KBB.com: Chevrolet Impala is 2014’s Most Comfortable Car under $30,000


DETROIT – If a comfortable ride is your thing, KBB.com says the 2014 Impala is your top choice under $30,000.

Though the Impala has adapted to evolving technologies and consumer trends through the years, the 10thgeneration Impala has remained true to its roots in offering generous cabin spaciousness and a comfortable ride.

Entry-luxury vehicles like the 2014 Volvo S60, 2014 Toyota Avalon and 2014 Chrysler 300 made the list, which was selected by the consumer website’s editors, but the Impala came out on top.

“Totally redesigned for 2014, our No. 1 pick on this list – the Chevrolet Impala – proves that the big, comfortable, affordable American sedan is alive and well, and now it is stylish and modern, too,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.

The 2014 Impala’s comfort and refinement are rooted in a stronger body structure, enabling a quieter passenger environment and a greater overall feeling of quality.

Making the Impala’s cabin quiet was a top priority for engineers, who implemented technologies like triple-sealed doors, available active-noise cancelling technology and acoustic foam baffles. A Detroit rock band, the Gentlemen Mutineers, even used the vehicle as a recording studio to prove its cabin’s quietness.

The stiffer architecture also enabled engineers to tune the ride and handling more precisely, for a greater feeling of control and comfort.

The new Impala also has a roomier, airier ambience. Thin A-pillars and a low instrument panel enhance outward visibility, while the car’s six-window “greenhouse” surrounds passengers with natural light. Theseats are bolstered for greater support and the seat cushions deliver a firm, premium feel that’s equally comfortable on a 500-mile journey as a five-minute trip to the store.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.  


2015 Chevy Silverado to offer more pizzazz on high-volume models


DETROIT — Chevrolet will offer a bold new trim package on light-duty Silverado pickups for the 2015 model year, adding some pizzazz to its highest-volume models.

Chevy will offer a package named Rally 2, available on All Star editions of the ’15 Silverado 1500 LT crew cab and double cab trucks, General Motors said today. The All Star edition is among the best-selling Silverado models.

The Rally 2 package includes a body-colored grille and a black bowtie badge, 22-inch black alloy wheels, black tubular side steps and black mirror caps and door handles. The truck also features black stripes on the hood and tailgate.

The model will get mechanical and interior upgrades too, including a trailering package with a hitch and automatic locking rear differential. Inside, it will come equipped with extra touches like a 10-way power driver seat, remote start and backup camera.

It will come standard with the Silverado’s base 4.3-liter V-6 engine.

A lighter package for Silverado lower- and mid-trim LS and LT models, Rally 1, will include the cosmetic features, the trailering additions, 17-inch rims and some of the interior extras.

The Rally packages are intended to “strengthen our position in the mid-price segment,” Chevy spokesman Tom Wilkinson said.

‘Something different’

“We wanted to offer something to appeal to the everyday buyer who wants something different from what their buddy is driving,” he said.

The high-end of the Silverado lineup remains the High Country edition and the Z71 off-road model in the LTZ trim.

The Rally packages are reminiscent of the FX appearance package on the 2014 F-150. They also take aim at a new Sport package that will roll out with the launch of the redesigned ’15 F-150 late this year.

GM said Chevy dealers can order double-cab Rally models starting on Sept. 4. Crew cab orders begin in early October. GM did not announce pricing.

Silverado sales were down 1 percent this year through July, to 282,776 vehicles. F-series sales were flat while Ram sales rose 19 percent.

“The Rally Edition packages will let customers add an aggressive new look to this great all-around performer,” John Fitzpatrick, Silverado’s senior marketing manager, said in a written statement.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Meet the Chevy’s Supercharged Supercar

15Z06Just hours after learning the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray had been named this year’s North American Car of the Year, the Bowtie brand unleashed the next-level of next-gen Corvette performance: the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. It’s a car that set a new record at GM’s Milford Proving Ground the very first time it hit the track, already living up to the brand’s boast that it’s the most capable Corvette ever.

It made its first public appearance at the recent opening of the 2014 North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit.

“The new Z06 delivers levels of performance, technology and design that rival the most exotic supercars in the world,” said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. “And the Z06 leverages the engineering expertise of GM, offering the choice of two world-class transmissions, supercar performance without supercar fuel consumption and technologies that make it easier to fully enjoy the incredible experience of driving it.”

“Incredible” is just the right word, too, for a car that will offer:

  • A supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine that will develop a projected 625 horsepower and 635 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Seven-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions, with the latter highlighted by paddle shifters for DIY-style shifting
  • Advanced aerodynamics that help the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 produce more downforce than any other vehicle that GM has ever evaluated
  • The Z07 track package, delivering peak aero performance while also wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires and brakes enhanced by Brembo’s carbon/ceramic-matrix brake rotors
  • GT and Competition Sport seats, each with magnesium frames that are stronger, yet lighter than steel counterparts
  • A premium, soft-touch interior, complemented by the first removable hardtop ever featured on a Z06 model

Added Tadge Juechter, chief engineer of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: “Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every ‘g’ of grip and every pound of downforce. It’s a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray—and one that’s even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call.”


Written by Charles Krome.

Photo by Charles Krome.

GM, U.S. Army and Raytheon Partner to Train Soldiers Returning to Civilian Life




‘Shifting Gears’ equips transitioning soldiers to become GM automotive technicians

WASHINGTON, D.C. – General Motors, the U.S. Army and Raytheon Company today announced they are teaming up to provide eligible transitioning Army soldiers with skills to become service technicians at GM dealerships after they return to civilian life.

The Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program, a multi-year partnership between the two companies and the Army, will begin in August at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

Shifting Gears will be part of the Army’s Soldier for Life support program, which helps soldiers reintegrate into their communities after leaving the Army. Upon successful course completion and program graduation, veterans receive career counseling, job-placement recommendations and employment assistance from Army Soldier for Life centers, and access to available GM technician employment opportunities through GM’s authorized dealer network.

“Shifting Gears illustrates GM’s commitment to serving those who serve America,” said Steve Hill, GM vice president, U.S. Sales and Service. “GM has supported the U.S. military for 100 years. From providing purpose-built vehicles in conflict situations to today’s support for veterans and returning military personnel, we continue to be their strong allies.”

  • Unique training to take place on-base at Fort Hood
  • 12-week course includes classroom, online and hands-on training
  • Participants to receive career counseling; job placement services

GM to add 1,750 jobs, invest $800 million in Michigan

bildeGeneral Motors is planning to add as many as 1,750 jobs at its technical center in Warren and invest an additional $800 million in Michigan in the coming years, according to Michael Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

GM declined to say when the jobs would be filled.

The Michigan Strategic Fund, an arm of the development corporation, revised a tax credit for GM today and incentives for two Chinese manufacturers that are investing in the state — H.A. Automotive Systems and YanFeng Automotive.

GM has added or retained 33,000 jobs under an original tax agreement reached with the state in 2009.

“GM, as well as Ford and Chrysler, have over the last few years continued to invest very heavily in Michigan,” Finney said. The revised tax credit enables GM to add jobs, most likely at its technical center in Warren.

“We are pleased with the State of Michigan’s action which makes a strong business case for potential future jobs and investment at GM facilities across Michigan,” the automaker said in a statement.

GM also expects to add jobs at its Brownstown Township battery plant and the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

The Free Press previously reported that there would be about 1,400 new jobs, but the automaker has not said how many positions would be available at each plant and how the jobs would be filled.

Michigan’s Strategic Fund also:

■ Awarded a $2.25-million grant to H.A. Automotive Systems, a subsidiary of Shanghai Changhui Industry Development Co. H.A. is investing $28.8 million in a North American headquarters in Troy, where it expects to hire about 360 people.

■ Amended a tax credit for YanFeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, a Chinese supplier of automotive interiors. The company plans to expand in Harrison Township and hire 519 people.

■Awarded $2 million to Suniva, an Atlanta-based manufacturer of solar panels that is opening a plant in Saginaw.

■ Awarded $2 million to Brembo North America, which plans to make brake rotor casting in Albion Township.

■ Awarded $2.3 million to Challenge Manufacturing, which plans to invest $65.5 million in a plant.

■ Expanded a previous grant by $507,000 for auto supplier Magna Interior Trim Components; it plans to hire 169 employees in St. Clair and Benzie counties.

Contact Brent Snavely: 313-222-6512 or bsnavely@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrentSnavely.