DETROIT –Co. Chariman and CEO Dan Akerson says the auto maker plans to electrify at least one product at each of its four brands, and the Cadillac SRX will likely be home to a plug-in hybrid juggled between brands over the last few years.
“It’s likely,” Akerson says of plan to electrify the Cadillac SRX.
GM has been trying to find a cross/utility vehicle for its plug-in hybrid electric-vehicle technology, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in 2007, since it decided to kill the Saturn brand ahead of its bankruptcy.
Buick became a candidate, but GM scrapped that idea after the car performed poorly in customer clinics. Cadillac emerged at last year year’s Detroit show as a potential destination with XTS concept car.
Micky Bly, who heads all hybrid and electrification programs at GM, confirmed to Ward’s earlier today a CUV has been identified for the system.
“We’re going to go into production with it; we are going to have it,” Bly says. “(The plug-in hybrid technology) has a home. It will probably be at a more premium brand.”
Bly says the system will provide a 50%-75% improvement in fuel economy over a standard hybrid. He stops short of giving a timetable but says it will arrive before the end of 2012.
Akerson also says GM wants to put an electric car in every division, part of strategy to he hopes will migrate 10% of its products to electric within a 2020-2025 timeframe.
“We want to have an electric car at every brand,” he says, adding one caveat: “The heavier a vehicle gets, the less likely it will be all-electric or primarily electric.”
Akerson also tells journalists today he wants to increase production this year of the Chevy Volt extended-range vehicle from 15,000 units to 25,000.
"We don't want to miss the opportunity," he says.
GM originally targeted 10,000 builds for the U.S. and 5,000 for export, but Akerson has been pushing for a bigger number because early demand for the car, including from big fleet customers such as General Electric Co., has been brisk.