GM’s plans includes self-drive cars and electric bicycles
VOLT sales to make inroads into other electric cars sales, from Tesla to Leaf; an electric bike; and self-steering cars — these are all included in the to-do list of General Motor’s CEO Mary Barra and executive vice-president Mark Reuss.
GM had told the media in July it has set aside a proving ground for autonomous car testing that is the size of a small farm.
The latest news is that GM employees at this Warren Technical Centre can test-drive autonomous 2017 Chevy Volts on the 6,5-hectare factory grounds. and those cars will be booked using a proprietary car-sharing app.
In early 2016, aspects of the car-sharing programme — utilising traditional human-driven vehicles — will expand to New York City, and will feature the ability to share rides with other users going to destinations in the same general areas.
The company also confirmed that its “Super Cruise” autonomous driving technology will appear on the 2017 Cadillac CT6.
In addition, GM will focus on using lightweight materials to ensure that future vehicles will require less fuel. That plan appears to already be taking effect, as GM cited the weight reduction achieved in the forthcoming Chevrolet Malibu and Camaro, which achieve savings of 300 and 400 pounds, respectively.
It was also revealed that a joint project with Honda should yield a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicle around 2020.
The most outside-the-box aspect of the presentation might have been the unveiling of a General Motors e-bike, which would marry traditional human propulsion with an electric motor to ease starts and hill climbing.
No pictures or specs regarding the assisted bicycle were available on the media site, and it’s worth noting many cycling companies currently have similar products available today.
Of course, vehicle sales will continue to be the company’s dominant revenue stream, and more focus will be put on refining existing vehicles and increasing product development. GM says that 26% of its sales in 2015 have come from vehicles that were all new or significantly updated in the last 18 months. The goal is to increase that to 40% by 2019 and 2020.
Two brands in particular were mentioned. GM says that it is making a $5 billion (R68 billion) investment in an all-new “growth market vehicle family” over the next five years, and that Cadillac will expand into growing luxury segments.
Finally, the company expects to offset its costs by pursuing cost purchasing, manufacturing, and administration efficiencies that will yield $5,5 billion in savings between 2015 and 2018.
— Wheels Reporter.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra and executive vicepresident Mark Reuss.