COVID-19

General Motors, Ventec Life Systems team up to aid respiratory care product production

GM is teaming up with Ventec Life Systems to help with the production of respiratory care products.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Though General Motors plants are idled by the outbreak of COVID-19, colloquially known as coronavirus, General Motors is stepping up to use their logistics, purchasing, and manufacturing knowledge to aid Ventec Life Systems with the manufacturing of respiratory car products.

The partnership is in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, the nation's coordinated private sector response to the COVID-19.

According to a statement, "Ventec will leverage GM's logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise to build more of their critically important ventilators." This statement does not explicitly say that GM will manufacture ventilators, rather that they will be a resource for Ventec.

"With GM's help, Ventec will increase ventilator production," said Chris Kiple, Ventec Life Systems CEO. "By tapping their expertise, GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster. This partnership will help save lives."

StopTheSpread.org has committed to continuing to unite business leaders nationwide to collect resources to complement and support government efforts to battle the outbreak and its consequences.

"We are grateful for the partnership between GM and Ventec Life Systems, which will enable Ventec to drastically scale production of critically needed respiratory care products. This is a vital step in delivering relief to our healthcare system, which is threatened by the spread of COVID-19. As this virus continues to endanger the lives of countless Americans, StopTheSpread.org is working to unite the business community around a common threat to our economy and our way of life. We know the strength of this effort relies on urgent coordination between the public and private sectors in order to get through this crisis."

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Aston Martin's first SUV is finally ready for the public.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

It may have seemed like the last four months were a slow slog, but four years has flown by since Aston Martin announced its investment in a new manufacturing facility inn St. Athan, Wales. The first Aston Martin DBX, the company's inaugural SUV, was the first model off the line - something that will be an answer to a trivia question one day.

The virtual development of the model started in 2015 with physical testing commencing in Wales in 2018. The car was officially unveiled during festivities in Beverly Hills surrounding the L.A. Auto Show last year.

Aston Martin DBX production

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Aston Martin has given the DBX the soul of a sports car. The DBX transforms the luxury and design of the DBS, DB11, and Vantage into the new all-wheel drive mold.

The clean sheet design uses bonded aluminum and a new Aston Martin platform to create the SUV, which has a curb weight just under 5,000 pounds. The structure allows the cabin to be roomy, with class-leading interior space.

The DBX is Aston Martin's first five-seater. It boasts class-leading headroom and legroom. Five adults fit in the SUV with enough rear legroom for taller individuals to feel comfortable even with the front seats all the way back. Seats are outfitted in full-grain leather while the headliner is available in Alcantara leather.

The luxury automaker has given the car a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that turns out 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paried with a nine-speed automatic transmission and comes with a rear limited slip differential. The DBX can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 181 mph.

Aston Martin boasts that the model will have around 20-inches of water fording ability and enough off-road prowess to satisfy most customers.

Aston Martin has evolved its center console. In the center of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch infotainment screen while a 12.3-inch screen sits in front of the driver.

Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera system, and 64-color ambient lighting in two zones come standard.

A number of accessory packages are available to enhance the DBX.

U.S. buyers can get their DBX for $189,900. Enhancements and customization is extra. Orders are currently being accepted and the first delivers will begin later this year.

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The Dodge Grand Caravan has gone largely unchanged since 2011.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The first minivan rolled off the assembly line at FCA at Windsor Assembly on November 2, 1983. Since that Plymouth Voyager entered the world more than 15 million minivans have been sold. As of last year, FCA held a 54 percent share of minivan sales, selling twice as many minivans as any other manufacturer over more than 35 years.

The Dodge Caravan was introduced alongside that Plymouth and launched the same year. And now, Autoblog has received confirmation from FCA that the model, now known as the Dodge Grand Caravan, has reached the end of the road.

2020 Dodge Grand Caravan 15 million Dodge released this graphic in 2019 to celebrate the 15 millionth sale of a minivan.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Now in its fifth generation, the Grand Caravan is 12 model years into its that era. It was introduced in 2008 with exterior styling by now-Global President Product Design Ralph Gilles. Though it's received tweaks here and there over the past few years, the last major update to the Grand Caravan came in 2011. New trim levels and innovation changes have helped the model evolve over the last half-decade.

The fate of the Grand Caravan was sealed when FCA introduced the modern Chrysler Pacifica in 2016. The model, with its higher price point and fresh technologies (including a hybrid powertrain) were clearly the future. However, the Grand Caravan production was already paid for and selling the models was a bit like printing money. Without anything to replace it in the FCA lineup, the Grand Caravan production continued.

In 2019, because of its. involved powertrain, the model was outlawed from being sold in California, the number one vehicle market in the country.

Last summer, Chrysler introduced for the Voyager, a low cost version of the Pacifica. It was then that run of the Grand Caravan was clearly growing to a close.

There's till time to get a Grand Caravan if you're in the market. It's like that they'll will remain on dealer lots as the second half of the year draws to a close.

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