When we explore new vehicles, we normally attach a video that goes through the specs, offers insights, or performs a test drive and walkaround. With the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, we’ve attached a video that lets the SUV speak for itself. Why? Because this is the most visually stunning SUV Chevrolet has released in years.
Starting at $28,800, the crossover is well within the price range of most new vehicle buyers. Now that it’s hitting showrooms, we’ll see how well the low price and amazing design sparks sales.
To go with the theme of letting the vehicle speak for itself, here’s a quick promotional video from Chevrolet. We’re not usually fans of such videos, opting to let independent video producers tell the story, but the beauty of this ride demanded a high-definition look at its wonders:
While the functionality of the base model is worth considering, buyers may want to step up to the Premier trim. It’s almost an entirely different vehicle with premium leather and sueded microfiber that gives it every bit as much of a luxurious feel as its more expensive competitors. Car buyers can also start from the base and select from a wide variety of optional features to build just the right level of luxury and comfort.
But let’s focus on the real appeal of this SUV. Chevrolet has hit a home run with their exterior design. Reviewers are nearly universal with their praise of the contours that give it more of a car-like appearance than the truck-like stance that many SUVs still enjoy today. Their roots were as converted trucks, after all, though most manufacturers have made them seem like large cars instead of pickups with more seats and a roof. The Blazer is no different, but takes the design aesthetics to a new level.
As is the trend in the industry, the 2019 Chevy Blazer includes many options for driver assistance as well as teen driver limitation features. When kids (or an aggressive spouse) gets behind the wheel, owners can receive alerts when they’re driving too fast or even playing the stereo too loud. It even gives an in-vehicle report card to use as a teaching tool for new drivers.
Automatic braking and collision avoidance features help drivers stay on course. These features go nicely with the Blazer’s blind-spot warning system, a lane-keeping assist system, and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
If there’s one complaint we’ve seen from reviews, it’s that the crowded segment didn’t need a new competitor and Chevrolet already has plenty of SUV options. But that complaint assumes the costs to add the model were greater than the potential benefits of giving buyers more options. Chevrolet has been fiscally responsible in recent years, so it seems best to trust they know what they’re doing with the Blazer. Time will tell.
Under the hood, we have to instantly call for buyers to go for the upgrade. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against the economical ECOTEC® 2.5L engine. 27 mpg on the highway is nice for a midsize SUV, but here’s the thing. The 3.6l engine offers 26 mpg on the highway while delivering 305 hp and a towing capacity of up to 4500 lbs. There’s no need to save a little money on the smaller engine when the bigger one is so much better.
Our verdict: Chevrolet has knocked it out of the park with the 2019 Blazer. Naysayers can complain all they want about the crowded segment. We expect to see this vehicle do very well in the sales arena. You’ll be seeing plenty of these on the road soon enough.
GM rebounds with $8.1B 2018 profit on strong pricing
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors posted an $8.1 billion net profit for 2018, fueled by better prices for vehicles sold in the U.S., its most lucrative market.
It’s a strong rebound from the previous year when the company lost $3.9 billion on a giant tax accounting charge.
GM made $10.8 billion before taxes in North America, down about 9 percent from 2017. But it still means big profit-sharing checks for about 46,500 union workers in the U.S. They’ll get $10,750 each, less than last year’s $11,500.
The company said Wednesday that it made $5.58 per share for the year. Without $2.5 billion worth of special items largely due to restructuring, the profit was $6.54, easily beating Wall Street expectations of $6.29, according to a survey by FactSet.
Full-year revenue rose 1 percent to $147.05 billion, also beating estimates of just over $145 billion.
GM made $2 billion, or $1.40 per share in the fourth quarter. Excluding restructuring charges, the company’s per-share earnings were $1.43, also breezing past Wall Street expectations of $1.24.
Shares of GM rose almost 3 percent at the opening bell.
Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said GM said it made $2 billion on its joint venture in China last quarter, despite slowing auto sales in the country.
The Trump administration’s tariffs on imported aluminum and steel raised prices of those commodities, costing the company more than $1 billion last year. Suryadevara expects another $1 billion increase this year.
“It’s a volatile environment as you well know, and we’re going to have to see how that goes,” she said.
GM has managed to offset some costs with efficiencies, she told reporters Wednesday.
Even with the profit, GM’s U.S. sales last year fell 1.6 percent as big SUVs and the company’s top-selling Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck faltered during the fourth quarter. But sales of many smaller SUVs rose and the average sale price of a GM vehicle hit a record of $36,974, the company said. GM’s U.S. market share 0.4 percentage points to 16.7 percent.
The profits are being announced as GM lays off about 4,300 white-collar workers, many of them at its giant technical center in a nearby suburb of Warren, Michigan. The company plans to close five U.S. and Canadian factories and eliminate a total of 14,000 salaried and blue-collar jobs as part of a giant restructuring to boost profit margins, prepare for a downturn and invest more in electric and autonomous vehicles.
GM wanted to cut 8,000 white-collar workers. About 2,200 took retirement offers, and the company let go of another 1,500. This week, GM started telling 4,300 other salaried workers that they were out of a job.
The company plans to eliminate about 6,000 factory worker jobs by closing three car assembly plants and two other factories. But it says there are 2,700 openings for U.S. workers at factories across the nation.
2020 Kia Telluride can’t actually do what it did in its Super Bowl commercial
Super Bowl ads have become a big part of the whole yearly ritual, and automakers are among those who spend big bucks to get in front of a huge television audience. Kia used their time to highlight the all-new 2020 Telluride by filming a very nice commercial about the community in which they are built.
That community happens to be less than a hundred miles from where the big game was played this year.
But there was a scene in the ad that paints the Telluride as able to do what few vehicle can – go through very deep water without stalling. The problem is, it can’t actually do that.
If you read the fine print that flashed on the screen for around 3 seconds, you’ll notice it says “DO NOT ATTEMPT. Water stunt performed with aftermarket snorkel. Professional driver on closed course.”
Don’t get me wrong. Stunts are done in commercials all the time that should never be attempted by average drivers, but they rarely demonstrate a feature of a vehicle that doesn’t exist. This shot, while extremely cool, may mislead people into believing they can drive their Telluride into water without fear.
They can’t, at least not without the aftermarket snorkel they mentioned.
It’s a shame because this was my favorite of the car commercials aired during the Super Bowl. Yes, it was a great shot. No, they shouldn’t have included it in the ad even with the quick disclaimer attached.
Why the 2019 Silverado 1500 ad for The Lego Movie 2 is the future of entertainment tie ins
In 1992, Wayne’s World did a bit where they mock product placement and promotional materials in movies by claiming they would never do such a thing. While they were railing against the practice, promotional material was prominently placed throughout the scenes and even worn by the characters. It was an iconic moment in the classic comedy because in many ways, it was true.
For decades, companies have placed their products in television and movie sets to drop the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) message into the flow of the entertainment. Cars are especially prominent, especially when there’s a high speed chase scene to film. But what about kids’ movies? LEGO and Chevrolet teamed up to make the epic video above that proves you don’t have to be subtle when pitching your vehicles.
Cross-promotional advertisements aren’t new, either, but this one is one of our favorites. It’s literally an options-laden ad without the pretense of working in features into the entertainment. That alone would make it epic, but there’s one more thing to consider. The blatant marketing working against the backdrop of an upcoming movie gives it viral potential for fans of both brands. The whole can be made greater than the sum of the parts.
Rather than working products into movies, perhaps they should follow Lego’s and Chevy’s lead and start working the movie into the product advertisements. It’s more honest and likely more effective.
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