General Motors CEO Mary Barra provided product updates alongside the automaker’s Q1 2024 results this week.

The company reported a strong set of first quarter financial results that beat analyst expectations, with company revenue up by 8% year-over-year to $43 billion.

According to GlobalData analyst Jeff Schuster, at present, “GM has a favourable sales mix.”

Cruise team back on the road

The troubled self-driving unit Cruise was mentioned during the call, with Barra assuring that positive changes were being made. “The team is back on the road in Phoenix [Arizona],” she said, citing that they were updating mapping and gathering more road information.

She emphasised the five million driverless miles that were logged before the autonomous unit was forced to suspend operations last year.

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“This is a critical step for validating our improved self-driving systems. […] We are frequently engaging with regulators and stakeholders: safety will remain front and centre and will guide our progress.”

“Unbelievable” Corvette ZR1 coming soon

Barra highlighted a number of revamped ICE models that were due to enter the US market this year and beyond.

Included were the redesigned Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Arcadia, a midsize SUV. “[They] are all launching in high volume segments starting this quarter,” she said.

The Chevrolet Spin and the compact pickup truck, Chevrolet S-10 are also due to launch in South America, with higher margins than those of outgoing models, she said.

The “stunning” Buick Enclave, the crossover SUV, will arrive in the summer. It will be the first Enclave to offer Super Cruise, GM’s flagship hands-free technology.

Barra also gave a shout out to the “unbelievable” 2025 Corvette ZR1. “We can’t wait to put customers behind the wheel,” she said.

Equipment is being installed at GM’s Fort Wayne assembly plant in Indiana to produce its next-gen full size ICE pickups.

Luxury segment key for EV adoption

In GM’s EV business, the Ultium Cell plant in Spring Hill, Florida, continues to ship cells and scale-up production.

The Chevrolet Equinox EV will be arriving in showrooms this quarter.

“We’re very excited,” Barra said. It will be the “most affordable long-range EV in the market”, offering Super Cruise like all of Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac EVs on the Ultium platform, she added.

Barra said affordable trims would be offered on the Chevrolet Blazer and Silverado in H2 2024, “which will help grow volume and share.”

Additionally, Cadillac will expand its EV line up in H2 2024 to include the Optiq and luxury SUV, the Escalade IQ. “This is important as EV adoption in luxury segments is higher and more resilient than in the broader market.”

Barra continued by commenting on two highly anticipated launches of GMC Sierra, the Denali edition, and Chevrolet Silverado RST. “They are best-in-class in ways that truly matter to truck customers.”

 By optimising the battery, aerodynamics and other systems, she said GM was able to increase the range of the RST and the Denali by 10% to an estimated 440 miles, about 40 miles better than the median range of ICE vehicles on the road currently.

“No EV pickup […] today even comes close,” she concluded.