Saab 9-4X Crossover comes to U.S. showrooms

Saab's all-new 9-4X crossover debuted last year at the L.A. Auto Show, and now it is rolling into U.S. showrooms.

Developed with former owner General Motors, the 9-4X crossover was just awarded Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Saab, now owned by the Dutch sports car maker Spyker, said that the first 9-4X was purchased last weekend at Saab North Olmstead in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Before even driving it off the lot, I put my butt into the seat, looked around and bought it on the spot," Martin Reuben, Ohio resident, and … Read more

2011 Chevrolet Caprice police patrol vehicles roll into Georgia and Iowa

Law enforcement officers in Forsyth County, Ga., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are keeping the peace in the 2011 Chevrolet Caprice police patrol vehicle (PPV), General Motors said in a press release.

"With its emphasis on the ergonomically designed seats for officer comfort, and enhanced safety features, the Caprice is a vehicle that is made for police work," said Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton, who chose the Caprice PPV as a replacement vehicle to older fleet cruisers. "We've had our vehicles for a month, and we're sold. This will be a worthwhile investment," Paxton added.… Read more

New GM cars for sale, auto insurance included

In addition to airbags, satellite radio, and OnStar, some new GM vehicles will also come with free auto insurance for one year.

GM vehicle sales increased dramatically this year, but they're still sluggish in Washington and Oregon. To give sales in the Pacific Northwest a boost, the auto manufacturer is offering a year's worth of free auto insurance from MetLife Auto & Home as an incentive to car buyers in Washington and Oregon.

The new offer will apply to any new 2010, 2011, or 2012 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac car, truck, or crossover purchased or leased between … Read more

2012 Cruze to get flash nav

The 2012 Chevy Cruze won't be out for months yet, but already gleaned an option sheet from GM that shows the available navigation in the 2LT trim version going from the current hard-drive-based system to one with maps stored in flash memory, specifically an SD card. As such, the price of this option drops to $995.

The navigation change suggests the possibility of the 2012 Cruze getting Chevy's new MyLink system, which combines voice command with Bluetooth phone and MP3 player integration, and adds app integration for Pandora and Stitcher. MyLink has so far only been … Read more

Rumor: Caddy to reveal voice-activated infotainment system

Cadillac will reveal a new infotainment system, and it's not just IntelliLink rebadged with a couple of cosmetic changes, according to automotive blog GMAuthority.

Chevrolet and Buick are starting to implement their new infotainment platforms in vehicles, but Cadillac's future communications system is still tightly under wraps. But not for long. The performance brand will soon introduce its new technology offering for its 2013 models, according to the blog's news source.

To date, the technology Cadillac is best known for is found under the hood--not on the dash. BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are rapidly integrating more technology … Read more

Sprint VP on machines talking to machines (podcast)

Sprint invited media to visit its "M2M Collaboration Center" in Burlingame, Calif., to show off how the company's network is being used to enable machines to talk with other machines.

Among the applications for M2M are ATMs that can be put anywhere there's an electrical outlet (or solar energy source) and bathroom scales that use the network to transmit your weight to a loved one or health practitioner. There are a lot of M2M applications for security ranging from 4G-connected cameras to alarm systems connected to Sprint's older and slower 2G network. One innovative though … Read more

Will Mazda pull a NUMMI in Flat Rock?

TOKYO--It has been a tough run for U.S.-Japan joint automaking ventures in North America.

They once were hailed as learning labs where ailing Detroit manufacturers could assimilate the wisdom of the East. But in recent years they have crumbled under financial stress and shifting alliances.

In 2009, General Motors walked out on its 25-year-old joint venture with Toyota, New United Motor Manufacturing, in Fremont, Calif. Later that year, Suzuki bailed on its CAMI joint plant with GM in Canada.

Now Mazda Motor seems poised to pull out of its longtime manufacturing partnership with Ford.

At issue is the … Read more

GM, Kleiner Perkins bet on electric bus maker

General Motors isn't in the business of city buses, but an investment announced today in electric bus maker Proterra opens up the possibility

Proterra said that GM Ventures and venture capital company Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers have put $30 million into the Golden, Colo.-based start-up. Kleiner, Perkins led the round, which also brought money from Japanese industrial conglomerate Mitsui, Vision Ridge Partners, and 88 Green Ventures.

The investment will allow Proterra to further develop and market its all-electric bus, which the company has designed as a replacement for typical diesel municipal transit buses. The buses are already … Read more

GM offers lower-priced 2012 Chevy Volt

General Motors said today that dealers in all 50 states can take orders for the 2012 Chevy Volt, which will come in a model priced just below $40,000.

The plug-in hybrid Volt is now available in six different models, rather than three, with the lowest listed at $39,995, or about $1,000 less than the 2011 price. The high-end model with leather, backup camera, navigation system, and other features is $46,265. Prices include the destination fee but not other taxes and fees.

Buyers can benefit from a federal tax credit of $7,500 for plug-in vehicles with … Read more

GM may test EN-V in Detroit

General Motors is eyeing its hometown of Detroit [as a place] to test its so-called EN-V personal mobility concept.

In a speech last week to Michigan business and civic leaders, GM North America President Mark Reuss called Detroit a "perfect" spot to test the futuristic machines.

EN-V, which stands for Electric Networked Vehicle, is GM's answer to improving transportation systems in congestion-choked cities such as Beijing. The EN-V was unveiled in 2010 at the Shanghai auto show. It is a battery-powered, enclosed two-wheeled vehicle that seats two, based on the two-wheeled Segway scooter. It reaches speeds of … Read more