It’s hard to believe another year has flown by here at GM Authority. Through the past 365 days, we’ve covered the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between as your ultimate destination for everything General Motors.
As we wave goodbye to 2016, we’ve compiled six moments that defined GM during the year. From vehicle launches, new ventures and bets on the future of transportation, we’ve tried to cover it all in this Year In Review.
1. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Launches
General Motors took the industry by storm when it debuted the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept vehicle. That wasn’t the end of it, though, as GM CEO Mary Barra publicly stated the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV would launch by the end of 2016. The automaker, and Barra, kept their word as the first Bolt EV deliveries took place on December 13, 2016.
Not only has GM brought about the first affordable EV to market, but its 238 miles of range should help curb consumers’ fears of range anxiety. And, as of this writing, the 2017 Bolt EV has also picked up numerous Car of the Year awards. 2017 looks bright for the Bolt EV.
2. General Motors Launches Maven
Way back in the beginning of 2016, GM announced it would launch an all-new brand. However, this brand wouldn’t be responsible for selling vehicles; the brand would be responsible for sharing them with the masses. Maven launched as GM’s personal mobility brand, beginning in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
To date, Maven has clocked millions of miles through car sharing and launched in dozens of additional markets across the United States.
3. GM Announces Autonomous Vehicle Testing Will Begin In Michigan
Not only did the state of Michigan pass the nation’s first laws and regulations making self-driving cars legal on public roads, but shortly after the law’s passing, GM announced it would begin testing autonomous vehicles on public roads.
The automaker stated it would also begin building its next generation of autonomous vehicles at the Orion assembly plant in Michigan, a move that signals the beginning of the automotive industry’s autonomous revolution. To help accelerate its initiatives in the space, GM acquired Cruise Automation in 2016.
4. The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Is Revealed
2016 brought the reveal of the most powerful Chevrolet Camaro from the factory: the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which busted onto the scene at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, will be GM’s first application of the 10-speed automatic transmission developed jointly with Ford.
5. Cadillac Launches CT6 And XT5, Sets Records In China
General Motors continued to turn around its prestige-luxury Cadillac brand in 2016 by launching two vital products — the XT5 midsize crossover and the CT6 full-size sedan. Though not a “genuine” Cadillac in the eyes of some as a result of sharing its architecture with “lesser” GM vehicles such as the 2017 GMC Acadia, the XT5 will undoubtedly sell in relatively high volumes thanks to the seemingly-insatiable crossover craze. Meanwhile, the CT6 establishes a new pinnacle of Cadillac’s sedan range, while also commemorating the first time a modern full-size Cadillac sedan rode on a dedicated platform.
2016 also continued Cadillac’s expansion outside the North American continent, marking the first full year that Cadillacs were produced in China for the local market. Local production in China circumvents the country’s hefty tariff on imported goods, enabling Cadillac sales to top 100,000 units in China for the first time ever.
6. GM Inventories Reach Pre-Bankruptcy Levels
We’re leaving our list with this story, which will continue to develop well into 2017. Calendar year 2016 saw a major market shift for every automaker: passenger cars such like sedans are dwindling in popularity. Instead, thanks to cheap fuel, consumers are turning to crossovers, pickup trucks and other utility vehicles for their new vehicle purchases.
This means excellent vehicles like the Chevrolet Cruze, Camaro, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS and others are falling drastically short in terms of sales volumes. It also means higher incentive spending on sedans in general.
GM announced it would idle five U.S. plants for two weeks next month to help curb its inventory glut. As of December 1, the automaker had around 874,000 vehicles sitting in inventory, the most in eight years. Industry-wide, a 60-day supply of vehicles is known as a healthy target, while GM’s figure was hovering at roughly an 87-day supply.
As always, thank you for reading GM Authority and we look forward to seeing you in 2017.