While Iowa hopes for warm weather, the automotive industry continues to stay hot, with new vehicles, big honors, and plenty of changes.
This week’s review includes a new mark for light-duty trucks, and a high honor for GM’s CEO.
Also, find out which McGrath Auto stores won major dealer awards, and what important event is happening at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.
This Week’s Top Stories:
GM CEO Wants to Continue New Product Pace: General Motors released 18 all-new or refreshed vehicles in 2013, with another 13 expected to come this year, and newly-appointed CEO Mary Barra says she wants, and fully expects, the pace to continue. In a conference call with journalists, Barra said GM is ready and willing to continually provide new vehicles on a consistent basis.
Barra Named Most Powerful Woman in Business: According to Fortune Magazine, General Motors CEO Mary Barra was named the most powerful woman in business, only three weeks after being appointed the job. Barra, the first woman to ever head a major automaker, has generally downplayed the historical significance of her CEO position.
UAW, Volkswagen Push Continues: Workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee will vote whether or not to join the UAW on Feb 12th through the 14th. After years of declining membership across the country, the UAW has been pushing for a German-style works council at the plant, and it hopes to make Volkswagen the first foreign automaker to work with the American union.
McGrath Auto Stores win 2014 Dealer of the Year Awards: The Marion Used Car Superstore and Pat McGrath Chevyland have won awards for Dealer of the Year from DealerRater.com. Thanks to tremendous service and prices, Marion won 2014 Iowa Used Car Dealer of the Year, and Chevyland won 2014 Iowa Chevy Used Car Dealer of the Year. Both stores have won the awards for two consecutive years.
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Ram 1500 Sets Fuel-Economy Benchmark: The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel set a new benchmark with an EPA-estimated 28 mpg hwy. With the 3.6L Pentastar V6 getting 25 mpg hwy, the Ram 1500 now owns #1 and #2 in segment fuel-economy. Ram trucks also own the most towing capacity, thanks to the Ram 3500 which is capable of towing 30,000 lbs.
Chevy City Express Heading to Chicago: General Motors will introduce the Chevrolet City Express van at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show which begins February 8th. Expected to compete with the Ford Transit Connect, the City Express will offer maneuverability and cargo-hauling to business owners and fleet managers.
Chrysler Sales Up 8%: Despite an overall industry decline in sales, Chrysler Group sales rose 8%, mostly aided by the Jeep Cherokee, which sold over 10,000 units during the month. Largely due to inclement weather, total U.S. auto sales were down 3%.
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