BRIEFS: Electric Chevy Silverado production to start in early 2023, GM says

Credit: Paul Sancya

Credit: Paul Sancya

General Motors Co. will begin building the electric Chevrolet Silverado in early 2023 at Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks said during a virtual chat with Deutsche Bank on Thursday.

GM’s first product based on its new electric platform Ultium is the GMC Hummer EV pickup, which is also being built at Factory Zero and will be delivered starting this month.

The Detroit automaker is planning to have 30 EVs launched globally by 2025.

Next year “is a big year for us as we start to launch the first Ultium products and then in ‘23 you’ll see multiple launches and we’ll be off to the races at that point,” Parks said on the chat.

GM is revealing the electric Silverado at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

· The Detroit News

Chrysler aims to be all electric by 2028

Chrysler plans go all electric by 2028, the latest automaker to announce a shift away from gasoline-powered engines under rising pressure to act on climate change.

The company said Wednesday that it will launch its first electric vehicle by 2025. Chrysler announced its electric plans along with a new AI-enabled vehicle system powered by a battery that it says can travel 350 to 400 miles (563 to 644 kilometers) per charge.

Fiat Chrysler is part of Europe’s Stellantis, the parent company that also owns PSA Peugeot.

“Our brand will serve at the forefront as Stellantis transforms to deliver clean mobility and connected customer experiences,” Chris Feuell, CEO of the Chrysler brand, said in a news release.

Stellantis last month announced a strategy to embed AI-enabled software in 34 million vehicles across its 14 brands in a bid to gain $22.6 billion (20 billion euros) in annual revenue by 2030. It’s part of a broad transformation in the auto industry, as companies race toward more fully electric and hybrid propulsion systems, more autonomous driving features and increased connectivity in cars.

All top automakers are working on electric vehicles amid concerns about climate change.

· Associated Press

‘72 Plymouth Barracuda caused quite a row

One man’s problem was certainly Larry Eber’s gain. Eber, of Van Wert, called a guy at the right time and got this beautiful, all original 1972 Plymouth Barracuda for a great price.

Eber had been looking for a car. He had been to Indiana at the Mecum Car Show and found nothing. He got back home and looked on the Internet. He found the listing for this 1972 Plymouth Barracuda and called the guy.

“He had gotten in trouble with a woman. The guy had gone out and bought a Harley, much to her disdain. It was February in Buffalo, New York, and her Cadillac was not going to sit outside in the weather,” explained Eber.

It was February of 2014. The gentleman had to get rid of something, as his garage was full.

“When he told me the price, I thought it was too low. He informed me he had only one week to get rid of the car,” said Eber. “We had a lot of discussions because I asked a lot of questions. I had the inspection list in front of me and he said, ‘ask them all.’

Eber is now the proud owner of this beautiful Plymouth Barracuda. He has owned it for eight years. He brought the car to the Downtown Lima Car Show and Chicken BBQ, held in the parking lot of Children Services.

Eber’s car contains a 340, four-barrel V8 engine.

The Plymouth Barracuda was a Pony car manufactured by Plymouth from 1964 through 1974. The sales brochure for the 1972 model year read: “The best looking sporty cars made in America.”

Eber had room in his garage and luckily found just the right car to fill that space.

· The Lima News

Tesla to halt games on infotainment screens in moving cars

Under pressure from U.S. auto safety regulators, Tesla has agreed to stop allowing videogames to be played on center touch screens while its vehicles are moving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the company will send out a software update over the Internet so the function called “Passenger Play” will be locked and won’t work while vehicles are in motion.

The move comes after the agency announced it would open a formal investigation into distracted driving concerns about Tesla’s video games, some of which could be played while cars are being driven.

An agency spokeswoman says in a statement Thursday that the change came after regulators discussed concerns about the system with Tesla. The first update went out Wednesday as part of Tesla’s holiday software release, and the rest of the vehicles should get it today.

The statement says NHTSA regularly talks about infotainment screens with all automakers. A message was left Thursday seeking comment from Tesla, which has disbanded its media relations department.

· Associated Press

Ford U.S. sales down 6.8% in 2021 amid chip shortage

Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales dropped 6.8% year-over-year in 2021 to roughly 1.9 million vehicles, according to numbers released Wednesday.

The dip in sales was consistent with the story of the automotive industry as a whole, which saw sales slide due in large part to a semiconductor chip shortage that dampened auto production across the world for much of the year.

Still, the Dearborn automaker managed to boost production and sales volume in the fourth quarter after being hit hard by the shortage earlier in the year. Ford said it was the best-selling automaker in Q4 and the only U.S. seller to hit 500,000 sales in the three-month period. It also touted its gains in the electric vehicle market, where it was the No. 2 automaker in 2021 behind market leader Tesla Inc.

In December, Ford sold 173,740 vehicles in the U.S., down 17.1% from December 2020.

In the fourth quarter, the automaker sold 508,451 vehicles, up 26.8% from the previous quarter.

· The Detroit News