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GM Reduces EV Expectations But Has High Hopes For Cruise Robotaxis

Key Takeaways

  • General Motors slashes EV production forecast to 200,000-250,000 by 2024 to avoid unsold inventory buildup.
  • GM invests $850 million in Cruise for self-driving robotaxis.
  • Slow progress has been characteristic of the autonomous driving industry, but several players remain committed to robotaxis.

Faced with waning demand for EVs, General Motors has announced that it has slashed its EV production forecast for the year, expecting to have built between 200,000 and 250,000 electric vehicles by the time 2024 comes to a close, reports Automotive News. For the record, GM’s initial estimate for 2024 was over 300,000 EVs, but at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Conference, Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobsen said that EVs will likely only account for 8% of new car sales in America this year. Thus, GM will produce fewer EVs to avoid a buildup of unsold inventory. Despite this, the CFO expects GM to achieve a profit (excluding fixed costs) on the EVs it sells this year.

“We don’t want to end up in a position where we give out a production target and then we just blindly produce and end up with hundreds of thousands of vehicles in inventory because the market’s just not there yet.”

– Paul Jacobson, General Motors Chief Financial Officer.

More Money For Cruise Development

At the same conference, the CFO announced that GM will invest $850 million in Cruise, its subsidiary responsible for self-driving robotaxis. Public testing of Cruise robotaxis restarted last month after a series of unfortunate events and damning reports suggested that the technology needed a lot more work before being unleashed on American streets.

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Among the issues were reports of a Cruise autonomous vehicle dragging a pedestrian along the ground, another self-driving robotaxi colliding with an emergency vehicle, and others displaying an inability to detect children. This time, the robotaxis are being tested on the road with a human backup behind the wheel.


GM Robotaxi Runs Over Woman Struck By Another Driver

This is another example of the tech not being ready for the unpredictability of real-world driving.

Increased Competition

A few years ago, it seemed that self-driving robotaxis were just around the corner, but in recent times, the slow progress of autonomous vehicle technology has turned existing investors off and scared away new ones. For now, human drivers remain better than robotic ones, but it seems that the industry may be about to get a jolt of life. Along with GM’s new investment, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his robotaxi will be revealed in August, and Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac has promised that his P3 Mobility startup intends to make taxis more luxurious than chauffeured limousines. Which of these will enter the market first remains to be seen, but all have ambitious targets.

Tesla Robotaxi Screenshot

Automotive News

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