Buick will bring the Encore GX to Canada for 2020

Source: Driving.ca

2020 Buick Encore GXBuick

General Motors is cranking out new SUVs and crossovers apace, today showing off the 2020 Buick Encore GX.

More than just an extra trim level for the diminutive little scamp already on sale, the GX is a different vehicle altogether.

Set to be sized in the sliver of room existing between the existing Encore and Envision, the GX will have a cargo area some 142 litres (5 cubic feet) larger than the former, and about 85 litres (3 cubic feet) smaller than the latter.

Said to offer a greater-than-expected level of kit on the safety front, all Encore GX models will come equipped with front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert and lane-keeping. The neato Rear Camera Mirror will be lifted from the Enclave and made available on high-zoot trims of the Encore GX.

2020 buick encoregx 001 Buick will bring the Encore GX to Canada for 2020

Does all this sound familiar? It should, as the Chevrolet arm of GM introduced its Trailblazer model just yesterday, and its description sounds a heckuva lot like this new Buick.

Absent of any official sizing information from Chevy on that rig, this detail from the Tri-Shield brand gives us a bit of insight as to the Bowtie’s dimensions, as well. It’s not quite badge engineering as in the bad old days—but similarities between the two vehicles are remarkable.

2020 buick encoregx 002 e1559237347953 Buick will bring the Encore GX to Canada for 2020

Close study of the press photos reveal an ST badge, complete with red accents on the lower part of the bumpers and peppered amongst the grille detail. Could this portend a slightly-hot Encore GX? Or at least one that’s more than lukewarm? The vehicle shown here is riding on Hankook Kinergy GT rubber, tires described as premium grand touring all-seasons.

Its interior is very similar to that of the Trailblazer shown yesterday, though with the crucial addition of dual climate control. A button for downhill descent assist pops up here, too, along with a button suggesting the Encore GX’s all-wheel-drive system will have different driving modes.

2020 buick encoregx 004 Buick will bring the Encore GX to Canada for 2020

If you want proof as to the importance of crossovers and SUVs in Buick’s lineup, look no further than the one-liner that asserts a full 90 percent of Canadian Buick sales come from the segment.

Product specifications and pricing will be announced when the Encore GX begins arriving at Canadian dealerships.

The Chevy Blazer Makeover

Cars We’re Into – The Chevy Blazer Makeover

Cars We’re Into – The Chevy Blazer Makeover

When it comes to familiar names in automotive, the Chevy Blazer is one that is hard to forget. It’s safe to assume that everyone in the United States currently over the age of 35 probably knows someone that owned a Blazer at one point or another – that’s how popular the Blazer has always been. The original Chevy Blazer (K5) hit the market in 1969 as Chevrolet’s smallest SUV at the time. The earlier model of the Blazer had a removable top option up until 1975, was marketed as an off-road vehicle, and included a choice between a three-speed automatic transmission Turbo Hydromatic, a three-speed manual transmission, and a four-speed Synchromesh manual transmission. Then just like that, in 1995 the vehicle was discontinued and replaced by the Tahoe to the shogun of Blazer-lovers everywhere.

Starting at the end of last year, rumblings in the automotive industry started talking about the new Blazer that Chevrolet would release in 2019. Now, the Blazer is back and better than ever. Or is it?

The Blazer that most people seem to recognize was the S-10 model. Chevy gave buyers a choice to suit their needs. You could get the K5 (which was built on the chassis of a full-sized pick-up) or the S-10 (built in the frame of a compact pick-up). Eventually, by 2005, both models were discontinued. The Tahoe replaced the K5, and the Equinox crossover SUV replaced the S-10.

Chevrolet K5 Blazer (1979)
Chevrolet K5 Blazer (1979)

The all-new and revamped Blazer has a lot going for it. The 2019 Blazer is on a car-based unibody platform (it’s a crossover now) and the model between the Equinox and Traverse. Not only is it attractive, but it also has some serious power. Under the hood, the 2019 Blazer has two engine options. You can go with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque or the 3.6-liter V6 choice that produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. 

Avid fans of the vintage model may have some trepidations over the Chevy Blazer redesign. What was once a utilitarian SUV is now a sleek, luxury-inspired cross-over vehicle. Is it really a redesign of the Blazer or just more or less a completely different car? We will let those that test drives the new model to be the judge of that.

Overall, now that the Blazer is back, people are pretty excited to own it. There’s something about saying “I own a Chevy Blazer” that sends chills of excitement through a car enthusiast’s body. Considering the history associated with that nameplate, owning the Blazer adds to the tradition of driving excitement. 

Source: by Willis Williams

GM’s New In-Vehicle Technology

Google Tech image.jpg

Announcing Google Technology and Services as GM’s New In-Vehicle Technology

Building on nearly 25 years of connectivity leadership, General Motors announced plans to introduce new in-vehicle technology that will enhance the overall customer experience and make it easier than ever for customers to bring their digital lives into future connected vehicles.

GM’s research1 shows that many customers prefer an embedded technology experience in the vehicle, and increasingly expect seamless integration between the tech in their hands and the tech in their vehicle. Listening to customer feedback, GM will work with Google to bring new options for a voice assistant, embedded navigation, and in-vehicle applications to compatible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in regions around the world beginning in 2021. Broad deployment across all GM vehicle brands is expected to roll out in the years following. 

Future GM infotainment systems will continue to be powered by Android, which enables GM to bring familiar and enhanced experiences from Google to the vehicle:

  • Voice Assistant: With the built-in Google Assistant, drivers can make the most of their time in the vehicle and easily get things done hands-free using just their voice. Drivers can use the Assistant to make calls or text a friend, play a favorite radio station or podcast, close the garage door (requires compatible smart home devices), or even change the temperature in the vehicle, all while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

    The Assistant integration will continue to evolve over time, so that drivers in the future will be able to simply use their voice to engage with their vehicle, which could include renewing their OnStar or Connected Services plans, checking on their tire pressure, scheduling service, and more.

  • Embedded Navigation: Google Maps2 in the vehicle is constantly up to date and helps drivers navigate with real-time traffic information, automatic re-routing and lane guidance. With the Assistant, drivers can use voice to navigate home, share their ETA, find the nearest gas station and EV charging stations (based on availability), or ask about a store’s hours without needing a phone.

  • In-Vehicle Applications: The Google Play store lets drivers find their favorite apps and services, designed specifically for in-vehicle use. Drivers can listen to the same albums, podcasts and audiobooks in the vehicle as at home and stay connected with their most important contacts on communication apps.

    While using Google applications and services, the driver must always remain attentive. Additional services and data may be required. Full feature details will be available closer to launch.

    We are excited to strengthen our connectivity leadership and enhance our customers experience.

    1According to a 2017 GM study
    2Some geographic restrictions may apply

    Google and Google Play are trademarks of Google LLC.

Source: Dealer Auto Partners

The GMC Sierra 3500 has the best resale value in the industry

2016 GMC Sierra 3500

J.D. Power Announces Resale Value Awards for Mass Market and Luxury Vehicle Models

The 2019 J.D. Power Resale Value Awards were presented to automotive manufacturers, recognizing the best resale value across 26 model-level segments following three years of ownership. Vehicles that retain a strong resale value also typically have higher residual values and offer unmistakable benefits to automakers and consumers alike.

“One of the biggest concerns for many new-vehicle owners is depreciation,” said Jonathan Banks, Vice President of Vehicle Valuations & Analytics at J.D. Power. “Our transaction database shows the models that have the lowest depreciation costs, which can be very helpful to new-car buyers when deciding on their purchase.”

Model-Level Resale Value Awards

The brand receiving the most model-level awards is Lexus (six model-level awards), followed by Honda(five model-level awards), Toyota (four model-level awards) and Porsche (three model-level awards). The GMC Sierra 3500 has the best resale value in the industry.

·         Lexus: Lexus CT; Lexus RC; Lexus GS; Lexus NX; Lexus RX; and Lexus LX
·         Honda: Honda Fit; Honda Civic; Honda Accord; Honda CR-V; and Honda Odyssey
·         Toyota: Toyota Prius; Toyota Tacoma; Toyota 4Runner; and Toyota Tundra
·         Porsche: Porsche Cayman; Porsche 911; and Porsche Panamera

Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are Audi Q3, Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, GMC Sierra 3500, Scion tC and Subaru Crosstrek.

For the 2019 award process, 256 vehicle models were evaluated using a sample of more than 630,000 transactions with an average of 2,400 transactions assessed on each vehicle. The award selection process utilizes used vehicle wholesale prices, which represent how much a dealer buys a used vehicle for. These prices are then divided by the vehicle’s original purchase price. These calculations are based on wholesale records from January through June 2019 for vehicles that are three years old. For the 2019 calculation, 2016 is the applicable model year.

2019 J.D. Power Resale Value Awards
2019 J.D. Power Resale Value Awards

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Source: J.D. Power

GM Canada Rolls Out New Google Initiative

Source: Autotrader

General Motors has rolled out a new connected-car feature developed in partnership with Google, allowing owners to ask their Google Assistant-compatible device to control a number of vehicle functions.

Don’t think you can just ask Google drive you to work, though. Instead, you can now ask it to start your car or lock the doors, whether you’re at home, at work, or walking down the street. GM says that its Google Assistant integration is compatible with 1.25 million Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles from model year 2011 and newer. There are no additional costs associated with the integration; however, the service requires an OnStar subscription. Up to four vehicles can be paired with a given Google Account.

What Google Assistant can do depends on what equipment a vehicle already has: if you don’t have a remote start function, for example, it won’t be available in Google Assistant. There’s also no support at this time for activating your climate control or forwarding directions from Google Maps – you’ll still have to be in the car for that.

Just think about it: Instead of worrying whether you locked your Escalade as you relax in the Air Canada lounge at YYZ, all you have to do is tell your phone to do it. Or, if it’s cold and you know that your Volt can take its time warming up, you can start it without having to leave the comfort of your home.

While facial recognition and fingerprint ID have made PINs pretty much obsolete these days, users of the service will once again have to get comfortable with a PIN number because you’ll need to use one every time you trigger a vehicle function, such as “Hey Google, ask Chevrolet to start my car.”

Drivers can activate the integration by linking their Google account to GM’s Owner Centre, after downloading the appropriate app – myBuick, myCadillac, myChevrolet, or myGMC. After the initial setup, any Google Assistant-compatible device (e.g. Google Home, your smartphone, smartwatches, etc.) can be used to access vehicle functions.

GM previously launched a similar integration with Amazon Alexa.

Torturing The 2020 GMC Sierra AT4 CarbonPro Bed

General Motors‘ optional CarbonPro bed is put to the test

General Motors‘ optional CarbonPro bed for the 2020 GMC Sierra is the first of its kind. Thanks to its durable carbon fiber construction, it negates the need for an aftermarket spray-on bedliner and raises the bar for factory pickup bed durability.

But is the bed as strong as General Motors claims it is? To find out, The Fast Lane Truck assembled a series of heavy and/or sharp objects and decided to drop them onto the truck’s bed from about shoulder height, documenting the scratches or damage the bed took in the process.

Items TFLTruck decided to chuck in their 2020 GMC Sierra AT4 press car’s bed include a chainsaw, boat anchor, cinder blocks and lead pipe. They also took some other heavy objects, such as a toolbox, and left  them in the bed during a purposefully aggressive drive, testing if such loose items would dent the CarbonPro bed.

We won’t ruin the results for you, so be sure to check out TFL Truck’s test in the video linked below if you’re curious how the CarbonPro bed handles such a torture test.

The CarbonPro bed is offered on the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali and 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 and says it will become available in greater quantity on both trims for the 2020 GMC Sierra. While the carbon composite bed is a pricy option available only on GM’s most expensive trucks, the automaker may be able to offer it on less expensive trucks one day should it prove to be popular.

Source: GM Authority

GM Focuses On Pure Electric Vehicles

Why GM Will Focus On Pure Electric Vehicles Instead Of Hybrids

General Motors‘ decision to kill off the Chevrolet Volt was indicative of a long-term strategy that will see the automaker focus on pure electric vehicles instead of hybrids.

Company president Mark Reuss explained the automaker’s decision cease making hybrids in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, telling the newspaper that it would rather channel its green vehicle investments into EVs, as it believes they will eventually take over.

“If I had a dollar more to invest, would I spend it on a hybrid? Or would I spend it on the answer that we all know is going to happen, and get there faster and better than anybody else?” Reuss said.

WSJ notes that this strategy is a departure from other major industry players such as Toyota and Ford. Toyota sees hybrids as crucial to lowering green house gas emissions, as they are cheaper than EVs and thus carry a cheaper purchasing price and can be sold in greater numbers.

Ford, meanwhile, plans to invest heavily in EVs, but is also planning certain hybrid models, like the upcoming F-150 Hybrid. A Ford engineer explained the company doesn’t want buyers who desire a green vehicle to be forced into an EV, which are still more expensive than hybrids and have limited range.

GM isn’t the only automaker that sees hybrids as an unnesscary stop-gap between ICE and EV. WSJ also spoke to VW for its report, which echoed a similar sentiment to GM: if EV market share grows as it is expected to, why continue to invest in a stop-gap technologies like hybrids and plug-ins?

“Our strong preference is to go all-in where the market is heading, as opposed to hybrids as a way to hedge our bets,” Volkswagen America CEO Scott Keogh said.

Time will tell which automakers get this strategy right and which get it wrong. The winning strategy may depend on how quickly automakers like GM and VW can bring affordable yet profitable EVs to market with usable range. If EVs don’t end up accounting for a large chunk business, they may be forced to employ more hybrids in order to meet the 2025 government emissions regulations.

Sources: Wall Street Journal
and GM Authority


Rear Seat Reminder Technology


Learn how GM’s Rear Seat Reminder feature can help parents remember to double check the rear seat before leaving the vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, heatstroke was the leading cause of non-crash vehicle-related fatalities for children age 14 and younger.

That tragic fact wasn’t lost on the vehicle development teams at GM. Under certain conditions, the new Rear Seat Reminder feature, which is standard on most new GM models, can help remind parents to check the back seat before leaving the vehicle.

“Rear Seat Reminder is a simple feature designed to do exactly what its name suggests,” says John Capp, director of General Motors’ Global Vehicle Safety Group. “While it does not detect the presence of rear-seat passengers or child seats, under certain conditions it can provide a simple, extra reminder to drivers to take another look inside their vehicle.”

GMC life acadia rear seat reminder son sleeping.
GMC life acadia rear seat reminder stop engine.

The Rear Seat Reminder does not actually detect objects in the rear seat.  It works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors. If either rear door is opened and closed within ten minutes before the vehicle is started, or if they are opened and closed while the vehicle is running, the feature is intended to activate.

Once the vehicle is switched off, the vehicle is designed to sound five audible chimes and display a visual message within the instrument cluster’s Driver Information Center, which can help remind the driver to take a look at the rear seat before departing.

The feature is active only once each time the vehicle is turned on and off, and would require re-activation on a second trip. Additionally, under some circumstances, the system may activate even though nothing is in the rear seat. For example, if a child were dropped off at school without the vehicle being turned off, the Rear Seat Reminder would still be activated.

It is very important that the driver always checks the rear seat before exiting the vehicle.

“Many members of our development and engineering teams are also parents,” Capp says. “Our experiences, along with feedback from customers with children of their own, pushed us to think of ways we could make new GM trucks, crossovers, and SUVs even more family-focused.”


Michelin, GM Take the Air Out of Tires for Passenger Vehicles

Montreal (Tuesday, June 4, 2019) — Michelin and General Motors presented a new generation of airless wheel technology, the MICHELIN Uptis Prototype (or “Unique Puncture-proof Tire System”), at the Movin’On Summit for sustainable mobility today. GM intends to develop this airless wheel assembly with Michelin and aims to introduce it on passenger vehicles as early as 2024.

Later this year, GM will initiate real-world testing and validation of the Uptis Prototype on a Michigan test fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology,” said Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors. “Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners.”

Airless technology makes the Uptis Prototype eliminate flats and blowouts. This means Uptis offers significant potential for reducing the use of raw materials and waste, contributing to GM’s vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion as it:

  • Reduces the number of punctured or damaged tires that are scrapped before reaching the end of their life cycle.
  • Reduces the use of raw materials, energy for production and emissions linked to the manufacture of spare tires and replacement tires that are no longer required.
  • Lasts longer by eliminating irregular wear and tear caused by over- or under-inflation.
  • Reduces dangers related to flats and blowouts.

New! GM First-To-Market with Google Assistant Voice Commands

GM Google Assistance

New! GM First-To-Market with Google Assistant Voice Commands

We are excited to announce that as of today, owners of connected Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles are first in the Canadian market to be able to control their vehicles using Google Assistant voice commands such as “Hey Google, ask Chevrolet to start my car”. Please note that the voice commands are only available in English at this time.

This comes as a great addition to our vehicles voice assistant integration which includes Amazon® Alexa – also a first to market for GM. Per Google, over 72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say their devices are often used as part of their daily routine.

Imagine you are just about to fall asleep, but you can’t remember if you locked your vehicle. Rather than getting out of bed to look for your keys, you can now ask Google to lock your doors giving you that extra peace of mind.

In conjunction with the myChevrolet®, myBuick®, myGMC® or myCadillac® App and an eligible active service plan (including trial periods), customers can lock, unlock, start and stop their vehicles by voice with their Google Assistant.

Functionality like this continues to put GM vehicles at the forefront of new connected technologies. We encourage you and your teams to inform customers and prospective customers of this industry-first feature.

To start using Google Assistant with your vehicle, click on the corresponding brand link and follow these steps:

1. Select “Link” to link your OnStar/Owner Centre account with your Google Assistant account.
2. Select “Send to device” to start using the voice commands on your device.

Buick: https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/00000051d78de6df
Chevrolet: https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/000000547a736f96
Cadillac: https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/0000003cd8b79d6e
GMC: https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/000000b1dadb5b92