TodayApril 15, 2022

General Motor’s global electrification strategy

GM global Electric Vehicles

It has to be a difficult time to be making long-term decisions for any global company. As General Motors expands its IQ brand (are they calling it that yet, or just naming all their electric cars ending in IQ?) multiples challenges are looming; COVID-19, trade uncertainty, flooding in China, bureaucracy uncertainty in the USA and China. 

With the unveiling of the Cadillac Lyriq and select showings of Cadillac Celestiq General Motors is putting their money where their mouth has been. GM is pursuing a future of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion, vowing to invest more than $20 billion in electric and automated vehicles by 2025. 

In China, since the introduction of its “Drive to 2030” vision at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, the company has built the largest connected customer base and enhanced its highly localized technical capability and supply chain to support its long-term development.

General Motors announced its technology rollout plan for electrification, intelligent driving, and connectivity in China, with an immersive display at the PATAC Design Dome in Shanghai and virtual presentations from the Warren Design Dome in Michigan.

GM’s global tech day

At China’s Tech Day, the company provided a look into the future of its technologies developed globally with a sprinkle of a local perspective. They included GM’s new global EV platform, the Ultium battery system, and the next-generation EVs to be launched in China.

“As GM’s largest market and a global center of innovation, China will play a crucial role in making our vision a reality,” said Mary Barra, chairman, and CEO of GM. “With our joint venture partner SAIC, we are blending global insights and scale with local market expertise to redefine what is possible for our customers and society.”

Continental showcases “Super Clean Electrified”
Continental showcases “Super Clean Electrified”

China Advanced Technology Roadmap Highlights

More than 40% of GM’s new launches in China in the next five years will be electrified models in electrification. They will all be manufactured in China, with almost all parts coming from local suppliers. The state-of-the-art Ultium battery system and third-generation global electric platform will integrate GM’s engineering flexibility, technology advances with highly localized manufacturing, and supply chain in China to enhance quality and cost competitiveness.

In intelligent driving, GM will help strengthen consumer trust in China through the continued rollout and upgrade of the Super Cruise driver assistance system, which will be featured on Cadillac’s entire lineup by mid-decade and expanded to Buick and Chevrolet models. 

The company will also accelerate the development of China-specific solutions for intelligent connected vehicles, with its first global vehicle-to-everything (V2X) program set for launch this year on a Buick GL8 MPV for China.

In connectivity, nearly all GM vehicles in China from its global brands will be connected via flexible platforms and industry-leading scale. GM will capitalize on mega-trends like 5G, artificial intelligence, smart cities, and big data. In 2022, 5G will be available on all new Cadillac models and most Chevrolet and Buick vehicles going forward. 

The most up-to-date connected services will be provided through over-the-air updates.  

“We will enhance local integration and global collaboration by capitalizing on China-leading market trends and playing to the local industry’s strengths,” said Julian Blissett, GM executive vice president and president of GM China. “We are ready to activate a new era.”

If we can get past 2020 I will be happy.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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