General Motors is preparing its expected return to the European market where you will disembark only with electric vehicles. There are three brands with which the American car giant will return to the Old Continent: Cadillac, Chevrolet and Hummer. The flexibility allowed by electric platforms will facilitate this return, which began last year with the establishment of a new European arm.
The American group withdrew from the European market (and also from the United Kingdom) in 2017, after selling its Opel brand to the PSA Group and reducing all of Chevrolet’s commercial operations to a complete end. The only contact it had with this market was very limited imports of Cadillac and Chevrolet Corvette models.
Last year, General Motors already showed its interest in returning with the establishment of a new european arm to which it will continue, although this time the offer will be limited to electric cars only. There will be no combustion variant in this catalogue. The plan with the most important dates and periods will be announced at the beginning of next year.
Mahmoud Samarahead of GM Europe, has told Coach that its intention is to become an important group in this market, although it did not want to announce either targets or sales volumes. It will invest more than 22.2 billion euros in the development of electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years, which is 5.77 billion euros more than expected before the coronavirus pandemic. A large part of these investments have been allocated to the development of the Ultium electric platform on which models such as the Cadillac Lyriq or the electric Hummer have been developed.
The American manufacturer has explained that its intention is to be a carbon neutral company by 2040, both in terms of its products and its global operations, so that as of 2035 it will stop selling light vehicles with a combustion engine. To reach its goals, the firm will offer 30 all-electric models worldwide by the middle of the decade and 40% of its US vehicles will be “zero emissions” by the end of 2025.
According to Samara, the rapid adoption of electric vehicles that is being produced in European markets compared to the United States has been a key factor in its comeback. “With what customers need in Europe and what we have done to transform our business, we feel this is a unique opportunity for us.”
Unlike the previous stage in which General Motors presented itself with different brands on both sides of the Atlantic, this time the commercial offer will be based on thes same makes and models in all markets. Its emblems and badges are now a global brand recognized throughout the world, says Samara. The small modifications that are required to be able to homologate the cars in all markets are easily assumable with the new electric platforms. “The great thing about the electric transition is the flexibility we can offer with those platforms, which will be very fit for purpose in Europe.”
Although for now there are no details about which models will be the first to occupy dealer windows, Cadillac has all the ballots to present itself as a rival to the European premium brands and the electric Hummer could be offered in limited quantities.
GM Europe has been tasked with achieving a fast start-up in Europe. Samara pointed out that the lack of a legacy combustion vehicle division of the previous stage will facilitate the promotion of electric models. This could mean that your business line employs a reduced retail model based on internet sales, with a common platform, and using dealers as agents to show the product and carry out commercial operations that would always go through the sales center.
General Motors does not rule out that its offer is limited to the sale of electric cars since it is also preparing other lines of business such as the products and services included in the BrightDrop signature.