Thursday, 30 April 2015

!NEW! Opel at the RETTmobil 2015: Opel Mokka SUV now a Lifesaver

15th exhibition for rescue and mobility: Opel present with wide range of emergency vehicles

Mokka, Insignia, Vivaro and Movano – four cars, four concepts, one goal: to save lives. From May 6 - 8, the automaker will show how powerful series-produced passenger cars and vans can, with the help of certified conversion partners, be converted into efficient emergency vehicles for the fire brigade for example. The Opel stand in Fulda will be located in Hall 5 (stand number 505). Furthermore, Opel’s partner Siebrecht will present disabled transport vehicles of different sizes and in various price categories at their outdoor stand (number 53).

Opel emergency vehicles for fire brigade and DLRG (German Life Saving Society)

The Mokka emergency vehicle with a 100 kW/136 hp 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive (consumption 4.7-4.5 l/100 km and CO2 of 124-119 g/km in the combined cycle) is latest addition to Opel’s lifesaver family. At RETTmobil, it will be present as an agile utility vehicle for technical accident assistance. The all-wheel drive Mokka, converted by Opel Special Vehicles and Sortimo is a real eye-catcher with its LED special signaling system, the LED front flashers and rear warning lights along with its blazing red foliation. Furthermore, the Mokka has a preliminary set-up for analogue and digital networks including a combined roof antenna. The huge advantage is that the compact, agile and all-terrain Mokka can take technical equipment such as hydraulic shears and spreaders to accident sites that cannot be reached by vans or trucks. The Mokka also carries an emergency backpack so that its crew can also provide vital first aid.

The Insignia Country Tourer fire brigade command vehicle with all-wheel drive, new whisper diesel along with AFL+ (Adaptive Forward Lighting) and AGR-certified (Campaign for Healthier Backs) premium seats and a specific Bott tail-end conversion will accompany the Mokka to Fulda. A Movano crew cab that has been converted into a fire engine by Meinicke Fahrzeugservice completes Opel’s firefighting trio at the RETTmobil. Elsewhere, a Vivaro Combi transformed into a crew car for the DLRG will also be present. Wagner Technik are responsible for converting the nine-seater and fitting it with a special signaling system, LED beacons and working lights, an additional battery along with lashing rails and Euroboxes in the hold.

Opel also offer ADAM, Astra Sports Tourer, Insignia Sports Tourer and Zafira Tourer-based emergency vehicles ex works. 

!NEW! Bodensee Klassik: Opel CEO Neumann enters with Diplomat V8 Coupé

  • KAD rarities: Opel takes part with rare Kapitän, Admiral und Diplomat models
  • CEO at the wheel: Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann drives his own Diplomat A V8 Coupé
  • Well-known guest: German TV stars Gesine Cukrowski and Tim Wilde in Opel team

Strong team: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann will take part in the old-timer rallye “Bodensee Klassik” with his own Diplomat V8 Coupé.
Opel will be present with some very special car when the fourth Bodensee Klassik starts in front of the festival hall in Bregenz, Austria at 14.00 CET on May 7. Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann will also be in the field with his very own Diplomat A V8 Coupé. The list of rarities from Rüsselsheim also includes a further, very rare Diplomat A Coupé with a 5.4-liter V8 engine with 230 hp and equally rare Admiral A and Kapitän A models with eight-cylinder power under the long hood. A Diplomat B and a Kapitän B round off the offer for old-timer fans.

In total, 180 classic cars will take part in the tour taking them through parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland before reaching the finish in Bregenz on May 9. The Opel CEO is not the only famous face to take to the wheel of one of the cars from Rüsselsheim. TV stars Gesine Cukrowski and Tim Wilde along with Opel Brand Ambassador and racing legend Joachim Winkelhock will also be at the start and complete the Opel-Classic-Team.

The two Diplomat A V8 Coupé are members of an exclusive series consisting of only 347 unit produced by Osnabrück-based body makers Karmann from 1964 onwards. The vehicle identification number of Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann’s 1967 coupé ends in 347 – clearly identifying it as the last of the exclusive vehicles ever produced.

Interesting course: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann is looking forward to the rallye with 180 classic cars that will take the field through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“I have always been fascinated by the combination of the timelessly elegant coupé body of the Diplomat and the legendary Chevrolet Small Block V8,” said Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “I have been the proud owner of this car for roughly six months now and I am delighted when I get the opportunity to take this icon for a spin.”

Powerful engines: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann will swap his Insignia OPC with 325 hp for his Diplomat Coupé with 230 PS for the “Bodensee Klassik“.
The KAD models of the first series taking part in the Bodensee Klassik are all powered by various versions of the famous GM V8 engine that celebrated its debut 60 years ago and has been built over 100 million times to date.

Powerful engines: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann will swap his Insignia OPC with 325 hp for his Diplomat Coupé with 230 PS for the “Bodensee Klassik“.

Neat appearance: The Coupé, built by body specialist Karmann, was based on the Diplomat V8 sedan. The roof was shortened, the front doors extended and a welded steel plate replaced the rear doors.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

!NEW! European Invasion: Holden Astra and Cascada Launch

  • Holden launches European-sourced Astra GTC, Astra VXR and Cascada convertible
  • Astra available in performance focused 1.6L turbo and 2.0L turbo engines
  • Cascada convertible introduced with a Special Launch Edition 

2015 Holden Astra GTC Sport 

2015 Holden Astra VXR

Holden’s introduction of the stylish and sporty Astra alongside the elegant Cascada convertible marks the beginning of an exciting product onslaught by Holden, promising to deliver 24 major vehicle launches and 36 powertrain combinations in the next five years.

2015 Holden Cascada Convertible
The European manufactured Astra and Cascada are both designed and engineered in Germany, at Opel’s Russelsheim base, and exhibit the exceptional build quality and refinement synonymous with European cars.

Engineering integrity and the promise of outstanding road performance is ensured after long, demanding validation testing - 10,000kms of which for VXR was completed at the iconic mecca for all driving enthusiasts; the Nurburgring Nordschliefe track.

Holden’s Executive Director – Sales, Peter Keley, said Astra and Cascada would act as aspirational, halo vehicles to Holden, and Holden Dealers were excited to finally take delivery of the cars.

“Astra and Cascada exhibit all the hallmarks of premium European manufactured cars.  Both are visually stunning with great road presence and exceptional build quality.” Mr Keley said.

“We are confident these are the right cars for Australia, giving buyers a vehicle to aspire to own and this is something echoed by our Dealers.

“Dealers nationwide have expressed interest and excitement in Astra and Cascada and are looking forward to getting their hands on them.”


The Holden Astra nameplate became a firm favourite with Australian drivers and resonated with those looking for European performance when it was first launched in 1996.  The refreshed 2015 Holden Astra is introduced in GTC and GTC Sport trim levels in addition to the ultra-sporty VXR, exuding exceptional road presence and a stylish, unmistakably European design.


2015 Holden Astra GTC Sport 
Astra GTC and GTC Sport are stylish, progressive looking sports hatches that effortlessly blend drive comfort with a sports look and feel.  Both come equipped with a lively 1.6 litre turbocharged engine coupled with a responsive six-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

The automatic transmission is accompanied by active select and when combined with the 1.6 litre turbo engine provides 125 kW power and 260 Nm torque, ensuring an exciting and engaging driving experience.  In the even sportier, manual transmission, Astra offers an increased 147 kW power and 280 Nm torque, targeted at those wanting a more dynamic drive.

The European engineered Astra comes with a high-tech HiPerStrut front suspension to offer improved handling characteristics and direct steering response.  With a shortened spindle length and reduced kingpin inclination, Astra’s HiPerStrut helps prevent the torque steer so often seen in powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

Sportec bolster sports seat (leather appointed in GTC Sport)
Inside Astra GTC and GTC Sport the European design and engineering excels with Sportec bolster sports seat (leather appointed in GTC Sport) and the award winning Holden MyLink infotainment system taking centre stage.  The MyLink system comes with a seven-inch colour screen display, integrated Pandora®, Stitcher™ and TuneIn Radio apps as well as satellite navigation.

2015 Holden Astra GTC Sport - MyLink system comes with a seven-inch colour screen display, integrated Pandora®, Stitcher™ and TuneIn Radio apps as well as satellite navigation.
In addition to the impressive list of features already available on Astra GTC, GTC Sport adds 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, leather sports seats and a sports body kit to earn the ‘Sport’ name it proudly bares.


2015 Holden Astra VXR

Sitting at the top of the Astra model range, Astra VXR is the ultimate ‘hot hatch’, boasting a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which is able to unleash 206 kW of power and a staggering 400 Nm of torque.  Brembo front brakes provide a security net to accompany the Astra VXR’s unbridled power, in addition to electro-hydraulic steering for a direct, engaging steering feel, allowing drivers to put the car precisely where they want it.

Astra VXR is a ‘no holds barred’ sports hatch that is as at home on track as in the city.  Key to its versatility is the acclaimed FlexRide tuning system which allows drivers to choose from three pre-configured ride settings according to their environment: 
  • Standard – all-round performance with comfort
  • Sport – stiffer chassis, improved agility and more direct steering
  • VXR – more direct steering, more responsive throttle, and tuned for maximum performance
Supporting Astra VXR’s impressive dynamic setup is its unmistakable appearance and superior road presence.  VXR wears 20-inch alloy wheels, coupled with VXR sports body kit, alloy sports pedals and VXR steering wheel.

2015 Holden Astra VXR - Eight-way adjustable VXR leather appointed sports seats with power bolsters and lumbar support for both driver and passenger.

Like its calmer siblings, VXR is well equipped inside too.  As well as offering the same MyLink infotainment system as GTC and GTC Sport, it also shows off eight-way adjustable VXR leather appointed sports seats with power bolsters and lumbar support for both driver and passenger. 


2015 Holden Cascada Convertible
Setting a new benchmark in attainable luxury, Cascada is an elegant, yet responsive, full size four-seat convertible designed for beachside cruising and the open road.

Formally known as Astra Convertible, Cascada has established a name in its own right with its ability to appeal to a completely different type of buyer.

Cascada will be available in two guises from launch; Cascada and a special Cascada Launch Edition, of which only 50 units will be available.


Cascada comes with a versatile 1.6 litre turbo engine, which when coupled with its smooth six-speed automatic transmission, delivers an easy and enjoyable driving experience, on urban and regional roads.

Dynamically, Cascada has been engineered with strength and rigidity in mind, ensuring drivers get the perfect balance between solid cornering performance and the freedom associated with driving a convertible.

Stunning exterior design is complimented with 18-inch alloy wheels and a secure, triple-layered acoustic power hood able to be retracted in just 17 seconds whilst on the move at speeds of up to 50kph.

Cascada’s perforated leather appointed seats and intuitive MyLink infotainment system provide a luxurious touch on a flexible, four seat interior design.

2015 Holden Cascada Convertible - Perforated leather appointed seats and intuitive MyLink infotainment system


A limited number of just 50 special, Cascada Launch Edition vehicles will be available to celebrate the return of the convertible body style to the Holden range.

Cascada Launch Edition dials up the luxury even more by adding premium Nappa leather appointed and ventilated front seats and a leather sports steering wheel.  There is also significant differentiation on the car’s exterior with 20-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s (Daylight Running Lamps).


Holden’s commitment to delivering excellent customer value extends beyond the purchase of Astra and Cascada, with the recently launched and ground-breaking Holden Lifetime Capped Price Servicing (CPS) program.

And with Holden’s extensive dealer network offering Australia’s largest CPS program Astra and Cascada buyers get peace of mind with transparent service pricing for life.

Astra and Cascada will go on sale 4 May 2015 and are available in a wide range of exterior colour choices to suit a range of personalities.



Astra GTC and GTC Sport colours
  • Summit White

  • Power Red

  • Carbon Flash Black*

  • Sunny Melon Yellow

  • Buzz Blue*

  • Silver Lake*

  • Astra VXR colours
  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Arden Blue*
*Prestige paint at $550 premium

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual / six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Cloth Morrocana sports seats with Sportec bolsters
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Air conditioning with particle filter
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Projector headlamps (halogen)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Start/stop (MT only)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
    • Vehicle information menu
    • Trip information menu
    • Fuel economy menu
    • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with seven-inch colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack
GTC Sport (above GTC)
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lamps
  • Perforated leather appointed Mondial trim
  • Eight-way adjustable driver seat with power lumbar control
  • Heated front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (front bumper lower spoiler edge, rear bumper lower spoiler edge, rocker moulding)
  • Electric park brake
Astra VXR
  • 2.0 litre turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Performance brakes – Brembo front calipers, front and rear cross drilled rotors
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • FlexRide with continuous damping control
  • Electro-hydraulic power steering
  • Start/stop
  • Rear park assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Sports performance chassis
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ESC and ABS
  • Auto headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • VXR roof spoiler
  • VXR sports seats
  • Perforated leather appointed Nappa trim
  • Eight-way adjustable heated driver and front passenger seat
  • Power bolsters and power lumbar – driver and passenger seats
  • Satellite navigation
  • VXR Leather steering wheel
  • VXR floor mats
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Enhanced multi-function display with:
    • Vehicle information menu
    • Trip information menu
    • Fuel economy menu
    • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

Cascada colours
  • Summit White
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Phantom Grey*
  • Deep Sky Blue*
  • Nitrate Silver*
*Prestige paint at $550 premium

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front and side airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Electric folding acoustically insulated roof
  • Sports suspension
  • Electric park brake
  • Heated power outside mirrors
  • Heated front sports seats
  • Leather appointed trim perforated Siena seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Satellite navigation
  • Cruise control
  • Rear view camera
  • Dual zone air conditioning
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto projector headlamps (halogen), DRL’s and front fog lamps
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
    • Vehicle information menu
    • Trip information menu
    • Fuel economy menu
    • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack
Cascada Launch Edition (50 units)
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Premium nappa leather appointed sports seats
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s

Thursday, 23 April 2015

!NEW! GM Reports Solid First Quarter Operating Performance

Reaffirms 2015 outlook

  • EBIT-adjusted of $2.1 billion, up $0.3 billion from Q1 2014, excluding recalls
  • Repurchased 10 million shares for approximately $0.4 billion
  • GM North America EBIT-adjusted best since company was established in 2009, expanding core operating margin for seventh straight quarter year over year
  • GM Europe increased Opel/Vauxhall share in 11 markets and improved operating performance, despite Russia market challenges
  • First quarter net income of $0.9 billion, up $0.8 billion from first quarter 2014
  • EPS of $0.56, EPS adjusted for special items of $0.86

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today announced first quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $0.9 billion, or $0.56 per diluted share. The current quarter included a net loss from special items of $0.5 billion, or $(0.30) per diluted share.

Special items in the quarter included $0.4 billion related to the decision to change the company’s business model in Russia and $0.1 billion for an adjustment to the estimated costs of the ignition switch compensation program.

In the first quarter of 2014, GM’s net income attributable to common stockholders was $0.1 billion, or $0.06 per diluted share, including a net loss from special items of $0.4 billion or $(0.23) per diluted share, and the impact of recall-related pre-tax costs of $1.3 billion, or $(0.48) per diluted share.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted was $2.1 billion and included the impact of $0.1 billion in restructuring costs. This compares to the first quarter of 2014, when the company recorded EBIT-adjusted of $0.5 billion, which included recall-related pre-tax costs of $1.3 billion and $0.3 billion in restructuring costs.

Net revenue in the first quarter of 2015 was $35.7 billion, compared to $37.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014.  

“Our results in the first quarter provide a solid foundation to achieve our financial commitments for the year,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “Continued execution of our plan, including our capital allocation framework, will drive profitable growth, return on invested capital and shareholder value.”

GM Results Overview (in billions except for per share amounts and ROIC)

Q1 2015
Q1 2014
Net income attributable to common stockholders
Earnings per share (EPS) diluted
Impact of special items on EPS diluted
Automotive net cash flow from operating activities
Adjusted automotive free cash flow
% Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)

Segment Results
  • GM North America reported EBIT-adjusted of $2.2 billion. This compares with EBIT-adjusted of $0.6 billion in the first quarter of 2014, which included the impact of a $1.3 billion pre-tax charge for recall costs.
  • GM Europe reported EBIT-adjusted of $(0.2) billion. This compares with EBIT-adjusted of $(0.3) billion in the first quarter of 2014, which included
    $0.2 billion for restructuring costs.
  • GM International Operations reported EBIT-adjusted of $0.4 billion, compared with EBIT-adjusted of $0.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014.
  • GM South America reported EBIT-adjusted of $(0.2) billion, approximately equal to the first quarter of 2014.  
  • GM Financial reported earnings before tax of $0.2 billion, matching its results for the first quarter of 2014. 
“Key vehicles like our recently launched full and mid-size trucks, and our cost discipline helped us deliver a solid quarter,” said Chuck Stevens, GM executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We continue to take decisive actions to address issues head-on and to drive the company to generate strong results.”

Cash Flow, Capital Return, Liquidity and ROIC

First quarter automotive cash flow from operating activities of $0.0 billion and adjusted automotive free cash flow of $(1.7) billion, were down from $2.0 billion and $0.2 billion a year ago, respectively. The declines in automotive operating and adjusted automotive free cash flows were primarily related to one extra weekly payment cycle to suppliers during the quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago, and cash payments related to recalls and restructuring.

Since announcing its $5 billion common stock repurchase program on March 9, 2015, GM has repurchased 19.4 million shares through April 21. Of this total, 10 million shares were repurchased through the March 31 trading date for approximately $0.4 billion. Additionally, GM paid common stock dividends of approximately $0.5 billion to shareholders during the quarter.

GM ended the quarter with strong total automotive liquidity of $34.2 billion.  Automotive cash and marketable securities was $22.1 billion compared with $25.2 billion at year-end 2014.

As previously announced, GM will reinvest in its business with the objective of driving 20 percent or higher average return on invested capital (ROIC) through investments in world-class vehicles and leading technology. Beginning this quarter, the company will report trailing four quarter ROIC. On this basis, ROIC at the end of the quarter was 19.5 percent, compared to 16.9 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Based on its first quarter results, the company reaffirmed the 2015 annual outlook it communicated on January 14. GM expects its total EBIT adjusted and EBIT-adjusted margin to increase in 2015, compared to 2014, after adjusting 2014 for the impact of recall costs, with improved automotive results anticipated in all regions.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

!NEW! GM Sold 2.4 Million Vehicles Globally in First Quarter

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sold 2.4 million vehicles globally in the first quarter of 2015, up 2 percent compared to a year ago. Sales in China increased 9 percent and deliveries in North America were up 6 percent. Opel/Vauxhall increased its sales by 3 percent in Europe.

General Motors sold 2.4 million vehicles globally in the first quarter of 2015, up 2 percent compared to a year ago.

“The momentum our brands are building in China, the U.S. and Western Europe more than offset difficult conditions in some other large markets like Russia and Brazil,” said GM CEO Mary Barra.

“We are in the early days of a very aggressive onslaught of new products and customer-driven innovation,” she said. “Already, the Chevrolet Trax and Colorado are redefining segments in the United States, Cadillac is growing rapidly in China and establishing a new formula for prestige sedans with the CT6 and Opel’s revitalization is accelerating across Europe. At the same time, we are deploying OnStar with 4G LTE in North America, Europe and China to give our customers the best connectivity experience in the industry.” 

Other first quarter global sales highlights:
  • Cadillac was up 2.5 percent, driven by a 23-percent increase in China.
  • Opel/Vauxhall’s sales increase outpaced the European region’s growth by 0.2 percentage points.
  • Buick was up 8 percent.
  • GMC was up 15 percent, for its best first quarter sales since 2005.
  • Chevrolet deliveries in the United States increased 5 percent on the strength of a 19 percent increase in crossover deliveries and a 31 percent increase in truck sales. Deliveries in China were up 7 percent.

In prior quarters, GM reported wholesale deliveries in China, which are vehicles sold to dealers. Beginning this quarter, GM is reporting deliveries to customers.  

Monday, 20 April 2015

!NEW! Buick Explores Future with Avenir Concept

New design proportion, device integration, rejuvenating interior push brand forward

Buick Avenir concept at North American International Auto Show
Buick introduced the Avenir concept on January 11 in advance of the North American International Auto Show – a flagship sedan exploring progressive design with new levels of passenger well-being and technology integration. Today, the Avenir made its China debut on the eve of Auto Shanghai 2015.

Buick Avenir concept made its China debut on the eve of Auto Shanghai 2015. 

The Avenir – French for future – is distinguished by its premium sports proportions and all-new interpretations of traditional Buick cues. It is the creation of a global team of Buick designers and sculptors who were inspired by historic Buick concepts, which pushed traditional boundaries, shaped future Buick models and influenced the entire auto industry.

“Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty and presence without pretense,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go.”

The Avenir’s sculptural surfacing, expressive proportion and Buick’s signature sweep-spear bodyside visually cue an exceptional driving experience that awaits inside.

“The interior is designed with the driver and passengers’ comfort and well-being in mind,” said Welburn. “Technology is seamlessly integrated and builds on the features that have become hallmarks for today’s production models – helping drive a new generation of customers to Buick.”

Additional vehicle highlights:

  • Personal seating for four
  • Full light-emitting diode (LED) exterior lighting
  • Twenty-one-inch wheels
  • Next-generation direct-injected V-6 engine with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop/start technology
  • Nine-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
  • Driver-selectable suspension damping
  • Twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system
  • Next-generation Buick IntelliLink infotainment with large, 12-inch-diagonal color touch screen
  • Driver-recognition features that automatically sync infotainment preferences
  • Ionic cabin air filtration
  • Mobile device wireless charging
  • OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.

A new design direction with a nod to the past

A long hood, wheels-at-the-corners stance and a sloping, rear deck that pays homage to historical models, such as the Riviera, distinguish the Avenir’s proportion.

“Simply put, Avenir is a beautiful piece of sculpture, delivered on a premium proportion that acknowledges the Buick design heritage in a very progressive way,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of design, GM International Operations. “The vehicle remains unmistakably Buick with a modern take on the traditional Buick cues such as the sweep spear and boattail. The result is a piece of artistry that is precise in its character, beautifully proportioned. It really takes your breath away.”

The most striking departure from contemporary Buick models is a new grille design that puts a new face on the brand. It features a large opening accented by a return to the three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements. The grille is flanked by bold headlamps featuring full LED lighting.

“The new grille is a modern interpretation of a design introduced on the landmark 1954 Wildcat II concept, which shattered expectations of what a Buick was supposed to be,” said Simcoe. “On the Avenir, it represents a break from convention and progressiveness in technology.”

Sculptural surfaces, taught lines, short overhangs and a broad-shouldered stance stretches 204.5 inches (5,195 mm) in length and 76 inches (1,931 mm) in width. Its reimagined sweep-spear element complements the long body lines and conveys a sense of motion, as does tapered rear-end styling.

Avenir’s sophisticated color palette, including a Crystalline exterior color and strained use of bright work accent the Avenir’s body lines and sets up the interior for a combination that takes Buick’s contemporary style to a higher level.

“It’s a sculpted design with a lot of snap in the character lines – with a classic long, low proportion,” said Simcoe. “Its length enables exceptional spaciousness inside, but just as importantly, a presence that speaks to luxury and the importance of style. In short, it’s the befitting proportion for a Buick flagship.”

A soothing environment with unprecedented integration

The Avenir’s four-place interior rewards the senses, makes managing technologies easier and enhances the feelings of personal space and well-being.

“A flowing, sculptural quality in the interior forms, deco trim, premium leather and ambient lighting, create an environment that is inviting and comfortable,” said Liz Wetzel, Buick interior design director.
Interior surfaces - inspired by nature and sea waves receding on a beach - flow seamlessly through the cabin. It is a motif featured on the seats and carried through in other trim components – even the carpet. In fact, a patterned insert for the carpet carries the motif in silk and bamboo. 

“There’s an almost-three-dimensional or bas-relief effect to the design motif that adds depth and heightens the sense of place,” said Wetzel. “Layered and floating elements such as the center console enhance the perception of lightness, efficiency and dynamism.”

A color palette of light and natural tones blended with oiled and buffed wood trim, and Galvano satin-chrome accents, enhance the Avenir’s ambience.

“They’re rich, premium materials and warm colors innovatively executed to enhance the soothing effect of the interior environment,” said Wetzel.

Functionality is manifested in the Avenir’s device-integration technologies, which are designed to lift the user’s mood and make the details associated with daily life a little easier. It starts the moment the vehicle is started, synchronizing information and devices within seconds. The Avenir instantly configures gauge cluster and infotainment screen displays based on prior customization while also recognizing the user’s music preferences, calendar schedule and recently visited locations from a cellphone’s GPS. It can even pick up a podcast the user was listening to at the moment it was interrupted.

Buick’s user experience designers are also pushing the Avenir’s technologies for home integration, which would allow accessing home security cameras or the capability of turning on outside lights and closing a garage door that was inadvertently left open.

“The Avenir’s integration features build on the technologies already available or coming soon in smartphones and streamline them in a system that makes accessing and interacting with them easier,” said Wetzel.

Personal connectivity extends to rear-seat passengers, where USB ports and video screens allow occupants to plug in to their favorite media and slip into complete relaxation, arriving at their destination refreshed and rejuvenated.

“The use of color, material, form and amenities can affect a person’s mood and feeling,” said Wetzel. “The Avenir is a showcase of thoughtful and modern design with the capacity to anticipate and facilitate the personal needs of its occupants. It’s absolutely its own getaway destination.”

!NEW! Buick Verano Debuts at Shanghai GM Gala Night

New-generation sports sedan offers stylish exterior, class-leading fuel efficiency and precise handling

Buick’s new-generation sports sedan, the Verano, made its debut at Shanghai GM Gala Night.
Buick’s new-generation sports sedan, the Verano, made its debut this evening at Shanghai GM Gala Night. It will be appearing on Shanghai GM’s stand at Auto Shanghai 2015.

The brand’s latest entry in the mid-range passenger car segment has a stylish exterior, class-leading fuel efficiency and precise handling. The Verano is targeted at individuals who value a personal and dynamic driving experience.

Design inspired by Buick Riviera and Avenir concept cars

The Verano was inspired by the new Buick Riviera concept car, which premiered in 2013, and captures the design essence of the Buick Avenir concept car, which debuted at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It represents an innovative interpretation of Buick’s classic styling while exemplifying the elegance and dynamism of Buick’s new-generation products.

The Verano features Buick’s signature waterfall grille, which is complemented by Avenir-style wing-shaped HID xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights. The wing shape is embodied in the LED taillights as well.

Positioned at a steep angle, the windshield joins the fastback roof and streamlined C-pillar curves. This gives the body a longer look that adds to its dynamic yet elegant aura. The Verano’s double-sweep beltline is characteristic of Buick sedans. The bottom curves that run through the front and rear end, together with cambered lower panels, set off the Verano’s sculpted silhouette. Impressive 17-inch, 10-spoke aluminum rims and dual integrated inset exhausts add to the stylish look.

Efficient performance and precise handling

Powering the Verano is a 1.5T SIDI turbocharged engine, which is the most powerful member of GM’s latest-generation Ecotec engine family. It is paired with a new-generation seven-speed DCG transmission with smooth gear shifting that has been adapted for China. The transmission was put through 4.25 million kilometers of extreme road testing.

The Verano offers peak power of 124 kW at 5,600 rpm and peak torque of 250 Nm at 1,700-4,400 rpm. With the standard start-stop function and a class-leading wind drag coefficient as low as 0.27, the Verano’s combined fuel consumption is 6.1L/100 km – a new benchmark for its class.

Underpinning the Verano is a newly optimized chassis that has been tuned in line with China's road conditions to ensure precise handling and an exhilarating experience. Continental MC5 225/45 R17 sports tires with low rolling resistance offer outstanding noise reduction, high precision and a strong grip.

Acceleration of Buick’s mid-range passenger car strategy

The Verano is the latest entry from Buick to address the diverse demands of customers in China’s mid-range passenger car segment. It joins the all-new Excelle GT, which was launched earlier this year, and the Excelle – regarded as the “family car benchmark.”

Buick is China’s fastest-growing mainstream upper-medium passenger car brand. More than 6 million Buicks have been sold nationwide since its first domestically produced sedan reached the market in 1998.

Friday, 17 April 2015

!NEW! April Showers No Match for Buick’s New Convertible

Water tests simulate record rainfall to ensure Cascada’s watertight seal

How does Buick ensure the 2016 Cascada convertible will stay dry when April showers come calling? By making it rain on the assembly line, assuring cloudbursts will be no match for Cascada when it hits dealerships in early 2016.

“Convertibles are best enjoyed when it’s warm and sunny, but Cascada has been designed and engineered to be used year-round, regardless of the weather,” said John Dolch, program quality manager for Cascada. “Not only is Cascada’s top engineered to be weatherproof in extreme conditions, but each and every Cascada built will also be put through a rigorous water test.”

Specialized water test booths, located at the end of Cascada’s assembly line, will allow freshly built cars to roll off the line and into testing. Each booth has no fewer than 124 individual nozzles, which will quickly immerse the Cascada in a miniature rainstorm for 10 minutes.

Each 2016 Buick Cascada built will undergo extensive water testing as part of the production process, ensuring the interior remains watertight in inclement weather.
Each nozzle emits 1.9 gallons of water every minute. Cascada’s test is designed to produce nearly the equivalent of 1.23 inches of rain in a minute, which matches a world record set in Unionville, Md. in 1956.

Additionally, two Cascadas will be randomly selected daily to undergo another water test, known as the “deluge.” While this test is designed to last only eight minutes, each nozzle blasts roughly three gallons of water each minute.

Much like actual rain clouds, Cascada’s water testing booths are also part of a water cycle. While nearly 132,000 gallons of water – or nearly 5,500 full bathtubs – will be used daily, only 1.5 percent of that volume is lost to evaporation. The other 98.5 percent of the water used will be collected, filtered and recycled for use in later tests.

These tests may seem extreme, but they’re especially important given April showers are more than an old proverb. As winter gives way to spring, rain showers are bound to splash cities across the U.S. with more than a little precipitation.

“Typically, April sees weather patterns bring in more moisture from the Gulf, especially in the eastern half of the United States,” said Jim Piro and Allan Reppert, AccuWeather climatology supervisor and meteorologist, respectively. “Rainfall for the spring looks to be wet along much of the East Coast, from New York south into northern Florida, and stretching along the Gulf Coast into eastern Texas.”

Some spring showers may take drivers by surprise on an otherwise sunny day, but Cascada engineers came prepared. Its power-folding top will be fully deployed in as little as 17 seconds, and at speeds up to 31 mph.

Beginning in early 2016, Cascada owners in arid corners of the U.S. may not have to worry about facing those showers, but they may still appreciate the result of these tests.

“Chances are good you’ll still clean the car with a pressure washer, or run it through an automated car wash,” Dolch said. “The same watertight concerns will still apply, even under clear blue skies.”

Thursday, 16 April 2015

!NEW! AutoRAI Amsterdam: Opel ADAM ROCKS S Rocks the Show

  • Eye-catcher: World premiere for sporty Opel mini-crossover
  • Novelties: Opel OnStar, KARL and Corsa OPC celebrate Dutch debut
  • In fast lane: Opel gains market shares in the Netherlands and all of Europe

Dutch debut: Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group, presented the new ADAM ROCKS S during Opel’s press conference at the AutoRAI in Amsterdam.

Show time for the Opel ADAM ROCKS S at the International Amsterdam Motor Show (AutoRAI, public days from April 17 to 26): Opel’s sporty mini-crossover made its world premiere at the show’s opening today. The Rüsselsheim automaker also presented a host of other national premieres, led by the new mobility and service assistant Opel OnStar as well as the new Opel KARL and Corsa OPC models.

“All these new and innovative products once again show that Opel plays a leading role in trendsetting technologies and attractive models at affordable prices,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales and Aftersales of the Opel Group, during the press conference at the Opel stand (Hall 1, stand 01.200). “We want to reinforce Opel as an emotional, approachable and German brand – the ADAM ROCKS S is the best example of an emotional car that embodies state-of-the-art technological innovations and German engineering quality.”

Cute was yesterday – Today is Opel ADAM ROCKS S

Proud moment: Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group, with the latest addition to the ADAM family – Opel ADAM ROCKS S.
At 3.75 meters long with a masculine appearance and 110 kW/150 hp ECOTEC engine, the new ADAM ROCKS S is particularly appealing to customers who want to combine sporty driving and adventure with chic design in an off-road look. The engine delivers 220 Nm torque and is mated to a short ratio six-speed gearbox. The mini-crossover covers the sprint to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds, and needs just 7.9 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h. Top speed is 210 km/h. Driving fun is ensured by the 15 mm lower performance sports chassis, the direct, sporty steering and the high-performance braking system including ESP that can be deactivated. Yet Opel’s sporty new small car makes do with a mere 5.9 liters fuel per 100 km and emits just 139 g/km CO2 in the combined cycle.

Irresistible: 150 hp, 220 Nm of torque and a performance chassis.
Bold: Extended rear bumper cut-out with a visible exhaust tailpipe and a rear spoiler planted on the roof.
Opel also introduced another top athlete in Amsterdam. The new Corsa OPC impresses with its powerful turbocharged engine that pumps out 152 kW/207 hp and develops up to 280 Nm torque. The sporty top-of-the-line Corsa accelerates to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 230 km/h (7.5 l/100 km and 174 g/km CO2 in the combined cycle).

Full of character – Opel KARL

“A car full of character that appeals to both heart and mind – ideal for price-conscious customers who want to combine everyday suitability with comfort and modern technologies.” This is how Peter Christian Küspert introduced the new Opel KARL at its premiere in Amsterdam. Smart shoppers can hardly get more car for their money: City mode for the power steering, heated steering wheel and assistance systems such as Park Assist, Cruise Control with speed limiter, cornering light function and Lane Departure Warning make Opel technologies from upper vehicle classes affordable for everyone in the small car segment. “Or as we say, high-tech for everyone!” summarized Küspert, describing the new model’s benefits in a nutshell. “With KARL, ADAM and Corsa, we now have the strongest small car offer in our history and the youngest portfolio on the market.”

The Opel Vice President of Sales and Aftersales also introduced the new mobility and service assistant Opel OnStar to the Dutch public. “Opel OnStar will turn your car into a powerful, mobile WiFi hotspot. But not only that: Opel OnStar is more than entertainment. It is always there in an emergency and can save lives,” said Küspert. With its market launch in Europe from August, Opel takes the next step forward in vehicle connectivity and reinforces its leadership position in groundbreaking technology solutions.

These are steps that customers appreciate. Peter Christian Küspert: “We are now the fourth-largest automobile manufacturer for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the Netherlands. We were able to increase our market share here in the passenger car segment to 5.77 percent and in the commercial vehicle segment to 7.6 percent. These numbers correspond to Opel’s positive performance in all of Europe last year as well as the first quarter of 2015.”  

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

!NEW! Buick Verano Sports Sedan Named “Wei Lang” in Chinese

Will Make Debut in Shanghai on April 19

Buick Verano sports sedan named “Wei Lang” in Chinese, will make debut in Shanghai on April 19

Shanghai GM today announced that the Verano, Buick’s new-generation sports sedan, has been given the name of “Wei Lang” in Chinese. It will make its debut in Shanghai on April 19, on the eve of Auto Shanghai 2015.

As a new strategic model for the Buick brand, the Verano will offer a refreshing driving experience through its stylish and dynamic exterior, exquisite and comfortable interior, and precise and powerful performance.

The Verano was inspired by the 2013 Buick Riviera concept car and captures the design essence of the Buick Avenir concept car, which debuted at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Verano demonstrates Buick’s insight into the aesthetic preferences of Chinese consumers. It embodies the innovative reimagining of Buick’s classic design elements, exemplifying the elegance and dynamism of Buick’s new-generation products. It is expected to set new benchmarks for performance, safety and comfort in its class.

Like the all-new Excelle GT, which was launched earlier this year, the Verano will serve as a strategic model in Buick’s bid for a stronger presence in China’s mid-range vehicle segment.

All-New Buick Excelle GT

Monday, 13 April 2015

!NEW! American Ambassador Visits Opel Eisenach Plant

  • Plant Director Elvira Tölkes welcomes Ambassador John B. Emerson for informational visit
  • Tour of flexible manufacturing facilities for Opel ADAM and Corsa

Visit to the Eisenach production area: Plant Director Elvira Tölkes, US-Ambassador John B. Emerson and US Consul General Scott R. Riedmann (from left).
The ambassador of the United States of America, John B. Emerson, visited the Opel plant in Eisenach today, where the successful small cars Corsa and ADAM are built. He was welcomed by Plant Director Elvira Tölkes: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to present our modern and extremely flexible plant to the ambassador.”

Meeting in Eisenach: Plant Director Elvira Tölkes, US-Ambassador John B. Emerson and US Consul General Scott R. Riedmann (from left) with the Opel Corsa E.
“I am pleased that General Motors is fully committed to Opel. This is also underscored by the strong economic ties between the USA and Germany. Here in the Eisenach plant, tradition and innovation come together. I was particularly impressed with the seemingly countless possibilities to individualize the vehicles – something like that is only successful with qualified employees and highest precision,” said Emerson, who was accompanied by U.S. Consul General Scott R. Riedmann.

Elvira Tölkes explained to the guests the important role that the Eisenach plant plays in Opel’s small car strategy. “Opel is the only manufacturer that not only developed two small cars in Germany, but that also builds them here. This gives our plant excellent prospects for the future and is also an acknowledgement of the employees who set standards in quality and productivity here in Eisenach.”  Due to high demand, a third shift will be added in Eisenach mid-year, for which more than 400 new employees will be hired.

The vehicles from Eisenach are an important part of Opel’s product offensive: to 2018 the brand will introduce 27 new cars and 17 new engines to the market. Thanks to its renewed portfolio, Opel aims to increase market share in Germany to ten percent by 2022 and to eight percent in Europe. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

!NEW! Two Millionth Vehicle Leaves Opel Plant in Gliwice

The jubilee car is a Holden Cascada Convertible for the Australian market

The two millionth vehicle: Holden Cascada Convertible for the Australian market
Today, the two millionth vehicle rolled off the production line at the Opel plant in Gliwice (GM Manufacturing Poland). This unique car is a Holden Cascada with a turbocharged 1.6 liter SIDI engine with 170 hp. The elegant convertible in Deep Sky Blue is intended for the Australian market.

 Holden Cascada with a turbocharged 1.6 liter SIDI engine with 170 hp. The elegant convertible in Deep Sky Blue
The production of Holden Astras and Cascadas for Australia and New Zealand started in the Gliwice plant in February of this year and is a part of the recently announced strategy to strengthen the cooperation between Opel and other GM brands. 

The production of Holden Astras and Cascadas for Australia and New Zealand started in the Gliwice plant in February of this year
In addition, at the end of the year the production of the Buick Cascada, designed for the North American market, will begin.

New Buick Cascada convertible
"The two millionth car produced by Opel in Gliwice is the symbolic opening of the next phase of development of our plant, which will be complemented by the launch of the new generation Opel Astra later this year. We are a very well integrated and experienced team, and that help us achieve our goal of producing world-class vehicles," said , GM Manufacturing Poland managing director.

The two millionth car of the Gliwice plant represents the comprehensive experience and flexibility of the local team, while currently produces five models on one assembly line. The first car, the Opel Astra Classic, was produced in Gliwice on August 31, 1998.

Over the years, the Gliwice team has built an excellent reputation by assembling high-quality cars including the small city car Opel Agila, four generations of the compact Astra and the Zafira compact MPV. Currently, the plant produces the elegant Cascada and compact Astra in four body versions.

The Opel factory in Gliwice is one of the largest employers in the region. For over 16 years, it has been producing cars for various markets in Europe, Africa, North America, Asia and Oceania and it is one of the largest exporters in Poland. The plant is also one of the best GM plants in terms of the energy consumption thanks to its successful environmental projects focused on the optimization of the energy management.

Opel is one of the fastest growing brands in Poland. In 2014, the brand sold more than 28,000 vehicles in the country (+41 percent) and was able to rise to number four of the Total vehicle market with a market share of nearly 7.2 percent. The upward trend continued this year: In the first quarter of 2015, sales increased by 23 percent and market share by 1.7 percentage points, compared to the same period last year.

Opel Cascada is a 4.70 meter-long, elegant mid-size class convertible. A classic four-seater with an elongated silhouette and sophisticated soft-top.
The Cascada is a 4.70 meter-long, elegant mid-size class convertible. A classic four-seater with an elongated silhouette and sophisticated soft-top, it offers open-air driving fun in premium quality at a very attractive price. The Cascada’s electric soft-top can be opened at the press of a button at driving speeds up to 50 km/h in just 17 seconds – or also via remote control when the car is stationary. Best Opel chassis technology is featured as standard on the Cascada’s front axle with HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) suspension, guaranteeing driving fun and superb traction.

Opel Cascada, HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) suspension