J.D. Power: Cadillac Is Among the Cream of the Customer Service Crop
Consumer-Research Firm Declares Automaker a 2012 Customer Service Champion
ANDOVER, Mass., March 30, 2012 – No matter what product a consumer is considering purchasing, customer service is a critical factor in the buying process, and Cadillac was recently acknowledged by J.D. Power and Associates as being one of the companies that serve their customers best. For the second year in a row, the top-notch service at Cadillac dealerships got the automaker recognized as a 2012 Customer Service Champion.
J.D. Power and Associates measured consumers’ opinions of 800 brands across 20 major industries, but only 50 brands were deemed Customer Service Champions, with only four auto brands selected. Each brand was scored in five key areas of customer service, including People, Presentation, Price, Process and Product. According to J.D. Power, brands that excel in the customer survey tend to hire with discretion and teach employees best practices, understand differences that exist within their customer base, and deliver their brand and services in a consistent manner.
“No matter how many people might show up to test drive a Cadillac CTS on a given day, we address each customer as an individual first and foremost, trying to understand what motivates them,” said Bill DeLuca III, president of Andover, Massachusetts Cadillac dealership Bill DeLuca’s Woodworth Chevrolet Cadillac. “Face time is becoming increasingly rare in a world where gadgets can make things very impersonal. Part of delivering excellent customer service is being there for the customer, in person, and in every other way we can.”
Cadillac carefully considered its customer base when designing its new 2013 XTS full-size luxury sedan. Marketed to professionals with active lifestyles, the forthcoming Cadillac XTS was designed to comfortably seat four passengers while easily fitting a golf bag for each in the trunk.
Benefiting from Cadillac’s extensive research, the 2013 Cadillac XTS will make the most of its full-size segment designation when it arrives at dealerships this spring, sporting 40 inches of rear legroom and 18 cubic-feet of cargo area in the trunk. The trunk space of the XTS surpasses that of the Audi A8L, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, providing easy loading while keeping expensive gear out of sight.
While that trunk space takes care of storage, passengers can make use of Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system to keep entertained in the Cadillac. CUE uses touch-screen and voice-command technology to manage a driver’s music collection, phone contacts and popular internet apps like Pandora internet radio. Meanwhile, an available 3-D GPS Navigation system with integrated Doppler weather can keep country-club-goers on track to arrive before tee time while staying aware of any threatening storms.
“Cadillac is very aware of their customer base, and they upgrade their vehicles with features like CUE because their drivers have a frequent need for that technology,” added DeLuca. “Ample trunk space and instant access to the latest weather report aren’t just luxury afterthoughts; they’re necessities for busy people who still want to live their lives actively outside of work.”
Chevy Volt May Soon Amp Up with Renewable Energy
Volt Owners Could Get Option of Charging from Sustainable Sources
ANDOVER, Mass., Jan. 31, 2012 – Some critics argue that electric cars aren’t quite as green as they seem because, like most everything, they use electricity that comes from traditional energy sources like coal. Chevy may soon help change that by empowering owners of its Volt electric car to draw more from renewable energy. Through a partnership with researchers at Google and OnStar, the automaker is testing cutting-edge technology in the Chevy Volt that can determine when renewable energy is readily available for charging.
The Chevy Volt’s potential renewable-energy drawing system, demonstrated at the 2012 DistribuTECH Conference in San Antonio last week, starts with a signal. Regional transmission organization PJM Interconnection first alerts OnStar to the percentage of renewable energy available on the grid. OnStar then aligns that availability with Volt vehicles that have requested a recharge from renewable energy.
“The buyers that are attracted to the Volt tend to be tech-savvy, forward-thinking people who want to take advantage of innovative technologies,” said Bill DeLuca III, president of Andover, Massachusetts Chevy dealership Bill DeLuca’s Woodworth Chevrolet Cadillac. “With the help of Google, OnStar and Chevy, the Volt and its owners could play a large role in creating greater demand for more renewable-energy options from utility companies.”
Google is currently testing the renewable-energy charging system in the 17 Chevy Volts that are a part of Gfleet, the company’s employee car-sharing program at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. The Chevy Volts in the Gfleet are helping Google reach its goal of filling up 5 percent of its parking spaces with an electric vehicle.
Though it can’t determine renewable-energy sources just yet, the 2012 Volt currently available at Chevy dealerships can drive gasoline-free for up to 35 miles and achieve up to 94 MPGe when in electric-only mode. According to Chevrolet, the Volt’s combined electric and gas estimated fuel economy is 60 MPGe, the best in the compact-car segment. The vehicle achieves that efficiency through the pairing of a 149-horsepower electric-drive unit and 1.4-liter, 83-horsepower internal-combustion engine that can combine for a total range of 407 miles.
Current Volt owners can also take advantage of mobile technology that makes owning and operating the vehicle easier. OnStar’s RemoteLink smartphone app allows owners to check their Volt’s battery life and receive an alert when charging is complete, so no time is wasted going outside to check charging status. Owners can also use the app to lock or unlock their car, meaning the days of fumbling for keys are numbered.
“When the Volt came out of the gate, it was one of the first electric vehicles designed to operate at high speeds in all-electric mode,” added DeLuca. “With Chevy’s own continued innovation, as well as their involvement with others in improving access to renewable energy in the electric grid, the Volt will continue to do things that no other production car has done before.”
Cadillac to Reveal ATS Sports Sedan at Detroit Auto Show
New Compact Luxury Model to Enter German-Dominated Entry-Level Segment
ANDOVER, Mass., Dec. 29, 2011 – Cadillac has the German luxury automakers square in its sights with its 2013 ATS sports sedan, which will make its official debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January. Slated to reach Cadillac dealers next summer, the new Caddy will also be the smallest in the lineup, making it a direct competitor against the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series.
Thus far, Cadillac has only released teaser photos of the ATS, but the shadowy shots reveal the crisp lines and sharp angles of the automaker’s Art and Science design philosophy. Edmunds’ InsideLine.com says Cadillac fans can eventually expect coupe and convertible variants, as well as a high-performance V-Series model further down the road, but the first Cadillac ATS models to reach showrooms will all be rear-wheel-drive compacts of the four-door variety.
“The addition of the ATS will be key to Cadillac’s expansion both in America and globally,” said Bill DeLuca III, president of Andover, Massachusetts Cadillac dealership Bill DeLuca’s Woodworth Chevrolet Cadillac. “The 2013 ATS will be competing in the largest segment in the luxury-car industry, and Cadillac is positioning itself to steal a large enough chunk of the market to disrupt the German status quo. It won’t be easy, but the ATS is more than equipped to take on the competition.”
Cadillac will offer a trio of engines in the ATS, all of which are capable of keeping pace with the speedy competition, including two all-new four-cylinder engines. Base-model ATS vehicles will be powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine, while the next rung up the performance ladder will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter mill producing 270 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The likely range-topper of the ATS lineup is the 3.6-liter V6 engine that currently resides in the Cadillac CTS midsize sedan. It produces 318 horsepower, good for 18 more horsepower than the turbocharged V6 in the BMW 335i.
To ensure the ATS has the handling chops to match its acceleration, Cadillac spent an extensive amount of time testing on Germany’s famed Nurburgring, the longest permanent racetrack in the world. Approximately 16 miles in length, the Nurburgring, also known as The Green Hell, is a challenging mix of fast sweeping corners and tight sections that put a car’s chassis, brakes, suspension and engine to the test. With 90 turns and nearly 1,000 feet in elevation changes, a drive on The Green Hell makes any commute seem tame in comparison.
“Cadillac hasn’t cut any corners in the development of the ATS,” DeLuca noted. “It takes time and effort to build something that can stand up to the German luxury competition, and Cadillac has fully invested itself in creating vehicles that will not only compete, but will also create new benchmarks in their segments.”
That effort extends to Cadillac’s other new luxury car, the XTS full-size sedan. Replacing the Cadillac STS and DTS when it arrives at dealerships this spring, the 2013 Cadillac XTS features a direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 with an available all-wheel-drive system that should prove appealing to those in the Snow Belt. The XTS will also be the first vehicle to feature Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system, which combines navigation, communication and entertainment functions in an intuitive, customizable interface.
One Fast Five-Star: Chevy Camaro Tops Tougher NHTSA Safety Ratings
Sports Car Is First to Earn Five Stars Across the Board in New Car Assessment Program
ANDOVER, Mass., Dec. 5, 2011 – Sports cars aren’t the first models to come to mind when it comes to crash safety, but the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe has become the first vehicle to earn all perfect scores in the revised New Car Assessment Program from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Starting with 2011 models, the NHTSA instituted more stringent crash-testing criteria that rate vehicles in a number of categories, and the latest Camaro Coupe earned the highest possible five-star safety rating across the board.
When the NHTSA revised its testing standards last year, the system was upgraded to include tougher crash tests and an overall score to make it easier for consumers to compare vehicles within a class. Currently available at Chevy dealerships, the 2012 Camaro Coupe earned five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, rollover and overall categories, making it both the first sports car and the first vehicle on the market to accomplish the feat.
“It’s impressive that a sports car as powerful as the Camaro was the first car to sweep all of the safety categories, because the car is normally more associated with its roaring engine and raising customers’ pulses,” said Bill DeLuca III, president of Massachusetts Chevy dealership Bill DeLuca’s Woodworth Chevrolet Cadillac. “It’s not surprising though, because the Camaro is made by Chevy; even their fun toys incorporate their high build quality and wide array of safety features.”
While its ultra-strength steel safety cage and six standard air bags helped the 2012 Chevy Camaro Coupe earn its five-star ratings, the sports car includes other high-tech features to help passengers stay safe. Antilock brakes and StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control reduce the likelihood of getting in a crash, and six months of OnStar Automatic Crash Response comes standard to dispatch emergency response teams if a collision happens.
The Camaro Coupe’s brother, the 2012 Camaro Convertible, has yet to be rated by the entire NHTSA New Car Assessment Program, but it has earned a five-star safety rating in the rollover category, making it a prime candidate for anyone seeking a safe convertible. For those seeking even more power from their drop-top, Chevrolet unveiled the 2013 Camaro ZL1 convertible at the LA Auto Show last month. Chevy’s most powerful production convertible ever will share the same 580-horsepower LS9 V8 engine as the ZL1 coupe when it goes on sale in late 2012.
Chevrolet designed the Camaro ZL1 coupe to eventually accommodate a convertible model, so the vehicles share many structural similarities. The Camaro ZL1 convertible, however, is outfitted with a tower-to-tower brace under the hood, a transmission support brace, front and rear-underbody braces, and structural reinforcements to help stabilize the vehicle and do away with the wheel shake, vibration and noise that often plague convertibles. All of these features are intended to give the convertible a smooth, coupe-like ride while still delivering an open-air experience.
“Some automakers chop off the roof of their existing models as an afterthought and call it a convertible, and that’s not the way to do it,” added DeLuca. “Chevy actually had a convertible model in mind from the very beginning for the ZL1, and that’s what’s going to set it apart from other drop-tops on the market. That, and the fact that it has a 580-horsepower engine, of course.”
Chevy to Build Diesel-Powered Cruze in Ohio
Compact Car Could Reach 50 MPG When It Arrives in 2013
ANDOVER, Mass., Nov. 2, 2011 – Americans have been quick to warm up to the Chevrolet Cruze since the compact car debuted last year as a 2011 model, but in a couple years Chevy will find out whether consumers will be as enthusiastic towards a diesel-powered version of the same car. General Motors recently confirmed that the new diesel Cruze will be manufactured alongside its gasoline-powered sibling at the company’s Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant before being shipped to Chevy dealerships in 2013.
While General Motors has announced where the diesel Chevy Cruze will be built, the American automaker has yet to say which diesel engine will be found under its hood. In Europe, Chevy Cruze
models featuring a 2.0-liter diesel engine provide the equivalent of 43 mpg on the highway and are more popular than those models with gasoline engines. However, analysts have predicted that another diesel engine with smaller displacement could boost fuel economy up to 50 mpg on the highway before the car makes its U.S. dealership debut.
“A 50-mpg Cruze would be a great alternative for those who want incredible fuel economy without sacrificing much in power,” said Bill DeLuca III, president of Massachusetts Chevy dealership Bill DeLuca’s Woodworth Chevrolet Cadillac. “Americans are starting to realize that diesel-powered cars are not what they used to be. New diesel technology has allowed them to be more fuel efficient than gas-powered cars and more powerful than hybrids.”
General Motors will be investing $5.5 million into its Lordstown manufacturing plant to prepare it for production of Chevy’s first diesel car since the 1980s. The plant is already running day and night during weekdays and sometimes during weekends to keep up with demand for the gasoline-powered Chevy Cruze, which outsold the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in the United States this summer.
Regardless of the future success of its diesel models, the Chevy Cruze has already established itself as a fuel-sipping innovator with its Cruze Eco, which offers the best highway fuel mileage of any conventional gas-powered vehicle in America. Capable of 42 mpg on the highway with its six-speed manual transmission, the 2012 Chevy Cruze Eco has a cruising range of 529 miles, enough to go from Boston to New York and back without refueling.
While the Chevy Cruze’s fuel efficiency may grab headlines, it is built to provide a comfortable and responsive ride for the lifetime of the vehicle. Chevy’s compact car is available with leather seats, a sport-tuned suspension and automatic climate control, meaning drivers of larger cars can downsize without downgrading.
“Since it debuted, the Cruze has sold more than 212,000 units,” DeLuca noted. “If that’s not proof that Chevy got the recipe right then I don’t know what is. The Cruze is worth a look, even for those who haven’t previously considered a compact car.”