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GM Celebrates Centennial with 2011 Chevrolet Volt

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2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

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General Motors is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Tuesday, September 16--and there are some hints that it could use that day to show the final production version of its Volt hybrid vehicle.

GM says its "GMnext Day" will "focus on the future of automotive transportation." Starting at 8:30 a.m. Detroit time, the automaker will start with a live global broadcast to its home crowd and to its outposts in Europe, Asia, South America, and next door in Mexico. The broadcast, GM says, will talk about new technology and new products, "along with a few newsworthy surprises."

Throughout the day, starting at 10:30 a.m., GM will put its execs in a chat room on their Web site, GMnext.com, to talk about the events. Then in the afternoon, industry experts will hold a roundtable that explores the future of transportation. And finally, GM will host an "Everyday Heroes" event that will recap the day's events.

TheCarConnection.com is here in Detroit, where GM's shown us the new Cadillac CTS Sportwagon and the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. It's the Volt's turn next: keep track of the day's events at the GM Web site, keep an eye on our preview of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt for more pictures and details, and stay tuned to this space, too, where you'll be able to watch a live stream of the events as they unfold on this page.

7:55 a.m.: The show's about to begin. We're front and center at the stage in GM's Renaissance Center headquarters, in the Wintergarden GM built after it bought the Ren Cen in 1996. A pre-show for media begins at 8 a.m. before the live Webcast begins below at 8:30 a.m.

8:21 a.m.: Sitting through a GM video describing how technology affects the people at all corners of its far-flung empire. The show's almost ready to begin.

8:33 a.m.: We're underway with updates from around the GM empire--outposts in Germany, China, India, Detroit and other locations. It's a little like Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve.

8:38 a.m.: The video introduction pans to Russelsheim, where a GM employee confirms the new 2010 Saab 9-5 will be built at that German facility.

8:50 a.m.: Former GM CEO Jack Smith beams in from Cape Cod to wish the company well. He refuses to put on a suit for the occasion; golden parachutes rock.

9:13 a.m.: We're still taking a tour of GM's empire, from India to the Middle East and now Africa.

9:18 a.m.: GM do Brasil is charged with developing the next-generation global mid-size pickup truck. Unknown what timing or impact that has on the current Colorado/Canyon twins.

9:33 a.m.: GM CEO Rick Wagoner says the driving force behind the next century of vehicles isn't GM or Toyota or engineers--it's you.

9:37 a.m.: It's here--and much better looking in person. Ignore the passing photography resemblance to the Chysler Cirrus--in person, the Volt looks like a real car. Unlike the Prius, it fits in neatly with the rest of the GM lineup.

 
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