Research studies show that today’s youth would rather have a smart phone than a car. And along with current trends showing that more and more urban and suburban teens are taking a pass on getting their driving licenses, it seems that the kids-at-large simply would rather not have the hassle of personal transportation. Probably because it involves personal responsibility, and it can’t take Instagram photos.
So, with the Code 130R and Tru 140S concepts, is General Motors really serving the Millennial market correctly? The enthusiast in us all would wholeheartedly agree, but the company recognizes that those vehicles won’t satisfy the growing demand for something that it hasn’t dealt in for years: mass transportation.
In a press release issued at midnight, April 1, GM announced that it plans to expand its operations into a new line of buses suited for transporting the copious amounts of people that live in city and nearby metro areas. GM has a history in the bus segment, but the division was shut down just before 1990.
Without going too much into detail, GM stated that the buses will be the cleanest running vehicles on the market, utilizing much of the learnings from diesel engines, plug-in electrics, and CNG-LPG research. The buses will also provide occupants with Wi-Fi access and will feature monitors displaying real-time traffic and weather updates. What’s more, the company plans on selling the buses in markets all over the world.
As General Motors recorded $150.3 billion in total revenue last year, the company stated that it will pool nearly $1.5 billion towards the project, and will appoint and hire the necessary staff needed for development — with the expectation to have a finished product roughly 4-5 years from now.
Lastly, GM will reopen and re-tool the idled Pontiac East Assembly Plant, just north of Detroit, which once built Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. The plant was once called Pontiac Truck & Bus, so it’s very fitting that the facility was chosen to birth these future mass transit vehicles. In doing so, the company will add 1,400 new jobs to reopen the plant — a huge economic injection into Pontiac, which has suffered greatly from plant closures through the years.
While it is a totally different pace from cars, the development and emphasis on mass transit by GM will spread its eggs into more baskets, and will be able to profit in markets that it could never reach with cars alone.
UPDATE: April Fools, guys. But… what if?