick offers all-wheel drive on the Regal, LaCrosse, Encore and Enclave.
Four-wheel drive (4WD or 4×4): Four-wheel drive typically features a two-speed transfer case with high and low ranges for maximum traction. 4WD vehicles typically operate in RWD until four-wheel traction is required; and while most systems are driver-activated, many offer a setting that automatically engages the high range when it’s slippery. The driver must still engage the low range.
Found in large, rear-wheel-drive trucks and larger SUVs with additional ground clearance compared to passenger cars and crossovers, 4×4 still provides the best traction and capability in off-road conditions.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along rolls by a 665 HP GMC Denali. So, let’s put that into perspective. This 2015 GMC Denali can generate as much horsepower as some of today’s most expensive and elite supercars. Now, can it keep pace with other American made supercars? Keep in mind that this beast weighs 6,000 lbs!
The 2015 Hennessy GMC Denali is a berserk car. It has an engine developing 665 HP which is the same as the new Ferrari 488 GTB. However, we have to ask how it goes against the Hellcat!? Luckily, Hennessey asked the same. The Denali goes 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, which is far away from the Hellcat. At the end of the video you can see the race, but you cannot see the result. Nevertheless, it seems legit to say that the Hellcat won without much sweat.
Now, as much as I’d like to have one of these one the lot at Freeman Grapevine, I’m probably just going to have to settle for seeing it in pictures. And even though the Hellcat was clearly faster, can you imagine having a Denali with that many horses under the hood?
(this article was originally published on gmc.com)
New, award-winning Canyon had best January in 10 years; Sierra up 14 percent
DETROIT – GMC sold 35,671 trucks, vans and sport-utility vehicles in the U.S. last month, posting its best January sales since 2004. Every GMC, crossover and SUV saw sales increases; and total Sierra full-size truck sales rose 14 percent.
“Our GMC customers are confident in our showroom of premium trucks, crossovers and SUVs,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing. “We continue to be pleased with consumer response to the new Canyon midsize pickup, which bolsters our truck leadership and is bringing new buyers to GMC.
“Twelve months of year-over-year retail sales gains are a very strong indicator of the premium GMC attributes our customers continue to seek.”
In fact, in survey after survey, customers cite exterior styling, overall quality, ample seating capacity, premium amenities and positive previous GMC ownership experiences as their reasons for purchasing a GMC. In January, GMC’s top-of-the-line Denali trim represented 22 percent of total GMC sales and more than half of Yukon and Yukon XL models.
Here’s a model-by-model look at GMC U.S. sales in January:
Best January sales in 10 years following its launch last fall
Autoweek’s 2015 Best of the Best truck
Best January ever
Total sales up 25 percent
Highest rate of conquest buyers within GMC, at nearly 47 percent
Total sales up 8 percent
Best January since 2008
Yukon and Yukon XL
Best January since 2008
Yukon total sales up 106 percent; Yukon XL total sales up 127 percent
12 months of year-over-year sales gains for Yukon; 11 months for Yukon XL
(this article was originally published on Buick.com)
Q4 EBIT-adjusted of $2.4 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2013
Q4 EPS of $0.66 including net loss from special items of $(0.53) per share
Full-year net income of $2.8 billion closes fifth consecutive profitable year
Full-year EBIT-adjusted of $6.5 billion included $2.8 billion in recall-related costs and restructuring costs of $1.0 billion
GM expects to increase its second quarter common stock dividend 20 percent to 36 cents per share
DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today announced fourth quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $1.1 billion, or $0.66 per diluted share, which included a net loss from special items of $0.9 billion or $(0.53) per diluted share. Included in special items during the quarter was an $(0.8) billion reduction to net income attributable to common stockholders related to the redemption of all outstanding Series A preferred shares.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, GM’s net income attributable to common stockholders was $0.9 billion, or $0.57 per diluted share, including a net loss from special items of $0.2 billion or $(0.10) per diluted share. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014 was $39.6 billion, compared with $40.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted was $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.
“A strong fourth quarter helped us deliver very good core operating results in 2014 despite significant challenges we and the industry faced,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “By keeping our customers at the center of all our decisions, we addressed those challenges head-on and outlined a customer-focused strategic plan that will guide our company well into the future.”
GM reported 2014 full-year net income attributable to common stockholders of $2.8 billion, or $1.65 per diluted share, down from $3.8 billion, or $2.38 per diluted share in 2013. Core automotive operating performance improved in 2014, but results were more than offset by incremental recall and restructuring costs, and a net loss from special items.
Special items during the calendar year impacted full-year net income to common stockholders unfavorably by $(2.4) billion, or $(1.40) per diluted share, compared to an unfavorable $(1.3) billion impact in 2013, or $(0.80) per diluted share.
In 2014, full-year net income was also impacted unfavorably by recall-related pre-tax costs of $2.8 billion, or $(1.07) per diluted share. Income tax expense in 2014 was favorably impacted by recall-related costs and special items.
Revenue increased to $155.9 billion, compared with $155.4 billion in 2013.
Full-year EBIT-adjusted was $6.5 billion, compared with $8.6 billion in 2013. Full-year EBIT-adjusted for 2014 includes the impact of $2.8 billion for recall-related costs and restructuring charges of $1.0 billion.
Based on GM’s continued strong results, and consistent with its stated strategy of a strong and growing dividend, the company intends to increase the second quarter dividend on its common stock by 20 percent to 36 cents per share. The decision on the expected dividend increase will be made by the GM Board of Directors as part of the regularly scheduled second quarter dividend declaration procedure.
“Our intention to increase the dividend is consistent with our balanced capital allocation strategy and reflects the confidence we have in the growing strength of our business,” said Barra. “Our goal is to maximize long-term shareholder value through both stock price appreciation and return of capital.”
Overview (in billions except for per share amounts)
Net income attributable to common stockholders
Earnings per share (EPS) diluted
Impact of special items on EPS diluted
Automotive net cash flow from operating activities
Adjusted automotive free cash flow
GM North America (GMNA) reported EBIT-adjusted of $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $1.9 billion in 2013. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was $6.6 billion, which included the impact of $2.4 billion in recall-related costs in 2014. This compares to EBIT-adjusted of $7.5 billion in 2013. Based on GMNA’s 2014 financial performance, the company will award variable pay of up to $9,000 to approximately 48,400 eligible GM U.S. hourly employees.
GM Europe (GME) reported EBIT-adjusted of $(0.4) billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, which includes $0.1 billion for restructuring costs. This compares with $(0.4) billion in 2013, which also included $0.1 billion in restructuring costs. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was $(1.4) billion in 2014, which includes $0.7 billion in restructuring costs. This compares with EBIT-adjusted of $(0.9) billion in 2013, which included $0.2 billion in restructuring costs.
GM International Operations (GMIO) reported EBIT-adjusted of $0.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $0.2 billion in 2013. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was $1.2 billion in 2014, compared with $1.3 billion in 2013. Included in the consolidated results for GMIO, GM China equity income during the fourth quarter of 2014 was $0.5 billion, compared to $0.4 billion in 2013. Full-year equity income for GM China was $2.1 billion, compared to $1.8 billion in 2013.
GM South America (GMSA) reported EBIT-adjusted of $0.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with breakeven in 2013. Full-year EBIT-adjusted was $(0.2) billion in 2014, compared with EBIT-adjusted of $0.3 billion in 2013.
GM Financial reported earnings before taxes (EBT) adjusted of $0.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $0.2 billion in 2013. Full-year EBT adjusted was $0.8 billion, compared to $0.9 billion in 2013.
“Our underlying business operations showed significant improvement this year,” said Chuck Stevens, GM executive vice president and chief financial officer. “In 2015, we’ll continue to focus on driving further improvements to keep us on a glide path to achieve our near-term and long-term objectives.”
Security and safety are things we think about everyday whether we know it or not. That’s not just security and safety while driving, but also while you are at home in the evenings. I want to share a tip to enhance your home security and honestly, this is something I hadn’t really thought of until now, but it’s so simple and easy to do, you should make it a habit.
My advice is to keep your car keys nearby, “especially when you are home asleep in your bed.” Of course, you have an alarm system on your vehicle and most do these days. It doesn’t have to be on of the systems that tells you to step away from the car or sounds like a storm-warning siren… just an alarm system with a panic button that makes the horn sound and the lights flash.
For example, if you hear a noise outside your home or someone is trying to get into your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will go off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery goes dead. It doesn’t even matter if the car is in the garage. I heard this bit of advice from a from a neighborhood watch coordinator. It was like a light bulb was turned on in my head. So, the next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys on the counter or a key rack, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that requires no installation and no outside monitoring. Try it for yourself. The alarm can be set off from most everywhere inside your house and it will continue to go off until you reset it with the button on the key fob.
Just a friendly tip. Has anyone ever had to use their panic button in a an emergency?
(this article was originally published on buick.com)
Another year of record sales defies industry trends, fuels Buick’s global momentum
Buick Enclave’s 62,300 sales in the United States in 2014 represented the second consecutive year of record sales for Buick’s flagship crossover and built on momentum that has barely paused since its launch in mid-2007.
While most vehicles follow somewhat of a bell curve for sales during their lifecycle, the Enclave has continued on an upward trajectory after more than seven years. Minor dips in 2009 and 2012 reflected overall trends in the recovering auto industry, but record-setting 2014 sales represented a 39-percent increase over the Enclave’s first full year of production.
More than 450,000 Enclave models have been sold worldwide since its launch.
“Few vehicles in any segment of the industry enjoy such a legacy of increasing popularly,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “In fact, many customers are enjoying their second or third Enclave. The Enclave has also been a cornerstone of Buick’s product renaissance, which saw a second consecutive year of record global sales in 2014.”
Said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book: “The Buick Enclave was really the perfect vehicle at the perfect time. It instantly expanded the brand’s reach by offering an attractive and functional SUV with luxury amenities. The three-row SUV segment was struggling in 2007, yet the Enclave drew a core group of buyers upon release and has continually expanded that group as SUV interest grew in recent years.
“This consistent growth curve is testament to how ‘right’ Buick got the Enclave at launch, along with how effectively the brand has supported its full-size SUV in the following years,” Brauer said.
For 2015, the Enclave adds a heated, wood-trimmed steering wheel to its roster of luxury features. It is offered in three trim levels: Convenience (1SD), Leather (1SL) and Premium (1SN). All-wheel drive is available on Leather and Premium trims, and
all models are powered by a direct-injected 3.6L V-6 that delivers an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway (FWD models).
Experience Buick Protection on all 2015 Buick models includes two years/24,000 miles of scheduled maintenance, including oil changes, oil filter changes and tire rotations. It complements Buick’s four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.
“The Enclave continues to attract new and returning customers to its mix of its outstanding design, performance and safety features,” Aldred said.
(this article was originally published on buick.com)
Entire 2015 Buick portfolio posts top New Car Assessment Program ratings
DETROIT – Contrary to its compact figure, the 2015 Buick Encore delivers big when it comes to safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave both front- and all-wheel drive Encore models a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score after extensively testing both models in its New Car Assessment Program.
As a result, buyers can find models with a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score throughout Buick’s range of 2015 model year vehicles: the Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Encore and Enclave.
“Consumers are consistently surprised to discover Encore provides the characteristics they expect in our larger offerings – style, sophistication, connectivity and comfort,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “NHTSA’s evaluation affirms Encore lives up to Buick’s safety reputation.”
Encore’s five-star ranking reflects its performance in NCAP front, side and rollover tests. Encore also received a five-star score on a side pole impact test, which simulates hitting a tree just behind the driver’s side A-pillar at 20 mph.
The 2015 Encore’s strength comes from a strong body structure, 66 percent of which is formed from high- and ultra-high strength steel. Encore also offers 10 standard air bags, including driver and front passenger frontal air bags, driver and front passenger knee air bags, front and rear thorax air bags for all outboard seating positions, and side curtain air bags.
Encore offers available safety features, including rear cross traffic alert and side blind zone alert systems with the Convenience Package. Encore Premium models offer front- and rear-park assist, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning.
(this article was originally published on buick.com)
Concepts that drove the brand’s design and technology; inspired the industry
DETROIT – Buick’s all-new Avenir concept, introduced today ahead of the North American International Auto Show, advances a legacy of progressive concepts that stretches back to the 1938 Buick Y-Job, the industry’s original concept vehicle.
Like its predecessors, the Avenir blends exploratory styling with advanced technology to probe new directions for Buick and test features that may transfer to future production models.
“Buick, under the design leadership of Harley Earl, created the industry’s first concept vehicle and for more than 75 years each new Buick concept has pushed the brand forward and influenced the industry through great design,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “From designs that push the boundaries of graceful, elegant proportions and progressive interior designs, Buick’s concepts have always inspired with the relevance of a future that is not too far away.”
Here’s a look at five of the most influential concepts that advanced Buick’s design, driver technology or powertrain technology:
1. Y-Job (1938) Considered the industry’s first true concept car, the Y-Job was developed by Harley Earl, GM’s first design chief. It was designed solely to gauge the public’s response to the innovative styling and features rather than foreshadowing a new production model. The media immediately hailed the Y-Job as the “Car of the Future.” In many ways it was, as it previewed features that would become common throughout the industry, including power windows, flush-mounted door handles, disappearing headlamps, a concealed convertible top and more. The sleek roadster is a landmark of automotive design and represents the blueprint for concept vehicle design and execution.
2. Wildcat Series (1953-55, 1985) The Wildcat series of concept vehicles pushed the brand’s design language forward and showcased new and innovative technologies, starting with the first Wildcat concept in 1953. It was a two-seater with a fiberglass body and four-wheel disc brakes. The 1954 Wildcat II – a smaller, sportier two-seater – introduced a more radical design, with open front fenders, while the 1955 Wildcat III showcased elongated front fender openings and the brand’s signature sweep-spear cue. The grille design of these early concepts influenced the all-new Avenir concept.
In 1985, Buick introduced a futuristic Wildcat concept that served as a test and data platform. Distinctly styled with a long rear deck, the Wildcat had no traditional doors, but a canopy that raised and lowered to allow access for two passengers. The body was made of fiberglass and carbon fiber. Behind the cabin and driving all four wheels was a unique engine based on the Buick 3.8L V-6, featuring 24 valves, dual-overhead camshafts and an early version of electronically controlled port fuel injection. A head-up display cast a wealth of vehicle information onto the large windshield – a feature available on today’s LaCrosse.
3. Riviera Silver Arrow III (1972) Designed by Bill Mitchell, the Silver Arrow III was based on the third-generation Riviera production model, but with bolder design elements that showcased advanced technologies such as four-wheel antilock brakes and a Max Trac traction control system that was a precursor of today’s traction control technology. The exterior had a lowered roofline, restyled quarter windows and six halogen headlamps. The Silver Arrow III’s plush interior eliminated the need for fore/aft driver seat movement with adjustable pedals and telescoping steering wheel – features that are common today.
4. Centieme (2003) French for the term “one-hundredth,” the Centieme was introduced in Buick’s centenary year. More than marking the brand’s 100th anniversary, it pushed it into the future. The proportion, design cues and three-row seating configuration influenced the Enclave crossover that debuted about four years later, igniting the product renaissance that continues today with vehicles such as the Encore small crossover and all-new Cascada convertible. The Centieme also previewed Buick’s renewed focus on interior design and attention to detail, with elements such as aluminum and wood accent trim and ambient lighting.
5. Velite (2004) This four-seat convertible provides a tangible link between the original Y-Job and the new Avenir concept. Designed in Warren, Mich., and built by renowned coachbuilder Bertone in Italy, Velite was named after an elite class of soldiers in Napoleon’s army. Portholes on the front fenders and a rear deck contoured in a boattail shape evoke Buicks of the past, while under the hood and driving the rear wheels was a pure modern technology: a 3.6L twin-turbocharged V-6 engine producing 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.