GM Bringing 10 New Electrified Car Models To China By 2020

General Motors is rolling out at least 10 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China by 2020, the U.S. automaker’s chief said.

CEO Mary Barra, speaking to media in Shanghai on Friday, said that electrification will tie together with autonomous vehicles, connectivity, and shared mobility services. It’s needed to deal with China’s growing challenges over vehicle safety, air pollution, and congestion as urbanization continues to take off.

Between 2016 and 2020, GM is rolling out at least 10 battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (NEVs) in China. Three of them were already introduced to China over the past year – the Cadillac CT6 and Buick Velite 5 plug-in hybrids and the Baojun E100 all-electric vehicle.

The Buick Velite Concept was revealed in November and may be built on the Chevy Volt’s drive train. The Baojun E100, a small two-seat electric car shown in the photo above, was launched in July.

By 2025, nearly all of GM’s brands sold in China – Buick, Cadillac, and Chevrolet – will have an electrified option.

GM’s joint venture with SAIC Motor, a large Chinese automaker, will support the NEV strategy. The JV company, SAIC-GM, will be opening a new battery assembly plant in Shanghai before the end of the year.

The global automaker said it’s is bringing its corporate vision over to China, where the ideal scenario would be zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion. GM is ready to bring its new identity – moving away from traditional manufacturing over to transportation services – to a market demanding more options.

Barra said that her company has been working closely with the government and partners to meet China’s vehicle to everything (V2X) policy standard. The automaker has been working with the government as it develops the new standard for connectivity and automated vehicles.

The company has been one of the authors of the China Intelligent and Connected Vehicle Road Map. That strategic plan lays out guidelines for manufacturers and technology suppliers on R&D and vehicle testing.

The Detroit automaker is seeing gains from its investment in Yi Wei Xing, a leading carsharing technology supplier in China. The partners ran a vehicle sharing pilot program at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which was completed in May. Data from the pilot program is being studied to see how mobility services can work in China.

The automaker’s Super Cruise hands-free semi-autonomous feature is being testing in the U.S. and China. It will first be available on the Cadillac CT6 in the U.S., and in a future new vehicle in China at a later time.

The company plans to bring its recent experience producing 130 Chevy Bolts with autonomous vehicle technology over to China. In June, GM began using mass-production methods at its Orion, Mich., assembly plant to add these Bolt test vehicles to the fleet of 50 autonomous Bolts already in operation.

On the automated mobility side, GM is seeing more signs of interest and potential market demand. Its Maven carsharing unit is seeing rapid growth in the U.S. Ride-hailing firm Lyft, in which GM placed a significant investment last year, is seeing opportunities to expand in testing out self-driving cars with partners; this is taking place as archrival Uber sees its plans sidelined by the Waymo lawsuit and other growing problems.

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China holds great potential for GM’s future, Barra said. Cities like Shanghai are becoming more crowded and congested. Shared, autonomous, vehicles are expected to play a key role by the Chinese government. Concerns over fast-growing cities with increasing air pollution is another priority being faced by China’s national and regional governments.

“GM and our joint ventures are committed to providing world-class products for our customers in China, as well as the technical and business expertise to lead in the future of personal mobility.” Barra said. “No single company or organization has all the answers to the challenges we currently face or expect to face in the future.”

Barra participated in the International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai (IBLAC) on Sept. 17.


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