GM Unveils Product Plan
A revitalized General Motors reintroduced itself this week with an array of all-new cars, crossovers and trucks debuting now through 2011. GM also made a historic announcement: When the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle rolls off the assembly line late next year, it will be the first mass-production automobile to achieve triple-digit fuel economy, with an expected 230 mpg in the city, or 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles.
GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson also confirmed that Cadillac is developing an entry luxury sport sedan to capitalize on the growing market for smaller luxury sedans in the U.S. and globally. The rear- and optional all-wheel drive sedan will compete in the segment below the CTS, delivering outstanding performance and driving dynamics.
At GM's Design Center and Milford Proving Ground, GM previewed six all-new 2010 vehicles and a glimpse of what is being introduced through the end of 2011:
- Chevrolet alone is introducing 10 new models, including the 2011 Chevrolet Volt
- Buick and GMC are adding 10 new entries, including a Buick plug-in hybrid compact crossover in 2011
- Cadillac is introducing five new models through 2011
Henderson also announced that as part of GM's commitment to get closer to consumers, GM will use its FastLane blog to gather product research from both fans and critics. One pilot initiative, "The Lab," will involve GM's Advanced Design studio and allow users openly talk with designers about ideas and consumer-friendly technologies that were previously shared only in unbranded clinics.
In addition, Henderson said he and other executives plan to talk with consumers in other Web-based and in-person formats in the coming months. On Monday, the new GM executive committee, led by Henderson, showed off products and technologies to about 75 consumers at the GM Technical Center and the Milford Proving Ground.
"The key to restarting this company lies with GM's customers, cars and culture," Henderson said. "With four focused brands, we are committed to exceeding our current customers' expectations and giving consumers plenty of reasons to choose a Chevy, Buick, GMC or Cadillac car or truck."
Chevrolet Volt fuel economy achieves triple digits
Using development testing based on a draft U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) procedure for plug-in electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt is expected to achieve 230 miles per gallon or better in city driving (25 kW hours per 100 miles). The Volt, scheduled to begin production late next year as a 2011 model, can travel up to 40 miles on electricity from a single battery charge and can extend its overall range to more than 300 miles with its flex-fuel engine-generator.
The EPA test procedure for plug-in electric vehicles, which is still being finalized, assumes a single charge each day. According to U.S. Department of Transportation data, nearly eight of 10 Americans commute fewer than 40 miles a day.
"From the data we've seen, most drivers could operate purely on grid electricity in a Chevy Volt," Henderson said. "A car that gets more than 100 miles per gallon is a significant step in the reinvention of the auto industry and GM is and will continue to be a leader in that reinvention."
Cadillac confirms entry luxury sedan
With the all-new SRX and CTS Sport Wagon coming to market this month, the brand plans to pursue an even bigger piece of the luxury sport sedan market. Cadillac is developing a sport sedan below the acclaimed CTS that will deliver on the price of entry in this highly competitive segment of the luxury market - driving dynamics. With high-tech engines, rear-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive, the new sedan will take on the best in the segment.
"We are determined to repeat what CTS has already achieved in design, quality, driving dynamics, performance and fuel economy to grow our presence in this high-volume and highly competitive segment," Henderson said.