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News Wire: GMC and Chevrolet Expand Alternative Fuel Fleet Offerings

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Expanded CNG/LPG lineup broadens fuel diversification choices

DETROIT — GMC and Chevrolet announced today that they are partnering with Power Solutions International, Inc. (PSI) to introduce heavy-duty pickups and full-size vans powered by 6.0-liter V-8 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-capable engines starting in the first quarter of 2017. Chevrolet also will offer CNG and LPG versions of its new Low Cab Forward commercial truck.

The announcement follows the selection of PSI, based in Wood Dale, Illinois, as General Motors Fleet’s preferred upfitter for CNG and LPG trucks. PSI is one of North America’s largest and most experienced providers of integrated turnkey alternative-fuel powertrain solutions.

Ship-through will be offered, allowing customers to seamlessly order and take delivery from the same dealer. GM will supply vehicles equipped with the 6.0L V-8 engine with hardened valves and valve seats to PSI, which in turn will install the fuel system and other hardware and ship directly to Chevrolet and GMC dealers in all 50 states. All PSI-modified vehicles are covered by Chevrolet and GMC’s five-year/60,000-mile (whichever comes first) limited powertrain warranty.

The expanded lineup brings GM Fleet’s portfolio of alternative fuel, hybrid and EVs to more than a dozen trucks, cars and crossovers. Other recent additions include the Chevrolet Bolt EV, a Duramax 2.8-liter B20-capable Duramax diesel for the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans and all-new available 6.6-liter B20-capable Duramax diesel engines for the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD.

“Expanding choice is the key to helping more commercial and government fleets reduce their fuel consumption, fuel costs and emissions using alternative fuels and EVs versus using traditional gasoline,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet. “There are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions for fleet managers.”

GM Fleet’s partnership with PSI follows customer demand and ongoing investment by companies across the nation in CNG refueling infrastructure.

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Buick Expands Cascada Sport Touring Appeal With New Sport Red Exterior

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Sport Red 2017 Cascada Sport Touring with Dark Effects Package © General Motors
Sport Red 2017 Cascada Sport Touring with Dark Effects Package © General Motors

New model includes exclusive Dark Effects package

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — When Buick introduced the all-new Cascada convertible early this year, it was an invitation to drivers who want to live life wide open with features unexpected in a convertible. In a market devoid of options, the Cascada has found success by offering a quiet, three-layer insulated top and stress-reducing engineering at a price that leaves room in your budget to explore the open road. Cascada also has the honor of being the first 2017 convertible to receive a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for Safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration1.

In the months since the Cascada launched, its competitive set hasn’t grown, but choice within the Cascada portfolio has. The latest sport touring color introduction — Sport Red — is the response to customers who asked for a brilliant shade of red.

“We’ve heard it from customers all year: ‘What a beautiful car. Can I get it in red?’ Well yes, now you can,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “This new addition to the Cascada portfolio offers a modern style statement with blacked-out exterior trim and red interior stitching.”

Exterior styling is a top consideration for customers, and the Cascada’s new Dark Effects package makes a unique statement. The package features a gloss-black finish on the grille, mirror caps and 20-inch wheels, as well as body-color trim across the decklid. Inside, new red stitching adds contrast to the instrument panel, doors and seats. The package is paired exclusively with the new Sport Red exterior color and is available only on the Cascada Sport Touring model in limited volume — 150 initial vehicles will arrive starting February 1, 2017.

The new Sport Touring Cascada in Sport Red with the exclusive Dark Effects package is the second unique expression added to Buick’s convertible lineup this year. Earlier this fall, the 2017 Cascada Sport Touringlaunched with a vibrant True Blue exterior color, an exclusive new 20-inch wheel design and sporty interior trim.

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Customers Rank Buick Highest Among Mass Market Brands for Sales Satisfaction

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J.D. Power study notes new owner education key to higher satisfaction

DETROIT – As Buick continues to delight customers with its beautiful, whisper-quiet and quality-driven cars and SUVs, it is also ensuring they have the greatest possible experience learning about their vehicles. J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study ranks Buick the highest among mass market brands.

A brand’s ability to help new-vehicle owners understand technology and enhance the overall ownership experience are key to high SSI rankings. In brand sales satisfaction rankings, Buick earned the highest marks with a score of 809 (based on a 1,000-point scale).

“We know a positive customer experience goes well beyond great product,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “Our sales satisfaction ranking shows that our ability to deliver a meaningful purchase-to-ownership process is paying off for our customers well beyond when they leave our stores.”

The SSI Study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience that measures customer satisfaction with their dealer. It is based on responses from nearly 29,000 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle in April or May of 2016.

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5 Tips For Driving In The Rain

These past couple of weeks we have seen a bit of rain, to say the least. It has put a good amount of water on the ground and snarled traffic all throughout the metroplex. I happened to get caught in the rain and it got me thinking. Some people just don’t know how to drive safely in the rain. I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 tips for driving in the rain.

  1. Turn on your headlights. If your car has daytime running lamps, then there’s a good possibility that your rear lights are not on. Be sure to turn them on so people who are behind you can see where you are!
  2. Slow down! This is a no-brainer. The faster you are going, the less time you have to react to someone hydroplaning or slowing down.
  3. Don’t follow large vehicles. The spray from their tires reduces your visibility drastically. If you must pass them, do so quickly.
  4. Replace your old windshield wipers. I cannot stress this enough. Wipers are the key to your visibility in any amount of rain. If you can’t see, you shouldn’t be driving.
  5. Don’t be afraid to get off the road. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, no one will think less of you for pulling over and waiting for the rain to let up.

The weather in North Texas can be unpredictable much like the downpour we have seen these past couple of weeks. Knowing how to drive in sudden rain-storms is a very valuable skill that we all need to have. There are so many more factors that go into driving safely in the rain, this list is just the tip of the iceberg.

Whatever you do, don’t be this guy!

GMC Expands Military Discount, Advances Campaign to Support Injured Veterans

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GMC launched the #enlistme Campaign in support of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its Building for America’s Bravest program to raise awareness and funds to help the Foundation build custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely injured veterans.
GMC launched the #enlistme Campaign in support of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its Building for America’s Bravest program to raise awareness and funds to help the Foundation build custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely injured veterans. © General Motors.

DETROIT – Today through May 31, 2016, GMC will expand its military discount program for all 21 million U.S. military veterans and their spouses, in honor of National Military Appreciation Month.

“These brave men and women have done so much for our country,” said Steve Hill, GM vice president of U.S. sales and service. “Making sure all veterans can take advantage of our military discount to celebrate Military Appreciation Month is one small way we can express our gratitude.”

GMC offers the industry’s most comprehensive automotive military discount program. The military discount program is typically available to U.S. military veterans within one year of separation, active-duty personnel, reservists, retirees and their spouses. In honor of May’s National Military Appreciation Month, the program expands to include all veterans – regardless of their separation date – and their spouses.

The discount is available for popular models, including the GMC Acadia, Sierra and Yukon. Because the discount can be combined with most current incentives, veterans could save thousands of dollars on some vehicles. For more information, visit

GMC’s support for the U.S. military began more than 100 years ago when the U.S. Army began to rely on its trucks during WWI. Today, the tradition continues as GMC’s recently launched #enlistme campaign helps the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation and its Building For America’s Bravest program build smart homes for veterans with serious combat injuries.

“Too many severely injured servicemen and women are returning to homes that just don’t meet the needs of their individual conditions,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president, Buick and GMC Sales, Service and Marketing. “With the #enlistme campaign, GMC invites everyone to honor these brave veterans by showing their support on social media and making a donation.”

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Buick Enclave Blows the Bell Curve

© General Motors
© General Motors

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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.

Enclave U.S. sales history

2007: 29,286 (mid-year introduction)
2008: 44,706
2009: 43,150
2010: 55,426
2011: 58,392
2012: 56,703
2013: 60,534
2014: 62,300

“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.

Enclave received Kelley Blue Book’s 2014 5-Year Cost-to-Own award for the full-size luxury SUV/crossover category.

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.

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Fuel Efficiency Myths

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Now that fuel prices have come back down to Earth. I’m going to talk a little bit about some common questions I get from people here at the dealership. There are lots of myths about how to save gas, and I want to try to dispel some of them.

Does filling up before your car is empty help stop with fuel evaporation?

While it’s never a good idea to run your vehicle down to the ‘E’ (because no one likes running out of gas), filling up before it gets there doesn’t stop evaporation from happening. Modern cars have vapor recovery systems that stop the fumes from escaping your tank. Nowadays, just about any car you drive will trip the check engine light if your gas cap is not securely fastened or missing. You can fill up your gas tank with any level of fuel already in the tank and not notice a difference.

Does a manual get better gas mileage than an automatic?

This is a tough one to answer. A skilled driver who can control the engine with precision and times their shifting perfectly can get better mileage than an automatic transmission, yes. However, a normal, everyday driver who does not pay particular attention to those details will waste gas by shifting too late or over-revving the engine. Automatic transmissions have come a long way and are more efficient than ever, which leads to less gas wasted.

Should I fill up my gas tank when it’s cooler?

The theory behind this myth is that when a liquid is cooler, it’s denser, meaning you get more fuel for the money. Good theory, but bad practice. The gas you buy from a gas station stores their fuel underground, insulated from the elements, where there is little temperature variation. Purchasing gas in the morning, when it’s cooler will have no noticeable effect on your wallet.

Do you have any fuel myths you want dispelled?

Fall Foliage Drives in North Texas

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Being located here in Grapevine, Texas, means that we aren’t exactly a treasure trove of great fall foliage sightseeing. Our weather errs on the warmer side of the spectrum so we very rarely have a window of time to enjoy the changing of the colors. Not to say that we don’t enjoy it, we just have to search a little harder and be a little better at planning ahead. For us, late November, right around Thanksgiving is the best time to take a drive to see the colors. After living here for many years, here are a few places I’ve found that can provide us North Texans with a glimpse of Fall foliage.

Fossil Rim State Park

South of Fort Worth, about an hour’s drive, you’ll hit Glen Rose, a tiny town of about 2,500. In that town is a great park called Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. In that park is a drive thru wildlife and foliage lesson. If you pick the right time of year, you could witness a changing of the colors and see some antelopes, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and plenty of other wildlife. This wooded preserve is a great drive regardless of the time of year, but if you’re a fan of the oranges, reds and yellows that Fall has to offer, then you can’t go wrong at Fossil Rim.

Cedar Hill State Park

Just south of Dallas on I-20 and 1845 near Cedar Hill is Joe Pool Lake. A small lake that is surrounded by wooded areas, a preserve and plenty of opportunities to catch some fall foliage. Don’t forget your camera because you’ll have tons of chances to capture the essence of Fall. The short drive between I-20 and Cedar Hill alone is worth the drive. Rolling hills, fresh air and plenty of trees are the highlight. Just thinking about it is making me itch to take a trip down there!

Tyler State Park

East of Dallas, about 2 hours of driving, is Tyler State Park. A small, wooded state park that surrounds a lake. This is the perfect place to spend a cool, Fall weekend and enjoy the outdoors. You can bring an, RV, pitch a tent or stay in one of their screened cabins. Either way, you’ll have the perfect vantage point to see tons of colorful Fall changes. The drive out to East Texas isn’t too bad itself. Once you get out of DFW, it’s nothing but trees for miles.

What about you? Where are some of your favorite places to enjoy Fall foliage in North Texas?

Happy New Year!

Hey guys and gals! I just wanted to say “Happy New Year!” Did you make any new year’s resolutions? Eating healthy? Working out? Losing weight? What about resolutions for your car? I’ve got a couple of ideas for mine!

1. Take a road trip!

When’s the last time you took a road trip for pleasure? Have you seen the Grand Canyon? South Padre during spring break? Your car is designed to take you places, use it!

2. Put the phone down.

In 2011, 23% of all accidents that happened involved cell phones. That’s a disturbing number and surely, within the past 2 years, that number has gone up. Make it a point to keep your phone in your pocket or in a place that is out of reach while you’re driving. Paying attention while you’re behind the wheel is the best possible thing you could do to avoid an accident.

3. Keep your car maintained.

Changing the fluids in your car and keeping it maintained is the key to getting the longest life possible out of your car. Is your car well-maintained enough to hit 300,000 miles? Get the full value of your car and start keeping a log book of the maintenance that has been performed to make sure you don’t miss a scheduled oil change or have to pay up for repairs that could have been avoided.

4. Get that headlight fixed!

There are plenty of cars out on the road that need a little TLC. A blown-out light bulb can get you a ticket, bald tires will stop you from getting your car inspected, a busted out window increases the chance of someone breaking into your car (again!).  If there’s only a handful of things stopping you from be safe on the road, get them fixed and let’s start off the new year as safely as possible.

What about you? What are your new year’s resolutions?

3 Gift Ideas for Your Loved Ones

With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to take a moment and talk about a few great things to have in yours and everyone’s car and make for great gifts! In case of an emergency, these products can be helpful and can even save yours or the life of someone else. We hope you never have to use any of these items, but in any event, it’s always better to have them handy and ready to be used.

1. A well stocked first aid kit.

These come in handy whether or not it’s an auto-related accident. Band-aids, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, some even have aspirin for those pesky headaches on long drives. Having a good first aid kit in your car at all times stops your from having to run to CVS or Walgreen’s when you have a minor mishap and need to stop a cut from bleeding. If you have kids, one of these is essential. Kids are always getting scrapes and cuts and the quicker you can address it, the less chances they have of getting an infection.

2. A jumpstart battery

These have been priceless in my experience. I tend to leave my lights on and the next morning, I have a dead battery. To resolve that issue, I keep a jumpstart battery in my trunk just in case, I do it again. These batteries can keep a charge over long periods of time and can even come in handy when you go camping. Most jumpstart batteries have a plug where you can charge your cell phone or any other device.

3. The Lifehammer

This one little device is recommended by law enforcement departments across the country and can very possibly save your life in the case of a major accident. This ingenious product has a double-sided hammer head with steel tipped points that can break a window in case of being trapped in your vehicle. On the other end of it is a shielded razor blade that is designed to cut through seat belts.