GM: Electrification, SUV portfolio enhancement, and autonomous driving

Product strategies and investment plans including EVs in major markets

2020/03/11

Summary

Our electric future is now
GM has committed to electrification (Source: GM)

  In 2019, GM initiated the restructuring plan for its main plants in North America announced at the end of 2018, and it unveiled its plans to invest in new products and production equipment, mainly related to light trucks and electrification. At the beginning of the press conference in February 2020, which conveyed its financial results for 2019, GM clearly stated its commitment to electrification saying that “We will continue progressing to an all-electric future.” The company also confirmed elements of its EV (electric vehicle) and AV (autonomous vehicle) strategies such as converting the Detroit-Hamtramck Plant, which had been its primary manufacturing site for mainly passenger vehicles, to a plant specializing in the production of a full lineup of all-electric trucks and SUVs, including the all-new GMC Hummer EV. The company has announced that it will introduce 20 electric vehicles by 2023 and make almost 100% of all Cadillac models electric by 2030, and that it is also investing in battery production and charging networks. Furthermore, strengthening its lineup of SUVs and pickup trucks will be a pillar of GM’s product strategy to support increased sales and profit.

  However, the launch of the ride-sharing business using the Cruise AV within 2019, which was another milestone to be achieved, has not been realized. In January 2020, GM announced its plans for Cruise Origin as an autonomous ride-sharing EV, but the release date of Cruise Origin and the specific plans for the ride-sharing service have not been disclosed. In addition, the car-sharing service business operated under the Maven mobility brand has been withdrawn in some markets, all of which can be viewed as delays to its future mobility vision.

  Outside North America, the company will aggressively invest in new products in the China market and at its plants in Brazil, while phasing out production in Russia and India. GM's global sales volumes in 2019 were down 8.0% to 7.72 million units, due in part to the decrease in China market sales and a decline in production in the U.S. due to a 40 day UAW strike from September, 2019. U.S. sales volumes were down 2.3%, while sales of light trucks were up 4.4%, accounting for 86% of all GM’s U.S. light vehicle sales. In 2019, adjusted EBIT was down 28.8% to USD 8.39 billion (with the impact of the UAW strikes factoring in at USD 3.6 billion) and net income was down 16.0% to USD 6.73 billion.

  This report focuses on GM's activities announced since 2019, including the restructuring of its manufacturing system in North America, its EV and other product strategies in key markets, and areas such as the expansion of its investment activities, as well as provide the status and outlook on its global production and sales volumes.

 

Related reports:
U.S. OEM Electrification Strategies, Including EV Product Timelines(Sep. 2019)
Auto Shanghai 2019: Exhibitions by Western Automakers Ford, GM, Volvo, etc. (Jun. 2019)
North American International Auto Show 2019: U.S. and European OEMs(Feb. 2019)
GM: Halting production at 5 plants in N. America, cutting 14,000 workers(Jan. 2019)