Chevrolet Blazer

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Posted by motoman 03/31/2009 @ 09:13

Tags : chevrolet blazer, chevrolet, cars, leisure

News headlines
2 hospitalized after crash - GoErie.com
Police said the crash happened when a Chevrolet Blazer, driven by James R. Hepler, 21, drifted off the roadway and into a ditch, where the SUV struck a cement culvert. Hepler, of Conneautville, was listed in fair condition at Hamot on Saturday....
Man, 2 children killed in canal crash near Minidoka Dam - Idaho Press-Tribune
For unknown reasons, he lost control of his Chevrolet Blazer and the Blazer left the roadway on the east side and went into the canal, where it became submerged. Hunt and two of the three passengers - 11-year-old Isaiah Luna and 11-year-old Austin...
Driver walks away from Blazer crash - Online Athens
A 22-year-old Winder man walked away from a crash that left his Chevrolet Blazer laying on its roof Wednesday afternoon on Mulberry Road near Chicken Lyle Road north of Winder, Barrow County sheriff's deputies said. Johnathan Casper lost control of the...
4 injured in wreck on I-640 west of Western Avenue - WVLT
Volunteer TV photojournalist Herb Goss reports that the wreck involved a red Chevrolet Blazer that flipped and came to rest crumpled in the median. The SUV was occupied by two adults and two minors. Fire officials tell Goss that the two adults were...
Chase of stolen SUV starts in Lakeland, ends near Winter Haven ... - News Chief
This stolen Chevrolet Blazer, which was chased from Lakeland, ended up on US Highway 17 near downtown Winter Haven on Saturday evening. The tires were shredded from the wheels on the driver's side. May 02, 2009 By Donna Kelly According to Sgt. Eric...
Teen sought in I-75 shooting deaths - Cincinnati.com
Keith Cobb and Scott Neblett Jr. both 25 and of Westwood, were found dead inside a Chevrolet Blazer. Each had extensive criminal records, mostly involving drug offenses. The SUV was riddled with 13 bullets holes and flipped twice and landed upright...
GREECE POLICE reports: Paintball problems - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
When the woman left, she took the man's 2004 Chevrolet Blazer without his permission. Vehicles ransacked: Police received reports of items stolen from vehicles between May 13 and 17. Stolen items included credit cards, cash, sunglasses, cds, cash,...
One dead in head-on collision today - Hattiesburg American
Master Sgt. Thomas Saul with the Mississippi Highway Patrol wouldn't release the driver's name pending family notification but said the driver of an Oldsmobile Alero was traveling north, attempted to pass a vehicle and collided with a Chevrolet Blazer...
One injured in Wednesday night crash in Solway - Bemidji Pioneer
Timothy Earls was driving a 2007 GMC Sierra west on Highway 2 when Melissa Hamilton, 49, of Shevlin, driving a 1999 Chevrolet Blazer south on Centerline Road, pulled out in front of Earls' vehicle, according to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol...
Police: drugs, alcohol factor in crash - Cameron County Endeavor
Denton Hill-based State Police said Taras S. Lunev, 18, of Coudersport was flown by medical helicopter to Altoona Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained when he lost control of a 1999 Chevrolet Blazer on Dingman Run Road, 1.4 mile north of Rt. 6...

Chevrolet Blazer

The Chevrolet K5 Blazer' and GMC 1500 Jimmy names were used on two different early (full sized) SUV models. The names "Blazer" and "Jimmy" were also used on other smaller model SUVs produced by General Motors.

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Chevrolet K5 Blazer

1974 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

The K5 Blazer was the smallest full size SUV version of the General Motors C/K Trucks family. Introduced to the Chevrolet line in 1969, the full-size Blazer was replaced in 1995 by the Chevrolet Tahoe. In 1970, GMC introduced its own model of the truck, called the Jimmy, which lasted until the 1992 GMC Yukon. Both were based on the short wheelbase trucks and were available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The Blazer's long wheelbase relative (with an integrated rear body, and doors for 2nd row passengers) is known as the Chevrolet Suburban.

The K5 Blazer and Jimmy had "full convertible" removable tops until 1976. In 1976 GM introduced a half-cab design that was less prone to leaks and slightly safer in a roll-over. These half cabs are convertible starting at a few inches behind the driver/passenger doors all the way back to the tailgate. In 1992 the Blazer was redesigned completely and no longer had a removable top.

Smaller models, the S-10 Blazer and S-15 Jimmy, were introduced alongside these trucks in 1983. The original Blazer and Jimmy remained in production until 1991; 1992 saw the introduction of a new K1500 Blazer (and the rebadged GMC Yukon) on the GMT400 platform. After 1994, the Blazer was renamed the Chevrolet Tahoe.

The original K5 was a short wheelbase truck. It was available in 1969 as 4-wheel drive only; in 1970, a two-wheel-drive model was offered. There were four choices for power plants: the 250 in straight-6, the 292 straight-6, the 307 V8, and the 350 V8.

The Blazer was designed and marketed to compete with International Harvester Scout and the Ford Bronco. Both of these were originally aimed at the short Jeep CJ series, which were much smaller than other trucks. The great innovation of the Blazer was to simply offer a shortened pickup truck, which both increased interior space, and lowered the cost of production with a shared platform. The Blazer quickly became popular. For the first time, it married the off-road capabilities of the Scout with the "luxury" features like air conditioning and automatic transmissions routinely available on pickup trucks. By 1970, the Blazer was already outselling both of its older rivals. Ford, Dodge, and even Jeep would counter with similar shortened pickups, with the Dodge Ramcharger and Jeep Cherokee.

The two-wheel drive version came with independent front suspension and rear trailing arms, both with coil springs. The four-wheel drive version had a solid front axle and used leaf springs front and rear. Both versions used drum brakes at all four corners until 1971, when the entire GM light truck line got standard front discs.

There was also a choice between a three-speed automatic transmission Turbo Hydromatic (TH350), a three-speed manual transmission, and a four-speed Saginaw Muncie (SM465) manual transmission. Two transfer cases were offered: the Dana 20, available only with the manual transmissions, or the NP-205, available with both types of transmissions.

In 1973, GM's line of full-size trucks was redesigned and updated. Although rear-wheel drive Blazers were manufactured until 1982, the majority sold were four-wheel drive.

Until 1976, the K5 had a removable convertible top. After this, a half-cab design was used until 1991.

Although the GMT400 platform was introduced in the spring of 1987 as a 1988 model, the K5 Blazer, Suburban, and crew-cab trucks retained the earlier platform until 1991. In 1989, the front grille was changed to resemble the squared-off ones used on the GMT400 series of pickups.

The K5 Blazer is very popular in the off-roading scene. It is a strong truck with the 350 V8 (which was the optional power plant), the gear driven NP-205 and ten and twelve bolt axles. It is very easy to upgrade this engine, because there are many companies with performance parts available. Later models produced after 1980 used the chain-driven NP208 transfer case, and the NP241 after 1988.

Since 1981 (in the wake of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and the 1979 energy crisis), Chevrolet and GMC used the smaller displacement 305s with a 9.2:1 compression ratio. These engines produced nearly as much torque as the 350, giving a similar driving feel. However, these power plants were underpowered and susceptible to detonation (engine knocking), especially with the electronic spark control module. To achieve the 9.2:1 compression ratio, the cylinder head chambers were smaller, measuring 54 cc instead of 60 cc. Despite a camshaft swap, some Blazer owners swapped out the 305s in favor of 350s, since the smaller displacement power plant was used in all Chevrolet/GMC pickups and passenger cars.

1982 saw the Detroit Diesel 6.2 introduced; diesel-powered K5s are sought after (especially for diesel conversions running biodiesel and/or straight vegetable oil).

After 1987, when Throttle Body Injection was introduced in the truck engines, the 350 was made the standard power plant.

The full-size Chevrolet Blazer was updated in 1992 on the new GMT400 platform and lasted through the 1994 model year. The GMC Jimmy moniker was dropped from the full size SUVs for 1992, and the GMC Yukon nameplate was introduced that year. The Blazer platform was known as GMT415, and the Yukon was GMT430.

The models were mostly identical to each other save for emblems and identification, grilles, and some trim packages, Cheyenne and Silverado for Chevy, SL and SLE for GMC. A Blazer Sport was offered with a flat graphite color applied to the lower areas of the vehicle and fender flares. A GMC Yukon GT was offered in a two-tone paint scheme early on with fender flares, it was then changed to a monochromatic appearance package later on.

These trucks had a slightly longer wheelbase than the previous models to improve drivability and towing, but there was no removable top offered, with a hatch and tailgate in the rear. Most were equipped with roof racks. The new frame was strengthened and an independent front suspension design was used. The 350 throttle-body injected V8 was carried over from the 1991 models. In 1993 an electronically controlled 4l60e transmission was introduced, darker tinted glass was used for the rear hatches. In 1994 the grille shell was updated and an LED third brake light added. A 6.5 liter turbo diesel was offered as well.

In 1995 the full-size Blazer was redesignated as the Chevy Tahoe to be sold along with its new 4-door "shortened Suburban" counterpart, and the interior was redesigned with a new dashboard, seats, and door panels. The Yukon received the same treatment. In 1996, a new Vortec 5.7 liter 350 V8 was introduced to replace the old 350 throttle body injection engine, along with OBD-II diagnostics.

A Z71 off-road suspension RPO was offered on these trucks from 1992-1999 which consisted of larger 265/75/R15 tires, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, and some other beefed up items, just like the pickups had. Contrary to common belief, no 2-door Blazer, Yukon, or Tahoe ever left the factory with a Z71 decal on the side.

The 2-door Tahoe was in production up until 1999, the last model year for this 2-door SUV. The 2-door GMC Yukon on the GMT400 platform was produced until 1997.

Around 1981, a prototype K5 Blazer was used as a testbed for a military CUCV vehicle. Between 1983 and 1986, what is known as the M1009 CUCV was the production militarized version of the civilian K5. The only differences are the lack of an air conditioner and an additional leaf spring in the suspension. A majority of them are painted olive drab green or in the woodland camouflage pattern, though some vehicles that saw desert use were painted tan. All M1009s, including its derivatives, are powered with the 6.2 L Diesel power plant.

Some decommissioned M1009s end up in law enforcement use (e.g. with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department) or sold through government auctions, but a handful are still in use by the National Guard.

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Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

1998-2005 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer LS 4-door

The Chevrolet Blazer (4WD model T-10) and the similar GMC S-15 Jimmy (4WD model T-15) were mid-size SUVs from General Motors. Production began alongside the larger K5 Blazer and Jimmy in 1983 and lasted through 2005. In the United States retail sales after 2004 were limited to two-door Blazer models, all other models being sold to fleets, until April 20, 2005. In the Canadian market, four door models of the Blazer and Jimmy were sold until the 2004 model year and until the 2005 model year for the two door models of both.

The S-series SUVs, so named because they were based on the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC S-15 pickup trucks, were produced in Pontiac, Michigan, Linden, New Jersey, Moraine, Ohio, Shreveport, Louisiana, and São Paulo, Brazil (the Brazilian version is based on the second-generation S-series; even though production ceased in the U.S., new Blazers are locally produced in Brazil with their own sheetmetal stampings). In North America, the Moraine plant produced only 4-door vehicles, with both 2 and 4 door models being produced at Linden, which was the main assembly plant after the switch (some time after 1995) from Pontiac, Michigan, which is now a full-size truck plant.

Upon the introduction of the S-10 pickup truck in 1982 to replace the Isuzu-based Chevrolet LUV, the S-10 Blazer was introduced for the 1983 model year, along with the GMC S-15 Jimmy.

Styling cues were based on the first generation K5 Blazer and Jimmy (such as the angled C-pillars and lift glass panel); the S-series Blazer and Jimmy did not feature removable hardtops like their full-size counterparts. Notably, the new, smaller Blazer and Jimmy were only offered in a two-door bodystyle, like their larger antecedents.

Base power was provided by GM's 2.0 L OHV four-cylinder engine, producing a meager 83 hp (62 kW). A 2.8 L, 110 hp (82 kW) V6 was offered as an option (coincidentally this engine was also used in Jeep's Cherokee until 1987).

Due to emissions laws, a 1.9 liter I4 gasoline engine built by Isuzu was offered as the base model engine in California in place of the 2.0 liter engine, while an Isuzu-sourced 2.2 liter diesel engine (also used in the S-series pickups) producing 58 hp (43 kW) was offered as an option.

The 1.9, 2.0, and 2.2 liter diesel were dropped after 1985, replaced by the larger 2.5 liter engine. The V6 was refitted with a throttle-body fuel injection system for 1986 in order to improve performance and fuel economy.

Jeep replaced the Cherokee's 2.8 V6 with a new, more powerful 4.0 L, 173 hp (129 kW) I6 in 1987. To keep competitive the Blazer and Jimmy received a new 4.3 L (262 cu in) V6 option in 1988 (also used with the Astro/Safari vans), based on the ubiquitous Chevrolet Small-Block V8 engine, producing a respectable 150 hp (110 kW). Power output was increased to 160 hp (120 kW) in 1989.

In March 1990, 4-door versions of the S-10 Blazer and Jimmy were introduced; the 4-door had a 6.5in longer wheelbase (2-doors had a 100.5 in wheelbase - six inches (152 mm) longer than the Ford Bronco II) and a one-piece front grille with a painted black insert (1990 2-door S-10 Blazers and Jimmies had the 3-piece grille). Early production models between March and August 1990 were initially available as a four-wheel drive only; 2WD versions commenced production around Summer 1990. This came just months ahead of the introduction of the Ford Explorer, which replaced the Bronco II; six-and-a-half years after the segment-leading Cherokee debuted with four doors. Snowflake alloy wheels (similar to the ones used on the Chevrolet Astro/GMC Safari) were introduced, either painted charcoal gray or argent silver.

The upscale Oldsmobile Bravada appeared the next year featuring an All-Wheel-Drive package called "Smart-Trak". Although the first generation S-series Blazer and Jimmy were initially sold as 2-doors upon its original introduction, an episode of Motor Trend TV (c. 1991) stated that the thumbs up was for the introduction of the new bodystyle, and the thumbs down was that the 4-door bodystyle was based on the first generation model, which was in the process of a makeover.

1992 models were similar to 1991s - the only way to tell the difference is the rear back glass (the rear glass does not have any trim to which two black buttons serve as the back glass strut mounting points) and front grille (chrome shell with argent silver inserts). The interior was a carryover from 1991 with the exception of the center console and steering wheel (X-bar style similar to the one used in the GMT400 trucks). Also, the "S-15" name was dropped from the Jimmy.

1993 had a few changes - the center console was raised, and the 4L60E transmission replaced the 4L60. The grille (alongside the S-10 pickup) was revised (which was a chrome-plated version of the base work truck grille found on base S-10 pickups), along with the addition of optional 5-spoke alloy rims (for the 2WD model - basically a copy of the 3rd generation Camaro Z28 15" alloy rim).

Although the second generation S-series debuted in 1994, the S-10 Blazer and Jimmy continued unchanged in 1994, based on the first generation S-series (with the addition of a third brake light - the high-mounted rear spoiler was discontinued).

All 4-door S10 Blazers and Jimmies came with anti-lock brakes as standard equipment; unlike the 2-door model, only two 4.3 L (262 cu in) engines were optioned - the base TBI and the CPI (introduced in 1992 for the S-series and Chevrolet Astro minivans; these engines had the "Vortec" logo on the intake plenum).

1995 1/2 was the introduction of an all-new Blazer. This time, it lost the S-10 prefix and became its own model based on the second generation S-10/Sonoma pickups introduced a year earlier (the K1500 Blazer was rebadged as the Chevrolet Tahoe). Upon introduction of the 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer and the GMC Envoy, production continued after their successors came to the market, with the Jimmy only being sold in Canada and in the 2005 model year, 4-door models sold to vehicle fleets.

The Blazer was Playboy magazine's Truck of the Year for 1995.

Another upscale model was the 1998 GMC Envoy. It used the same engines and had many of the same upgrades as the Bravada. The 1998 model Envoy featured an optional upgrade to High Intensity Discharge headlamps, and several other visual modifications.

In 1998, a front grille similar to the Chevrolet C/K pickup line's stacked-headlight system replaced the older single-headlight system, similar to the C/K grilles.

In 1999, Chevrolet introduced a limited edition 'TrailBlazer' appearance package that was available as an upgrade to the LS and LT trims. The package featured gold-accented alloy rims and trim along with several interior/exterior modifications and upgrades. This package was marketed until the introduction of the GMT360 series for the 2002 model year.

At the same time, a Blazer Xtreme (only on the 2-door model) was added to the lineup, based on the S10 Xtreme. This sub-model lasted until 2004.

This generation was phased out in 2001 to make way for the new GMT360 models such as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and the GMC Envoy. However, production of the Blazer and Jimmy continued until April 20, 2005, in Linden, New Jersey, despite slow sales, and the plant located there then closed. A white Chevrolet Blazer became the last of the series, and the last vehicle produced in New Jersey. Although production ceased, the second generation body style is still being produced in Brazil.

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Dodge

Dodge Logo

Dodge is a United States-based brand of automobiles, minivans, sport utility vehicles, and trucks, manufactured and marketed by Chrysler LLC in more than 60 different countries and territories worldwide. Founded as the Dodge Brothers Company in 1900 to supply parts and assemblies for Detroit’s growing auto industry, Dodge began making its own complete vehicles in 1914. The brand was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1928, passed through the short-lived DaimlerChrysler merger of 1998–2007 as part of the Chrysler Group, and is now a part of Chrysler LLC owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity investment firm.

By 1914, he and Horace had fixed that by creating the new four-cylinder Dodge Model 30. Pitched as a slightly more upscale competitor to the ubiquitous Ford Model T, it pioneered or made standard many features later taken for granted: all-steel body construction (when the vast majority of cars worldwide still used wood framing under steel panels, though Stoneleigh and BSA had used steel bodies as early as 1911), 12-volt electrical system (6-volt systems would remain the norm up until the 1950s), and sliding-gear transmission (the best-selling Model T would retain an antiquated planetary design all the way until its demise in 1927). As a result of all this, as well as the brothers' well-earned reputation for quality through the parts they had made for other successful vehicles, Dodge cars were ranked at second place for U.S. sales as early as 1916. The same year, Henry Ford decided to stop paying dividends, leading to the Dodge brothers filing suit to protect approximately a million dollars a year they were earning; this led Ford to buy out his shareholders, and the Dodges were paid some US$25 million.

In the same year, Dodge vehicles won wide acclaim for durability while in service with the US Army's Pancho Villa Expedition into Mexico. One notable instance was in May when the 6th Infantry received a reported sighting of Julio Cardenas, one of Villa's most trusted subordinates. Lt. George S. Patton led ten soldiers and two civilian guides in three Dodge Model 30 touring cars to conduct a raid at a ranch house in San Miguelito, Sonora. During the ensuing firefight the party killed three men, of whom one was identified as Cardenas. Patton's men tied the bodies to the hoods of the Dodges, returning to headquarters in Dublán and an excited reception from US newspapermen.

Dodge cars continued to rank second place in American sales in 1920. But that year, tragedy struck as John Dodge was felled by pneumonia in January. His brother Horace then died of cirrhosis in December of the same year (reportedly out of grief at the loss of his brother, with whom he was very close). The Dodge Brothers Company fell into the hands of the brothers' widows, who promoted long-time employee Frederick Haynes to the company presidency. During this time, the Model 30 was evolved to become the new Series 116 (though it retained the same basic construction and engineering features).

Dodge Brothers emerged as a leading builder of light trucks. They also entered into a production agreement whereby they produced trucks marketed as Graham Brothers by the men who would later produce Graham and Graham-Paige automobiles.

Stagnation in development was becoming apparent, however, and the public responded by dropping Dodge to fifth place in the industry by 1925. That year, the Dodge Brothers Company was sold by the widows to the well-known investment group Dillon, Read & Co. for no less than US$146 million (at the time, the largest cash transaction in history).

Dillon, Read quickly installed one of their own men at the company, one E.G. Wilmer, who set about trying to keep the firm on an even keel. Changes to the car, save for superficial things like trim levels and colors, remained minimal until 1927, when the new Senior six-cylinder line was introduced. The former four-cylinder line was kept on, but renamed the Fast Four line until it was dropped in favor of two lighter six-cylinder models (the Standard Six and Victory Six) for 1928.

Despite all this, Dodge’s sales had already dropped to seventh place in the industry by 1927, and Dillon, Read began looking for someone to take over the company on a more permanent basis.

Enter Walter P. Chrysler, head of the recently-founded (in 1924) Chrysler Corporation and former president of General Motors’ successful Buick division. Chrysler had wanted to purchase Dodge two years earlier, and had in the meantime created his own DeSoto brand of cars to challenge Dodge’s new entries in the medium-priced field.

When Chrysler called again in 1928, Dillon, Read was finally ready to talk. In a foreshadowing of much later acquisitions by his company, Chrysler wanted Dodge more for its name, its extensive dealer network and its factory than anything it was producing at the time. The big sale came about in July 1928, when Chrysler and Dodge engaged in an exchange of stock worth US$170 million. Production of existing models continued, with minor changes here and there, through the end of 1928 and (in the case of the Senior) into 1929.

For late 1930, Dodge took another step up by adding a new eight-cylinder line to complement the existing Senior six-cylinder. This basic format of a dual line with Six and Eight models continued through 1934, and the cars were gradually streamlined and lengthened in step with prevailing trends of the day. A long-wheelbase edition of the remaining Six was added for 1934 and would remain a part of the lineup for many years.

The Dodge line, along with most of the Corporation’s output, was restyled in the so-called “Wind Stream” look for 1935. This was a mild form of streamlining, which saw sales jump remarkably over the previous year (even though Dodge as a whole still dropped to fifth place for the year after two years of holding down fourth).

Another major restyle arrived for the 25th anniversary 1939 models, the top model of which Dodge dubbed the Luxury Liner series. These were once again completely redesigned for 1942. However, just after these models were introduced, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor forced the shutdown of Dodge’s passenger car assembly lines in favor of war production.

Chrysler was prolific in its production of war material from 1942 to 1945, and Dodge in particular was well-known to both average citizens and thankful soldiers for their tough military-spec truck models. Starting with the hastily converted VC series and evolving into the celebrated WC series, Dodge built a strong reputation for itself that readily carried over into civilian models after the war.

Civilian production at Dodge was restarted by late 1945, in time for the 1946 model year. The “seller’s market” of the early postwar years, brought on by the lack of any new cars throughout the war, meant that every automaker found it easy to sell vehicles regardless of any drawbacks they might have. Like almost every other automaker, Dodge sold lightly facelifted revisions of its 1942 design through the 1948 season. As before, these were a single series of six-cylinder models with two trim levels (basic Deluxe or plusher Custom).

Styling was not initially Dodge's strong point during this period, though that began to change by 1953 under the direction of corporate design chief Virgil Exner. At the same time, Dodge also introduced its first V8 engine—the original design of the famed Hemi. With steadily upgraded styling and ever-stronger engines every year through 1960, Dodge found a ready market for its products as America discovered the joys of freeway travel. This situation improved when Chrysler phased the failing DeSoto brand out of its lineup after 1961, leaving Dodge as the company's only line in the middle of the market.

Dodge entered the compact car field for 1961 with their new Lancer sedan (a variation on Plymouth's Valiant). Though it was not initially successful, the Dart range that came after it in 1963 would prove to be one of the division's top sellers for many years.

Chrysler did make an ill-advised move to downsize the Dodge and Plymouth full-size lines for 1962, which resulted in a loss of sales. However, they turned this around in 1965 by turning those former full-sizes into "new" mid-size models; Dodge revived the Coronet nameplate in this way and later added a sporty fastback version called the Charger that became both a sales leader and a winner on the NASCAR circuit.

Full-size models evolved gradually during this time. After being restored to their former dimensions for 1965, the Polara and Monaco were changed mostly in appearance for the next ten years or so. Unique "fuselage" styling was employed for 1969, then was toned down again for 1974.

Dodge is well-known today for being a player in the muscle car market of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Along with the Charger, models like the Coronet R/T and Super Bee were popular with buyers seeking performance. The pinnacle of this effort was the introduction of the Challenger sports coupe and convertible (Dodge's entry into the "pony car" class ) in 1970, which offered everything from mild economy engines up to the wild race-ready Hemi V8 in the same package.

In an effort to reach every segment of the market, Dodge even reached a hand across the Pacific to its partner Mitsubishi Motors and borrowed their subcompact Colt to compete against cars like the AMC Gremlin, Ford Pinto, and Chevrolet Vega. Chrysler's relationship with Mitsubishi would prove to be very important in later years.

Everything changed at Dodge (and Chrysler as a whole) when the 1973 oil crisis hit the United States. Save for the Colt and certain models of the Dart, Dodge's lineup was quickly seen as extremely inefficient. In fairness, this was true of most American automakers at the time, but Chrysler was also not in the best financial shape to do anything about it. Consequently, while General Motors and Ford were quick to begin downsizing their largest cars, Chrysler (and Dodge) moved more slowly out of necessity.

At the very least, Chrysler was able to use some of its other resources. Borrowing the recently-introduced Chrysler Horizon from their European division, Dodge was able to get its new Omni subcompact on the market fairly quickly. At the same time, they increased the number of models imported from Mitsubishi: first came a smaller Colt (based on Mitsubishi's Mitsubishi Lancer line, then a revival of the Challenger (though with nothing more than a four-cylinder under the hood, rather than the booming V8s of yore).

Bigger Dodges, though, remained rooted in old habits. The Dart was replaced by a new Aspen for 1976, and Coronet and Charger were effectively replaced by the Diplomat for 1977, which was actually a fancier Aspen. Meanwhile, the huge Monaco (Royal Monaco beginning in 1977 when the mid-sized Coronet was renamed "Monaco") models hung around through 1977, losing sales every year, until finally being replaced by the St. Regis for 1979 following a one-year absence from the big car market. In a reversal of what happened for 1965, the St. Regis was an upsized Coronet. Buyers, understandably, were confused and chose to shop the competition rather than figure out what was going on at Dodge.

Everything came to a head in 1979 when Chrysler's new chairman, Lee Iacocca, requested and received federal loan guarantees from the United States Congress in an effort to save the company from having to file bankruptcy. With bailout money in hand, Chrysler quickly set to work on new models that would leave the past behind.

The first fruit of Chrysler's crash development program was the famous "K-Car," sold at Dodge dealers as the Aries (Plymouth's version was the near-identical Reliant). This basic and durable front-wheel drive platform spawned a whole range of new models at Dodge during the 1980s. Most notable of these was the groundbreaking Caravan, one of the most important cars in history—not just because it helped save Chrysler, but also because it spawned an entirely new market segment that remains popular today: the minivan.

Other popular Dodge models of the time included the turbocharged Daytona, mid-sized 600 and a sporty revival of the Lancer nameplate. The original Omni remained in the lineup until 1990. The Dodge Spirit sedan was well received in numerous markets worldwide. Dodge did continue to import certain vehicles from Mitsubishi, but dropped most of them by 1993 so that customers would focus on the home-grown models instead.

By the 1990s, Chrysler had paid back its debts and was ready to make some real waves in the marketplace. Dodge was picked as the division to start this process, having already defined itself as the "sporty" side of the company. But no one was truly ready for Dodge to give the world something as unique as the Viper, which featured a Lamborghini-engineered V10 engine and composite sports roadster body. This was the first step in what was marketed as "The New Dodge." Step two was the fresh new Intrepid mid-size sedan, totally different from the formal-style Dynasty that preceded it.

Intrepid touted what Chrysler called "cab forward" styling, with the wheels pushed out to the corners of the chassis for maximum passenger space. They followed up on this idea in a smaller scale with the Stratus and Neon, both introduced for 1995. The Neon in particular was a hit, buoyed by a clever marketing campaign and good performance.

Chrysler Corporation merged with Daimler-Benz AG in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler, touted initially as a "merger of equals". Rationalizing Chrysler's broad lineup quickly became the first order of the day, and Dodge's sister brand Plymouth was chosen for the axe. With this move, Dodge now became the company's low-price leader as well as its performance division.

Most models, including the Intrepid, Stratus and Neon, were redesigned in a careful evolutionary way during the early 2000s as the company felt things out. Dodge's first experience of any synergies with the German side of the company came in the form of the new Magnum sports wagon, introduced for 2005 as a replacement for the Intrepid. Featuring Chrysler's first mainstream rear-wheel drive platform since the 1980s and a revival of the Hemi V8 engine, it was a modest success. But it was the rebirth of the Charger in 2006 on the same platform that was the real winner. Offered in a variety of models ranging from very mild to very wild, it quickly became a top contender in the mid-size market.

Further synergies were explored in the form of an extensive platform-sharing arrangement with Mitsubishi, which spawned the Caliber subcompact as a replacement for the Neon and (in a limited way) the Avenger sedan. The rear-drive chassis was then used in early 2008 to build a brand new Challenger, in the same style as the original 1970 edition.

In Spring 2007, DaimlerChrysler reached an agreement with Cerberus Capital Management to sell off its Chrysler Group subsidiary, of which the Dodge division remains a part.

In Spring 2008, Dodge released a commercial claiming that, upon purchase of a Dodge vehicle, they will guarantee that the buyer will only have to pay $2.99/gallon in gas costs for the next 3 years.

Over the years, Dodge has become at least as well-known for its many truck models as for its prodigious passenger car output.

Ever since the beginning of its history in 1914, Dodge has offered light truck models to interested buyers. For the first few years, these were based largely on the existing passenger cars, but eventually gained their own chassis and body designs as the market matured. Light- and medium-duty models were offered first, then a heavy-duty range was added during the 1930s and 1940s.

Following World War II and the successful application of four-wheel drive to the truck line, Dodge introduced a civilian version that it called the Power Wagon. At first based almost exactly on the military-type design, variants of the standard truck line were eventually given 4WD and the same “Power Wagon” name.

Dodge was among the first to introduce car-like features to its trucks, adding the plush Adventurer package during the 1960s and offering sedan-like space in its Club Cab bodies of the 1970s. Declining sales and increased competition during the 1970s eventually forced the company to drop its medium- and heavy-duty models, an arena the company has only recently begun to reenter.

Dodge introduced what they called the "Adult Toys" line to boost its truck sales in the late 1970s, starting off with the limited edition Lil' Red Express pickup (featuring visible big rig-style exhaust stacks). Later came the more widely available Warlock. Other "Adult Toys" from Dodge included the Macho Power Wagon and Street Van.

As part of a general decline in the commercial vehicle field during the 1970s, Dodge eliminated their LCF Series heavy-duty trucks in 1975, along with the Bighorn and medium-duty D-Series trucks, and affiliated S Series school buses were dropped in 1978. On the other hand, Dodge produced several thousand pickups for the United States Military under the CUCV program from the late 1970s into the early 1980s.

Continuing financial problems meant that even Dodge’s light-duty models – renamed as the Ram Pickup line for 1981 – were carried over with the most minimal of updates until 1993. But two things helped to revitalize Dodge’s fortunes during this time. First was their introduction of Cummins’ powerful and reliable B Series turbo-diesel engine as an option for 1989. This innovation raised Dodge’s profile among serious truck buyers who needed big power for towing or large loads. A compact Dakota pickup, which later offered a class-exclusive V8 engine, was also an attractive draw.

Dodge introduced the Ram's all-new “big-rig” styling treatment for 1994. Besides its instantly polarizing looks, exposure was also gained by usage of the new truck on the hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris. The new Ram also featured a totally new interior with a console box big enough to hold a laptop computer, or ventilation and radio controls that were designed to be easily used even with gloves on. A V10 engine derived from that used in the Viper sports car was also new, and the previously offered Cummins turbo-diesel remained available. The smaller Dakota was redesigned in the same vein for 1997, thus giving Dodge trucks a definitive “face” that set them apart from the competition.

The Ram was redesigned again for 2002 (and the Dakota followed in 2004), basically as an evolution of the original but now featuring the revival of Chrysler’s legendary Hemi V8 engine. New medium-duty chassis-cab models were introduced for 2007 (with standard Cummins turbo-diesel power), as a way of gradually getting Dodge back in the business truck market again.

Dodge had offered panel delivery models for many years since its founding, but their first purpose-built van model arrived for 1964 with the compact A Series. Based on the Dodge Dart platform and using its proven six-cylinder or V8 engines, the A-series was a strong competitor for both its domestic rivals (from Ford and Chevrolet/GMC) and the diminutive Volkswagen Transporter line.

As the market evolved, however, Dodge realized that a bigger and stronger van line would be needed in the future. Thus the B Series, introduced for 1971, offered both car-like comfort in its Sportsman passenger line or expansive room for gear and materials in its Tradesman cargo line. A chassis-cab version was also offered, for use with bigger cargo boxes or flatbeds.

Like the trucks, though, Chrysler’s dire financial straits of the late 1970s precluded any major updates for the vans for many years. Rebadged as the Ram Van and Ram Wagon for 1981, this venerable design carried on with little more than cosmetic updates all the way to 2003.

The DaimlerChrysler merger of 1999 made it possible for Dodge to explore new ideas; hence the European-styled Mercedes-Benz Sprinter line of vans was brought over and given a Dodge styling treatment. Redesigned for 2006 as a 2007 model, the economical diesel-powered Sprinters have become very popular for city usage among delivery companies like FedEx and UPS in recent years.

Dodge also offered a cargo version of its best-selling Caravan for many years, at first calling it the Mini Ram Van (a name originally applied to short-wheelbase B-Series Ram Vans)and later dubbing it the Caravan C/V (for “Cargo Van”).

Dodge’s first experiments with anything like a sport utility vehicle were seen in the late 1950s with a windowed version of their standard panel truck known as the Town Wagon. These were built in the same style through the mid-1960s.

But the division didn’t enter the SUV arena in earnest until 1974, with the purpose-built Ramcharger. Offering the then-popular open body style and Dodge’s powerful V8 engines, the Ramcharger was a strong competitor for trucks like the Ford Bronco, Chevrolet Blazer and International Harvester Scout II.

Once again, though, Dodge was left with outdated products during the 1980s as the market evolved. The Ramcharger hung on through 1993 with only minor updates, but was not replaced along with the rest of the truck line for 1994.

Instead, Dodge tried something new in 1998. Using the mid-sized Dakota pickup’s chassis as a base, they built the four-door Durango SUV with seating for seven people and created a new niche. Sized between smaller SUVs (like the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Explorer) and larger models (like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition), Durango was both a bit more and bit less of everything. The redesigned version for 2004 grew a little bit in every dimension, becoming a full-size SUV (and was thus somewhat less efficient), but was still sized between most of its competitors on either side of the aisle.

Dodge also imported a version of Mitsubishi’s popular Montero (Pajero in Japan) as the Raider from 1987 to 1989.

Dodge vehicles are now available in many countries throughout the world.

Dodge entered the Japanese market in mid-2007, and re-entered the Chinese market in late 2007. Soueast Motors of China assembles the Caravan for the Chinese market. Dodge had already been marketing its vehicles in South Korea since 2004, starting with the Dakota.

Dodge vehicles have been sold in the Middle East for a considerably longer period of time.

Dodge recently re-entered the Australian market in 2006 after a 30-year absence. Dodge Australia plans to release a new model every six months for the next three years, amid plans to re-ignite the brand's interest Down Under. The first of such models is the Dodge Caliber, which was well received at the recent 2006 Melbourne International Motor Show. The second model to be introduced was the Nitro, and the Avenger has also recently joined the lineup.

In Brazil, Dodge cars have been successful with the models Dakota and Ram, recently the only available model was the Ram 2500, but the model portfolio is being expanded, starting with the Journey crossover for the 2009 model year.

In Canada, the Dodge lineup of cars was merged with the Chrysler lineup so that Canadians, instead of receiving the Dodge Intrepid, Dodge Dynasty or second gen Dodge Neon, received the Chrysler Intrepid, Chrysler Dynasty and Chrysler Neon. As of 2003, this decision has changed and cars known as Dodges in the US are once again badged as Dodges in Canada.

Following Chrysler's takeover of the British Rootes Group, Simca of France, and Barreiros of Spain, and the resultant establishment of Chrysler Europe in the late 1960s, the Dodge brand was used on light commercial vehicles, most of which were previously branded Commer or Karrier, on pickup and van versions of the Simca 1100, on the Spanish Dodge Dart, and on heavy trucks built in Spain. The most common of these was the Dodge 50 series, widely used by utility companies and the military, but rarely seen outside the UK, and the Spanish-built heavy-duty 300 series available as 4x2, 6x4, 8x2, and 8x4 rigids, as well as 4x2 semi-trailer tractors. All of these were also sold in selected export markets badged either as Fargo or De Soto.

Following Chrysler Europe's collapse in 1977, and the sale of their assets to Peugeot, the Chrysler/Dodge British and Spanish factories were quickly passed on to Renault Véhicules Industriels, who gradually re-branded the range of vans and trucks as Renaults through the 1980s. They would eventually drop these products altogether and used the plants to produce engines (in the UK) and "real" Renault truck models in Spain. Dodge vehicles would not return to the UK until the introduction of the Dodge Neon SRT-4, branded as a Chrysler Neon, in the mid 2000s.

The Dodge marque was reintroduced to Europe on a broad scale in 2006. Currently, the Dodge lineup in Europe consists of the Caliber, Avenger, Viper SRT-10, Nitro and Dodge Journey(2008). The Dodge Caliber has proved to be a sales success in the UK market with Resale values remaining high.

In Mexico, the Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Atos, and Hyundai H100 are branded as "Dodge" or " by Dodge" and sold at Chrysler/Dodge dealers. A rebadged Chinese-assembled Chery A1 will be sold in Mexico as a Dodge vehicle starting in 2008.

As of 2008, Dodge's model range in North America consists of the Caliber, Avenger, Journey, Charger, Grand Caravan, Challenger, and Viper passenger cars, the Dakota and Ram pickup trucks, the Nitro and the Durango SUVs, and the Sprinter van.

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General Motors

General Motors GMT800 car assembly line.

General Motors Corporation (GM) (NYSE: GM), is an automaker founded in 1908. It is the world's second-largest automaker after Toyota, ranked by 2008 global unit sales. GM was the global sales leader for 77 consecutive calendar years from 1931 to 2008. It manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries. With global headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, GM employs 252,000 people around the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries. In 2008, 8.35 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling.

In late 2008 GM, along with Chrysler, became and continues to be dependent on government loans to avoid bankruptcy.

General Motors (GM) was founded on September 27, 1908, in Flint, Michigan, as a holding company for Buick, then controlled by William C. Durant. It acquired Oldsmobile later that year. In 1909 Durant brought in Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland (later known as Pontiac) and several others. In 1909, General Motors acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessors of GMC Truck. Durant lost control of GM in 1910 to a bankers' trust because of the large amount of debt taken on in its acquisitions coupled with a collapse in new vehicle sales. A few years later, Durant started the Chevrolet Motor car company and through this he secretly purchased a controlling interest in GM. Durant took back control of the company after one of the most dramatic proxy wars in American business history. Shortly after, he again lost control, this time for good, after the new vehicle market collapsed. Alfred Sloan was picked to take charge of the corporation and led it to its post war global dominance. This unprecedented growth of GM would last through into the early 1980s.

General Motors Corp.'s plea for $4.2 billion in aid from European governments, the acknowledgment it has no Plan B and a willingness to surrender control of its European operations to get a cash lifeline means the de facto de-globalization of GM is under way.

General Motors currently employs approximately 266,000 people around the world. GM's global headquarters is the Renaissance Center located in Detroit, Michigan, United States. In 2007, 9.35 million GM cars and trucks were produced in 19 different countries. GM is the majority shareholder in GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. of South Korea and has had many collaborations with the world's various automakers. This includes product, powertrain and purchasing collaborations with Suzuki Motor Corp. and Isuzu Motors Ltd. of Japan, advanced technology collaborations with Toyota Corporation and BMW AG of Germany and vehicle manufacturing ventures with several of the world's automakers including Toyota, Suzuki, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. of China, AvtoVAZ of Russia, Renault SA of France, and most recently, UzAvtosanoa of Uzbekistan. GM also had collaborations with Fiat S.p.A (see GM/Fiat Premium platform) and Ford Motor Company. To this day, GM retains various stakes in many different automakers.

Current members of the board of Directors of General Motors are: Percy Barnevik, Erskine Bowles, John Bryan, Armando Codina, Erroll Davis, George Fisher, Mark Guildenstern, Karen Katen, Kent Kresa, Philip Laskawy, Kathryn V. Marinello, and Eckhard Pfeiffer.

The domain gm.com attracted at least 7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com survey.

Together with the United Auto Workers, GM created a joint venture dedicated to the quality of life needs of employees in 1985. The UAW-GM Center for human resources in Detroit is dedicated to providing GM salaried employees and GM UAW members programs and services related to medical care, diversity issues, education, training and tuition assistance, as well as programs related to work and family concerns, in addition to the traditional union-employer health and safety partnership.

At one time, each of GM's automotive divisions in the United States were targeted to specific market segments and despite some shared components, each distinguished itself from its stablemates with unique styling and technology. The shared components and common corporate management created substantial economies of scale, while the distinctions between the divisions created an orderly upgrade path, with an entry-level buyer starting out with a practical and economical Chevrolet and moving through offerings of the different divisions until the purchase of a Buick or Cadillac.

The postwar automobile industry became enamoured with the concept of "planned obsolescence", implemented by both technical and styling innovations with a typical 3-year product cycle. In this cycle, a new basic body shell is introduced and then modified for the next two years with minor styling changes. GM, Ford, and Chrysler competed vigorously in this new restyling environment.

By 1958, the divisional distinctions within GM began to blur with the availability of high-performance engines in Chevrolets and Pontiacs. The introduction of higher trim models such as the Chevrolet Impala and Pontiac Bonneville priced in line with some Oldsmobile and Buick offerings was also confusing to consumers. By the time Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick introduced similarly styled and priced compact models in 1961, the old "step-up" structure between the divisions was nearly over.

The decade of the 1960s saw the creation of compact and intermediate classes. The Chevrolet Corvair was a flat 6-cylinder (air cooled) answer to the Volkswagen Beetle, the Chevy II was created to match Ford's conventional Falcon, after sales of the Corvair failed to match its Ford rival, and the Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird was GMs counter measure to the Ford Mustang. Among intermediates, the Oldsmobile Cutlass nameplate became so popular during the 1970s that Oldsmobile applied the Cutlass name to most of its products in the 1980s. By the mid 1960s, most of GM's vehicles were built on a few common platforms and in the 1970s GM began to use nearly identical body panel stampings, differing only in internal and external trim items.

The 1971 Chevrolet Vega was GM's launch into the new subcompact class. Problems associated with its innovative aluminum engines and bodies that rusted out prematurely would damage GMs reputation more than perhaps any other vehicle in its history. During the late 1970s, GM would initiate a wave of downsizing starting with the Chevrolet Caprice which was reborn into what was the size of the Chevrolet Chevelle, the Malibu would be the size of the Nova, and the Nova was replaced by the troubled front-wheel drive Chevrolet Citation.

In 1990, GM debuted the revolutionary "Impact" concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It was the first car with zero-emissions marketed in the US in over three decades. The Impact was eventually produced as the EV1 for the 1996 model year. It was available through dealers located in only a few regions (e.g., California, Arizona, Georgia). Vehicles were leased, rather than sold, to individuals. In 2003 GM decided to cease production of the vehicles. All EV1's were either destroyed or donated to museums or universities.

In the late 1990s, the U.S. economy was on the rise and GM and Ford gained market share producing enormous profits primarily from the sale of light trucks and sport-utility vehicles. From 2000 to 2001, the Federal Reserve in a move to quell the stock market, made twelve successive interest rate increases. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, a severe stock market decline caused a pension and benefit fund underfunding crisis. GM began its Keep America Rolling campaign, which boosted sales, and other auto makers were forced to follow suit. The U.S. automakers saw sales increase to leverage costs as gross margins deteriorated. Although retiree health care costs remain a significant issue, General Motors' investment strategy has generated a $17.1 billion surplus in 2007 in its $101 billion U.S. pension fund portfolio, a $35 billion reversal from its $17.8 billion of underfunding.

In 2004, GM redirected resources from the development of new sedans to an accelerated refurbishment of their light trucks and SUVs for introduction as 2007 models in early 2006. Shortly after this decision, fuel prices increased by over 50% and this in turn affected both the trade-in value of used vehicles and the perceived desirability of new offerings in these market segments. The current marketing plan is to tout these revised vehicles extensively as offering the best fuel economy in their class (of vehicle). GM claims its hybrid trucks will have gas-mileage improvements of 25%.

In the summer of 2005, GM announced that its corporate chrome emblem "Mark of Excellence" will begin appearing on all recently introduced and all-new 2006 model vehicles produced and sold in North America. The move is seen as an attempt by GM to link its name and vehicle brands more closely.

In 2005, GM promoted sales through an employee discount to all buyers. Marketed as the lowest possible price, GM cleared an inventory buildup of 2005 models to make way for its 2006 lineup. While the promotion was a temporary shot in the arm for sales, it did not help the company's bottom line. GM has since changed its marketing strategy to a no haggle sticker policy in which all vehicle prices are lowered, but incentives are reduced, if not eliminated.

In 2008 rapidly rising gas prices resulted in a 30% drop off of sales of SUVs which had been GM's most profitable product, often returning profits of 10 to 15 thousand dollars per vehicle. Sales of SUVs had been decreasing since 2004, but in May 2008, a $2 billion investment program for a new SUV platform, the CXX program, was canceled and on Oct. 13 it was announced that it would close the Janesville, Wisconsin plant, which built full-sized SUVs. During the first 6 months of 2008 GM lost $18.8 billion and by late October its stock had dropped 76% and it was considering a merger with Chrysler. In only 12 months (October 2007-2008) GM sales in US have dropped 45 % GM's concentration on SUVs as a profit center dated from the 1990s. On Tuesday, December 23, 2008 the Janesville, Wisconsin plant which produced the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon and the Moraine, Ohio plant which produced the Chevrolet Blazer and the GMC Envoy closed permanently leaving General Motors with only one factory producing SUVs, in Arlington Texas.

General Motors is the best selling foreign auto maker in China. The Buick brand is especially strong, led by the Buick Excelle subcompact. Cadillac initiated sales in China in 2004, starting with imports from the United States. GM pushed the marketing of the Chevrolet brand in China in 2005 as well, moving the former Buick Sail to that marque. The company manufactures most of its China-market vehicles locally, through its Shanghai GM joint venture. Shanghai GM, a joint venture between the Chinese company SAIC and General Motors, was created on March 25, 1997. The Shanghai GM plant was opened Dec. 15, 1998, when the first Chinese-built Buick came off the assembly line. The SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile joint-venture is also successful selling trucks and vans under the Wuling marque (34% belongs to GM).

On October 10, 2008, GM considered exchanging its remaining 49% stake in GMAC to Cerberus Capital Management for Chrysler LLC, potentially merging two of Detroit's "Big Three" automakers. Acquisition talks involving Chrysler were cancelled, however, before November 7, 2008, as part of a broader response to the increasing urgency of GM's own cash flow problems. That was a result of Chrysler's senior bank debt currently trading at less than 50 cents on the dollar and because Chrysler's other owner – Daimler, formerly DaimlerChrysler – recently revalued its 19.9% Chrysler stake down to zero, which may or may not reflect its value in a potential sale..

On Dec. 12, 2008, General Motors stated that it was nearly out of cash, and may not survive past 2009. The U.S. Senate voted and strongly opposed any source of government assistance through a bailout bridge loan (originally worth $14 billion in emergency aid) which was aimed toward helping the struggling Big Three automakers financially, despite strong support from former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, along with some mild support from the Democratic and Republican political parties.

Prior to the U.S. Senate's announcement, General Motors announced that it had hired several lawyers to discuss the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, with Chapter 11 bankruptcy being one of the options discussed. GM stated that "all options are on the table" for the company. Chrysler LLC, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, is in a similar financial situation and like General Motors, warned that it, too, was nearly out of cash and may not survive much longer.

On December 18, 2008, President Bush announced that an "orderly" bankruptcy is one option being considered for both General Motors and Cerberus-owned Chrysler LLC. Sources say that setting up this type of "orderly" bankruptcy would be complicated because it would not only involve talks with the automakers, but also the unions and other stakeholders would have to be involved.

As of February 14, 2009, General Motors is considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under a plan that would assemble all of their viable assets, including some U.S. brands and international operations, into a new company. Less than a week later, its Saab subsidiary filed for bankruptcy protection in Sweden.

On March 5, 2009, GM's independent public accounting firm (Deloitte & Touche) issued a qualified opinion as part of GM's 2008 annual report that stated "these conditions raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern". A qualified going concern audit letter like this is only issued by the auditors when the company is in extreme financial distress and it is likely that they may file for bankruptcy protection.

On March 12, 2009, GM's CFO Ray Young said that it would not need the requested $2B in March noting that the cost-cutting measures are starting to take hold.

On March 29, 2009, GM's Chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner, agreed to immediately resign his position as part of an Obama administration automotive restructuring plan.

In announcing that plan, on March 30, 2009, President Obama stated that both GM and Chrysler may need to use "our bankruptcy code as a mechanism to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger." He also announced that the warranties on cars made by these companies will be guaranteed by the U.S. Government.

On Aug. 18, 2008, GM announced it has dropped its advertising for the Emmys in September and for the 2009 Academy Awards. GM cited cost cutting and a return to marketing that works best. Media outlets have been struggling in the face of American automakers cutting "billions" in advertisements as the economy slows and American automakers struggle. American automakers have cut $414 million in advertising spending in the first quarter of 2008 alone. On September 22, 2008, GM announced that it would not advertise in the 2009 Super Bowl, citing the cost and the fact that it will not have any particular vehicles to launch at that time.

In the summer of 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed 23,000 cubic yards (18,000 m3) of contaminated sediments and soil from the General Motors site in Massena, New York for disposal at a licensed facility in Utah. The amount contained 13,000 cubic yards (9,900 m3) of contaminated sediments dredged from the St.Lawrence River. The sediments had been stored on the site since 1995. There was also 10,000 cubic yards (7,600 m3) of contaminated sludge from the active wastewater treatment plant on the General Motors property. General Motors was ranked 20th in the 2002 toxic 100. The company released 12,771,830 pounds of gases in the year 2002. In September 2006, the state of California filed suit against General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Ford. The companies were accused of producing cars that emitted over 289 million metric tons of carbon per year in the United States, accounting for nearly 20% of carbon emissions in the United States and 30% of carbon emissions in California. The Union of Concerned Scientists ranked General Motors as 7th of the top 8 manufacturers in terms of environmental impact. Although the company touts the most cars getting 30 mpg or better, it also has the most cars getting under 15 mpg.

In March 2005, the Government of Canada provided C$200 million in incentives to General Motors for its Ontario plants to expand production and provide jobs, according to Jim Harris. Similar incentives were promised to non-North American auto companies like Toyota; Premier Dalton McGuinty said the money the province and Ottawa are pledging for the project is well-spent.

On September 24, 2007 General Motors workers represented by the United Auto Workers union went on the first nationwide strike against GM since 1970. The ripple effect of the strike reached into Canada the following day as two car assembly plants and a transmission facility were forced to close. Overnight a tentative agreement was reached, however, and UAW officials declared the end of the strike in a news conference at 4 a.m. on September 26. By the following day, all GM workers in both countries were back to work.

A new labor contract was ratified by UAW members exactly one week after the tentative agreement was reached, passing by a majority 62% vote. In the contract are several product and employment guarantees stretching well into the next decade. One of GM's key future products, the Chevy Volt, was promised to the GM Poletown/Detroit-Hamtramck plant in 2010. Also included is a VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) which will transfer retiree health care obligations to the UAW by 2010. This eliminates more than 50 billion dollars from GM's healthcare tab. It will be funded by 30 billion in cash and 1.4 billion in GM stock paid to the UAW over the next 4 years of the contract. It also eliminates 70% of the labor cost gap with GM's Japanese rivals.

A strike at American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. will result in lost production of an additional 230,000 vehicles in the second quarter, with an estimated $1.8 billion impact on earnings before tax. With a total strike cost of $2.81 billion.

In an unusual move, GM Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union ratified a new collective bargaining contract in May 2008, four months before the expiration of the existing contract. As part of the agreement, among other production commitments, GM pledged to maintain production at the Oshawa, Ontario pickup truck plant. Less than three weeks later, GM announced that rising gasoline prices and falling truck sales made it necessary to close certain truck and SUV plants, including the Oshawa pickup plant. In response, CAW members staged a 12-day blockade of the GM Canada headquarters. After further discussions with the CAW, GM agreed to compensate workers at the truck plant, as well as making product commitments for the Oshawa car assembly plant.

GM has announced elimination of lifetime health benefits for about 100,000 of its white collar retirees by the end of 2008.

General Motors has an extensive history in numerous forms of racing. Vehicles of most, if not all, of GM's brands have been represented in competition, with perhaps Chevrolet being the most prominent. In particular, the Chevrolet Corvette has long been popular and successful in international road racing. GM also is a supplier of racing components, such as engines, transmissions, and electronics.

GM's Oldsmobile Aurora engine platform was successful in the Indy Racing League (IRL) throughout the 1990s, winning many races in the small V-8 class. An unmodified Aurora V-8 in the Aerotech, captured 47 world records, including the record for speed endurance in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Recently, the Cadillac V-Series has entered motorsports racing. GM has also used many cars in the American racing series NASCAR. Currently the Chevrolet Impala is the only entry in the series but in the past the Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Chevrolet Lumina, Chevrolet Malibu, and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo were also used.

In touring cars (mainly in Europe) Vauxhall is a key player and former champion in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) series and competes with a Vauxhall Vectra in Super 2000 spec. Opel used to participate in the DTM series and also in the 1980s in the World Rally Championship and other Rally Series with Group B Spec Opel Manta's before this category of Rallying was banned. Chevrolet competes with a Lacetti in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Robertshaw Racing also complete with a privately run Lacetti in the BTCC.

In Australia, there is the prestigious V8 Supercar Championship which is battled out by the two main rivals of Holden & Ford. The current Holden Racing Team cars are based on the Holden Commodore and run a 5.0-litre V8-cylinder engine producing 635+ BHP (approx 467 kW Power). These cars have a top speed of 294 km/h (182 mph) and run 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. The Holden Racing Team is Australia's most successful team in Australian Touring Car History. In 2007 the Drivers championship was won by the very closely linked HSV Dealer Team.

In 1986, the GM Motorsports group asked Delco Electronics Corporation (DEC), a subsidiary of GM Hughes Electronics (headquarters - Kokomo, Indiana) if an electronic engine management system could be developed for the Chevy Indy V8 engines used in the CART open-wheel race series. Delco Electronics had been supplying all GM automobiles sold in the USA with Engine Control Modules (ECMs) since 1981 when the USA Clean Air Act required 3-way catalytic converters and controlled air-fuel ratios. The production ECMs were becoming more complex, and were becoming powertrain controllers controlling the transmission, spark timing, Idle speed, as well as air-fuel intake mixtures.

Delco Electronics used a small group of electronic designers and technicians at their facility in Goleta, California (near Santa Barbara, California) to do special assignable projects that were advanced or more state of the art. This facility was called Delco Systems Operations (formerly known as GM Defense Research Labs), a part of Delco Electronics Corporation at the time. Delco Systems Operations is the place where the Apollo Program's Lunar Rover Mobility Sub-system was developed and built, also the Apollo Program's guidance computers (Apollo PGNCS) and the Boeing 747 guidance computers (Delco Carousel IV) were developed and manufactured there. All Delco Electronics Motorsports products developed before 1994 were designed by this group. From 1994 to present, this activity is at Delco Electronics/Delphi in Kokomo, IN.

The first generation of engine management controller for CART racing used a modified production ECM, but performed poorly in the race car due to the harsh EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) environment. This version was never used in racing, but the experience gained enabled the engineers to design a more successful Generation 2 controller for use in the 1988 CART IndyCar World series.

Generation 2 controllers were used experimentally by Newman/Haas Racing in 1988 and the first win was in the Cleveland GP with Mario Andretti driving.

In 1989 Newman/Haas Racing, Team Penske, Galles Racing, and Patrick Racing teams used Delco Electronics Gen-2 controllers with the Ilmor Chevy Indy V8 engine. "By the start of the 1989 season, racing pundits recognized that Chevrolet, with its Ilmor Engineering engines and Delco Electronics equipment, had assembled perhaps the most potent racing power in the history of the sport. As the season got under way in April, the pattern of winning began. Racing's elite drivers -- Al Unser, Jr. and Senior, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, and Mario and Michael Andretti -- were driving the best equipment in the world.

The results began to show early on. By October, Chevy engines with DE equipment had won 13 of the 15 IndyCar races.

When Emerson Fittipaldi crossed the finish line to win the 1989 Indianapolis 500, racing fans witnessed history being made. Fans thrilled to the neck-and-neck finish between Fittipaldi and Al Unser, Jr. who went spinning on lap 198 after brushing tires with Emmo, and the 43-year-old Brazilian had his first Indianapolis 500 win. Fittipaldi's victory -- in a Chevrolet Indy V8 engine controlled by a Delco Electronics electronic engine control module (ECM) -- was the first time in the 500's storied history that the engine of the winning vehicle was controlled by an electronic engine management system.

For the 1990 season, all teams using the Ilmor Chevy Indy V8 were provided a redesigned Gen-3 system and it won 15 poles, 16 wins including the 1990 Indianapolis 500, with 17 races in the IndyCar World Series. To prove the system, the components were used with GM engines in the Trans-Am Racing series during 1989.

In the 1991 IndyCar World Series, Gen-3 had a perfect score: 17 poles, 17 wins, 17 races including the 1991 Indianapolis 500. At the 1991 Indianapolis 500, Delco Electronics introduced telemetry to the electronic system using the advanced spread spectrum radio technology . It was so popular that all IndyCar teams eventually used it, and many still use it. ABC TV used the data from the systems to display real time data with ABC's in-car video cameras.

In 1990 and 1991, the Chevy engine with the Delco Electronics Gen-3 controller won 33 straight IndyCar races. Chevy's dominance proved electronics had found their place in IndyCar racing.

In the 1992 IndyCar World Series, race cars with Gen-3 captured 7 poles, 11 wins including the 1992 Indianapolis 500, in 16 races.

For the 1993 IndyCar World Series, Delco Electronics had been developing a smaller more powerful controller using 32-bit computers and a high-level software language called Modula-GM. This system was called Gen-4 and won much praise for its improved functions and features. The telemetry system developed for the 1992 season was used, and a new Distributorless Ignition module component was added to the overall engine management system. 10 wins including the 1993 Indianapolis 500 in 16 CART races.

In 1994, a totally new Ilmor engine was introduced to IndyCar teams and the engine controller was Delco Electronics Gen-4: 12 wins including the 1994 Indianapolis 500, 16 races.

In 1995, Gen-4 won 6 races out of 17.

In 1996, the Indy Racing League split from CART and used the naturally aspirated Oldsmobile Aurora engine which used the Delco Electronics Gen-4 system until the engine was retired from the IRL IndyCar Series a few years ago. 1997 was the last year the Gen-4 ran in the CART IndyCar World Series.

General Motors is both active in environmental causes and, as a major industrial force, implicated in ecologically harmful activity. The company has long worked on alternative-technology vehicles, and has recently led the industry with clean burning Flexfuel vehicles that can run on either E85 (ethanol) or gasoline. The company was the first to use turbochargers and was an early proponent of V6 engines in the 1960s, but quickly lost interest as the muscle car race took hold. They demonstrated gas turbine vehicles powered by kerosene, an area of interest throughout the industry, but abandoned the alternative engine configuration in view of the 1973 oil crisis. In the 1970s and 1980s, GM pushed the benefits of diesel engines and cylinder deactivation technologies with disastrous results due to poor durability in the Oldsmobile diesels and drivability issues in the Cadillac V8-6-4 variable cylinder engines. In 1987 GM, in conjunction with Aerovironment built the Sunraycer which won the inaugural World Solar Challenge and was a showcase of advanced technology. Much of the technology from Sunraycer found its way into the Impact prototype electric vehicle (also built by Aerovironment) and was the predecessor to the EV1.

GM supported a compromise version of the CAFE standard increase from 27 mpg to 35 mpg, the first such increase in over 20 years.

In May 2004, GM delivered the world's first full sized hybrid pickups, and introduced a hybrid passenger car. In 2005, the Opel Astra diesel Hybrid concept vehicle was introduced. The 2006 Saturn Vue Green Line was the first hybrid passenger vehicle from GM and is also a mild design. GM has hinted at new hybrid technologies to be employed that will be optimized for higher speeds in freeway driving.

GM has recently introduced the concept cars Chevrolet Volt and Opel Flextreme, which are electric vehicles with back-up generators, powered by gasoline, E85, or fuel cells. According to GM, a production Chevrolet Volt will be available by late 2010 as a 2011 model.

GM currently offers two types of hybrid systems. The first type, used in the Silverado Hybrid, Saturn Vue, Saturn Aura, and Chevrolet Malibu, is what GM calls a "Mild Hybrid" or "BAS" system. The second hybrid drive system,co-developed with DaimlerChrysler and BMW, is called a "Two-Mode Hybrid." The two-mode is used by the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon and will later be used on the Saturn Vue, and possibly other vehicles.

The GM Magic Bus is a hybrid powered bus.

GM sold 843 hybrids of all types during the first quarter of 2008, according to the industry newspaper Automotive News. Compared that with Ford, which sold 5,225 hybrids during that time. CSM Worldwide, expects GM to seriously increase its hybrid output, turning the automaker into a serious contender within the next few years. He expects it to produce 40,000 to 50,000 hybrids this year, more than doubling last year's production.

The process of obtaining the EV1, GM's first electric vehicle, was difficult. The vehicle could not be purchased outright. Instead, General Motors offered a closed-end lease for three years, with no renewal or residual purchase options. The EV1 was only available from specialist Saturn dealerships, and only in California and Arizona. Before reviewing leasing options, a potential lessee would be taken through a 'pre-qualification' process in order to learn how the EV1 was different from other vehicles. Next came a waiting list with no scheduled delivery date.

In June 2006 the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? was released, criticizing among others, GM for being responsible for the demise of the EV1. Several weeks before the debut of the movie, the Smithsonian Institution announced that its EV1 display was being permanently removed and the EV1 car put into storage. GM is a major financial contributor to the museum, but both parties denied that this fact contributed to the removal of the display.

General Motors has responded to complaints about the scrapping of the EV1 program and they dispute the existence of any conspiracy surrounding its demise. An entry was posted on the GM blog FastLane in 2006 in which GM defended its decision by saying that it was unable to guarantee the vehicles could continue to be maintained in a safe operating state.

GM alleges that during the four years available to the public, only 800 EV1's were released. Over $1 billion was spent on the EV1 program, with a great portion used for consumer incentives and marketing. With a waiting list of 5,000 applicants, only 50 individuals actually were willing to accept a lease on the EV1. Suppliers ceased production of replacement parts due to the low demand for the EV1. This made repairs and continued safety of the vehicles difficult. The EV1 was designed as a developmental vehicle and was never intended for serial production.

According to GM, not all of the EV1's were destroyed. Many were donated to research institutions and facilities, along with museums. Some are still owned by General Motors themselves, and are kept at their technical design center in Warren, Michigan, and can occasionally be seen on the road within a closed area of the tech center.

On September 16, 2008, as part of its 100th anniversary celebration, GM unveiled the "production" version of the Chevrolet Volt at the GM headquarters in Detroit.

GM will build battery packs with LG Chem in Michigan. GM also plans to build an automotive battery laboratory in Michigan. GM will take full responsibility for all the battery management systems and power electronics. The company will build a new factory in Michigan, but a specific site has yet to be announced, in part because negotiations are ongoing with state and local authorities on the usual incentives and approvals. LG Chem's US subsidiary, Compact Power of Troy, Michigan, has been building the prototype packs for the development vehicles and will continue to provide integration support and act as a liaison for the program.

GM has prided its research and prototype development of hydrogen powered vehicles, to be produced in early 2010, using a support infrastructure still in a prototype state. The economic feasibility of the technically challenging hydrogen car, and the low-cost production of hydrogen to fuel it, has also been discussed by other automobile manufacturers such as Ford and Chrysler. In June 2007, Larry Burns, vice president of research and development, said he's not yet willing to say exactly when hydrogen vehicles will be mass produced, but he said it should happen before 2020, the year many experts have predicted. He said "I sure would be disappointed if we weren't there" before 2020.

GM produces many Flexfuel vehicles that can operate on ethanol gasoline, or E85. GM is the leader in E85 FlexFuel vehicles, with over 3 million FlexFuel vehicles on the road in the U.S. E85 is a mostly renewable fuel made from corn and grain products.

By the end of 2008, GM will offer 25 ethanol-enabled FlexFuel cars and trucks around the world, and produce more than one million new FlexFuel vehicles. GM's goal is to have half of their annual vehicle production be E85 or biodiesel capable by 2012.

In the 2008 election cycle General Motors contributed $802,414, with 52% of that amount going to the Democrats and 48% to the Republicans. Since 1996, General Motors has been the exclusive source of funding for Safe Kids USA's "Safe Kids Buckle Up" program, a national initiative to ensure child automobile safety through education and inspection.

GM's Saturn division put up a display at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show congratulating Barack Obama on his election as the first African-American president of the United States.

After gaining market share in the late 1990s and making enormous profits General Motors stock soared to over $80 a share. However, in 2000, twelve successive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve led to a severe stock market decline following the September 11, 2001 attacks, caused a pension and benefit funds crisis at General Motors and many other American companies. General Motors' rising retiree health care costs and Other Post Employment Benefit (OPEB) fund deficit prompted the company to enact a broad restructuring plan. Although GM had already taken action to fully fund its pension plan, its OPEB fund became an issue for its corporate bond ratings. GM had expressed its disagreement with the bond ratings; moreover, GM's benefit funds were performing at higher than expected rates of return. Then, following a $10.6 billion loss in 2005, GM acted quickly to implement its restructuring plan. For the first quarter of 2006 GM earned $400 million, signaling a turnaround had already begun even though many aspects of the restructuring plan had not yet taken effect. Although retiree health care costs remain a significant issue, General Motors' investment strategy has generated a $17.1 billion surplus in 2007 in its $101 billion U.S. pension fund portfolio, a $35 billion reversal from its $17.8 billion of underfunding.

In February 2005, GM successfully bought itself out of a put option with Fiat for $2 billion USD (€1.55 billion). In 2000, GM had sold a 6% stake to Fiat in return for a 20% share in the Italian automaker. As part of the deal, GM granted Fiat a put option which, if exercised between January 2004 and July 2009, could have forced GM to buy Fiat. GM had agreed to the put option at the time, perhaps to keep it from being acquired by another automaker such as Daimler AG competing with GM's Opel and Vauxhall marques. The relationship suffered, and Fiat had failed to improve. In 2003, Fiat recapitalized, reducing GM's stake to 10%.

In February 2006, GM slashed its annual dividend from 2.00 to $1.00 per share. The reduction saved $565 million a year.

In March 2006, GM divested 92.36 million shares (reducing their stake from 20% to 3%) of Japanese manufacturer Suzuki, in order to raise $2.3 billion. GM originally invested in Suzuki in the early 1980s.

On March 23, 2006, a private equity consortium including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Goldman Sachs Capital, and Five Mile Capital purchased $8.8 billion, or 78% of GMAC's commercial mortgage arm. The new entity, in which GMAC will own a 21% stake, will be known as Capmark Financial Group.

On April 3, 2006, GM announced that it would sell 51% of GMAC as a whole to a consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management, raising $14 billion over 3 years. Investors also include Citigroup's private equity arm and Aozora Bank of Japan. The group will pay GM $7.4 billion in cash at closing. GM will retain approximately $20 billion in automobile financing worth an estimated $4 billion over three years.

GM sold its remaining 8% stake in Isuzu (which had peaked at 49% just a few years earlier) on April 11, 2006, to raise an additional $300 million.12,600 workers from Delphi, a key supplier to GM, agreed to buyouts and an early retirement plan offered by GM in order to avoid a strike, after a judge agreed to cancel Delphi's union contracts. 5,000 Delphi workers were allowed to flow to GM. On June 28, 2007, GM agreed to sell its Allison Transmission division to private-equity firms Carlyle Group and Onex for $5.1 billion. The deal will increase GM's liquidity and echoes previous moves to shift its focus towards its core automotive business. The two firms will control seven factories around Indianapolis but GM will retain management of a factory in Baltimore. Former Allison Transmission president Lawrence E. Dewey will be the new CEO of the standalone company.

On February 12, 2008 GM announced its loss of $39 billion, the biggest loss of any U.S. automaker. GM has offered buyouts to all its UAW members.

In March 24, 2008 GM reported a cash position of $24 billion, or $6 billion less than what was on hand September 31, 2007, which is a loss of $1 billion dollars a month. A further quarterly loss of $15.5 billion, the third-biggest in the company's history, was announced on August 1, 2008.

On November 17, 2008 GM announced they are selling their stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. (3.02%) for 22.37 billion yen ($230 million) in order to raise much needed cash to get through the 2008 US economic crisis.

On November 18, 2008, General Motors together with Ford and Chrysler, sought financial aid at a Congressional hearing in Washington D.C. in the face of worsening conditions caused by the automotive industry crisis. All three companies were unsuccessful and were invited to draft a new action plan for the sustainability of the industry. On December 2, 2008, General Motors submitted its "Restructuring Plan for Long-Term Viability" to the Senate Banking Committee and House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

On March 30, 2009 President Barack Obama issued a US Government guarantee of General Motor's warranty liabilities.

The GM Mobility program was launched in 1991 to assist people with disabilities with their transportation needs. The Mobility program provides financial assistance, plus two extra years of the OnStar safety and security service. This applies when one or more of the 35 eligible aftermarket mobility equipment modifications are installed on the vehicle (i.e., hand controls, scooter hoists or wheelchair lifts). All GM brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, HUMMER, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn) are included in the program.

Facing a saturated car market in the US in the early 1920s GM engaged in in a controversial policy along with road-builders that triggered the massive shift from the mass transportation of the previous century to the 'one-person-one-car' trip of today. In order to expand auto sales and maximize profits GM bought local mass transit systems and privately-owned railways, following which it would proceed to eliminate them.

In 1996 documentary Taken for a Ride, GM is cited as being mastermind of purchase and destruction of private fixed rail transit systems in US cities from 1920s until 1950s. The documentary claims the motivations were to eliminate fixed rail systems and implement the idea of buses and cars as more efficient and better alternatives in order to increase GM sales.

In 1980, J. Patrick Wright wrote a book named On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors. This book, which critics acclaimed "blows the lid off the king of carmakers" was about the allegations of corruption, "mismanagement and total irresponsibility" at the top level of the company, as seen by John Z. DeLorean, the Vice-President, who in 1973 resigned from his position in spite of a brilliant and meteoric rise (he was earning $ 650,000 per year and was expected to be the next President of GM).

In June 2006 the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? was released, criticizing GM, among others, for the cancellation of its first electric car, the EV1. It should be noted that with the introduction of the production Chevrolet Volt, Chris Paine, director of the documentary, has shown substantial affinity for General Motors. The sequel to the documentary, to be titled Revenge of the Electric Car is expected to portray a less antagonistic view of General Motors.

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Mahindra Axe

The Mahindra Axe is an Indian alternative to the AM General High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). This vehicle from Mahindra & Mahindra, has undergone the necessary tests recently. The Mahindra Axe is being built as per Indian Army specifications. The vehicle is an IPR of the Mahindras and even an engine is being indigenously developed for it. Two prototypes have been developed for army testing, a report said quoting an M&M official, and will have both open and hard-top versions, capable of mounting artillery. The Mahindra Axe has been developed by a team consisting of Indian and Israeli designers. Some components of the Axe are being imported.

The Axe will replace the Indian Army’s Mahindra Jeeps. According to Brigadier Khutub A Hai, CEO, Mahindra defence systems the Axe was designed with help from an overseas designer. An absolutely new platform is used for developing the Axe and it is developed to suit the Indian needs. Mahindra has developed a petrol version of the Axe for the special forces of a foreign country while the diesel one is for the Indian Army. Mahindra will initially import the engines for the Axe, later it will install its own engine into the Axe. Axe’s petrol version uses a more than 4 litre GM Votec engine (which powers the Chevrolet Blazer) while the diesel uses a 2.7 litre Mercedes derived Ssangyong engine (which powers the Rexton). Mahindra has been testing the Axe ranging from 150 hp (110 kW) to 400 hp (300 kW). The transmission system for the Axe is borrowed from Mercedes-Benz. According to Mahindra, The diesel Axe offers around 8-9 km per litre while the petrol Axe offers 6/7 km per litre. Axe’s all-wheel independent suspension system gives it extreme mobility. Mahindra has already received an order from a foreign army for 215 units of Axe of which 15 are being shipped right away. Mahindra is looking to export the Axe to countries like Malaysia in 2008 (diesel version) and for Africa, UAE, Jordan.

Mahindra has a long and successful record designing Jeeps and SUVs for military and civilian use. There’s a lot of visible commonality between the Axe and a several of Mahindra’s own SUVs. Mahindra is planning a civilian version of the Axe. The civilian version of Axe will be ready by 2009 with an automatic transmission. Axe’s civilian version will be homologated with styling and other changes. But it will use a Mahindra driveline. The basic characteristic of performance will be the same but the looks will be different like the Humvee and Hummer. For the civilian version of Axe, the engine displacement will be lowered and there will be cosmetic changes on the dashboard. But Mahindra wants to keep the suspension and platform unchanged. Axe civilian version will be only diesel and with automatic transmission. Mahindra’s commercial Axe is expected to be priced roughly between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 22 lakh.

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Source : Wikipedia