Auto manufacturers focuses on Internet services

BMW offers unlimited Internet access

BMW offers its customers a choice for a package of Internet connection regardless of the model purchased. The only requirement is to be equipped with multimedia Connected Drive system.

While many manufacturers have praised the introduction of Internet in the car, BMW is the first manufacturer that promises unlimited Internet access throughout the life of the model equipped with this function.

The brand even remember, on this occasion, that it’s the one who first introduced the on-board computer in 1980. The first radar back in 1990 and GPS navigation in 1994.

In 2010, BMW’s system is based on multimedia Connected Drive which already includes a multitude of other services, such as navigation, communication with other devices such telephone or computer, the interaction between the safety devices (night vision, head covered high, parking assistance, emergency call), and adds the ability to surf the Internet from the front seats when the vehicle is stationary.

It is even possible to surf from the vehicle rear seat, but only with the option Multimedia Station on the 5 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series GT. The option costs only 90 EUR and its validity is equal to the lifetime of the car. No subscription to pay later.

General Motors wants to update your Facebook status by voice command

General Motors is testing a software that will allow drivers to update their status on Facebook while driving, through a voice command.

GM will also test a program that reads drivers’ SMS and allow them to respond by choosing one of the preset messages with a button on the steering wheel.

The company hasn’t said when these programs will be available, but spokesman Jocely Allen said they should be evaluated very carefully to ensure it does not distract drivers attention from the road.

GM’s former employee accused of stealing industrial secrets

Shanshan Du, a former General Motors employee, engaged with her husband, Qin Yu, were accused of stealing secret information about hybrid technology developed by the U.S. manufacturer. In January 2005 Shanshan Du copied secret information on a hard disk, and in May 2006 together with her husband destroyed the stolen documents.

During this time, Shanshan Du’s husband talked with Chinese carmaker Chery to offer hybrid technology. Shortly after the destruction of documents, U.S. prosecutors have started an investigation which found the indicted guilty.

According to GM officials, the documents stolen by former employee worth about 40 million dollars. So far the Chinese manufacturer’s officials haven’t said anything. It’s not the first time we see such cases. Last year, Yu Xiang Dong, a former Ford employee was charged and arrested for stealing secret documents from inside the company.

Image source: Automarket

GM: Chevrolet, not Chevy!

After “Chevy” was used for decades for the Chevrolet brand, General Motors Corp. would no longer use this shortcut. Consistency reasons are behind Chevrolet, which GM executives believes that disrupt the use of such abbreviations. A few days ago, the New York Times obtained a memo sent by GM’s managers to the employees, asking them to use only the “Chevrolet” name when they refer to this brand of General Motors.

Deliberately or not, the note contained a shorthand used quite often to represent another well known US brand. So those from GM refered to Coca-Cola through Coke, making the same kind of shorthand that is wished to be avoided in the future. GM directors intend to go the exact opposite trend started by other famous brands. As suggested by the Times newspaper, the trend in this area is to be accessible with all the brands and friendly slogans. However you read this decision, some sources within GM suggested that it is heavely supported by the new advertising campaign made by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which took the American brand in their hands of the company which handled the advertising Chevrolet and GM in the last 60 years.

A note of that statement suggests that each employee that uses “Chevy” instead of “Chevrolet” should put 25 cents in a box. The purpose of this exercise is to help employees become familiar with the correct American brand name. All funds raised could be used for team building activities. Until then, GM should have discussions with Google and should update their websites because their Twitter page has the motto “Talking Chevy one Tweet at a Time”. Moreover, they have sponsored links on Google which led to the official website of the American brand, under the slogan “The Official Chevy Site” . Even directs the users towards the official website which uses the full name of the American brand.

Chevrolet dealers disagree with the new decision. First, they say that short Chevy brand is much closer to the brand than the Chevrolet name. GM directors disagree with this opinion pointing out that Chevrolet is an active trademark in 130 countries. Moreover, an expert in marketing from the United States of America underlines that GM executives have said nothing of the “GM” acronym which is present for years. Use of this acronym is very similar to the “Chevy” shorthand used today. Unwittingly, the new advertising agency, created an unnecessary stir around issues that they consider crucial to the future of Chevrolet, while public, dealers and employees do not think of it as a problem.

General Motors paid its loan with five years earlier

General Motors has paid all its debts accumulated towards the American State during the 2009 crisis and now makes progress in his return after the bankruptcy proceedings it went through the middle of last year.

According to U.S. official, the payment was done faster than was expected because of good products launched by GM lately.

“We were able to return taxpayers’ money ahead of time because we draw, build and sell the best cars that GM has ever produced, “said Whitacre.

GM reported losses of 4.3 billion dollars in post-bankruptcy period in 2009, but officials say the results are encouraging in order to re-income in the year 2010.

In these conditions, GM could again become a private company in 2010 or 2011.

The U.S. state has bought 60.8% of GM in July 2009, the Canadian government and a trust holding significant percentage of General Motors.

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6.200.000 GM cars, suspected upon the brake system

Although they tried to take maximum advantage from the loss image suffered by rivals Toyota, General Motors could see itself in a similar scandal.

NHTSA, is responsible for road safety, currently investigating a problem in the braking system of a large number of GM vehicles, 6,200,000 units.

The cars were made between 1999 and 2003 and may be affected by a corrosion brake.

This concerns exactly the degradation of liquid pipeline that feeds the entire brake system of the models.

Undetected in time, the problems may lead to loss of pressure in the braking system and drastic consequences on the road.

NHTSA opened the procedure, after recently been totaled 110 complaints of brake corrosion.

The models affected by the process of investigation and a possible massive recall are Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Yukon and GMC Sierra.

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General Motors’s brake override software ready by 2012

General Motors is one of those manufacturers who intend to apply the algorithm globally by 2012.

Although GM has started adding brake override software on ETS-equipped cars as an additional safeguard.

The software automatically kills electronic throttle input once the driver steps on the brake, in order to prevent the chances of unintended acceleration.

“New media analyses of government data consistently validates that GM’s safety record on this issue is among the strongest in the industry,” said Tom Stephens, vice chairman of GM’s global product operations.

“At the same time, we know safety is top of mind for consumers, so we are applying additional technology to reassure them that they can count on the brakes in their GM vehicle.”

GM says that by the end of 2012, all of its vehicles sold around the world equipped with automatic transmissions and electronic throttle control will also be equipped with a brake override system.

Image source: Automobilemag

GM is using Twitter and Facebook to talk to its customers

General Motors has opened a new customer service in which agents of the U.S. manufacturer search on social networks and tries to contact people who write about the cars problems caused by the giant in Detroit.

Moreover, GM wants to double in April this search by hiring more people and by acquiring new technologies.

It seems that the new service “invented” by GM it’s working.

Melissa Walker, a real estate agent in Jacksonville, wrote on Twitter about mechanical problems of her Cadillac DeVille.

An official of the service made contact with Melissa Walker, but the car problems were not resolved.

“I was very surprised. I didn’t address those from GM. I was not expecting to do something, but the fact that I got that phone call surprised me enormously, “said American.

Cadillac will have its own image

Cadillac is trying to escape the burden of a name as that of parent General Motors, which still preserves the spot of bankruptcy last summer, and promises a further individualization. It is not about a divorce between the two entities but only a separation brand identities.

The statement comes from a Cadillac spokesman, Nick Twork, which holds that in the near future Cadillac will give up the name of GM into marketing strategies and inside dealers and will not participate in joint actions of the brand. In addition, email addresses will be changed, the extension “@” following to change into “@”.

The strategy made public by U.S. officials is part of the restructuring plan of General Motors and was thought by the new CEO, Ed Whitacre, who is trying to revitalize the brand in Detroit.

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Bob Lutz planned to leave General Motors

Bob Lutz, GM’s vice president, will retire from the company on May 1. Lutz will end a career of 47 years in automotive industry, during which he worked at GM, BMW, Chrysler and Ford.

This is not the first withdrawal of Bob Lutz from General Motors, Lutz giving up the American corporation also in February 2009, but returned shortly after the company got out of insolvency.

Bob Lutz is 78 years old and is responsible for the reinvention of GM products. He is considered to be as the “father” of Chevrolet Volt.

Lately, Bob Lutz was in charge of marketing and communication of the American company. Lutz is one of the most colorful characters of the global auto industry, known for his commentaries on global warming and other similar problems.

A few weeks ago, Bob Lutz said that the salaries of GM’s U.S. directors are very low, and according to rumors this might be an important factor in his departure from GM.

Moreover, some other sources say that Bob Lutz wants to retire or move to another corporation in the automotive world.

Until now, neither Bob Lutz, nor those from General Motors have made any official statement on the departure of the vice-president.

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General Motors and Ford desperate to save themselves from bankruptcy on the back of those from Toyota

The U.S. government is behind the campaigns that GM and Ford have recently launched, in which owners of Toyota models are tempted with significant bonuses if they change their car, according to Japanese media

The Americans exaggerate in general opinion, the U.S. television broadcasting repeatedly the testimony of a woman from Tennessee who went through a traumatic experience in 2006, when the Lexus copy she was driving accelerated suddenly and the woman was close to a fatal accident.

Toyota made a gesture that has tarnished its image, Toyota recalling in service, vehicles for inspection at the accelerator, this time involving additional costs.

The remedial procedure developed by Toyota engineers includes the installation of a steel plate in the throttle assembly, designed to create a space that reduces friction within the mechanism.

Given the imminent bankruptcy of GM and Ford in the general acceptance they would not have the necessary resources to recall in service, vehicle owners to prove or improve something as the Toyota staff did.

From other sources, all this advertising was made due to boundless despair for those from GM and Ford, speculating the idea, as that they have use unfair competition by distorting the truth in order to make negative advertising to those from Toyota, in this way, hoping for a rescue from bankruptcy.

The specialists say that many accidents occur due to human factor and that bugs can be found at all automakers, none of them not being directly responsible.

Some say that GM was not able to save any loan from which they benefited from U.S. government, provides the advantage that, according to Japanese media, the American legislature portrays the people from Toyota as “thugs and bastards”

According to statistics, in the U.S., Lexus and Toyota permanently win against Mercedes and BMW, and Toyota was also No. 1 in reliability.

Japan’s conservative governor, Shintaro Ishihara, believes that “If these problems would have arisen at Ford or GM, the whole story would have been different. The United States shown artfulness “.