Polar Vortex Heats Up the OnStar RemoteLink Application

As temperatures drop, users turn to connected car features from the comfort of their own homes and offices – Article by Phil Abram

For much of North America, the polar vortex slammed us with record setting extreme temperatures, snow and ice. But weather records were not the only ones being broken.

The frigid temperatures prompted tens of thousands of OnStar RemoteLink app users to pull out their smartphones and start their vehicles from the comfort of their warm homes and offices. January 7, 2014 marked a record 200,000 RemoteLink application transactions with over 19,000 in one hour!

While people across the country layered on coats, hats, gloves and boots, and labored in the cold weather to clean snow and ice off their cars, a record number of savvy OnStar subscribers poured themselves another cup of coffee knowing their cars were warming up for them.

All week long, our subscribers took to social media to tell us how much they love their RemoteLink smartphone apps.  One of my favorites, Chevrolet Equinox owner Angie Johnson said simply, “Seriously one of the best things ever. EVER. The end. @OnStar #babyitswaybeyondcoldoutside”

I may be biased Angie, but I would tend to agree!  That’s why last year, we began offering select features of our RemoteLink smartphone app (like remote start, lock and unlock) for five years with the purchase of a new vehicles, no additional subscription required.  This is yet another example of the benefits of a “connected car” that we continue to offer to our customers.  Having recently relocated from Santa Barbara, Calif. to Detroit, I can wholeheartedly say that the ability to remotely start your car in the winter is one of those things.

According to the National Weather Service, the wrath of the polar vortex may not be over yet.  Another line of winter storms is expected to affect millions in the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast regions this week, bringing arctic temperatures and heavy snowfall from Washington, D.C. to Boston.  There’s even a chance the upcoming cold could rival what we saw earlier this month. If you haven’t already, now would be a great time to download the RemoteLink application and enjoy the benefits of owning a vehicle connected by OnStar.

To read the original article, click here.

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2014 North American International Auto Show Opens to the Public

Here’s an inside look at what consumers can expect at the 2014 NAIAS by James Bell

The 2014 North American International Auto Show, also commonly known as “the Detroit auto show”, has wrapped up its media and industry preview days and now the real fun begins…the doors are open to the public!  While debuts and news from the Detroit show have been highlighted on the pages of newspapers, broadcast on radio and TV, and “glowed” on smartphone updates around the world, in many ways the real importance of this show is how it kicks off the start of 2014’s “auto show” season. From large cities like Detroit, Chicago and New York, to smaller towns like Charleston WV, Dayton OH and Kansas City, chances are there’s an auto show coming soon to your community.

An auto show is the perfect time to shop with no pressure…almost every model from almost every manufacturer (and often several trim levels of each) to peruse…plenty of time to “kick the tires”, smell the leather, and imagine how that certain new car or truck might look in front of your home.  And where it could take you.  Auto shows offer all of this and more.

CorvetteZ06Reveal09.jpgThe 2014 auto show season got off to great start for GM in Detroit, with the Silverado being named “North American Truck of the Year” and, to nobody who has driven one’s surprise, the Corvette Stingray as “North American Car of the Year.”  But in my mind, as Head of Consumer Affairs for GM, you should take time to recognize the vehicles that made up the Top 3 in each category as they are noteworthy.  On the truck/utility side, Chevrolet topped the Jeep Cherokee and high-tech Acura MDX.  When it came to cars, the Stingray was crowned the winner over the Mazda3 and Motor Trend Car of the Year-winning Cadillac CTS, but the real winners in contests like these are drivers like you.

Jump forward just a few short years, and we see a field of exciting, rewarding, and efficient vehicles to consider from these manufactures and more.  And as many of you own vehicles that meet (or exceed) the current average age of just over 11 years old, this might be a great year to go shopping.  Or better yet, get down to your local auto show!

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Like Last Year, NAIAS 2014 Delivered Excitement — And Then Some

The 2014 edition of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit provided even more excitement than last year’s show – by Mark Reuss

Think back to the 2013 North American International Auto Show… we had a very glitzy, pulse-pounding reveal of the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray… we saw the Cadillac ATS sedan win North American Car of the Year… we introduced the all-new Cadillac ELR extended range luxury coupe… it was one remarkable show. When it was over, I was pretty sure we weren’t going to have that kind of excitement again for a long time.

Well, I was wrong.

For GM, and for me, the 2014 edition of the NAIAS in Detroit provided even more excitement than last year’s show.

GMCCanyonReveal02.jpgIt began Sunday evening when we unveiled the new 2015 GMC Canyon midsize pickup. This is a segment that has been ignored and abandoned for too long. We have not one but two outstanding new entries, with the Canyon and the Chevy Colorado, and suddenly we’re able to offer customers the best midsize pickups they can buy. I think our entries will really breathe new life into that segment.

The Canyon reveal was part of what we’ve been calling “GM Truckapalooza,” where we dramatically showed the most robust, complete lineup of trucks and full-size SUVs in the industry, from Chevrolet and GMC. No other manufacturer offers pickups from midsize to HD, and when you combine those with our brand new full-size SUVs, you have a lineup that is unmatched. Truckapalooza ended with renowned guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd delighting our guests with his wizardry, including a scorching “Voodoo Child” that would have made Jimi Hendrix proud.

And there was some more rocking on Monday morning, when Chevrolet pulled off the sweep at the North American Car and Truck of the Year AwardsCorvette Stingray and Silverado brought home the bacon for the Bow Tie, and I could not have been any prouder. It’s a true validation for all the hard work that the Corvette team and the full-size pickup teams put in on their programs.

More importantly, it’s also a validation for our customers. They buy our products, especially Corvette and Silverado, because they expect them to be the best. It helps when they see an independent panel of experts declare that they indeed are the best, and award Chevrolet the hardware to prove it. It was a special morning.

CorvetteZ06Reveal02.jpg

It only got better from there, believe it or not. A couple of hours later we revealed the Corvette Z06 and C7.R race car. The Z06 was delivered on a trailer from our Tech Center in Warren, in a convoy that, by the time it reached Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, consisted of 50 brand new Stingrays and a police escort. Between the camera cars and the helicopter shots, it made for some fantastic television, shown on the big video screens around the Chevrolet stand at Cobo. Another great moment, one fitting for the fastest, greatest, nastiest Corvette ever made.

CadillacATSCoupeReveal01.jpgBut we weren’t done yet. Tuesday morning Cadillac unveiled the ATS Coupe, further extending and elevating the brand. And it also revealed its new logo, refreshed, refined and updated. The Wreath and Crest becomes simply the Crest, and I think it looks fantastic, and I congratulate Cadillac on its continued evolution.

So it was a hugely successful and exciting show for us. By the time the week was over, GM had three of the top five vehicles in terms of media coverage.

Needless to say, we’re not stopping here. We’ll continue to put the customer first in everything we do, and bring out vehicle after vehicle designed to delight said customer, and make the automotive world stop and take notice.

In 2014, GM will launch 15 new or significantly updated cars, trucks and crossovers, including those full-size SUVs, the HD pickups, and the Camaro Z28. And I can’t wait for the 2015 NAIAS. The bar is very high…

To read the original article, click here.

Four New Reasons to Love your Chevy (Even More)

Article by Greg Ross.

This week, Chevrolet announced it will introduce 2015 model year vehicles this summer with the Chevrolet AppShop and a built-in, OnStar 4G LTE connection.  Initial offerings expected for the AppShop include popular music services, weather, news, entertainment and even a vehicle health monitor app.  And that’s only the beginning.

As director of business development and alliances for GM’s Global Connected Consumer group, I’ve been working firsthand with our own GM developers and outside partners to identify and optimize apps that are relevant for in-vehicle use and enhance the overall ownership experience for our customers. I’ve been fortunate to help create and develop this new platform and want to share four reasons I think you’ll love the new AppShop:

1. Your ride becomes truly your ride

Radio presets and seat adjustments were once the height of personalizing your in-vehicle technology. Starting summer 2014, on select vehicles, your next Chevrolet will become even more customized to your unique preferences and its MyLink infotainment system will continue to evolve with new features and options over the course of your ownership.  With the Chevrolet AppShop, you will be able to download available application services from iHeartRadio, The Weather Channel, Priceline and others to make your infotainment system uniquely yours. The way you set up your smartphone is uniquely yours and we believe your car should have more of these same personalization options.

 2. You can seamlessly access the Internet through your vehicle’s Wi-Fi hotspot and download through a high speed 4G LTE connection

Starting this summer, Chevrolet will broadly deploy built-in, high-speed 4G LTE OnStar connectivity across most of its model year 2015 vehicle portfolio. Chevrolet vehicles equipped with 4G LTE and service plan, will act as their own Wi-Fi hotspot and enable passengers to connect up to seven personal devices to the Internet. Chevrolet vehicles equipped with both 4G LTE connected by OnStar and the AppShop option  will allow you to access and easily download available apps to the MyLink infotainment system without the need to tether a smartphone.

3. The number of available apps will continue to grow over time, allowing you to change or refresh your selections

We are just scratching the surface on apps for vehicles and the AppShop will evolve and expand over time. We’ve already developed a variety of apps expected to be available when the vehicles launch later this year and we’re continuing to work with additional third-party developers to enhance these apps and explore other relevant apps that will enhance the driving and passenger experience.

 4. Designed for easy access and simplicity 

All of the apps are developed specifically for in-vehicle use and go through a rigorous validation process.  While many of our app partners offer smartphone apps, the version planned for use in our vehicles have been modified for easy access and simplicity so drivers attention can stay focused on the road.   We have worked with app developers to make the apps simple to use, added more audible features and locked out certain attention-consuming features while your vehicle is in motion. Also, because the available apps can be downloaded to the vehicle’s infotainment system and are easily accessible with large icons, drivers can concentrate on the road instead of fumbling with their smartphones.

To read the original article by Greg Ross, click here.

Top 10 Moments in Chevrolet Performance History

In 2013, Chevrolet earned the title of the most successful name in professional motorsports in the United States, sweeping a total of 12 manufacturer’s, driver, and team championships in NASCAR, IndyCar and ALMS, GRAND-AM, and Pirelli World Challenge series.

Chevrolet will kick off the 2014 season with the debut of the all-new Corvette Racing C7.R at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new Corvette, wearing an updated “Jake” mascot, will make its competition debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 25-26.

To celebrate this significant year, here’s a look at the “Top 10 Moments” that contributed to the legacy of Chevrolet racing which dates all the way back to co-founder Louis Chevrolet’s passion for racing automobiles.


1955-SmallBlock

Chevrolet’s performance reputation was virtually non-existent in the early 1950s, but when the first of the brand’s legendary small-block V-8 engines appeared in the all-new 1955 models, perceptions quickly changed. Soon, word spread through the racing world that the new V-8 developed by Chevrolet’s Ed Cole and his engineers fairly bristled with performance potential.

The Chevrolet small-block V-8 was a racer’s dream. Light in weight and compact in size, it readily fit into diminutive engine bays. It was also powerful, inexpensive, durable, easy to maintain and openly available.

 


1958 - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Chevrolet won its first Manufacturers’ Cup award in 1958. Further research indicates that drivers of Chevrolet cars took 25 of 51 races in the 1958 NASCAR Grand National Series beginning with the very first race of the season at Champion Speedway in Fayetteville, North Carolina by Rex White. Fireball Roberts led the way for Chevrolet with six victories. Bob Wellborn earned five more. Speedy Thompson had four and Buck Baker contributed three wins.

 


1956---Sebring

The 1956 Corvette established the two-seater as a performance machine and American icon. With a new body styling, bucket seats and a removable hardtop that was offered for the first time, the ‘56 was one of the most iconic Corvettes of all time.

Taking a risk, Zora Arkus-Duntov and Ed Cole sent four Corvettes to the Sebring 12-hour endurance race in 1956. While coming in 9th overall, their efforts had a monumental effect in not only establishing the Corvette as a racecar but also in establishing Chevrolet as a racing institution.

 


1961- Impala SS

The Super Sport name dates back to 1957 when it was first used on the Corvette SS racecar that debuted at the 12 Hours of Sebring. In 1961, Chevrolet offered its first production Super Sport option on the Impala. The package included Super Sport trim for the interior and exterior, chassis reinforcements, stronger springs and shocks, power brakes, spinner wheel covers and narrow-band whitewall tires. A number of mandatory options were necessary to order the SS Equipment option, not the least of which was the purchase of either a 348 cid or 409 cid big-block V-8 engine.

 


1963 Corvette Sting Ray

By 1962, the Chevy Corvette had earned global respect for its performance prowess and was on its way to becoming the favorite, if never official, car of America’s astronauts. Then came the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray. Based on a one-off sports racer penned by GM design chief Bill Mitchell, the Corvette Sting Ray “Split-Window” Coupe was quite possibly the most exciting production car America had yet experienced. Beyond its superbly tailored form, the Sting Ray had a new and effective independent rear suspension, offered extra-potent, fuel-injected small-block V8 power, and, best of all, was surprisingly affordable.

 


1968-CamaroZ28

Beginning in 1967, race driver Mark Donohue began piloting a Roger Penske-owned Chevrolet Camaro Z28 to much success in the SCCA Trans Am Series. He won three races that first year but his true dominance did not begin until 1968 when he won 10 of 13 races he entered. This record stood for 30 years.

 


1970-ChevelleSS

In 1970, GM first permitted engines larger than 400 cid in its intermediate-sized cars. One result was perhaps the most legendary of all Chevy Super Sports, the SS 454 Chevelle. The available 450-horsepower LS-6 big-block could launch the SS 454 to 100 mph in about 13 seconds.

The muscle car era peaked that same year, and leading the way to the summit was the SS 454 Chevelle. Chevrolet’s 454-cid big-block, the largest displacement production Chevy V-8 ever, was new for 1970.

 


1993---Indy-Car-Engine

The Chevrolet 265 cid V8 was built in collaboration with Ilmor in Great Britain. The engine made its debut at the 1986 Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske driver Al Unser. Its first IndyCar victory came in 1987 and a year later, it powered a car piloted by Rick Mears to victory at the Indianapolis 500. From 1987-1993, it powered 11 drivers to a total of 86 victories.

 


2009---Corvette-ZR1

In 2009, Chevrolet resurrected the ZR1 designation (sans hyphen) for a new supercharged Corvette model that surpassed the 1990-1995 ZR-1 in performance. The new ZR1 did more than reach 200 mph; it kept going to a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h).

The Corvette ZR1 also received the 638-horsepower LS9 engine making it the most powerful production-car engine ever built by GM.

 


2001-Corvette-LeMans

Developed by General Motors in collaboration with Pratt & Miller, the C5-R was a purpose-built racecar based on the fifth generation Corvette that kicked off a modern era of racing. The Corvette Racing team first introduced the C5-R to the grand touring circuit in 1999. In 2001, the C5-R won the first of its three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car’s successor, the C6-R based on the sixth generation Corvette, continued class dominance at Le Mans adding another four victories.

To read the original article, click here.