General Motors’ biggest story in recent years is two-fold. The automaker has invested copious amounts of cash in a new electric-car architecture that will underpin 20 new vehicles by 2023. On the other hand, GM has also dumped a lot of money and resources into Cruise Automation and its self-driving car program.
Are these big bets on the future warranted? Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne doesn’t think so.
He spoke candidly at the 2018 North American International Auto Show on electrification and self-driving programs and told The Detroit News that it’s not the most pragmatic path.
“I don’t know of a [carmaker] that is making money selling electric vehicles unless you are selling them at the very, very high end of the spectrum,” the FCA CEO said at a press conference. “Whenever we end up going to auto shows, the intensity with which we make these proclamations goes up exponentially.”
His strategy is to remain “technology neutral” and only invest in an area when mandated, such as an effort to meet rising fuel economy standards. This strategy is likely best on display with the 2019 Ram 1500, which includes a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to boost efficiency.
Meanwhile, we know GM has plenty of electrified vehicles in the pipeline. Whether GM’s vision pans out remains to be seen.