GM to kill Chevrolet Volt, Cruze, Impala as Americans ditch passenger cars

From USA Today

GM to kill Chevrolet Volt, Cruze, Impala as Americans ditch passenger cars

General Motors will close three assembly plants by the end of 2019, and lay off up to 5,600 workers. USA TODAY, USA TODAY


(Photo: Jim Fets Photography, GM via AP)

General Motors is killing several passenger cars, including the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Cruze, two compact vehicles that were held up as examples of the automaker’s post-bankruptcy revival.

The move — part of a sweeping cost-cutting plan unveiled Monday — comes as Americans are abandoning passenger cars in favor of crossovers, SUVs and pickups.

The automaker will no longer make the Volt semi-electric car and the Cruze compact sedan for sale in North America beginning in March, Chevy spokesman Kevin Kelly confirmed.

GM will also discontinue the Chevrolet Impala full-size car, the company confirmed. It will end U.S. production in March and Canadian production in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Kelly declined to say whether the company would sell any of those products in markets outside North America.

The company will also end U.S. sales of the Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse luxury cars after production ends in March. And the Cadillac CT6 will be killed off in the U.S. after mid-2019, though it will continue to be sold in China.

General Motors announced plans to close three assembly plants, one each in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario before the end of 2019. Wochit

The moves are part of a sweeping $6 billion cost-cutting plan announced Monday. GM is poised to close plants in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Canada, and cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce.

The Volt’s demise comes about 10 years after the semi-electric vehicle’s production model debuted. The automaker trumpeted the Volt for years as a symbol of its alternative propulsion expertise, but the company has since pivoted toward building fully battery-powered cars. The Volt still had a small gas engine paired with its battery pack.

Mike Ramsey, mobility and transportation analyst for Gartner, said the Volt was “a beautiful design” and a sensible solution for its time. But he said pure battery-powered cars are ultimately a better solution than plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, like the Volt, which compromise on battery range to make way for a small gas engine.

“The only one that really surprises me is the volt and even then I understand the rationale,” Ramsey said. “They’re basically saying that halfway doesn’t work — we’re going all the way.”

Like the Volt, the Cruze was also described for years as an illustration of GM’s recovery after its federal bailout and bankruptcy. GM’s decision to locate Cruze production in Ohio breathed new life into the Lordstown plant and was hailed by President Barack Obama’s administration as reflective of the auto industry’s revival.

Read the full story here.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
November 27, 2018 10:04 pm

Americans are not ditching passenger cars. They are ditching low quality cars since they are so costly. GM is ditching passenger cars to higher profit off of trucks, which are protected by import duties. But, they are going to be sold to companies, as not many people have $75,000 for a truck and don’t want to park it all the time to stay under 15,000 miles a year lease agreement. So leasing makes them worthless, and buying is unaffordable.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
November 28, 2018 1:32 am

“not many people have $75,000 for a truck”

You don’t need $75K for a truck. You can get pickup trucks as low as $20K if you are willing to live with the small cab and a very basic trim/options package. I paid less than $50K after taxes for my 2015 Ford F150.

Reply to  MattS
November 28, 2018 9:35 am

I have no idea of the relative fuel economy of the vehicles mentioned in this article.

Presumably if the US had to pay the exorbitant fuel costs paid in say Europe and Australia then GM would use a different set of criteria regarding which vehicles to build. If fuel prices should soar for whatever reason, has GM still the ability to build more efficient models?

Reply to  tonyb
November 28, 2018 7:49 pm

There’s very little difference in fuel economy between my SUV and the sedan it’s based on. In fact, it gets about the same fuel economy around town as the last generation of Honda Civics (I believe the new generation with the CVT and turbo engine do better). The only real problem is that it’s taller and therefore headwinds or high-speed driving can hit the fuel economy pretty hard, but I often get 40-45 mpg (Canadian) on a highway drive.

And the guy who drove one at 120mph on the autobahn got about the same fuel economy as my late 1980s European sedan did at the same speed (about 16mpg).

Yeah, if the US government imposed insane European-style fuel taxes, you’d see some people who didn’t really need a truck switch down to an SUV, but you’re not going to see a big shift from SUVs back to sedans.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Donald Kasper
November 28, 2018 8:01 am

Sedans are what is dying in popularity. “Crossovers” have a lot to do with it.

spalding craft
Reply to  Donald Kasper
November 29, 2018 7:32 pm

I agree with the first comment, by Mr. Kasper. The passenger car market is declining but particularly the market for American cars. They are of poor quality and have been run out of the market by the Asians. You don’t see Toyota and Hyundai cancelling passenger cars. Americans know value when they see it and are more than happy to buy an Asian or European car.

This leaves trucks and SUVs. I don’t know much about the quality of American trucks but my guess is the Asians will dominate this market when they decide to concentrate on it. SUVs may be a fair fight but I wouldn’t bet on it.

It’s really unfortunate. The American car industry was protected too long and globalization has about killed it. If you can’t compete….

And I wish Trump would leave General Motors alone. He made some foolish promises to save manufacturing jobs and that’s simply not going to work out. So Trump is angry with GM and, in typical form, Trump is threatening to punish them further. GM is doing the responsible thing and Trump has no business trying to second-guess their decisions.

November 27, 2018 10:08 pm

The GM planners are deranged. Electric only cars have no useful purpose and cannot sell outside of NY city. All electric cars should be called Metro Cars, because that is all they are good for, downtown metro of 4 big US urban cities.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
November 27, 2018 11:50 pm

Exactly right. The demand for electric cars is miniscule.

When the government has to pay you to buy a favoured product, you can be sure its going to suck.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Klem
November 28, 2018 3:53 am

“The GM planners are deranged.”
It wasn’t relabeled Government Motors just because of the Government Bailout. It principally got it new moniker because it is run by a bunch of bureaucrats to appease their fellow bureaucrats.

Russ R.
Reply to  Donald Kasper
November 28, 2018 11:45 am

The main drawback to “Metro Cars” is the majority of people living in cities do not have a garage. No garage means parking in an alley or a street.
How convenient is it to run an extension cord out to your car?
And many cities prohibit parking on the street during winter, so the streets can be plowed. How many of those folks are going to buy an electric car?
You might as well draw a line at the Mason-Dixon, and plan for full-electric as a niche product North of the line.

John Hardy
Reply to  Donald Kasper
November 28, 2018 2:31 pm

No demand?? In August Tesla sold 17,000 Model 3s versus about 4,000 for the next best selling luxury Sedan (Merc C class).

GM just can’t do electric right.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  John Hardy
December 3, 2018 9:28 am

Tesla sold 17000 but how many cars did Tesla actually make. Tesla has made a business of selling cars they don’t have but might have in the future. Not a company I would do business with.

November 27, 2018 10:13 pm

I am suprized at the end of the Volta. It seemed to be a combination of the best to power a car, electric for the inner city traffic, plus the IC motor for long distant travel.


Walter Sobchak
Reply to  M.J.ELLIOTT
November 27, 2018 10:31 pm

Very expensive, even with government subsidies and little interior room,, even in comparison to the Cruze which is built on the same platform.

Besides gas is less than $2.50/gal ($0.66/l).

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 28, 2018 5:54 am

You would think the Volt would make sense in Quebec where electricity is cheap (9 cents/kWh) and gas is not ($1.20/litre), but even with the $7000 government incentive, you can’t make an economic case.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Trebla
November 28, 2018 7:44 am

Quebec is not big enough or rich enough to provide a market for a car.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 28, 2018 7:53 pm

It’s also rather cold for much of the year, where batteries don’t work so good.

spalding craft
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 29, 2018 7:38 pm

I agree with Mr. Sobchak. I’ve always thought that hybrids are a fine practical solution for the American marketplace. But only the Asians can sell them at a competitive price point. Just look at the success of the Prius. But I guess as long as gas is cheap hybrids will have a limited market.

Keith Rowe
November 27, 2018 10:23 pm

Not surprised after Ford announcement. Getting out of cars makes sense, they don’t make much money on them and they have to pay their competitors for carbon credits. It’s a lose lose of GM and Ford. Stick to trucks and SUVs, they make more money and don’t have to pay for carbon credits.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Keith Rowe
November 28, 2018 7:54 am

What you are saying is that government regulations are killing the passenger car because of carbon credits? If so that’s or course the opposite effect intended.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Joe Crawford
November 28, 2018 1:39 pm

Governments are experts at getting the wrong outcome for their schemes.

Walter Sobchak
November 27, 2018 10:27 pm

Ford is doing the same thing. Honda has suffered from a collapse in the sales of the Accord and Civic although they have not announced plans to discontinue either.

It makes me sad that the sedan is going away. I have always driven a sedan. I love my 2014 V6 Accord. I don’t know what I would replace it with. Maybe the Acura TL.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 27, 2018 11:25 pm

I never understood why anyone would own a sedan when they could own an SUV or similar. Much more practical, much more space, and room to haul stuff around. Station wagons were the compromise vehicle years ago.

Larry Geiger
Reply to  greg
November 28, 2018 5:55 am

My wife has a Nissan Altima sedan. She tried the Murano and the Rogue. She couldn’t see out the back or sides. These “SUVs” and “Crossovers” have huge blind spots. That’s why they keep adding cameras and side detection and such. It’s ridiculous. The side windows and back window are almost useless when changing lanes or at intersections. Almost all “SUVs” now have little squinty windows all around. What’s up with that?

Reply to  Larry Geiger
November 28, 2018 8:50 pm

“Almost all “SUVs” now have little squinty windows all around. What’s up with that?”

Crash safety, I believe. More metal around the passengers and less glass.

Subaru are one of the few who still have windows you can see out of. It’s one of their selling points.

But sedans aren’t much better: many of them look like 50s hot-rods with lowered roofs these days. We had to pass on several cars when we were last looking to buy one because my girlfriend just couldn’t see out of them.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  greg
November 28, 2018 7:48 am

Cause I don’t want to have to pull out a ladder to climb up into my car. And, more importantly, the sedan’s lower center of gravity and lesser mass give it superior handling and acceleration. If I need to haul that much stuff, I use my wife’s SUV. But, driving it is like a diet of cottage cheese.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 28, 2018 7:57 pm

“Cause I don’t want to have to pull out a ladder to climb up into my car.”

One of the things old farts like about my SUV is that the seats are at butt height, so they don’t have to hunch up to get in, they just slide on and off the seats.

Yeah, handling isn’t so great, but we don’t really do corners around here. When you spend most of your time on city streets or highways that are straight for a hundred miles at a time, cornering doesn’t really matter to most people.

Michael 2
Reply to  MarkG
November 30, 2018 2:21 pm

Agreed with the appropriate size thing. When I get into a Toyota Corolla I have to go head first until my head is all the way over the passenger seat, then do a twisty thing to get seated and get my legs inside. Once inside, I love the Toyota and it drives wonderfully well and gets terrific mileage, but getting in and out is an ordeal.

John Endicott
Reply to  greg
November 28, 2018 8:09 am

Because greg, not everyone want or needs an SUV.

Don Jindra
Reply to  greg
November 28, 2018 5:30 pm

I used to own a van. Too big. Too much maintenance. I’ll stick with my old car.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 27, 2018 11:38 pm

Sedans will return when fuel prices rise again. It’s a simple as that.

Reply to  Klem
November 28, 2018 5:26 am

Yup, SUVs the size of a house are nuts.

When gas returns to the higher price range smaller cars will be back.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Mardler
November 28, 2018 8:04 am

Things are cyclical. Station wagons died and hatchbacks lost popularity…now both are back (although wagons are very much under the guise of “crossovers”).

You don’t need a huge SUV. So many small SUV options that get decent mileage.

John Carpenter
Reply to  Klem
November 28, 2018 7:31 am

Yes they will. History has shown the auto market responds to fuel price fluctuations up and down.

I remember the press going on and on about the end of the convertible in the late 1970s. Same thing. Nothing changes.

Reply to  Klem
November 28, 2018 10:23 pm

GM and Ford are setting them selves up for bankruptcy. When fuel prices go up as they did 2007 and 2008 people will sell their trucks and SUV and buy cars. And if GM and Ford don’t have an attractive car option they will loose customers to their competitors.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 28, 2018 10:27 am

have had many ford crown vics / mercury grand marquis over the last 30 years.
right now driving 2010 grand marquis, know these full frame cars can lat 18 years.
got 19 out of my 97 crown vic.
can tow trailer with 2K lbs load inside it easily.
so in next decade will have to buy truck I guess AND a small suv JUST to replace capabilities the full frame vehicle gave me.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  dmacleo
November 28, 2018 3:24 pm

“have had many ford crown vics / mercury grand marquis over the last 30 years.”

Those are great cars. I’ve had a few myself.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 29, 2018 2:44 pm

that full frame makes it so rust repair can be done easily too, and it will protect the driver in a 70mph rear end collision.
unibody and the foolish aluminum frames for trucks that are used now are just foolish.

November 27, 2018 11:12 pm

At least the Camaro and Corvette aren’t on the chopping block.

Ron Long
Reply to  STRICQ
November 28, 2018 2:04 am

Go, STRICQ, go! Suck down that carbon-based fuel and light the tires on fire! Those electric cars are full of Vegans anyway. CTM, I am not being sarcastic.

November 27, 2018 11:22 pm

Never mind, I am sure the “Market” will respond as it has done before. Remember the 1960 tee with the very large car s in the USA. The USA firms said that they could not make small cars, and make a profit. then along came imports and the people liked them. Soon afterwards the USA firms re-entered the small car market, suprise, suprise.


Reply to  Michael
November 28, 2018 5:25 am

…..And they have yet to fully recover from that–and later — misreadings of “the market”, the actual American car buyers/drivers. Seppuku that is drawn out over more than a half-century becomes a really ugly process before it reaches the grand finale.

November 27, 2018 11:24 pm

Never mind, I am sure the “Market” will respond as it has done before. Remember the 1960 tee with the very large car s in the USA. The USA firms said that they could not make small cars, and make a profit. then along came imports and the people liked them. Soon afterwards the USA firms soon made smaller cars , suprise, suprise.


November 27, 2018 11:39 pm

GM had to drink the cool aid and was ‘pushed’ by the Climate Change Mafia into hybrid and electric vehicles to get through the restructuring. Hybrids were probably a necessary evil on the learning curve to fully electric vehicles.

I think they are right, the design of those vehicles is obsolete. With today’s CAD software it’s easier to just start over. They’ll incorporate more aluminum and carbon fiber, and hopefully lean production to minimize waste and inventory.

The only problem is that GM doesn’t really have any electric vehicles except the Bolt. So their announcement seems premature.

Reply to  Greg
November 28, 2018 8:59 am

Not really. This has to do with Chevy and Cadillac sales, not EV sales.

In the third quarter, Tesla sales were nearly 84,000 units, up drastically from prior quarters and prior years. Tesla’s sales have been limited by production capacity, not customer demand. The Tesla EVs, despite being more expensive, outsold the Chevy Volt by more than 12 to 1 through the first three quarters of this year. It outsold the very cheap Chevy Cruze by more than 3 to 1.

The Tesla is a great vehicle, the Chevy Volt, not

The other big factor driving GM to close plants is the effect of Trump’s steel import sanctions, which raised GM’s materials costs to build any car by nearly a billion dollars.

November 28, 2018 12:10 am

We “Got yer Money, (GM), now F/O.”

If I’m reading their actions correctly.

Reply to  tweak
November 28, 2018 12:11 am

GM, American Paid.

November 28, 2018 12:40 am

They could be lying about their true intentions. They might not actually believe that the future is electric, self driving cars.

If they actually intend to bet the farm on electric, I am reminded of Nortel. It had a visionary CEO who had a vision of the future. He led the company to one of the most spectacular crash and burns in history.

Someone bitterly noted that America and Canada had bailed GM out when it was facing oblivion. Now it’s closing plants in America and Canada but not Mexico. How much did Mexico contribute to the bail out? Zero.

Can we really blame all those job losses on CO2 and mileage regulations? If that’s the case, people should know.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  commieBob
November 28, 2018 3:03 am

Something similar happened to the General Electric Company in the UK. Mainly two divisions defences and telecommunications, the young dynamic management decided that dotcom market was the way to go and sold the the defence arm to British Aerospace and when the dotcom bubble burst so did the telecom company which had by then become Marconi.

November 28, 2018 1:29 am

“They’re basically saying that halfway doesn’t work — we’re going all the way.”

What? Tell Toyota that and they’ll laugh.

Reply to  WXcycles
November 28, 2018 1:47 am

“What? Tell Toyota that and they’ll laugh.”

No, they won’t be laughing.

Prius sales have dropped drastically. Sales across the entire Prius family in 2017 were down over 50% from their high point in 2012. And Prius sales YTD for 2018 are running significantly behind 2017.

Roger Knights
Reply to  MattS
November 28, 2018 2:08 am

Toyota’s new hybrid RAV4 is making waves:

“Let’s get straight to the point: When it comes to relevant market significance in the automotive industry – market size as well as growth – it could hardly get any more important than bringing to market an all-wheel drive SUV that can deliver 39 miles per gallon on average.

“Why? Because what the U.S. consumer – and indeed many people all over the world – want is an all-wheel drive SUV that’s rugged, but also very fuel efficient.

“That’s what Toyota (TM) is doing with the all-new $28,745 (and up) RAV4 hybrid, which arrives in U.S. dealerships in March 2019. For only $800 more than an equivalent non-hybrid all-wheel drive RAV4, you get a bump in average fuel economy from 29 MPG to 39 MPG: All-New 2019 Toyota RAV4 Breaks the Mold for the Segment It Created.

“Mind you, this is not some little eco-box. This is a spacious all-wheel drive SUV with which you can tow and go off road.”

Reply to  Roger Knights
November 28, 2018 2:56 am

“This is a spacious all-wheel drive SUV with which you can tow and go off road.”

Off road maybe. Towing, I ‘m not buying it. Full specs for the 2019 don’t seem to be available. However, for the 2018 RAV4 Hybrid, it comes in an SE and a Limited. The tow capacity on the SE is 0 and the Limited is only 1750 pounds.

All but the smallest of two person only campers would easily exceed this.

Compare it against the 9000 pound tow capacity of my F150.

Reply to  MattS
November 28, 2018 3:12 am

“Toyota’s new hybrid RAV4 is making waves:”

I can’t find year by year stales numbers that separate the RAV4 hybrid from the regular RAV4, but the few mentions of RAV4 Hybrid sales numbers I have been able to find have not been enough to make up for the loses in Prius sales.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Roger Knights
November 28, 2018 7:55 am

At $2.20/gal. no one cares.

Roger Knights
Reply to  MattS
November 28, 2018 7:10 am

Toyota sells other hybrids than the Priuses, and sales of those have been growing.

“Prius Sales Are Falling, But Other Toyota Hybrid Models Are Witnessing Strong Sales” Jul. 9, 2018 4:52 P.M. ET

“Toyota sold record 1.52 million hybrids in 2017
That’s three years ahead of its goal.”

Google search-results for “annual sales of all Toyota hybrids”:

Adam Gallon
November 28, 2018 2:18 am

Americans getting too fat to fit in anything smaller than a lorry?

Reply to  Adam Gallon
November 28, 2018 6:22 am

No. There are plenty of “small” Americans, plenty who would prefer a sedan. GM’s move isn’t a response to fat people. It’s a reflection of the market (Tesla, to name one market influencer), constraints, and the egos of GM’s executive management. That said, the price of American pickups– “pickup lorries” for my European, Australian, and Kiwi brethren– has dropped considerably in the last 5 to 10 years. While I don’t see something like the Chevy Colorado being around much more than maybe another decade*, it is an example of Chevrolet’s push into the lower priced pick-up market. Same with GM’s Canyon and, to some extent, Ford’s trimmed back F-150.

(* I say this because I think Ford has a better model– just gut the F-150 and sell that for $30,000 to $40,000, then make $100,000 family-friendly trucks.)

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Adam Gallon
November 28, 2018 7:58 am

I was in England driving about the countryside a few months ago, and half the vehicles trying to run me off the road or blow by me on a blind curve were Land Rovers.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 29, 2018 6:38 pm

I was not aware Land Rovers were being made anymore.

spalding craft
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
November 30, 2018 4:34 am

I think he meant Range Rover.

November 28, 2018 2:30 am

So much depends on price of gas and tax rebate for EV.

With gas above $4 and a EV rebate it makes sense to buy plug in hybrid. I see now SUV and minivan plug in hybrids that get 3O to 40 miles on a charge.

Also crucial to the equation is how long do the battery’s and gas engine last, as well as how long do you plan to own the car.

kent beuchert
November 28, 2018 2:56 am

The raison d’etre for the VOLT was rhe high price for batteries and the fact that most drivers put relatively
little mileage on their daily driving. Obviously, building a car with two drivetrains is inherently not cost effective and makes for a very complicated vehicle. Once the all-electric Chevy Bolt appeared,it was only a matter of time before the Volt’s production would end.

Reply to  kent beuchert
November 28, 2018 8:50 am

Did the Volt have two drive trains? I thought it had a purely electric drive train with the motor being nothing more than a generator. It was never referred to as a hybrid (which do have two drive trains), but an extended range EV. I liked the concept, but it was so stupidly expensive that I can see why it didn’t sell.

Personally, I would have thought the best option is no drive train at all – four electric motors one on each wheel with a central battery/generator would be a much better option. I am sure there are engineering issues and it would entail a radically different chassis design, but with control systems as they are I can see this as a viable option. Honda’s Insight used to have in-hub electric motors for the rear wheels so that part of the technology already exists.

Steven F
Reply to  Rob
November 28, 2018 10:41 pm

Actually the volt has a 2 speed transmission and the capability to connect the gas engine to the wheels. When it is more efficient to do so the gas engine connects to the wheels through the transmission.

I own a volt. At one point I went 5 months without consuming any gas. I drove to and from work and ran errands around town. I only use gas when I am on vacation and leave town.

November 28, 2018 3:44 am

President Trump’s reply is very revealing :
Subsidies will be cut , and for e-cars, after the Gov’t rescue, and their bet on foreign manufacturing will not pay off.

November 28, 2018 4:55 am

I bought a 2013 Cruze new and it was a great car. 34-36 mpg on my daily 70 mile commute and only did oil changes about every 5000 miles. Loved that car, it was great !!
120,000 miles 04/2018 when I was rear ended and the car was totaled.
In 2016 we were looking to replace my wife’s 2003 trailblazer, we checked out that year’s Cruze. CRAP !!! they completely redesigned it and it was garbage.

November 28, 2018 5:22 am

You are missing the bigger picture. Because of all the caterwauling by environs and their minions, people say they believe in the CAGW theory. Yet, what do their actions show? That they don’t really believe in it at all. GM is just shifting to meet demand, and people are demanding vehicles the greens hate.

Carbon Bigfoot
November 28, 2018 5:38 am

I owned a 59, 65 and 73 Impalas, They were FULL SIZED CARS. The reason the current model hasn’t sold is that it won’t allow our FAT Americans to fit in it!! FULL SIZE MATTERS. By the way my MBI is under 30.

November 28, 2018 5:57 am

I seem to be a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to car shopping. I’m not crazy about an SUV, as it’s a lot of vehicle to move when not filled with passengers and/or stuff. I’m suspicious of turbo-charged engines, as they seem overly stressed and complex, much like those 8- or 9-speeds automatic transmissions. (Or the CVT transmissions, ie: “continuously annoying transmissions”). My preferred vehicle is a mid-sized sports coupe with a stick-shift, but they are getting hard to find.

November 28, 2018 6:04 am

“Americans ditch passenger cars”

It might be more accurate to say “Americans ditch American-made passenger cars”. IMO American auto engineers just don’t get it. I recently shopped small cars and was impressed by the interior space and ergonomics of all Asian-made cars. The Ford Fiesta and Focus made me feel cramped and uncomfortable. They just don’t get it. Apart from trucks, I won’t buy an American car.

Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2018 7:28 am

It’s a very minor thing. However I’m annoyed by vent controls that automatically turn on the AC whenever I set the vent to blow on the windows.
If I need the AC to dry the windows, I’ll turn it on. Most of the time I don’t.
Every American car I’ve driven does this. None of the Japanese ones I’ve driven do this.

Reply to  MarkW
November 28, 2018 7:55 am

My Honda did that. I had to google how to disable it, which was to disconnect a switch that activated when the dial was in defrost position.

Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2018 7:31 am

The Chevy Cruze is beautiful, even for the taller. The asian cars are for the not-so-tall. The Nissan X-trail classic beautiful, although that is luck considering what CEO Gosn did to quality in the name of austerity while profligately guzzling at the company trough.

Reply to  icisil
November 29, 2018 5:48 am

Yes. Translation: Hyundai and Toyota are eating our lunch, so we decided to just let ’em have the whole thing. ☹️

My guess is that when they decided to ditch the Impala they no longer needed the Volt to meet their fleet fuel economy standard (CAFE) requirements.

November 28, 2018 6:09 am

‘The move comes as Americans are abandoning passenger cars in favor of crossovers, SUVs and pickups.’

Government meddling in the marketplace has led to the public’s changing interest in product. Quite appropriate that Government Motors is stung.

Ford announced change in product line earlier in the year.

A key driver is CAFE. Customers are forced to go to truck based platforms to get the utility they want. The ironing is that government mandate to reduce fuel consumption is going to increase it.

John Endicott
Reply to  Gamecock
November 28, 2018 8:20 am

Indeed. It’s the CAFE standards that lead to the creation of the SUV. the once popular station wagon was classified as a car and thus subject to the higher MPG fleet targets under the CAFE rules. Auto manufactures found it difficult to produce stations wagons that met those targets at a price point consumers would pay. SUV’s on the other hand get classified as a light truck and thus subjected to a lower MPG fleet target under the CAFE rules and fills the market niche that the station wagon once occupied. Similarly, crossovers are not considered cars under CAFE rules and thus also fall within the lower targets for “light trucks”, is it any wonder manufacturers prefer making them to making standard cars?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gamecock
November 28, 2018 8:49 am

Crew cab PU’s, of any size, meet most any need. Econo-boxes are OK for highly urbanized areas. Unless you have a personal charging station, EV’s don’t work.

November 28, 2018 6:41 am

My love of historic cars are from the engineering and styling aspects. I can’t stand and will not buy modern crossover type suvs. They are just butt ugly! All of them. Most have a useless back seat that anybody over ten years old can’t fit in. Then between the back seat and the rear hatch there is an equally useless about a two foot cargo area.

Most are not built on a frame. They are unibody. In fact, most are nothing more than a narrow compact car/ compact mini van that is tall and boasts all wheel drive. The only mid sized and smaller SUV that is still built on a frame is the Toyoda Four Runner. Still butt ugly, but at least it’s built on a frame and is not a glorified mini van. Or maybe it is? Moreover, the mid sized SUVs and cross overs get about 30% less MPG than the comparable sedan that is not tall and narrow and only has front wheel drive. My dad’s 04 Buick gets 33mpg on the highway.

Front wheel drive with decent tires will get you through most winter driving situations just fine. If it’s worse than what front wheel drive can handle you should probably not be driving in it even with four wheel drive.

Nope, give me a Classic, that I will rebuild myself, Mustang any day. Good looking car! Or maybe a 67 Buick Le Sabre for large sedan needs. For my 4×4 truck needs, and I do have such needs and must pull a horse trailer, it will be a used full sized truck, with four doors and full sized back seat, and turbo diesel powered, thank you.

BTW, I do not feel any guilt about diesel exhaust, or from beneficial co2 emissions from large internal combustion engines whatsoever.

November 28, 2018 6:46 am

This is interesting. I don’t own a car any more, but rent one on an as-needed basis and that gives me a chance to drive everything from the econobox with midget cargo space, to a Cheesy Impala sedan (most recent) and if I have a choice in buying (not just yet), I’d go right back to my Escape SUV. I am unimpressed by the electric crossover business, and not all of these critters get good mileage, nor do they have full-size gas tanks. My neighbor bought a Hyundai SUV last year and says he now wishes he’d bought a Honda instead.
I’m getting a chance to test drive everything, and some of the changes are good – better mileage – but some of them are absolute crap. A car is supposed to be a means of transportation, not an entertainment center. Maybe we’ll get back to basics some day and realize that vehicles are like horses and buggies – transportation and cargo hauling.

Reply to  Sara
November 28, 2018 3:51 pm

“A car is supposed to be a means of transportation, not an entertainment center.”

Au contraire. My Shelby GT350 is supreme entertainment. Every time I drive it is an EVENT!

November 28, 2018 6:59 am

I’m going to miss all the GM cars and utility vans with large swaths of paint falling off. My own vehicle purchase strategies were confirmed each time I saw these mobile ads for poor quality around town. I guess I’ll have to switch to watching smashed up Priuses and Leafs that can’t be repaired for insurance purposes due to the specialized panels on those vehicles. Honda fired it’s chronic cheater CEO that skipped on paint quality and lied about MPG so I guess they are returning to normal. VW cheaters will have to move to electric cheating now in a move away from diesel cheating.

November 28, 2018 7:22 am

The article mentions that the unions are going to fight against these closings.
Thus revealing why GM is in so much financial trouble in the first place.

Reply to  MarkW
November 29, 2018 6:52 pm


November 28, 2018 7:31 am

Manufacturers have been removing practicality, utility and capability from passenger cars for years. Today they are more difficult to get in and out, the interiors are like cockpits and trunk openings are too small to make the trunks usable. Plus they all look laike due to ‘coupe like’ styling. No wonder people are buying pickups, SUVs and CUVs.

Reply to  Myron
November 28, 2018 12:22 pm

You can thank rising CAFE standards for the ever smaller passenger cars.

al in kansas
November 28, 2018 7:49 am

I will have to disagree with the comment about blind spots. 2014 CRV, side mirrors are large enough that there is no blind area in either the left or right side lane at all. Directly behind below 4′ high for a couple of car lengths, yes, hence the need for a back-up camera. More than one lane over you will need to look over your shoulder, but it is more an issue of knowing where to look.

Reply to  al in kansas
November 28, 2018 1:35 pm

I think the blind-spot problem can be solved by properly adjusting the outside rear view mirrors. They should be set for a wide view, like an entire lane in each mirror. Instead people set their mirrors to see the outside of their vehicle, as if their fender will suddenly cut them off in traffic.

John Endicott
November 28, 2018 8:07 am

Ramsey said. “They’re basically saying that halfway doesn’t work — we’re going all the way.”

did they learn nothing from Kirk Lazarus: “Everybody knows you never go full….”

November 28, 2018 8:28 am

Both GM and GE have been involved in a massive ponzi scheme: Buying back stock to keep share prices up. GM $13.4 billion and GE $93 billion. Had GM used that money to ‘reorganize’ 4 years ago they would be competitive, I wonder where the cost of automobiles would be had our politicians looked at the cost to meet all the government standards. For GE, remember Immelt and Obama? Poster child of Obamanomics? “No company has spent as much on U.S. lobbying since 2000 as General Electric. And no component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average has performed worse since 2000 than General Electric.” Washington Examiner

November 28, 2018 8:43 am

As was pointed out to me by an avid NASCAR fan yesterday, Toyota have a bigger share of the racing saloon market now than the “US” manufacturers, but they are actually all made in the US!

I think there are still lots of people employed making cars in North America – just not by Ford, GM and Chrysler. The traditional car cities are seeing plants close, but all that has happened is that the cars are being made in other places.

Reply to  Rob
November 28, 2018 3:53 pm


SE non-union plants are doing very well.

November 28, 2018 8:46 am

Trump threatens to cut General Motors subsidies in retaliation for U.S. job cuts

Trump’s harsh words rattled investors, who bid down GM shares by 2.6% on Tuesday after sending them up on Monday after the cuts

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to eliminate subsidies for General Motors Co in retaliation for the automaker cutting U.S. jobs and plants, and the automaker also took fire from Canadian political and labor leaders for cutbacks there.

“The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including … for electric cars,” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump did not explain what “subsidies” he was referring to.

GM electric vehicles are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit under federal law, but it is not clear how the administration could restrict those credits or if Trump had other subsidies in mind.

Trump’s harsh words rattled investors, who bid down GM shares by 2.6 per cent on Tuesday after sending them up on Monday in response to the automaker’s cost-cutting.

Read the rest at:

Russ R.
Reply to  Cam_S
November 28, 2018 11:59 am

All subsidies for any vehicle should be removed. It just distorts the market and makes ALL cars more expensive, in addition to wasting tax dollars.
It is a relic of the CAGW fearmongering that has lost its edge. Nobody is afraid of warming based on “pause buster” changes to the temperature record.

Steven Hill (from Ky)
November 28, 2018 10:05 am

Mexico to continue to make Cruze with 5,600 workers making $3 an hour. Did Mexico bail out GM?

Wex Pyke
Reply to  Steven Hill (from Ky)
November 28, 2018 10:45 am

But those are not for the US market.

November 28, 2018 10:22 am

I had thought that something like the Chevy Volt would have been the last thing they shut down. A hybrid seems to make the most sense for winter where you get a smallish ICE engine to propel and charge on the go plus warm the cabin and the battery pack, plus a small 35-40 mile electric range that covers 80% of all vehicle trips. I would never buy a pure plugin without some type of small ICE for thawing it out in winter and range anxiety, but I suppose that Canada and the northern USA is not the world. What is needed everywhere is a micro ICE generator of about 250 CC, 10 Kw pure generator that supplies thermal heating or A/C and is available for limited onboard charging. I am surprised that an ultra efficient lite weight Rotary type ICE pack hasn’t been developed yet. That solves a lot of issues including the grid issues.

While the production lines in USA/Canada have been dwindling in car output per year with an ultra modern and efficient factory floor, the wages and benefits are so high that Mexico is the only choice to be able to compete with cheaper off shore labor models. Trump is right though, some thanks for all the bailouts to GM the last 10 years. Nothing a 40% tariff on GM cars made in Mexico wouldn’t fix and GM would be singing a different tune and figuring out how to keep the plants open. Would cost more to purchase a made in USA/Canada vehicle so probably not going to happen.

Wex Pyke
Reply to  Earthling2
November 28, 2018 10:43 am

Agree, and many people would seldom use gas with the current Volt – it was a great car that had a significant electric only range.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Earthling2
November 28, 2018 2:03 pm

I googled for “Mazda rotary” and got many hits on the rotary’s return. I also got many hits by googling for “mazda rotary hybrid toyota” at Here’s a quote from the second item, on Bloomberg at
“Mazda Revives Rotary Engine for Toyota’s Self-Driving Fleet
John LippertJanuary 17, 2018, 7:22 AM PST

Race To Build Self-Driving Cars Accelerates

Mazda Motor Corp. stopped selling rotary engines in 2012 after spending nearly half a century trying to perfect them. The company is reviving the classic technology now in what seems like an unlikely place: battery-powered, self-driving vehicles it’s developing with Toyota Motor Corp. to deliver everything from pizza to people.

Mazda will provide rotary engines to run generators that recharge the batteries for Toyota’s in-development driverless delivery fleet, Masahiro Moro, president of Mazda’s North American operations, said Tuesday in an interview.

“This is a very suitable engine to run a generator because it’s compact and lightweight, with no noise or vibration, and it has very good fuel economy,’’ said Moro, speaking on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Toyota, which has a 5.25 percent stake in Mazda, is also partnering with the carmaker to build a $1.6 billion, jointly run vehicle assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama.

Mazda and Denso Corp., a supplier in which Toyota has a controlling stake, are also helping develop engines and mechanical underpinnings for the electric cars Toyota and Mazda are developing together, Moro said. The companies are studying, among other things, whether to use rotary engines as range-extenders on more than just the e-Palette self-driving delivery vehicle, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said.”

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Roger Knights
November 28, 2018 6:50 pm

The Mazda rotary engine is a two-stroke engine as far as I am aware and wastes fuel. Mazda have developed their “Skyactive” engines which improve performance, range and emissions.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 28, 2018 6:59 pm

Mazda rotaries were a “good idea” but the oil seals and the rotor tip seals just didn’t work well enough to pass the new emissions requirements that came out at the same time. Even minute oil in the exhaust blew the sensors, the “after burner” catalyst converters. Weren’t “better enough” on gas economy to try to work the tens of millions needed to “maybe” get the seals to work perfectly.

Roger Knights
Reply to  RACookPE1978
November 29, 2018 7:53 pm

If the rotary runs at a constant speed its seals aren’t stressed n don’t leak so emissions aren’t a problem, nor is longevity. If it runs at its optimum speed it’s fuel-efficient.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 28, 2018 8:05 pm

The Mazda rotary engines are four stroke.

Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
November 29, 2018 4:39 am


Pyke Wex
November 28, 2018 10:42 am

Unfortunately, Americans are buying passenger cars but they are not American. Top sellers are all from Japan and BMW and Mercedes seem to do well. Also, the best deal in cars right now are unsold V90 Volvo wagons, get your luxury car for under 50K!

John Endicott
Reply to  Pyke Wex
November 28, 2018 12:25 pm

Indeed, the 3 models of sedans to see positive year-over-year sales growth in 2018 (Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, and Nissan Sentra) where all Japanese cars.

Reply to  Pyke Wex
November 28, 2018 12:26 pm

Just because the car has a foreign name plate is not proof that it was built overseas.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
November 28, 2018 12:42 pm

Nor does a domestic name plate equal proof that is was built in the US of A. But I don’t think anyone was suggesting location of manufacture (I certainly wasn’t) but rather owning entity. Ford and GM are “American cars” (even when built in Mexico or overseas) and Honda and Toyota are “Japanese cars” even when built in the Rust belt states. VW and BMW are “German cars” and so on.

Dave Fair
Reply to  John Endicott
November 28, 2018 2:31 pm

By definition, a Honda made in the U.S. is an American made automobile. It does not matter where a company is headquartered.

Reply to  Dave Fair
November 28, 2018 8:53 pm

Aren’t the Civics made in Canada? I remember some kerfuffle a few years ago because Canadian-made Civics were cheaper to buy in America than in Canada.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkG
November 28, 2018 9:56 pm

Socialism in action.

John Endicott
Reply to  Dave Fair
November 29, 2018 5:28 am

If the poster had said “not American made” you’d have a point. He didn’t so you don’t. Regardless of where it’s made, a Toyota is still a Japanese brand, and thus a Japanese car even if it is American made.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Pyke Wex
November 28, 2018 6:40 pm

It does not matter who the maker is, *ALL* makers use Japanese manufacturing techniques and processes. You will also find many common parts across makers too. Underneath a VW Beetle, an Audi A3 or a Seat Ibiza is a VW Golf. In the 90’s a Ford Telsta used the floor pan of a Mazda 6, including running gear, engines and transmissions.

Russ R.
November 28, 2018 12:15 pm

Government Motors was planning on Hillary raising fuel taxes to pay for ever-escalating health care costs, and other assorted freebies to reward her base. The higher cost of fuel makes small cars, hybrids, and electric cars more attractive.
Obama put his “stamp” on the cars that GM would produce, as a condition for the bailout. I don’t know if Obama ever even owned a car that he bought and used for personal purposes. It would be interesting to find out how much experience he had as a “customer of the car industry” before he directed GM to produce cars that would satisfy his Prius obsession.

Wex Pyke
Reply to  Russ R.
November 28, 2018 12:18 pm

Oh come on. This has zip to do with politics and Hillary lost TWO YEARS AGO! Get over it.

Reply to  Wex Pyke
November 28, 2018 12:27 pm

Thanks to the size and scope of modern government, there is nothing that has “zip to do with politics”.

Russ R.
Reply to  Wex Pyke
November 28, 2018 12:45 pm

Pyke – guessing you are a millennial a with limited understanding of how long it takes GM to design and produce a new car, that does not just tweak an existing design.

Your man, window shopping and promoting what the peasants should buy:

pyke wex
Reply to  Russ R.
November 28, 2018 1:28 pm

Oh, Russ, I am an old white guy who happens to be an independent, but keep pigeon holing people as it seems that is all your limited mind can do.

I worked in a regulated industry so I am very knowledgeable about times to market, but keep trying, someone you pigeonhole might fit – once in your lifetime.

Russ R.
Reply to  pyke wex
November 28, 2018 3:17 pm

My limited mind was well aware of the “politics of the GM bailout”. Along with every other adult that I know, that votes and pays taxes.
Your reply implied that you were riding your bicycle home from school during that period.
Anyone that thinks TWO YEARS is a long time, must consider it a large percentage of their life experience.
Would you feel better if I just impugned your intelligence instead of you biological age? That seems to be your “go to” response.

Reply to  Wex Pyke
November 28, 2018 8:07 pm

“This has zip to do with politics and Hillary lost TWO YEARS AGO!”

Apparently GM’s CEO was one of the candidates on the short-list for Hillary’s Vice-President.

So I’m totally sure there’s nothing political in all this.

wex pyke
Reply to  MarkG
November 29, 2018 6:50 am
spalding craft
Reply to  Wex Pyke
November 29, 2018 7:47 pm

Yeah, we’re talking about cars here, a much more relaxing topic than politics. And GM has done a good job failing without government help. They wouldn’t be here now, at least in its present form, without the govt. bailout.

John Endicott
Reply to  Russ R.
November 28, 2018 12:27 pm

What I want to know is: Did Obama ever buy a volt like he said he was going to once he was out of office or was he once again lying?

Robert of Texas
November 28, 2018 3:01 pm

Unless you love GM sedans, this has nothing to do with anything important, other than lost jobs in the U.S.

It confuses me as to why we bailed them out (again)… I thought it was to protect jobs but I guess I was wrong.

I don’t understand why they get government subsidies in the form of cheap loans…to a company that is cutting local production and ramping up foreign investments.

I get why we subsidize electric cars…they would not sell any without subsidies and the GREENS insist we have to sell electric cars. So, yeah, they are flat-out wrong but I get it.

If we want to protect jobs, then do what most of the other countries do…raise car tariffs to 10% same as the EU tariffs on American cars.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 28, 2018 3:56 pm

Lost UNION jobs.

John Endicott
Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 29, 2018 12:12 pm

Unless you love GM sedans, this has nothing to do with anything important, other than lost jobs in the U.S.

lost jobs in the US is very important to the workers whose job are being lost.

I’ve always bought American owned cars, Specifically FORD (I was quite proud that I owned a car from the one American company that didn’t take the bail-out). With FORD dropping out of the sedan market, I was considering Chevy for my next car. Guess not. Since the American companies don’t want my business, it looks like I’m going Japanese with my next car purchase. I’m thinking possibly Honda.

Reply to  John Endicott
November 29, 2018 7:11 pm

“…We’re turning Japanese, I think we’re turning Japanese, I really think so.”

Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 29, 2018 1:16 pm

GM, Ford, Chrysler have a large pension and health care liability due to the number of years they have been employing workers in the US. Yes, a lot of this is down to union rates etc. but at least some of it is down to government rules. The newer companies (not all of them foreign-owned, but let’s not quibble) have been able to start up without these liabilities and can probably operate on slightly better margins.

This is one – somewhat acceptable – justification for the subsidies, but a lot of it is just national pride. I remember the fuss in the UK when the govt finally stopped propping up “British” Leyland and accepted that the cars being manufactured in the UK would all be by “foreign” firms. From the point of view of employment and taxes, it really doesn’t matter.

November 29, 2018 12:56 pm

Prius Prime is Toyota”s plug in hybrid.
50 mpg with out charging battery.
Cost $26,000 loaded before about $7500 in fed state and pge tax credits.
$19,000 is less than a Corolla.
They last for 300,000 miles with little maintenence.
Great car but GM couldn’t compete with Volt.
Just wait until gas and electricity price rises.

Roger Knights
November 29, 2018 8:02 pm

A couple of years ago GM said it had made a battery breakthrough. If it has, this move makes sense.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights