US auto giant General Motors has officially announced the repayment of its $5.8 Billion loan by the end of June ‘10. The loan is from the U.S Treasury and Export Development Canada, both of which currently hold Equity Shares in the company.
The company that emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009 also stated that once the repayments are complete “the focus will be to upgrade the plants in Detroit and Kansas to build their Next Generation- Chevrolet Malibu.”
The news of the repayment was made on the Wall Street Journal website on Tuesday April 20th by the CEO of GM, Ed Whitacre, as he announced “Our ability to pay back these loans less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy is a sign that our plan for building a new GM is working.”
The Detroit- Hamtramck and Kansan City factories will be updated with an investment of $ 275 million. The update will enable the plants to manufacture the Next Generation Malibu slated for release next year. On Wednesday, Mr.Whitacre addressing the Kansas City plant said that it will receive $136 million of the investment as the plant will be the prime manufacturing site for the Malibu.
As per the Automotive News Data Center, the new Chevy Malibu has a 53 day supply and Buick LaCrosse a 43 day supply, and the Kansas plant is working 3 shifts and on Saturdays to build both the cars which began production in April to maintain a 60 Day supply level as recommended by analysts.
The Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS sedans currently being produced at the Detroit Hamtramck plant will be downsized this year to accommodate the production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in sedan, to be released in the fourth quarter of ’10. The Hamtramck plant investment of $121 will assist in the production of the Malibu in period of spike in demand.
Nissan Motor Co. will sell the Leaf electric car for a base price of $32,780 in the United States and begin taking orders on April 20. When combined with a $7,500 federal tax credit, the Leaf will be priced at $25,280, the automaker said in a statement today. State and local credits can further reduce the cost to consumers, Nissan said. Early on today, the automaker also said it would sell the battery-powered Leaf hatchback starting off at 3.76 million yen ($40,640) in Japan, where it is also counting on government subsidies to slash the cost to consumers. Nissan said it aims to sell 6,000 Leaf cars, its first mass-volume all-electric model, in Japan for the year ending in March 2011. The company will start taking orders for the model April 1 in Japan, with the first delivery expected in December. After accounting for Japanese government subsidies, Nissan said the net cost to consumers to buy a new Leaf would be near 2.99 million yen ($32,373). The Leaf pricing also represents a premium over established, combustion-engine powered small sedans, such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Analysts have said the premium reflects the cost of developing and producing the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery pack. The cost of batteries and the reluctance of consumers to pay more upfront for fuel-saving technology are seen as the major hurdles to mass-market adoption of electric vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp.’s gasoline-electric Prius hybrid, now in its third generation, has a base model starting price at just over 2 million yen ($22,195) in Japan. After trailing rivals Toyota Motor and Honda Motor in the hybrid field, Japan’s No.3 automaker has bet heavily on pure electric vehicles along with partner Renault SA of France. Nissan has said it expects that 10 percent of the world’s auto market will be electric vehicles by 2020, a ratio at the top of industry projections. The automaker has also announced a series of partnerships with utilities and government agencies in the United States and Europe where it believes it has a chance of seizing market leadership. The five-passenger Leaf is designed to provide a range of about 100 miles. Nissan has developed the battery pack for the Leaf with NEC Corp., so that it can be recharged overnight on a 220-volt connection. While skeptics abound, almost all major automakers are working on developing battery-run cars for use mainly in urban areas, to meet stricter emissions and mileage regulations being introduced around the world.
Okay, as promised, here is reason #2 for why I think the new 2011 Silverado Heavy Duty truck will crush any other heavy duty truck on the market!
Reason #2: New & Strong Independent Front Suspension
The 2010 Silverado Heavy Duty has a completely redesigned front suspension system! It offers up to 6,000 pounds front gross axle weight rating (a 25-percent greater front axle weight rating than before) – great for a snow plow to be used on all 4WD cab configurations with the snow prep package.
Silverado’s signature short-long arm/torsion bar front suspension design features new, forged steel upper control arms that are stronger and lighter than their predecessors. The new lower control arms are made of precision-machined cast iron to handle the greater loads. Five different torsion bar rates support five different front gross axle weight ratings – this helps stabilize the range of trim heights of various models under load, while enhancing appearance, handling, durability, tire wear and alignment. The trim height is adjusted on each bar via a single bolt, easily allowing the height to be changed to account for the weight of a snow plow or other accessories.
The Silverado HD’s new design eliminates squeaks and clunks, while supporting higher load capability and increased durability. The front suspension now uses a pair of urethane jounce bumpers on each side, instead of one, for improved load management; and there’s a new upper shock mount attachment design that’s positively connected to the frame with two fasteners.
The Silverado’s independent front suspension provides a better ride, more accurate trim height control and greater flexibility to adjust the alignment for weight and tire sensitivity!
The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2 out of 8 full size pickup trucks. This ranking is based on our analysis of 65 published reviews and test drives of Chevy Silverado 1500. The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks haven’t change significantly for 2010 model year, but Chevy tweaked some of the truck’s features and turned a couple of options into standard equipment.
The 2010 model still offers a staggering number of engines, trim levels, bed lengths, suspension configurations and other options. The Chevrolet Silverado has comfort and practicality in a rugged package. The Silverado equipped with 4.8L, 5.3L and 6.2L engines. The 4.8L and 5.3L engines have variable valve timing and also improves the feature, performance and fuel economy. The regular cab and extended cab trucks with 5.3L V-8 engines are equipped with a 6speed automatic transmission.
3.08 axle ratio and fuel saver mode are standard with Silverado trucks equipped with a 5.3L V-8 engine. The features are Side curtain air bags, seat mounted side air bags are standard on all 1500 Silverado trucks, the USB connectivity too on all radios except the base model, which will play the audio files through the audio system, charges battery for some handheld devices.
The Silverado 1500 is available with two-wheel or four-wheel drive; with a short, standard or long bed; with a regular, crew or extended cab, and in Work Truck, LT and LTZ trim levels. Reviewers enjoyed the Silverado’s capabilities and comfort regardless of which combination of the award winning truck they drove.
Drivers appreciate the Silverado’s gas mileage, which is among the best in the class. Interior door trim has been changed in this model. A rearview camera is available on more models. StabiliTrak electronic control system is now standard on all Silverado 1500 trucks. It’s hard to find a bad review of the Chevrolet Silverado because most reviewers say it’s hard to find a competitor with it.
Over the next few weeks I will be outlining 11 reasons why the new 2011 Silverado Heavy Duty truck will crush any other heavy duty truck on the market. I have studied this truck…and have studied this truck…and for a change of pace, I have studied it some more…and I can not find a single job that this truck can not do – and I want nothing more than to share all of its glory with you!
For a little background on the 2011 HD:
Comprised of the broadest lineup of Silverado Heavy Duty trucks Chevrolet has ever provided, the new 2011 Silverado HD has something for everyone – literally. There are 19 models available, with 3 different trims to choose from, and a ‘Silverado-Extended-Cab-full’ of features for you to think about. Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s General Manager, made sure that Chevy “…sought the input of [its] customers during the development of the 2011 Silverado HD to deliver a truck that meets or exceeds [the customers’] every need”, and, “…offers greater strength and capability – including class leading fuel economy, trailering and payload ratings – and has more power, accelerates quicker and has lower emissions” to those customers.
Reason #1: New Frames
The engineers determining the design of the HD’s frames were extremely attentive to its common customer and after uses. So much that they added access holes to the rear frame section for easier installation of 5th wheel or gooseneck style hitches and made sure that the frame mounted hitch for conventional trailering was stronger (made with a box-tube design), supporting up to 16,000 pounds.
Eleven all-new, fully boxed, frames have been engineered to improve durability and ride, while also supporting increased capability. The engineers added hydroformed front sections, increased cross sections and used high-strength steel for greater durability, higher towing capacity and improved ride and handling. The frames can bend up to 92% and 20% more, respectively, with the fully boxed sections enhancing torsional stiffness by a factor of 5.
Be on the look out for reason #2!