As you’ve likely heard by now, the economic shocks caused by the coronavirus pandemic have been sending ripples of disruption across the automotive industry, pushing back new products left and right — if not leading to their outright cancellation. GM’s lofty plans to unleash an onslaught of new and revised products were no exception; last month, The Detroit News revealed that vehicles like Cadillac’s super-sedans and Chevy’s facelifted trucks would be delayed, among other new vehicles.
Luckily, some of the vehicles we — and many buyers — are most excited about won’t be delayed by the global turmoil. General Motors’s new full-sized SUVs will be rolling out on schedule, as will its hotly-anticipated electric Hummer.
That’s the good word from none other than General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who told investors as much on an earnings call on May 6th. It was a call filled with good news for the company, as it announced that it had still managed to earn a $294 million profit in a first quarter that saw rival Ford take a $2 billion loss — largely on the sales strength of its pickup trucks and SUVs. (That’s a trend that’s lifting all ships, in fact; April was the first time in U.S. history that pickup trucks outsold passenger cars in America.)
As such, it’s not all that surprising that GM is making sure that its all-new 2021 model year full-size SUVs — the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon twins and the Cadillac Escalade — still get themselves to the church on time, so to speak.
“We can deliver on our commitment to near-term launches like our full-size SUVs,” Barra said, according to a transcript of the call. “We will begin shipping the first units to dealers in early June.”
The General’s big electric vehicle offensive also remains on track, Barra said, along with the company’s work on self-driving cars. “Our EV and AV work also continues uninterrupted even as many of our engineers work remotely,” she said on the call. “The production timing of key entries like the GMC Hummer EV, the Cadillac Lyriq crossover EV and the Cruise Origin AV remained fully on track.”
That said, there may still be hiccups along the way. While development continues on the Hummer, for example, the vehicle’s planned debut on May 20th was pushed back due to coronavirus-related concerns. Still, Barra’s words give us hope that it — and the new full-size SUVs, as well as Cadillac’s exciting fleet of upcoming EVs — should be making its way to our driveways according to the original, pre-Covid-19 plan.
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