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May 1, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
This posted has been updated. See the note at the bottom for details. Automakers posted their strongest April sales since 2007 as many reported double-digit gains with trucks and SUVs leading the surge. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Nissan all posted strong gains in April from a year earlier. Hyundai posted a marginal sales bump, while Toyota was down slightly and Volkswagen was down more than 10%. Truck sales were crucial to the success of the Big Three U.S. automakers in April, thanks largely to the improving economy, said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with
April 1, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler
Despite General Motors' recent recall of millions of its cars - and several investigations into the issue - buyers are still streaming into GM dealerships. The beleaguered automaker announced Tuesday that sales in March rose 4% compared with the same month a year earlier. Nearly the entire industry saw a similar jump in the U.S., with sales up 5.7% to 1.54 million vehicles, according to Autodata. Pent-up consumer demand and healthy sales incentives helped companies rebound from a slow February, when bad weather throughout much of the country kept buyers away, according to Mark Wakefield, managing director at AlixPartners and head of its automotive practice in North America.
September 3, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
The outspoken and colorful auto industry veteran Robert A. Lutz, who has worked for all the major American car companies and retired from General Motors Co. in May, has resurfaced. He is going back to GM to work as a part-time consultant. Lutz, 79, started a second stint at GM in 2001, charged with revitalizing the automaker's vehicle lineup. He stayed with the company through its brief sojourn into bankruptcy in 2009. He helped push a new generation of GM autos — including the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac SRX, GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Equinox and Chevrolet Camaro — into the marketplace.
March 28, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
General Motors Co. recalled an additional 824,000 vehicles in the U.S. as it continued to deal with the fallout of a faulty ignition switch linked to a series of crashes and at least 12 deaths. The automaker said it is calling back Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5s and Solstices as well as Saturn Ions and Skys from the 2008-11 model years. It also recalled the Chevrolet HHR from the 2008-11 model years. Although the cars were built with an ignition switch that has had no problems, they might have been repaired with faulty switches left in the parts bins at dealers and auto shops, said Jim Cain, a GM spokesman.
July 18, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said second-quarter profit plunged 30% as lower demand for cars forced it to cut production and raise rebates. Net income declined to $901 million, or $1.58 a share, for the Detroit-based company from $1.29 billion, or $2.43, in the same period last year. Sales were unchanged at $48.3 billion.
September 28, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
General Motors Co. is changing course on how it will handle customers of its OnStar vehicle communication system once they opt out of the service. The automaker said it will change its proposed "Terms and Conditions" policy and will not keep a data connection to customers' vehicles after the OnStar service is canceled. U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that OnStar's policy represented an invasion of privacy, and he threatened a federal investigation. "OnStar's reversal of policy is good news.
August 15, 1988
General Motors Corp. has purchased a 15% interest in AeroVironment Inc., a privately held engineering firm in Monrovia, which specializes in alternative energy vehicles. AeroVironment played a large role in the development of Gm's Sunraycer Vehicle race across Australia last November.
February 8, 1989
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Thomas E. Everhart, president of the California Institute of Technology, have been elected directors of General Motors Corp. Shultz returns to the GM board after an absence of nearly seven years while he was secretary of state. Everhart joins the board after nine years on the General Motors science advisory committee.
July 13, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Richard Gerstenberg, 92, retired chairman and chief executive of General Motors Corp., died Thursday at his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., a company spokesman said. The cause of death was not announced. Born in Little Falls, N.Y., Gerstenberg grew up in nearby Mohawk and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1931. He started at General Motors the next year as a timekeeper in the company's Frigidaire division in Dayton, Ohio.
December 27, 1991 | From Reuters
General Motors Corp., battling the worst car sales slump in 10 years, received another dose of bleak news Thursday when two credit-rating agencies downgraded its debt. Analysts said the moves by Fitch Investors Service Inc. and Duff & Phelps Inc. could lead to higher borrowing costs for the auto maker. The ratings changes apply to both the parent company's debt and that of its financing arm, GMAC. Just last week, the world's largest auto maker announced drastic steps to streamline its U.S.
March 22, 2014
Re "Toyota says it deceived consumers," March 20 If ever there existed a catalyst for changing the way this country deals with corporate crime, it has to be here now. On the heels of revelations that General Motors failed to take timely action to correct ignition switch problems that caused at least 12 fatalities comes Thursday's headline, "Toyota says it deceived consumers. " Really? Citizens United and Joe Isuzu notwithstanding, who is this person, "Toyota," and how does he get away with causing "hundreds of fatalities and injuries" through a "campaign of disinformation" to fool regulators and not go to trial and eventually to jail?
March 19, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
In a landmark settlement of criminal charges, Toyota Motor Corp. admitted deceiving regulators about deadly safety defects and agreed to pay $1.2 billion, the largest penalty ever imposed on an automaker. In the unprecedented deal with the U.S. Justice Department, the world's largest automaker admitted it misled consumers about two defects that caused unintended sudden-acceleration incidents - sticking gas pedals and floor mats trapping the pedals. “Toyota put sales over safety, and profit over principle,” said George Venizelos, assistant director of the FBI. “The disregard Toyota had for the safety of the public was outrageous.
March 7, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield
Like young bucks at a county fair kissing booth, states are lining up for a chance to court Tesla Motors and its planned $5-billion battery factory. But fair warning, fellas: The intoxicating fragrance of Musk and his money masks a cold business heart. Already a loser in the race for this California girl's affections, though, is, well, California. Oh, sure, we're good enough to design and build the company's eco-luxe Model S. And Californians bought more than one-third of the $70,000-and-up cars last year.
March 4, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield, This post has been updated. See below for details.
Congratulations, Ukraine, you just won the lottery! Though, on this side of the world, it looks like we just gave $1 billion in aid to a country most Americans couldn't find on a map. Secretary of State John F. Kerry stopped off in Kiev on Tuesday, praising “these brave Ukrainians” who stood up to President Viktor Yanukovich, the deposed leader. Apparently, though, the “brave Ukrainians” are also the “broke Ukrainians.” PHOTOS: A peek inside 5 doomed dictators' opulent lifestyles As my colleague Carol J. Williams reported : “Kerry announced a $1-billion U.S. aid package to Ukraine and said the International Monetary Fund was working out details of a longer-term plan for rescuing the deeply indebted economy.
March 3, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Apple on Monday announced that its automobile infotainment system, now called CarPlay, will make its debut this week in new vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. The Cupertino tech company first unveiled plans for a car infotainment system last year, when it called the feature "iOS in the Car. " It's been a while since then, but Apple finally announced that the system will roll out with several new cars shipping this year. At the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, Apple said CarPlay will make it possible for iPhone users to conduct several tasks on their devices by giving voice commands to Siri.
February 27, 2014
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into why General Motors Co. did not promptly recall more than 1.6 million vehicles after it learned that faulty ignition switches were causing fatal crashes. GM on Thursday issued its second apology for not moving faster to fix the problem, which is linked to 13 deaths in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars. Safety experts praised the start of the investigation, which could result in up to a fine of up to $35 million, but faulted NHTSA for not taking action earlier, when it found out about the problem.
February 4, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
For the second consecutive year, Toyota Motor Corp. won the recall crown, according to federal safety regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Toyota recalled nearly 5.3 million vehicles last year. The Japanese automaker topped Chrysler Group, which came in second by calling back almost 4.7 million vehicles. Overall, automakers recalled almost 22 million cars last year, the NHTSA said. That was 34% higher than the previous year and the most since 30.8 million vehicles were recalled in 2004, according to agency.
March 21, 1985
In its second major move into the mortgage business this month, GM said it has agreed to buy the Colonial group of companies, a unit of CoreStates Financial Corp. of Philadelphia. The purchase, for an undisclosed price, would make GM the nation's second-largest mortgage banker. General Motors, the world's largest car manufacturer, earlier in March agreed to buy the $11-billion mortgage-servicing portfolio of Minneapolis-based Norwest Corp.
February 26, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
In a rare public apology, General Motors acknowledged Tuesday that it reacted too slowly to a safety issue linked to 13 deaths. The delayed response could cost GM tens of millions of dollars in civil penalties if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines the automaker neglected to inform regulators. NHTSA is also facing criticism for not demanding that GM act more quickly to recall more than 1.6 million vehicles. The recall is linked to the cars' ignition switches, which GM says can be accidentally turned from the "run" position to the "accessory" position while the car is being driven.
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