GM launches Chevrolet customer care programme

It’s not always the car that sells, sometimes the services too aide in getting the better sales numbers for the automakers. And true to a massive extent, the reason behind the Maruti sold in hot numbers is the hassle free service and low maintenance cost.

Now, in a one more attempt to capture the audience in its fix, the General Motors India today announced the launch of an industry first customer care initiative called “Chevrolet Complete Care” programme.

In the programme, the American based automakers had promised a unique ownership experience with assured low cost of maintenance for Chevrolet customers across India. “Customer satisfaction is at the center of everything we do at GM India. More than just their vehicle, it’s the service experience which makes customers feel truly satisfied,” said Arvind Saxena, President & Managing Director of GM India.

GM launches Chevrolet customer care programme

“With the introduction of ‘Chevrolet Complete Care’ programme, we are offering a never-before unique bouquet of complete-peace-of-mind service offerings to our customers which will include the industry-first Chevrolet Promise – assured low cost of maintenance, Exclusive Warranty packages, Chevrolet U-First Customer Centric Programs and Apps and a Round-the-clock 24×7 Roadside Assistance Program which is free for 3 years with all new car purchases,” he added.

Roadside Assistance package is available for existing customers at a nominal cost provided the vehicle is not more than 5 years old. Elaborating on the unique Chevrolet Promise Mr. Saxena said, “The Chevrolet Promise is industry first and remains unique by virtue of our commitment to refund any excess periodic or scheduled maintenance cost at the end of 3 years or 45,000kms, whichever is earlier vis-à-vis the committed periodic maintenance cost to the customer at the time of sale of the car. The Chevrolet Promise is valid for Chevrolet Spark, Beat, Sail Hatchback, Sail Sedan and the Cruze.”

Claiming further clauses, Chevrolet promises best-in-class warranty with a provision of extended warranty. Standard warranty comes to a mark of 1,00,000 kilometers/3 years, which can be raised to up to two more years or up till 150,000 kilometers at a nominal cost.

Apart from the standard and extended warranty for the vehicle, Chevrolet customers will now also be offered warranty on Spare Parts and Accessories for the first year or 20,000 kilometers whichever is earlier. Free round-the-clock 24/7 Roadside Assistance will be provided for a period of 3 years from the date of purchase.

“The 24/7 Roadside Assistance also provides a host of unique support services such as vehicle towing, flat-tyre change, out of fuel assistance with limited free fuel, key lockout, battery jump-start and taxi benefit for the customers,” Mr. Saxena said.

“Furthermore, under the Chevrolet U-First programme, our women customers [Vehicle registered in the name of Women customers] will be provided free pick up and drop off of their Chevrolet cars for service, by the Chevrolet Authorised Workshops,” Mr. Saxena added.

The whole package is now topped with the digital applications like Chevrolet Service Estimator Online available on the Chevrolet India website which will calculate periodic service costs. The MyChevroletIndia mobile application helps locate & contact the nearest authorized Chevrolet service station.

General Motors Fined $US35 Million Over Delay To Ignition Recall

GM (General Motors Company) agreed to pay a fine of $35 million to the U.S. safety regulators because of the late recall of 2.6 million older-model small vehicles associated with 13 front seat fatalities and 31 crashes, due to faulty ignition switches. This is the maximum fine which the government can impose. Nonetheless, it only constitutes one day’s revenue of GM based on the sales in the initial quarter of this year.

The automaker identified the switch issue in 2001. As a matter of fact, the engineers offered several ways to rectify the defect but none of them was accepted because of cost concerns. GM finally announced a recall in February this year. According to GM, uneven roads or a heavy key ring can cause the ignition witch of the recalled vehicles to shift away from the run position, thus turning off the electrical power and engine. In such a condition, the front airbags will not inflate in case of a collision.

General Motors Fined $US35 Million Over Delay To Ignition Recall
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the auto safety supervisory body of the American government, is investigating GM’s delayed recall. Lawfully, the automobile manufacturing companies are supposed to alert the NHTSA about any safety concern in cars within five business days of recognizing the problem.

Therefore, GM has been accused of breaking the law. Congress says that the fine to be imposed on the company should be raised to $300 million. Moreover, the consumer safety advocate demands for a Justice Department investigation to decide the penalty. Earlier, automakers such as Toyota Motor Corporation and Ford Motor Company have been fined for late recalls. Toyota also paid a lump sum fine for delayed reporting of safety issues in its cars.

General Motors

Currently, General Motors holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Fox Factory Holding Corp (FOXF), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is a better-ranked automobile stock.

General Motors Fined $US35 Million Over Delay To Ignition Recall

General Motors Rolls Out New modular Ecotec engines

A new generation of Ecotec small displacement powerplants streamlines global engine portfolio of General Motors with a modular architecture, which reduces manufacturing complexity and broadens its adaptability to international markets, at the same time providing customers leading edge refinement, durability and efficiency. The new powerplants were designed and engineered for the company’s international vehicle portfolio and will be power many of the automaker’s highest volume compact crossovers and small cars, including the next generation Chevrolet Cruze specifically designed for China, which launches in 2014 as a 2015 model. By 2017, more than 2.5 million new Ecotec engines are projected to be built yearly in at least 5 manufacturing plants around the globe: Shenyang, China; Flint, Michigan. (U.S.); Toluca, Mexico; Changwon, South Korea and Szentgotthárd, Hungary. The Flint facility alone represents an investment of more than $200 million in tooling and technology to support the engines’ production.

Mr. Steve Kiefer, Vice President at General Motors, Global Powertrain Engineering said that transportation solutions vary around the world and the company is committed to developing powerplants matched to the needs of the regions where they’re sold. The new Ecotec engine family is designed for achieving class-leading efficiency and refinement, and will make its way into 27 GM models and 5 GM brands by the 2017 model year. The Ecotec portfolio will include 11 engines, with 3 and 4¬-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L including turbocharged versions and power ratings ranging from 75 HP (56 kW) to 165 HP (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 pound feet (95 Nm) to 184 pound feet (250 Nm). The architecture is also designed to support alternative fuels and hybrid propulsion systems.

2014 Chevrolet Engine

The first production applications include a turbocharged 1.0 liter 3-cylinder for Opel ADAM in Europe, and 1.5 liter naturally aspirated and 1.4 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplants for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China. The turbocharged variants enable the engines to deliver the torque and power of larger displacement engines with the efficiency of smaller engines. For instance, the turbocharged 1.0L 3-cylinder used in Opel ADAM makes as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6L 4-cylinder it replaces with an estimated 20% enhancement in efficiency.

In fact, the new Ecotec family is on the leading edge of efficiency, with the new 1.4 liter turbo up to five percent more efficient than the 1.4L turbo engine it will replace. The new Ecotec engines also deliver segment challenging refinement. Noise intensity is up to 50% quieter as compared to Volkswagen’s EA211 1.4 liter 4-cylinder and up to 25% quieter than Ford’s 1.0L turbo 3-cylinder.

Clean Sheet Design

The new Ecotec engines symbolize clean sheet engineering and design process, leveraging the diverse experience of General Motors’ global resources. Technologies such as continuously variable valve timing, central direct fuel injection, variable intake manifold airflow and turbo charging help achieve efficiency goals with broad power bands, for an optimal balance of lower fuel consumption and strong performance.

Chevrolet Engine
Mr. Tom Sutter, Global Chief Engineer said the new Ecotec architecture represents the most efficient and advanced family of small-car gas engines in the company’s history. Along with efficiency and performance targets, we have also aimed for segment leading refinement with low vibration and noise and we have hit the bulls-eye. Modularity in parts – such as 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder blocks that share bore diameter, bore spacing, liners and other dimensions, reduces complexity while increasing the flexibility to quickly adapt the architecture for new applications.

The new Ecotec engines are calibrated to run on regular unleaded gas – even the high output turbo variants. The new 1.4L turbo for the 2015 next generation Chevrolet Cruze in China is estimated at 148 horsepower (110 kW) and 173 pound feet of torque (235 Nm). The 1.5L is rated at an estimated 113 horsepower (84 kW) and 108 lb-ft of torque (146 Nm).

In China, Cruze models with the 1.4L turbo engine will also feature an all-new dual-clutch gearbox.

About General Motors

General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s fastest growing and largest automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, Baojun, Holden, GMC, Jiefang, Isuzu, Vauxhall, Wuling and Opel brands.

General Motors Rolls Out New modular Ecotec engines

GM India records sales of 6,214 vehicles in November 2013

General Motors India has sold 6,214 vehicles in the month of November 2013 against 7,238 units sold in the corresponding period last year. These include 2,151 units of Beat, 1,347 units of Tavera and 1,206 units of Chevrolet Enjoy.

Commenting on the sales, Mr. P. Balendran, Vice President, General Motors India said, “As expected, the market has gone down drastically after a small spike during the festive season. Overall, the market continues to remain sluggish due to unfavorable economic conditions and we do not expect any improvement in the coming months. Unless the government offers a stimulus package to the struggling automobile industry, the market is unlikely to see any upturn before a new government assumes office after elections next year,” he added.

Looking at the overall scenario, Beat enjoys most of the pie in sales chart, while the Tavera also seem looming aggressive frats over the competitors. However, Enjoy got a striding start in the initial days, but these numbers says our audience will like it in the future looking at its price-to-value proposition.

Chevrolet Beat

GM changes CEO to bring reforms in ‘international operations’

Well, it is not hidden that GM is going under the tight situation of its automobile career, and to believe it, the recent rolled-up (operations) in Australia gives in the perfect resolution to the same. In addition, the recall of various Chevrolet model plates in India is also not declining it all.

Hopefully, the GM recognizes cause of nuisances at very initial stage, and hence the appointment of new CEO for handling international operations is giving out the answer more clearly to doubts louder than before.

Not taking much of the anxiety to another level of secrecy, it is Volvo’s former CEO, ‘Stefan Jacoby’ who had landed in the said position for handling the affairs of Detroit based carmaker internationally.

However, the Jacoby hasn’t taken the place yet, but it surely said to make to the pod on 5th August 2013.

Volvo CEO named Stefan Jacoby
After the letting the charges resting in hand, Mr. Stefan will be regarded as the in-charge of operations outside North America. He will replace Tim Lee, who is soon going to handle the operation of automaker for Chinese market. Lee was there in the charge of GM’s international operations since 2009, but for the upcoming stance he will handle 12 joint ventures of GM in China at an incredible pace.

Coming back to the Jacoby, this man was previously handling the Volvo, but after a mild stroke last year he stepped down from that brand. And prior to the Swedish logo, he had has also served the Volkswagen as the chief of ‘American operations’.

“We expect (Jacoby) to continue building on his record of delivering results in markets around the world,” states GM CEO Dan Akerson said in a prepared statement to the media members.

“The GM team has plans to win in every market, and I’m eager to contribute,” added Jacoby to the whole plethora.

The overall markets that Jacoby will be found responsible are termed in more than 100 markets, where names like Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East falls in the top section of listing. Apart, he too will responsible for bringing in the success to all the GM’s monikers of automobiles in their respective markets.

Not just a jealousy feeling, we are drooling how big the bounty GM would be paying for a person to handle this job, any expectations!

Top executives fired by GM due to Tavera recall

General Motors is probably the leading automobile manufacturer in the world. It has seen super successful years in all of its markets. But somehow GM India just cannot get out of trouble recently. The Tavera issue has still not been put to sleep and the things at the company are turning from bad to worse. GM India had announced that it is recalling 1.14 lac Tavera units from the market which included the Tavera BS III and Tavera BS IV. The company was investigating the matter and looks like it has finally found the root cause of this mess. The company as a result of its findings has fired the Vice President of global engine engineering, Mr. Sam Winegarden, along with 10 other power train employees.

Mr. Sam Winegarden, has been the head engine executive since the year 2004. He has been supervising the production and development of engines for all the GM cars in Indian line up. He has been a part of the GM since 1969 when he was just a co-op student at GM institutes. In 1990s he became the chief engineers of the Cadillac group. He has worked on the Northstar V6 and V8 engines which are still used by Cadillac.

The problem began during an inspection by ARAI which found out that there were some quality issues with Sail UV-A hatchback and sedan The ARAI also found that Chevrolet Tavera BS III was having some emission problem. Due to this the company had stopped the production of Sail on 5th while Tavera BS III came to a halt on the 6th of June 2013. When GM was trying to control the situation and resume the production, another specification related issue with the Tavera BS IV came up. As a result GM had decided that it will recall 1.14 units of Tavera, manufactured between 2005 and 2013, from the market. GM had said that Sail will resume its production by end of July while Tavera case was been investigated. Even though the cars were being recalled, GM still needed to know as to what could have caused such a major issue.

Top executives fired by GM due to Tavera recall
Now it has been found out that the employees at the company were behind all this. ARAI had found that the Tavera BS III had failed to comply with the emission norms. The problematic engines were the turbo charged 2.5 liter diesel engine supplied by AVTEC and the turbo charged 2 liter diesel engine by ICML.

It has been revealed that the employees at GM were manipulating the engine so that the test vehicles could pass. These employees were replacing the test model engines with tuned engines which had lower emissions so that they could pass. At times the weight of the engine was played with so that the authorities place lower limits on it. While the production models were being fitted with BS III non compliant engines. As a result the Tavera BS III was polluting the environment more than the stated limit which was found by ARAI. This forced GM to not only halt the production but also recall the product from the market.

A newspaper had revealed that GM had informed the Indian officials regarding this activity at the company in a letter sent on th 18th July. It said that “Over a period of time some employees of the company engaged in the practice of identifying engines with lower emission which were fine-tuned and kept aside to be used for installation on vehicles during inspection.”

As a result the company announced a product recall on the 24th of July and also signed termination letters for Mr. Sam Winegarden as well as 10 other employees, in the same week. Some officials might be transferred if not terminated. 2 officers who were transferred to the North American branch a few years ago might also come under scrutiny. Regarding this strict action against the defaulters, GM official said that “We take these matters very seriously and hold our leaders and employees to high standards. When those standards are not met, we will take the appropriate action to hold employees accountable.”

As if now, GM has said that they have found a solution to fix the emission issue with Tavera and a detail of this has been sent to the government for approval. It is expected that Tavera will resume its production by the end of August.

Sail and Tavera production to be resumed by GM soon

Looks like the bad phase for General Motors has passed away. It has been reported that the company will resume the production of the diesel variants of its Sail Notchback and hatchback by the end of July. Tavera BS III will also resume production in the next month. The production of these 2 vehicles has been at halt since more than a month now, which has affected the GM sales in India drastically.

General Motors is one of the largest automobile manufacturing companies in the world. It was started in the year 1908 and has completed 104 years of highly successful existence. From 1931 to 2007 (77 years), it remained the number one manufacturer in the world consecutively. It serves in more than 157 countries. Chevrolet is the most renowned among the GM marques.

This marque at times is used synonymously with GM. Sail is a supermini car manufactured by GM (China) and is distributed all over the world under the brand name, Chevrolet. In India, Chevrolet Sail was launched last year in November. Both the petrol and diesel variants were made available.

Chevrolet Sail
It was reported last month that GM has noticed a quality issue with the diesel variant of Sail hatchback. An emission issue was also cited in Tavera BS III diesel variant. Due to this, production of Sail was stopped on the 5th of June while Tavera was brought to a halt on 6th of June. GM had clearly stated that the production has been ceased due to quality issues and not due to any safety considerations. They also said that the petrol variants of Sail and Tavera BS IV were not affected. The company voluntarily stopped the production and recalled the product from the market.

The production has been at a halt for more than a month now. The company sales have been badly affected by this. In June 2013, it sold a total of 6,675 units only which is down by 10.71%. Sail sedan had sold only 998 units while Sail U-VA sold only 509 units. In the entire month of June, no Tavera was sold out. Sail and Tavera are both among the company’s best sellers in India with maximum sales coming from their diesel variants. With their production at halt, the company’s overall sales were hit badly.

Chevrolet Tavera

Now with the problem sorted out, GM is soon going to resume the production of both the models. Vice president of General Motors India, Mr. P. Balendran said that “We will start production of Sail HB (hatchback) & NB (notchback) diesels by end of July and Tavera by end of August”.

PSA Peugeot Citroen might be controlled by General Motors soon

PSA Peugeot Citroen, one of the leading automakers in the world, is in a big trouble. It has been circulating in the market for quite sometime that PSA is going through a major financial crisis. City sources have already established that PSA might not be able to continue to 2014 due to lack of running capital. If quick measures are not taken, PSA might not remain as a brand in the world of automobile.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, is a French company that was established in the year 1976. It is an alliance between two companies, Peugeot and Citroen. Initially it was a fruitful deal. But somewhere between 1980 and 1985 the company suffered heavy losses due to some bad decisions. In the year 2012, PSA sold 7% of its shares to GM to help aid its failing business. In the same year the company saw a 10% drop in its work force. Now it has been revealed that the company cannot make it to the next year due to budget constraints. PSA is trying to persuade General Motors to take over and help the company survive this difficult phase.

A problem with this plan is that once GM gains power, it will shut various of the present manufacturing unit in France and Germany, which the French government might oppose to strongly.

PSA Peugeot Citroen might be controlled by General Motors soon
PSA Peugeot Citroen did try to arrange finances from other sources, but it could not find appropriate bidders. It also tried to sell a major portion of its shares to Dongfeng Motor Group but the deal could not be worked out. This leaves only GM motors which already owns 7% of its shares.From the previous alliance with GM motors, PSA made an annual saving of 2 billion. So it is definitely wishing for GM to take over. The chief executive of PSA, Phiipe Varin, has supported this idea.

GM, General Motors, is one of the largest automobile companies in the world in terms of production as well as annual sales. It has its market in more than 157 countries where it either works through its subsidiaries or joint ventures. It launches its vehicles through various known brands. It is obvious for PSA to take GM as its rescuer.

Reuters has quoted from a reliable person on this matter as, “The Peugeot family has

now accepted that they’ll lose control. PSA will need to present a new industrial plan for people to underwrite a capital increase, and the only hope is GM. They (GM) are ready to inject more money if they can control the business, integrate Peugeot and Opel and rationalize production.”

GM heads are ready to work on the deal if it gets an assurance that it can go ahead and stop certain manufacturing plants in the country at “reasonable costs”.

It seems certain that PSA is running out of time and handing over the business to GM is the only solution it has.

GM India to concentrate on north-east market for more growth

Auto giant General Motors India will be concentrating additionally on the North-East zone as a latest sales study carried out by them depicted that the area is likely to grow in a significant manner more than other zones in the nation.

The well known US automobile manufacturer is anticipating an expansion of approximately 8% in the existing year (2013) from the North-Eastern section.

At this time, the North-East zone puts in around 3% of the overall sale facts and approximately 32% of overall sale figures from the eastern area where Assam adds the big portion.

According to reports, the small vehicles including the Beat and the Sail hatchback are enjoying optimistic demand in the area together with the Sail sedan.

GM India to concentrate on north-east market for more growth

With the aim to gather additional sales in the sluggish Indian automobile business, General Motors India has already rolled out new franchisees in Nagaon and Tinsukia and shortly will be introducing latest ones at Jorhat as well as Tezpur.

Mr. P Balendran, vice president (VP) of GM India stated, “North East is a significant as well as budding growth section for the company. In terms of sales, it adds around 32% of the overall sales in the Eastern area with Assam bestowing a key portion of the share.”

The North East area has always been slightly behind in terms of advancement as against the rest of the nation and it seems that an augmentation in demand for vehicles has just commenced in the area

It is expected that General Motors India wishes to make the most of the condition and make its attendance felt in the area and get a sturdy grip prior to its competitors.

The company, which had established its initial showroom in the area in the year 2004, is also flourishing its system in the North-Eastern section.

“We have freshly launched innovative showrooms in the towns such as Nagaon as well as Tinsukia. We will soon launch 2 additional new showrooms in addition to service outlets in cities such as Tezpur and Jorhat,” Balendran added up.

At present, the company possesses 14 sales points and service outlets in the said zone.

The firm presently owns a storehouse in the city of Guwahati with an overall capacitance of 350 vehicles.

The Eastern area for the company consist of states such as Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Sikkim, Mizoram and Meghalaya.

General Motors Records 39.825% Increase during May 2013

General Motors India has registered a growth of around 39.82% in its month sales, which remained at 8,500 vehicle units during the last month.

During the same period of the last year (May 2012), the auto giant had sold 6,079 vehicle units, the company’s representative stated in a declaration.

The sale facts during the last month consisted of 2,851 vehicle units of Sail, 2,177 vehicle units of Enjoy, 1,506 vehicle units of Beat and 1,475 vehicle units of Tavera, the report added.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA
Mr. P. Balendran, Company’s Vice-President stated, “We were capable of recording  40% increase only owing to the good comeback to our newly rolled out cars that comprised Chevrolet SAIL and Chevrolet Enjoy,”.

General Motors India does not anticipate the market to lift up by the coming period as financial acts have “almost come to a standstill and the market stays totally dejected owing to pessimistic outlooks and other structural blockages,” Mr. P. Balendran added.

Possibly a good torrential rain can bring some optimism to the auto market, he added up.