Barra blogs again: GM plans to double EV, self-driving investments

Future Cadillac long-range electric large luxury utility vehicle (rendering), 2019 Detroit auto sho

Following a round of layoffs late last year, GM is planning to renew its focus on creating electric cars and autonomous vehicles.

For the second time in four months, CEO Mary Barra took to LinkedIn to reiterate that the company is shifting its focus to electric cars. The first time preceded November’s announcement that General Motors would lay off 15 percent of its workforce and shut down five factories that build sedans and small cars, including the Chevrolet Volt.

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Barra has said several times that the company plans to transform its lineup to one that results in “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion,” which would imply a 100-percent electric lineup, eventually.  “We know it won’t happen overnight, but we also know that today we have the technology, the team, the resources and the scale to make it a possibility,” she wrote.

The latest missive specifies that the company plans to double its investment in electric and self-driving cars with that goal in mind. 

General Motors CEO Mary Barra answers questions from media

Barra also referenced GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, saying, “The long-term success of this company cannot be taken for granted. I am forever grateful for the second chance we received, and it is one of my primary responsibilities to ensure that it never happens again.”

As a result, she said, “We have been working hard to make General Motors a strong, agile enterprise always looking over the horizon and around corners. Every action we’ve taken is designed to better align us with the opportunity ahead.”

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Those corners and horizons apparently refer to electric and self-driving cars.

On the electric-car front, GM has announced that it will introduce a new third-generation architecture for electric cars in a new luxury-priced Cadillac electric SUV expected to arrive in 2022.

The company’s GMC pickup brand also announced that it is considering building an all-electric pickup—which should perhaps be a fait accompli if General Motors plans to go all-electric—but the upscale-truck sales division did not announce a date or even confirm that it plans to build such a pickup.

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