Car Makers Prepare for Future of Self-driving, Ride-sharing and Electric Cars
GM, Ford and other car makers are making big moves to prepare for a future dominated by self-driving cars, ride-sharing and electric cars.
The next few years in the USA are still mainly SUV and Trucks. US light truck sales in 2018 were up 8%, passenger car sales were down 20% and overall light vehicle sales were slightly down.
In 2019 or 2020, the World will make over 100 million light cars and trucks.
General Motors will close three assembly plants by the end of 2019, and lay off up to 5,600 workers. The plants that are closing were all building passenger cars. General Motors is killing several passenger cars, including the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Cruze. U.S. sales of the Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse luxury cars will end in March. The Cadillac CT6 will be killed off in the U.S. after mid-2019, though it will continue to be sold in China.
GM will have $6 billion in additional annual cash flow by the end of 2020. This includes $4 billion in cost cuts and $1.5 billion in reduced capital expenditures.
GM wants to have cash to react to fast-changing technology and shifts to ride-sharing. GM will launch a self-driving car service in 2019.
Fiat Partners with Waymo and Other Self-driving Car Projects
Fiat Chrysler reported on Oct. 30 that its third-quarter adjusted operating profit was almost 2 billion euros. This was more than the quarterly profit at Ford.
Fiat Chrysler has partnered with Alphabets Waymo on self-driving cars. They are making 62,000 Pacifica minivans. Fiat Chrysler and Waymo have been talking about using Waymo’s self-driving technology in Fiat Chrysler-manufactured vehicles that would be available to retail customers.
Volvo Will Launch Self-driving Cars in Europe in 2021
Volvo is making multi-billion bets on several new electric cars. Volvo is also launching self-driving cars in Europe. Volvo is a subsidiary of Chinese automotive company Geely.