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Shopping App for Smart Phones – from GMC

Nowadays there’s a new trend: one of two smart phone owners use their devices as a shopping tool. In addition to this, according to Gartner Mobile Marketing Watch, smart phones global market has an 85 percent year-over-year growth.

Therefore, it is not surprising that GMC has adapted to this reality and introduced a mobile app which allows its potential buyers to shop, and even to compare, configure and search for GMC vehicles. The entire process is actually a GMC Showroom Mobile experience.

So, whatever you think that you should do before buying a car included into this free app: you can explore photos and videos of the vehicles; you can configure the specifications according to your personal needs and preferences; you can compare different models of cars. After all this, the app locates the vehicle within local dealer inventories and gives you information about the current offers. If you want, you can also choose to schedule a dealer test drive.

“We recognize that smart phones play an important role in our customers’ lives, including purchase decisions. (…) The new GMC Showroom App provides our customers with the advanced technology they have come to expect of the GMC brand and the convenience to easily engage with their GMC dealer.”
said John Schwegman, U.S. vice president of GMC marketing.

The GMC Showroom App will be launched by the end of July and it can be found in Apple App Store.

So, what do you think about GMC’s initiative?

[Source: GMC]

Preview – 2011 Chicago Auto Show PART 2

If you haven’t read the first part of our article, now would be a great time to do it. Let’s continue where we left off yesterday and see what the Blue Oval will be bringing to the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

The most interesting car will definitely be the Mustang which will be exhibited in various versions, like the GT, the V6 and the Shelby GT500. In addition, Ford will be bringing the Boss 302 which will be below the GT500 but above the GT. The V6 model will come with a 3.7-liter that outputs 305 hp while the GT will get a more powerful V8 5.0-liter, good for 412 hp. The Boss 302 will carry GT’s engine but it will produce 444 hp. The top-of-the-range Shelby GT500 will be fitted with a V8 5.4-liter supercharged engine that will output 550 hp. Regarding the available gearboxes, both the V6 and the GT will get either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The Boss 302 and the Shelby GT500 will be available only with a 6-speed manual transmission.

The new generation of the Focus will also be brought to Detroit. The car will be available as a 4-door sedan or a 4-door hatchback and will get one of the following trims: S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Regardless of the trim level, the new Focus will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine that can run either on gas or E85 ethanol-blended fuel. The engine will output 155 hp and can be mated with either a 5-speed manual or the new 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

Another model brought by Ford will be the 2011 C-Max. This 7-seater minivan is going to be available with either a Mazda5-sourced 4-cylinder 2.5-liter power unit that outputs 168 hp or a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter turbocharged carrying 168 hp while running on regular gas and 180 hp with premium gas. Both of the engines will be fitted with a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The last model Ford will be bringing to this year’s Chicago Auto Show is going to be the 2011 Explorer. Available in three trim levels: Base, XLT and Limited, the car can get either a FWD or an AWD. Regardless of the trim level chosen, the car will be fitted with a V6 3.5-liter that outputs 290 hp while the 4-cylinder 2.0 power unit that churns 237 hp will be optional for the XLT and Limited trim levels. All of the models will come with a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

2011 GMC Sierra HD

At GMC you will be seeing the Sierra HD which is the heavy-duty version of the Sierra 1500. This monster will be available with a choice of two engines: V8 6.0-liter that produces 360 hp and a V8 6.6-liter that will offer 397 hp. Both of them will be linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Koreans at Hyundai will be bringing their beautiful 3-door coupe Veloster model which they launched at Detroit a couple of weeks ago. The car will be available with a 4-cylinder 2.6-liter that cranks 138 hp, mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

Another beautiful car brought by Hyundai will be the Elantra which will be produced in the United States. This 4-door sedan is going to be available in two trim levels: GLS and Limited. Both of them will be equipped with a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter that produces 148 hp. The base model will get a 6-speed manual transmission while the top-of-the-range will feature a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

2011 Hyundai Equus

The Equus model is Hyundai’s flagship model and will make its appearance at Chicago next week. The car is 7 inches longer than the Genesis sedan and will carry its engine which is a V8 4.6-liter that produces 385 hp while running on premium gas and 378 hp with regular one. The power unit will be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

2011 Infiniti QX56

A new car that is going to be produced in the US except the Elantra will be Infiniti’s QX56. In comparison to its predecessor, the new generation is longer, wider and lower. As standard, the car will get a V8 5.6-liter engine that outputs 400 hp, mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The QX56 will be available with a RWD system or an AWD one.

2011 Jaguar XJ

Without any doubt, one of the most beautiful cars that will be presented at the 2011 edition of the Chicago Auto Show will be the Jaguar XJ. Available in standard or “L” versions, the car will be offered with three trim levels. The “L” version is 5 inches longer than the regular one. Both of them can be acquired with these trim levels: XJ, Supercharged and Supersport.  All of them will have the same engine which is a V8 5.0-liter that will output 385 hp for the Base model, 470 hp for the Supercharged and 510 hp for the top-of-the-line Supersport. The engine is going to be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Supersport model can only be purchased through a special order.

2011 Kia Optima

Hyundai’s sister Kia will be bringing the mid-sized sedan Optima and the Sportage SUV. The first one will be available in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX. Joining the lineup will be a hybrid version. The first two trim levels will be equipped with a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter that outputs 200 hp while the SX carries a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged power unit that churns out 274 hp. The base model will get a 6-speed manual while the EX and the SX will be fitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid version will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine with an electric motor, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Kia Sportage will carry Hyundai’s Tucson platform and will be available in three trim levels: Base, LX and EX. All of them have a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter that outputs 176 hp. The base model gets a 6-speed manual and the EX and LX will be fitted with a 6-speed automatic.

Come back tomorrow for the third part of our preview of the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.

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Fate of GMC Granite concept still up in the air


At the beginning of the year, GM really surprised a lot of people when it revealed the GMC Granite concept.

The premium boxy concept was something completely different for GM’s ‘Professional Grade’ brand, looking more like a youth-oriented Scion xB than the other rough-looking vehicles from the GMC range. It was a hit though, as the Granite won the Best Concept award.

Still, GM isn’t decided on whether or not the Granite will actually make it to production.

The guys at MotorTrend published a report a few days ago, saying that the urban concept was cleared for production. Yesterday though, GM refuted the rumor, saying that, at least for the moment, the Granite is still a concept, and hasn’t been cleared for production.

It seems that even though GM is on the upswing, financially speaking, things still need to get much better before a risky concept like the Granite will see time and money invested in it.

Would you be pleased with a production-ready GMC Granite? Share your thoughts below.

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NHTSA to investigate 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon door handles over hand cuts


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just announced that it is investigating the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2007 GMC Yukon SUVs over some potential issues with the interior door handles.

433,000 models will be inspected after over 88 complaints have been lodged against the interior door handles. It seems that the chrome plating on the handles can easily peel away, leaving sharp edges exposed. As such, when you try to open the door, in order to get out of the vehicle, you’ll most likely suffer from a hand cut.

While the injuries aren’t that bad (‘severe paper cuts’ was the term used), it’s still enough to cause bleeding. We don’t know how good the large SUVs are, but not a lot of people would love to shed some blood for their vehicle.

The investigation is already underway, with GM revealing that it will cooperate fully. The results and the potential recall will be announced in the following weeks. Until then, better get your heavy duty gloves on when getting out of your Tahoe or Yukon.

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GM recalls 5,000 heavy duty vans, stops sale over serious fire risk


General Motors has just announced that 5,000 heavy duty vans, including the 2500 and 3500 versions of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna will be recalled ASAP due to a potential problem with the alternator. Also, sales of the current models as well as renting to other people have been stopped.

It seems that the alternator could cause a short circuit and lead to a major fire hazard. GM isn’t joking around and has advised owners as well as rental companies to park the cars far in between and disconnect both battery cables until the model will be recalled into service.

Bear in mind this doesn’t affect the light duty versions of the Express or Savana, only the heavy duty ones manufactured between February and March this year. Current owners are asked to contact their local dealership so that they can be kept up to date for when the replacement alternators arrive.

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GMC Granite might be marketed on the Internet … if it gets built


It seems that General Motors heard the Internet is used by young people and is preparing to shifts its strategy in terms of marketing models which are catered to a younger audience, instead of using the old TV, which is so 2009.

One of the first models to get such a “unique” promotion might be the GMC Granite, in case it will actually be built, as Buick-GMC advertising director Steve Rosenblum revealed that a vehicle with the characteristics of the Granite, and targeted for people under 35, would serve as a great product to market on the Internet.

Another potential market that a presumed Granite-like model would target, according to Rosenblum, is the smart phone advertising one, as by 2011, two-thirds of cell phone users under 40 will have a smart phone device. As such, the team is working on a special type of brochure, which includes a bar code that can be read by smart phones and will redirect them to a website where other features can be displayed and to a social networking service where potential customers can talk with the designers of the cars.

This is all some bold new ground for GM, both in terms of advertising and in terms of the Granite, which will explore a segment unknown to GMC as of yet. Will it work? Share your thoughts below.

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GMC Granite concept takes brand in a new direction


GMC, as a brand, has always been about big, heavy SUVs and various vans which were made famous by cult TV shows. But seeing a show parent company General Motors isn’t in the best of financial times, it is trying to expand and cover other areas of the market.

The first effort towards this goal is the new GMC Granite concept, which will tackle Japanese models like the Scion xB or the Nissan Cube, and will be showcased at this week’s Detroit Auto Show. Its shape and dimensions are certainly made to content with the aforementioned vehicles, and it still retains that big heavy feeling of any GMC on the road, despite it is 2 feet shorter than the current smallest SUV in the lineup, the Terrain.


Of course this model was specifically designed for the city, and will be marketed as an Urban Utility Vehicle, with its interior being more than capable to fit anything from passengers to a lot of luggage, if you fold down seats. Speaking of the interior, it looks quite high end, and will definitely attract through its interesting color and material combinations.

The side doors are rear hinged (aka suicide), allowing for an easier access, and according to one of the Granite’s lead designers, Dave Lyon, they will make it to the production model, when it will be released during 2011.


The GMC Granite will be powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the same on which on the Chevrolet Cruze develops 138 HP and 148 lb-ft of torque. The concept features a six-speed automatic transmission, but a manual option for the production edition wasn’t ruled out.

What do you think about GMC’s latest creation? Does it have what it takes to rival the Scion and the Nissan? Choose your winner by leaving a comment below.

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