During its 2021 final quarter financial results conference call, automaker General Motors, led by CEO Marry Barra, made several major announcements related to the future of the American giant’s multiple brands.
The figurehead was keen to congratulate the team behind Project Cruise, the first fully autonomous, driverless vehicles to hit the streets of San Francisco in November. So far, the pilot project has racked up no less than 20,000 miles and 600 trips. With new users signing up, the Cruise project is entering an even more crucial learning phase, as the company expects to generate more than $50 billion in revenue annually by the end of the decade.
Mary Barra also said GM wants to reach the milestone of 400,000 electric vehicles sold by 2023 in North America. Investments in the order of $35 billion in the development of electric technology and autonomous vehicles are expected to result in the introduction of as many as 30 electric models worldwide by 2025.
Just a week ago, General Motors confirmed that its Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan would be converted to mass production of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra electric pickup trucks, without saying anything more about the future of the Bolt/Bolt EUV tandem, the two cars that are – or were – assembled at that plant. In addition, a battery production plant will be built in collaboration with LG Energy Solution in Lansing, Michigan. There will even be a third production plant to increase the manufacturer’s production rate.
The goal of these investments is to reach a production capacity of one million electric vehicles per year, including 600,000 full-size pickup trucks. The same production targets are planned for the Chinese market. Mary Barra even indicated that a production capacity of one million vehicles would not be sufficient to meet the anticipated demand for electric vehicles by the middle of this decade.
Meanwhile, the Brightdrop project has reportedly already accumulated more than 25,000 reservations, with GM also wanting to participate in this new electric commercial vehicle movement. The CAMI plant will begin assembling these vans in 2022.
So far, no less than 59,000 consumers have reserved a copy of the GMC Hummer EV or its utility vehicle, while 110,000 people have registered their names to reserve a copy of the Chevrolet Silverado EV. As for the Cadillac Lyriq, whose first deliveries are scheduled for March, a second round of reservations is expected right after the launch of First Edition liveries in March.
Finally, it was learned that a more affordable electric vehicle than the Chevrolet Equinox EV is already in the works, which is great news for drivers who want to go electric but can’t afford to drive a GMC Hummer EV. Perhaps this statement from Ms. Barra means that the future of the Chevrolet Bolt is in jeopardy.