General Motors is planning to spend $5 billion over the next several years to develop a new range of small cars based on a common architecture. The technology-rich vehicles will be built and sold as Chevrolets in China, Brazil, India, Mexico and other emerging markets.
According to GM president Dan Ammann, the platform and engines are being co-developed by GM and Chinese partner SAIC Motor, with the first cars to enter production in 2019. GM expects the program will bring sales of more than 2 million vehicles a year.
“We are making clear where we see growth opportunities and where we are placing our bets. We are making an investment in the future of the company,” Ammann was quoted as saying by Automotive News.
The executive stressed that these cars will be fitted with modern technologies, as consumers in emerging markets “want to have connectivity, good fuel economy, the right levels of safety.” Ammann also said GM will be able to build content-rich cars and sell them at affordable prices thanks to the economies of scale typical of big volume markets.
The new platform will replace several lines of unrelated vehicles now sold overseas, but Ammann declined to say which current models would be discontinued. He said the new architecture will be a step towards GM’s goal to build almost all of its vehicles from just four vehicle sets by 2025. Currently, about 75 percent of its models are derived from 14 core architectures.
The new small models will include a range of different body styles and will be built in existing facilities that will be retooled to accommodate the new, low-cost architecture. Ammann added that GM has no plans to sell any of the vehicles in the U.S. or Europe.
Note: 2016 Chevrolet Spark pictured