General Motors CEO Mary Barra has often said she expects more change to occur over the next five years than the industry has seen in past 50. And she’s determined to forge a path forward for GM with a handful of new business opportunities.
At the core of it all is GM’s future mobility strategy, and the automaker has honed and locked in its aspirations. WardsAuto reports Peter Kosak, who is responsible for implementing GM’s mobility initiatives, pointed to Cruise Automation and Maven as important parts of the automaker’s future.
He admitted GM’s core competencies are strong, but underscored the acquisition of Cruise as a turning point for the automaker’s future plans.
“To some extent it’s also just the clock speed that a company like Cruise operates at,” he said. “It’s very, very different. It’s very fast. But the Cruise acquisition was one of the most significant indicators for how serious we are as a company, from my perspective,” he added.
OnStar, Maven, Cruise and Lyft are all part of GM’s diverse future mobility strategy that has come together under Barra, according to Kosak. And despite competition from Waymo, Tesla and other tech companies, he believes GM is best suited for the future due to bravery.
“We’ve shown a willingness to experiment and make investments,” he said, citing Maven. “We’re now distributing fleets of vehicles and maintaining fleets of vehicles, and developing business models around pricing and targeting communities.”
And although Kosak believes mobility will become an expanding portion of GM’s business, he doesn’t see traditional vehicle ownership fading away for quite some time. Instead of transportation pods, he believes recognizable brands will remain incredibly important moving forward.
“People are regarding autonomous-capable vehicles as kind of a utility, and these vehicles are appliance-like,” he said. “Everything looks like a faceless, heartless robo-taxi, but I think this is going to develop into something that’s very exciting.”