James M. Amend

James
M. Amend
Associate Editor,
WardsAuto

James covers General Motors and environmental and safety issues.

Articles
GM’s Barra Says Automaker Upping U.S. Product Cadence
The increased activity comes on the heels of GM’s decision last year to increase overall capital spending 20%, an outlay hike in new-product spending that puts it on par with other leading global OEMs.
GM Marks 500 Millionth Build, Plans Customer Givebacks
GM celebrates the milestone today at its Fairfax, KS, assembly plant, where GM CEO Mary Barra and GM North America President Alan Batey announce a $174 million investment in the facility.
Trucks, CUVs Keep GM Metal Moving in April
GM dealers delivered 269,056 light vehicles last month, compared with 254,076 in the same period last year, according to WardsAuto data.
GM Details $5.4 Billion of U.S. Facility Investments
The investment, which GM North America President Alan Batey details at the automaker’s Pontiac, MI, Metal Center, also comes ahead of pivotal UAW contract negotiations this summer.
GMC Canyon Delivers Repeat Win for GM’s Truck Brand
GM has committed millions of marketing dollars to GMC this year, hoping to build awareness of the brand. After two 10 Best Interiors awards in two years, GMC certainly has our attention.
GM Sees More Truck Output Available; No FCA Merger Plans
CEO Barra says on a conference call that her management team has no intentions of pursuing a merger sought in the financial press by FCA US CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Rush of Luxury Plug-Ins First Challenge to Hybrids
PHEV demand remains a fraction of the overall hybrid market, which accounted for 451,831 sales in 2014 and a 2.8% market share. But that also means there’s considerable upside for the vehicles.
Ford Announces $2.5 Billion Mexico Investment
Ford is just the latest global automaker to expand in Mexico, lured by the country’s many free trade agreements, low wages and inexpensive land.
GM Offers Suppliers ‘Billions of Dollars’ for Best Ideas 1
“We want to be the OEM of choice,” says Steve Kiefer, vice president-Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at GM. “We want to be the first stop when (suppliers) think of a new innovation.
Ghosn Guns for No.2 Japanese Make in U.S.; Mum on Mercedes Pickup
Nissan’s chief says the automaker is not maximizing fleet to grow in the U.S. “You need to establish your base with a strong retail position. That is the most important element in our strategy,” he says.
Success of Lexus NX Will Not Yield More Supply
The U.S. has been allotted 40,000 units of the NX for 2015. With 9,111 sold through March the NX could zoom past that limit, but the cap is firm, Lexus executive Jeff Bracken says.
Redesigned Chevy Spark’s Assignment Unchanged: Lure New Buyers 1
The Spark, along with the somewhat larger Sonic subcompact, feeds 25% of Cruze and Malibu midsize buyers. The Spark alone draws first-time Chevy buyers at a rate of 21%.
GMC Terrain Tweaks Keep CUV Chugging; Truck Squeeze Easing
Gasoline prices below $2.50 per gallon means other global GMC markets, such as the oil-exporting Middle East, are seeing demand tick back, GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred says.
GM Expects Chevy Malibu Redesign to Resonate This Time
The latest iteration, which marks the Malibu’s third redesign in just over three years, will deliver on key customer demands such as fuel economy, value, technology, safety and distinctive design, GM executives predict.
Cadillac CT6 Makes Much-Anticipated Debut
GM boasts the large luxury sedan due late this year in rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive layouts, will achieve levels of performance, efficiency, agility and technological marvel unseen in the segment.
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