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GM Wants to Profitably Redefine Personal Mobility

CEO Barra outlines $5 bil investment in autonomous vehicles, carsharing and other game-changers.

by on Oct.01, 2015

GM is "working to redefine our relationship with customers and personal mobility," says CEO Barra.

With autonomous vehicles, car-sharing programs and alternative powertrains reshaping the auto industry, some manufacturers have begun referring to themselves as “personal mobility companies.” The challenge is finding a way to profit from that transformation, said General Motors CEO Mary Barra, as she opened the maker’s “Global Business Conference” with investors and financial analysts.

General Motors is exploring ways to expand the services it offers customers around the world and expects to invest $5 billion in the effort as part of an effort to meet the competition from new challengers such as Apple, Google and Tesla,  Barra said, during the conference at the GM Proving Grounds an hour outside Detroit.


“We’re working to redefine our relationship with customers and personal mobility,” Barry explained, adding that “We want to own that relationship inside and outside the vehicle.”


Hybrid, Battery-Car Sales Slumped in First Half of 2015

Demand shifts from small, efficient, to big and powerful.

by on Jul.02, 2015

Honda Civic Hybrid production ended last month.

At the beginning of 2014, when fuel prices seemed headed for new record highs, U.S. shoppers couldn’t drive off fast enough with small cars and alternative-power vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf.

But with fuel costs down by at least $1 a gallon across the country, manufacturers have been struggling to sell those same, high-mileage vehicles. That’s forced them to stack up new incentives on the hood and, in some cases, slash production.

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That poses a challenge for the industry as it faces new fuel economy mandates for 2016 – with even tougher targets phasing in from now until 2025. Even so, automakers show little sign of retreating from the aggressive plans they’ve put in place to introduce new battery-based vehicles and other clean alternatives.


California Likely to Dominate Battery Car Market, Says New Study

Texas, NY and Florida also expected to bring strong demand.

by on Feb.14, 2011

That driveway where the Nissan Leaf is parked is likely to be in California, says a new study.

While General Motors may be ready to move up the 50-state rollout of its new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, a new study suggests that California and a handful of other states will dominate demand for battery cars.

In 2015, demand for advanced propulsion vehicles – which includes plug-ins, pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles – will reach nearly 35,000 a year in California, about as much as the next five states combined, forecasts the Center for Automotive Research, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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By that point, there will be an estimated 112,328 of these advanced propulsion vehicles registered in California, compared to 25,746 in Texas, the state projected to have the second-highest demand.

That’s no surprise considering the Golden State is already home to more hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid, than anyplace else.  There are currently 50 hybrids for every 10,000 California residents, about twice as many as any other state in the U.S.