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GM NA CFO: Autonomous Vehicles, Ride-Sharing Key to Growth in Big Cities

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Lyft GM partnership

General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-founders John Zimmer (right) and Logan Green (left)
Photo: © General Motors

General Motors is about as all-in as an automaker can be with regards to autonomous vehicle technology, from the $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automation announced earlier this year to a partnership with Lyft resulting in the Maven ride-sharing service that will ultimately employ autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs.

This sentiment was reiterated this week when GM North America Chief Financial Officer John Stapleton, speaking at Citi’s 2016 Industrials Conference in Boston, said that the automaker plans to utilize self-driving cars as a means to create more growth potential in urban areas.

“If you look at our market share, where we are the weakest, it’s in the big city areas,” said Stapleton. “In one aspect, I could view this as an opportunity for General Motors to grow our market share in the cities with autonomous vehicles.”

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GM would likely emphasize growing its ride-sharing and autonomous fleet operations in those big cities as consumers in those areas are more liable to take advantage of alternative mobility solutions. Utilizing GM vehicles for these purposes could feasibly sway the opinions of potential new car buyers.

“We do feel that the car sharing is going to significantly increase in the future,” he added. Per The Detroit News, Stapleton also specified that vehicles being used for Maven will not necessarily be brand-new, noting that the service will utilize vehicles relinquished after two-year leashes or being utilized in rental fleets.

Stapleton also stated that GM projects sales in the mid-17 million-unit range “for the foreseeable future,” adding that 75% of its global sales will be connected vehicles by 2020.

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News Source: The Detroit News