GM CEO Marry Barra wanted to make it clear that the company hopes its $5.4-billion U.S. facilities investment will help support the company’s new product push as it looks to sew together loose ends and strengthen its portfolio in the wake of its restructuring, according to Ward’s Auto.
“We’ve upped it slightly into this year,” the CEO told Ward’s in regards to the company’s latest product push.
Barra’s statement comes in the wake of GM’s decision last year to up capital spending to 20 percent, which now puts it on par with other OEM’s at 5 to 5.5 percent of annual revenue. For GM, that means an outlay of about $9-billion this year alone.
So, what does this reinvestment mean for GM’s product line? It means you can expect GM to launch 19 new models and eight refreshed models in 2015 and 2016.
“We feel strongly we are investing in the right products,” Barra continued. “If you look at what is happening in the next few years, we have significant investments in new technologies, multi-materials (strategies), new powertrains. It is across the board. But if you look at how the industry is changing, we think it is at the right level.”
GM closed April with 18.2 percent of the market; a long way off the 23.6 market share the company held pre-bankruptcy in 2007.
While the company is betting on the incoming product push, Barra is still confident that some of the company’s current products, like the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and the Cadillac Escalade, will also help contribute to its upward climb.
Though current Malibu sales pale in comparison to rivals like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, which both enjoy about the twice the sales of the current Malibu, Barra is confident in the new model.
“With the (new) Malibu, we’ve really focused on the midsized customer and what they value most, and I think they are going to see a great value proposition in the car,” she told Ward’s.
We’ll have to be a little more patiently with Cadillac, however.
“It’s great how well the Cadillac Escalade is doing. It’s a great vehicle,” she told the news outlet. “But we’re on a journey with Cadillac. We are working hard for the right product portfolio, we’ll build it over time. We have a strong brand foundation now. It’s not a month-by-month journey, but we’re 100% committed.”