Yesterday, General Motors CEO Mary Barra addressed the media and other automotive industry professionals at the Detroit Economic Club. Among the topics she spoke about was the next-generation Chevrolet Volt, which she revealed will use a larger four-cylinder gasoline generator, not a three-cylinder motor as previously thought.
Apart from the exciting Volt news, Barra also talked about GM’s contributions to Detroit and Michigan’s economic growth. She said GM has invested more than $11 billion in different projects throughout the U.S. since 2009, with almost half of that being spent in Michigan. She also pointed out GM has worked with its UAW partners to develop initiatives that will create more than 22,600 jobs in the United States in the future.
Barra said she’s not just being “a cheerleader for Michigan,” though. GM doesn’t invest in Michigan “to create jobs here out of nostalgia or misplaced sentimentality,” or to be “popular,” but because they believe “the talent and ingenuity of this region (Michigan) are key components in our plan to win globally,” Barra said.
She also acknowledged how the automotive sector is rapidly changing and expressed her belief that the industry will change more in the next decade than it has in the past 50 years. Main areas of change she pointed to were new propulsion systems, alternative fuel sources, stronger and lighter materials, self-driving vehicles and more. She also said younger consumers now want their vehicles to be safer, more reliable and more fuel efficient.
GM is appeasing these needs in multiple ways. The next-gen Volt is one, while implementing technologies like V2X and Super Cruise will be the next major step. Barra said V2X is a “game-changer for safety, because when enough cars share information about such factors as speed, direction and braking, we’ll be able to reduce crashes dramatically.”
You can read Barra’s remarks from the Economic Club address in their entirety by following this link. GM has also put together some highlights from her speech, which can be seen in the video below.