Volt batteries to the rescue!

From the Detroit Bureau.com:

If all goes according to plan, General Motors will be producing tens of thousands of plug-in hybrids annually in the coming years. So, what to do with the batteries when it comes time to sent vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt to the scrapyard?

Even after a decade of use, the lithium-ion battery pack in the typical Volt should have 70% of its capacity left, according to Pablo Valencia, GM’s senior manager for battery lifecycle management. And that means that even as the old Volt is melted down for scrap, those batteries could find new life propping up the nation’s electrical grid.

Starting next year, GM will partner with energy systems giant ABB to begin testing the use of Volt batteries as an energy storage solution that could serve a variety of purposes from preventing blackouts to helping level out the ups-and-downs of alternative energy sources like wind and solar.

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GM clocks in with a $3.2 Billion first quarter profit!

From the Detroit News:

Detroit— General Motors Co. posted a $3.2 billion profit during the first quarter – its fifth consecutive quarterly profit, and further evidence the automaker continues to build momentum after its 2009 bailout.

“It’s a solid quarter,” GM’s Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said this morning. “It’s good progress. It sets up a good foundation for the rest of the year.”

Revenue from January through March was $36.2 billion.

The first-quarter results also included a number of one-time gains, including $1.6 billion from the sale of its interest in Delphi Automotive, and $300 million for the sale of preferred shares in Ally Financial, Inc., the financial arm formerly known as GMAC. Excluding special items, interest payments and taxes, GM earned $2 billion, compared to $1.7 billion in the first-quarter last year.

The financial results – GM’s best first-quarter results in more than a decade — benefited from growing demand its fuel-efficient vehicles, like the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, and robust sales in China, where GM is a market-leader.

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Can GM get on track and attract new investors?

Hopes for a really quick buck on GM stock has faded along with a huge sales month in February. Rising gas prices may fuel the General into bringing back big incentives to move those trucks and SUV’s.

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT (Bloomberg) — The new General Motors made its Wall Street debut with much fanfare last November. The initial public offering that was supposed to max out at about $10 billion ended up raising more than double that amount.

CEO Dan Akerson had a good story to tell: The Detroit automaker had posted a $4.8 billion profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30, and new models like the Chevrolet Equinox and Cadillac SRX SUV were selling well. Two weeks after the IPO, GM was worth just $1.6 billion less than Ford Motor Co., and by mid-January the stock ran up 20 percent, to almost $40 a share, giving GM a value of $59.3 billion.

GM’s feel-good moment didn’t last. Since the beginning of January the stock has fallen more than 18 percent, to close Friday at $30.24 a share, which is $2.76 below its IPO price. GM’s market valuation now trails Ford’s by almost $8 billion. Analysts fret about the churn in GM’s management ranks, the aggressive use of incentives to sell its cars, ongoing losses in Europe, and a softening in the Chinese market, where GM is the leader.

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Gotta Love that Grille!

Whether you’re out shopping for a car or just admiring cars on the road nothing catches ones eye more than a sharp grille. A delicious front end will certainly gain the attention needed to check out the rest of a car! Here are 10 eye catching grille’s from MSN Autos.

No matter how fast, luxurious or brilliantly engineered, a car has to look good if it’s going to sell. And in this game of seduction, the front fascia plays a vital part. An inspired grille design makes a car attractive and shapes its identity by tying it to the carmaker’s history and reputation. For more than a century, designers have wrestled with the daunting challenge of making cars sexy while satisfying the conflicting demands of engineers and regulators. A smooth front end will likely be more aerodynamic and fuel efficient but less charismatic, for instance. Over the years, there have been some amazing successes and spectacular failures in front fascia design. Here are 10 of the most notable.

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Ford vs. GM

The Ford vs. GM battle is going strong even after 100 years!

From CNN.com:

FORTUNE — It’s the mother of all corporate rivalries, bigger than Coke vs. Pepsi, older than Nike vs. Reebok, and more compelling than Pampers vs. Huggies. It’s fought with billion-dollar budgets for new models and marketing, and it is subject to more ups and downs than the stock market.

While it may be temporarily overshadowed by the troubles of Japanese auto makers, and imperiled long-term by the rise in oil prices, one constant remains in Detroit: General Motors vs. Ford. The two companies have been battling it out for profits, market share, and hometown bragging rights almost from the time GM (GM) was founded in Flint, Michigan in 1908, five years after Ford (F, Fortune 500) got started in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

Keeping score means watching three major indicators: annual profit, market capitalization, and U.S. market share — both retail share to private customers and overall share that includes fleet buyers.

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