By on November 15, 2017

General Motors CEO Mary Barra outlined the company’s vision of the future at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York on Wednesday. While the majority of her speech adhered to GM’s current mantra of “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion,” we also got a taste of what that thinking might yield on a shorter timeline.

In early October, GM expressed its intention to launch 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. However, we didn’t get any specific details on the matter. That changed this week. Barra claims the manufacturer will introduce three new electric models by 2020, with two of them being crossovers. The trio will share share basic components with the Chevrolet Bolt.

These models will be followed by a new electric vehicle platform in 2021, with cheaper and more efficient battery cells. The EV architecture is intended to serve as a base for at least nine models — ranging from a massive seven-seat luxury SUV to a very compact crossover.

GM Chevrolet Bolt crossover, Image: GM

However, GM also speaks of “adjacent businesses.”

The automaker is sticking with plans to evolve its ride-sharing platform, Maven, and intends to make vehicle connectivity commonplace in all of its future models. Both projects provide varied revenue sources intended to make investors drool with anticipation. While Maven is supposed to reach a few major metropolitan areas over the next few years, car connectivity is likely to become ubiquitous sooner than later.

GM sees data acquisition as a huge financial opportunity. By launching 13 million connected cars over the several years, the company thinks it can accrue wealth through an in-car digital marketplace that sells apps and services. Afterward, it can collect driver data (purchasing choices, driving habits, etc.), sell it off to whoever wants it (including insurance companies), and potentially issue in-car advertisements — something it is already pursuing with help from IBM.

While I absolutely hate this idea, it makes smart business sense and could potentially make the manufacturer truckloads of money. It’s also one of the better ways to help field autonomous vehicles, which is another avenue GM is frantically looking to go down and has had some previous success with. Some experts have suggested self-driving cars won’t be totally effective until all cars possess a moderate level of interconnectedness, and General Motors seems to be in agreement.

As the context of the meeting was to entice investors, we have to take everything stretching beyond the next five years with a grain of salt. However, even though Barra didn’t say so explicitly, GM does appear to be shifting its focus toward mobility — streamlining its core business to advance future technologies.

[Source: Reuters] [Image: General Motors]

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24 Comments on “General Motors to Build Two Bolt-based Crossovers, Considers the Data-mining Business...”


  • avatar
    IBx1

    Once I buy a car, I am done giving money to the company for that car. I refuse to consider anything that collects and sells my information unless they pay me more than the cost to buy/rent the car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Afterward, it can collect driver data (purchasing choices, driving habits, etc.), sell it off to whoever wants it (including insurance companies), and potentially issue in-car advertisements”

    I’d like the FCC & FTC to put the kibosh on this but I won’t be holding my breath.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    If you have a cell phone that always on-regardless if you have location settings turned on or off-there are those who can still track you if you if they so desire.

    So-who’s ready to toss those cell phones?

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    I think it should be illegal for any company to sell your personal info to other agencies. I know many contracts states in agreements before you sign off or check that your personal info could be sold off for profit, but we really have no choice anymore since just about everything you sign up for these days require you to accept their privacy policy in order to use whatever you are buying.

    Besides for all the new tech talk, when in the hell are automakers finally going to address styling and how it’s also very important to them to improving vehicle sales rather than just strictly tech?

    Ever notice anytime you watch a car commercial, be it from Toyota or Ford, they NEVER EVER advertise the cars styling and how amazing it is?

    It’s all about the latest safety tech features to help prevent brain dead drivers from killing themselves, while getting 40 mpg on the freeway. It’s so annoying and the same ole marketing tactics has gotten repetitive fast..

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    As I understand it, one can opt out of data sharing by law.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I see on disclosures sent to me there are several categories which say “Can you limit data sharing: No” including ones which state things like “marketing from our affiliates”. All your life details are belong to them.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Try it some time. You’ll find it doesn’t work. And beyond individual apps, you’ll find ISPs that say they allow you to opt out are being disingenuous.

      This is why I find people who go mental over what they see as government intrusion so hilarious. It’s not the government – it’s private industry that we need to be worried about. And the irony is that train left the station long ago.

      Most people, willingly – even enthusiastically – gave up their privacy to the business world long ago. It’s too late now, people. So enjoy your brave, new world.

      Now, as far as data-mining by GM is concerned, one may be able to simply remove the OnStar/cellular/wifi transceiver – or at least its antenna.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        These days the federal government and private industry are linked at the hip. Look at who attends the annual Bilderberger meetings (they publish the attendees) – every single year, top executives from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, and so on, mingle with world leaders.

        Now why would they do that?

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    FreedMike-not all data sharing. Read your credit card agreements and you will see.

    I read all of mine-and opt out where I can. But you do not have the right to opt out of some data sharing.

  • avatar

    I leased a Bolt last month, thought I’d try one out before the tax incentives get Trumpled on. It’s an absolutely brilliant car in every respect; I drive it anywhere and everywhere, averaging 4.4 miles/kW, recharge overnight on cheap 110v and once a week at a level 3 next to Starbucks.

    But …

    Every day I now get junk mail from Sirius
    Almost every day I get nagmail from OnStar
    My snailmail box is stuffed with deals from Chevrolet and other auto-related stuff that didn’t use to be there.

    and …

    Yesterday I got a monthly report saying I had used hard-braking less often than the average driver.

    Not sure which box on the lease agreement said I consented to them collecting my data, maybe I should drive the old WRX a bit more often to throw them off the scent.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Although I abhor the practice it’s becoming omnipotent. Try a Go Ogle search for something. After a preordained amount of time ( enough time for you to forget about your brief search ) advertisements for that very item will start showing up on the news pages you read or on several other sites you frequent. It’s hatefully insidious, yes, but intrinsic to making large companies a lot of money by way of economies of scale. Like my Old Man often said: “It ain’t the guys selling Ferraris who are getting rich – it’s the guys selling fish fingers and ketchup!”

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      My wife and I have noticed the same thing. It creeps her out. I don’t understand why companies believe this is cost effective advertising. I ignore the ads to the point where they don’t even register on my consciousness. The area they occupy on the screen might just as well be blank.

      Another advertising medium we have encountered recently is “gas station TV”. The gas pumps how have television screens and speakers overhead blare out the sound track. It’s easy for me to ignore the screens but the sound is obnoxious.

  • avatar

    GM is determined to produce cars that won’t sell. The Bolt is one of the slowest selling vehicles in GM’s lineup. Why base three more cars on the failed Bolt platform.

    Sigh, it looks as if GM will have to be bailed out again.

    • 0 avatar
      ttiguy

      your schtick really is lame, and old. Basically the same as DW… hmm maybe its the same loser errrr commenter?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        No, you’re lame, brah.

        There’s only ever been one of me. I don’t play that game.

        And akear is correct about General Motors, too.

        General Motors makes it into the college-level textbooks as a case study in catastrophic failure and completely, totally, nearly perpetually inept management.

        General Motors basically had 50% of the U.S. market share as late as the 1960s, PLUS A HUGE CHUNK OF GRAVY DEFENSE BUSINESS, and now works off of 15% of U.S. market share, and went t!ts up, having to be bailed out by the taxpayers, due to mismanagement extremis over a continuous 40+ year period of time.

        And now, GM is set up for failure again, as it has nearly all of its profits derived from pickup trucks and large SUVs, which is the same game plan they ran in the 1990s and 2000s.

        IT’S AN EMBARRASSMENT TO HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GENERAL MOTORS IS AN AMERICAN THING.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          But DW, this is by design – all part of the globalists’ plan to weaken America so we can fit nicely into the New World Order.

          Watch how the globalists are now manipulating things in the middle east, with a strong chance that Saudi Arabia is going to move away from the petrodollar with its recent agreements with both China and Russia. Does our lamestream media even cover any of this stuff?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    In all of the hysteria about privacy (face it, you surrendered it years ago), GM is finally kicking out a couple of Bolt-based CUVs. I guess I’ll have to put up or shut up and buy the car I’ve been asking for…

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    An EV crossover is clearly needed. You can’t cry “Midsize sedan deathwatch!” in one sentence and then “GM will fail if they make an EV CUV!” in the next. You just end up sounding like a shill for other carmakers.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The Colt and the Dolt?

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