Inside Avenir, Materials Make The Difference

1421021590353Tailored leather surfaces, unique acrylic trim elevate concept car’s interior

DETROIT – The Buick Avenir’s sculpted exterior and dramatic proportions aren’t the only attributes turning heads and winning awards. The design and materials within the concept car’s interior continue to earn accolades.

“The attention to detail within Avenir is outstanding,” said Charles Allen, a retired automotive designer who served as a chief judge for the 2015 EyesOn Design Awards. “What stands out to me is how well everything is integrated – all of the materials and elements work together seamlessly to provide a sensation of understated elegance that fits the Buick brand perfectly.”

While designers drew inspiration from nature – specifically water washing upon a shoreline – when shaping the graceful lines within Avenir’s interior, the color and trim team worked to find the right materials to add a dynamic flair.

“With Avenir’s interior, we really wanted to select materials that would complement the surfaces within,” said Rebecca Waldemir, Buick Color and Trim design manager. “Using a distinctive combination of premium leather, suede, wood, chrome and acrylic, we were able to design elements that flow seamlessly throughout the interior.”

Avenir’s designers even put a new twist on wood trim, a traditional Buick element. Not only are wood accents featured on the door panels, but the wood itself provides a more luxurious and natural appearance that adds to the airiness of the interior.

“We’ve used open-pore wood in a modern way, much like what you’ll find in high-end furniture. It’s an oiled, low-gloss execution that contrasts beautifully with other interior décor,” said Waldemir.

Avenir’s sculptural instrument panel incorporates an acrylate panel, carved to replicate three-dimensional wave-like patterns but layered beneath a smooth, high-gloss outer layer.

“As you look at the transparent surface from different angles, you will notice that it has a lot of visual depth and movement. It’s a motif we carried to other areas of Avenir, including the seat design, and to the head- and tailamps,” Waldemir said.

While Avenir’s exterior color is a cooler tone, designers wanted to provide a warm, inviting sensation within. The lighter “Lyric” hue, found on most interior surfaces, helps achieve that feeling, while restrained use of a darker tone – “Coastal Myst” – on the instrument panel and arm rests provides a natural transition to the exterior.  To further create a tailored feel, most surfaces within the Avenir are wrapped in leather or suede and accentuated with stitching.

All-in-all, Avenir’s interior materials were designed to work in harmony and provide an upscale environment that feels natural and holistic to all passengers.

“The first thing you’ll notice when you open Avenir’s doors is just how clean and pure its interior design is,” said Liz Wetzel, Buick interior design director. “We’ve stripped it of superfluous, fussy details in order to rely on sculptural forms and harmonious surfaces. The result is a refreshing environment that provides a sense of well-being to anyone seated within.”

Comprised of prominent members of the automotive design community, the EyesOn Design jury also praised Avenir’s overall design with a Best Concept Vehicle trophy. “Avenir’s global design team set out to make a striking design statement, said Holt Ware, Buick exterior design director. “The Avenir embraces Buick’s rich design heritage of creating exquisite sculptures, precise in their design and beautifully proportioned.”

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at http://www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instragram, on Pinterest or atwww.facebook.com/buick

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GMC Takes Fans Along for the Ride at Super Bowl XLIX

Brand takes over Phoenix with largest onsite presence ever

DETROIT – The National Football League’s biggest game is days away and GMC, Official Vehicle of the NFL, is taking fans across the world behind the scenes throughout the weekend.

LIVE from the GMC mobile studio
GMC has teamed with Emmy award-winning interactive TV host Jenni Hogan to provide all-access updates and behind-the-scenes coverage of exclusive events throughout Super Bowl weekend.  She will be taking fans along for the ride, quite literally, from the GMC mobile studio, a 2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali connected by OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi.

Hogan will report from unexpected locations around the Phoenix area, interviewing athletes and celebrities from the red carpet, attending private parties and giving the play-by-play from University of Phoenix stadium during Super Bowl XLIX. Fans can follow along and take part using the hashtag #VIPwithGMC.

All the conversation, photos, videos and posts can be viewed at www.tagboard.com/VIPwithGMC where many fans have already begun posting photos in their team’s colors

“GMC looks forward to providing fans and family members a memorable experience throughout the Super Bowl week,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of GMC sales and marketing. “Whether it’s behind the scenes via the #VIPwithGMC hashtag or onsite at our displays in and around Phoenix, fans of every team can get involved.”

Super Bowl XLIX
GMC’s presence in the Phoenix area can’t be missed with its more than 600 vehicles supporting the game’s activities – transporting celebrities and VIPs, providing shuttle services, and on display at the NFL Experience Engineered by GMC.

The latter, taking place at the Phoenix Convention Center, opened Saturday with the unveiling of 32 white diamond 2015 GMC Yukon Denalis, each adorned with an NFL team logo on the hood.  The reveal was emceed by ESPN’s play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico.

Inside the convention center, fans can visit various GMC interactive displays and get player autographs, get their picture on the cover of EA SPORTS Madden NFL 15, virtually appear on the jumbotron at the University of Phoenix stadium, and get their caricature created by a digital artist to share via social channels.

Fans can also interact with GMC’s portfolio of 2015 vehicles on display including the all-new GMC Canyon, Yukon and Sierra as well as the entire Denali lineup.

On game day at the stadium, GMC also enhances the fan experience with more interactive displays for photo sharing, vehicle displays, player autographs and more.


GMC
has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC trucks, SUVs and crossovers.  GMC covers the broad spectrum of customer needs in the pickup market with a premium truck in the midsize, light duty and heavy duty segments.  The all-new midsize 2015 GMC Canyon is pure GMC with premium materials, refinement and offers class-leading truck capabilities.  GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, onTwitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

Chevrolet’s Safety Alert Seat Goes to Work

1421378327797GM-exclusive technology gives drivers another tool to avoid crashes

DETROIT – Investment adviser Angela Cusmano is a road warrior who logs 25,000 miles a year to and from guiding clients through 401K allocations and other money matters. One of her best returns on investment is General Motors’-patented Safety Alert Seat.

“I am a very safe driver, but there are times when I’ve misjudged how quickly I’m approaching the car ahead or I’ve begun to move a bit out of my lane, and that seat gets my attention,” said Cusmano, managing partner of Dahring | Cusmano and Associates who lives in suburban Detroit. “It is more subtle, and I love it.”

In just two years, the available Safety Alert Seat has migrated from a General Motors’ luxury-exclusive feature to selected 2015 Chevrolet models (Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe). It works with other collision-avoidance warning technologies in the vehicle to vibrate the driver’s seat bottom cushion if a crash risk is detected.

The Safety Alert Seat was designed to give customers like Cusmano an alternative to auditory alerts such as beeps, as well as to give hearing-impaired drivers an opportunity to experience crash avoidance system alerts. About one in five Americans (48 million) suffer some degree of hearing loss, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

Chevrolet’s Safety Alert Seat uses haptics, a tactile feedback technology that re-creates the sense of touch by using left and/or right “tapping” vibration pulses to direct the driver to the location of a crash threat.  Similar technology is used in space and military applications.

“Using the tactile sense to communicate crash threat direction can help cut through the clutter of visual and auditory sensory information that drivers routinely experience,” said GM Active Safety Technical Fellow Raymond J. Kiefer.

“The best kind of safety protection we can offer are customer-focused features that help drivers avoid the crash altogether, and which are kept turned on for every trip,” said Kiefer.

Here’s how the Safety Alert Seat works in a vehicle equipped with a lane departure warning system:

When the camera detects the vehicle is leaving a lane without an active turn signal in that direction, small motors generate a vibration pulse in the left or right seat bolster that directs the driver’s attention to the side of the lane encroachment.

When a vehicle is equipped with forward collision alert technology and the system detects the driver may strike the vehicle ahead, both sides of the seat vibrate. Drivers always can select beeping alerts instead of seat vibrations.

“Safety technologies are only as effective as customers’ willingness and ability to use them,” said Kiefer. “If the Safety Alert Seat encourages our customers to receive crash-threat alerts or give hearing-impaired drivers an opportunity to experience such alerts, we think that’s good for them as well as other motorists.”

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 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

GM Dealers Show Their Sustainability to Customers

Automaker launches ‘Green Dealer Recognition’ program

DETROIT – Certain Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships across the U.S. are showing customers their environmental credentials as part of a new “Green Dealer Recognition” program.

Participating dealers have proven track records in areas such as energy reduction, renewable energy use, water conservation efforts, recycling, on-site nature habitats and community outreach.

The program aligns with General Motors’ companywide efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and green its supply chain. GM designed the program to encourage dealers to continue these voluntary efforts and build a network for sharing best practices to help others begin or advance their sustainability journeys.

“Within just 24 hours of the program’s launch, 66 dealerships signed up and began evaluating their performance against our criteria,” said Kurt McNeil, GM vice president of U.S. Sales and Service. “We think customers should know all the behind-the-scenes efforts our dealerships make to leave a smaller footprint on their communities.”

To date, 180 dealers have requested access to complete the performance assessment. GM’s green dealer support team then validates and evaluates the submissions against specific criteria. A dealer’s continuous year-over-year improvement will lead to ongoing annual recognition. Eight dealers have achieved green dealer recognition for superior sustainability performance.

What drives these environmental upgrades and outreach activities? GM dealers cite four main reasons:

  • Customers: Car buyers want more than fuel-efficient vehicles; they want to buy them from environmentally responsible companies.  Sustainability provides a competitive edge.
  • Operational efficiency: Light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting slashes energy bills and native plantings reduce water costs.
  • Employee motivation: Sustainable practices give employees a sense of pride and more opportunities to engage with the community.
  • Community: The actions align operations with the beliefs and values of the communities they serve.

“We were impressed by how willing dealers were to share their accomplishments with their peers,” said McNeil. “They wanted to be listed as a resource for other dealers in evaluating investment and return on various initiatives. When more people begin to operate in a sustainable way, everybody wins.”

GM shaped the initiative based on insights from dealers who participated in a pilot program. George Nunnally Chevrolet in Bentonville, Ark., encouraged the concept of sharing cost-effective activities that dealers could implement during remodels or new builds, such as installing LED lighting or capturing rainwater from a rooftop.

“Although financial savings is what started our environmental upgrades, we’ve found we have like-minded people in our community that really appreciate the effort we made,” said Gan Nunnally, general manager. “We’re seeing that through our service lane and our sales. These are people who have not previously driven a Chevrolet.”

For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report andenvironmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Signals Brand’s EV Strategy

Affordable, long-range concept builds on brand’s electrification leadership

1421338176737DETROIT – Chevrolet today made a significant statement on its commitment to electrification with the introduction of the Bolt EV concept – a vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range starting around $30,000.

“The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.”

Leveraging the electrification prowess established by Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept is designed to offer long-range performance in all 50 states and many global markets.

Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging.

“We have made tremendous strides in technologies that make it easier and more affordable for Chevrolet customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives,” said Barra. “The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology.”

The Bolt EV concept also pushes the envelope for crossover aesthetics. Its unique proportion, with practically no front or rear overhang, makes the most of interior space and was designed to create a roomy environment for four that feels expansive. Lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and even woven mesh, complement the design, while driving down the curb weight to help maximize range. Aero-optimizing features such as vented rear fenders also help contribute to range.

“Form and function have never meshed so well together,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.”

The Bolt EV concept’s airy interior ambience is enhanced with bold use of glass all around – as well as a full-length, frosted glass roof with unique, faceted design elements. A high beltline sweeps upward with the D-pillar, culminating in an integrated roof spoiler, for a lean, athletic stance.  An advanced nano-composite rear hatch and wraparound rear window give the Bolt EV concept a distinctive appearance and flood the interior with more natural light.

High-intensity, efficient light-emitting diode (LED) headlamp and taillamp elements are housed behind jewel-like faceted lenses in which translucent elements illuminate evenly to create the signature lighting effect.

Airy, intuitive interior

Inside, the Bolt EV concept has a large feel reinforced by generous headroom and legroom dimensions. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess, while a contemporary, light color scheme adds to the feeling of an open, airy cabin and conveys warmth.

The cabin’s airy, high-tech environment is reinforced with lightweight, slim-architecture seats mounted on exposed aluminum pedestals that create a floating effect. The minimalist center console “floats,” too, suspended from the front seats.

“The Bolt EV concept’s interior is intended as a sanctuary, with materials and technologies that reinforce the airy ambience and help contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency,” said Welburn. “It also incorporates technology in a subtler and simpler manner, for a more soothing driving experience – particularly in busy, urban environments.”

Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior layout incorporates easy-to-use technology designed to make the driving experience easier and more enjoyable. It wraps into the door panels and features a frosted and translucent appearance – and a subtle glow at night.

The concept’s technological intuitiveness can be accessed via a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app, which is designed to:

  • Allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob
  • Allow ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key and even payment processing via the smartphone
  • Incorporate the concept automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself – and when errands are completed, the Bolt EV concept can be summoned to return to the owner’s location.

A large, color 10-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch screen, with interface features, complements the concept Bolt EV Connect app. It even allows the projection of all the application and other smartphone data onto the screen.

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 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

Five Chevys Win Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Award

Sports cars and SUV top categories, pickups take Top 10 overall honors

SAN FRANCISCO – Kelley Blue Book today awarded Best Resale Value Awards to five Chevrolet models. Camaro, Corvette and Tahoe topped their categories while the Colorado and Silverado earned awards for being in the Top 10 overall of expected retained value after five years.

The win marks the fourth year in a row the Camaro has topped its segment, and the second consecutive year the Corvette won the High Performance car category.

“Chevrolet prides itself on offering performance, design, and technology at a great value,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Global Marketing for Chevrolet. “These awards show that a Chevrolet is going to offer you a great value not just at the time of purchase, but when it comes to selling your car.”

Kelley Blue Book bases its awards on its own research and analysis focused on retained value over the first five years of ownership. Winners are chosen in 22 categories, including hybrid and plug-in cars. The Top 10 consists of those vehicles that retain the highest percentage of their original Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.

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 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

Chevy Colorado Picks Up Another ‘Best’ Award

1421194294370DETROIT – The Chevrolet Colorado was named Cars.com’s Best Pickup Truck of 2015 at a ceremony during the North American International Auto Show on Tuesday evening.

“The impressive, all-new 2015 Colorado jumpstarts a category of trucks that was quickly fading away,” said Mark Williams, Cars.com pickup truck editor. “Midsize pickup trucks have long been a favorite of both Cars.com experts and truck shoppers, so we’re thrilled to see them come back to life, starting with the new Colorado.

“This truck offers shoppers a lot of bang for their buck with great features and an impressive ride, all at an affordable price.”

Said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager: “Offering segment-leading capabilities and efficiency, with the latest in convenience and safety features, is our goal with the Colorado and the Cars.com’s award affirms our instincts. It is an efficiently sized, maneuverable solution for customers who want the cargo-hauling and trailering versatility of a truck without the size of a full-size pickup.”

The Colorado starts at $20,995, including destination charges, and is available in four-door extended- or crew-cab models. It offers the segment’s best horsepower and EPA-estimated fuel economy: 200 horsepower (149 kW) and up to 27 mpg highway (2WD) from a standard 2.5L I-4 – the most fuel-efficient gas pickup trucks on the road; 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 26 mpg (2WD) from an available 3.6L V-6.

V-6 models offer a segment-leading maximum trailering rating of 7,000 pounds, as well as the G80 locking rear differential, for sure-footed track in slippery conditions and when trailering.

Editors’ Note: The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price includes destination freight charge but excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Excludes other General Motors’ vehicles.
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 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.