General Motors has announced that it is finalizing launch plans for an all-new, global family of high-volume vehicles that will go on sale in the 2019 calendar year. The all-new family of future GM vehicles will be made up of cars and crossovers of various body styles for the Chevrolet and Buick brands. The launch cadence will begin in the next few months in China, expanding to Mexico and South America shortly after.
The announcement represents the fruition of the $5 billion investment initially announced by GM in July 2015 as part of a large-scale project with its Chinese partner, SAIC, to jointly develop the Global Emerging Markets vehicle architecture, otherwise known as the GEM platform. The new platform will support a new line of affordable vehicles for sale in roughly 40 developing countries.
“These new vehicles will offer attractive designs, efficient fuel consumption, be fun to drive and will include the most advanced connectivity and safety technologies, many of which will be new to their segments,” said GM president, Mark Reuss, during a recent investor meeting in New York.
The new models will simplify and significantly improve GM’s current vehicle portfolio in China, Mexico and South America. A significant portion of GM’s current vehicle offerings in these markets are derived from a hodge podge of disparate architectures, many of which are outdated or otherwise simply archaic. From a business standpoint, executives foresee GEM-based vehicles as enabling GM to maximize return on investment while helping it continue growing in key global markets.
GM revealed that the first member of the new GEM vehicle family will be a Chevrolet “destined to cover the needs of Chinese customers”. The public reveal of this model is scheduled to take place at a special, GM-hosted event in China this coming March. All information gathered by GM Authority on the matter tell us that the vehicle in question is none other than the all-new Chevrolet Tracker.
In addition to the all-new Tracker, GM Authority has previously reported that at least two all-new, GEM-based models will be launched in 2019. We believe that these two models are none other that the second-generation Chevrolet Onix / Prisma as well as a new Buick crossover that will slot below the Encore. Both models are scheduled to start production in mid-2019 in Brazil and China, respectively.
In total, it is expected that the new GEM platform will underpin roughly 12 B- and C-segment models. The overwhelming majority of these are destined for the Chevrolet portfolio. Several will become Buicks in China.
GM projects that by the end of 2020, GEM-based vehicles will represent 10 percent of its global sales volume. That number is projected to grow by 20 percent by the year 2023. In South America, GEM-based models are projected to comprise 75 percent of GM’s total sales volume. That number will be about 20 percent in China.