UAW strike nixes GM’s autonomous vehicle debut for CES

December 23, 2019 12:00 AM 9 HOURS AGO
UAW strike nixes GM’s autonomous vehicle debut for CES
HANNAH LUTZ

Officials said the vehicle — they won’t say exactly what it was going to be — won’t be ready in time because of delays caused by the strike.
GM CEO Mary Barra debuted the Chevy Bolt at CES in 2016. The UAW strike kept GM from showing a new car next month.
REUTERS
GM CEO Mary Barra debuted the Chevy Bolt at CES in 2016. The UAW strike kept GM from showing a new car next month.

General Motors says the UAW strike that shut down its U.S. plants for 40 days this fall forced it to cancel CEO Mary Barra’s plan to speak and show an autonomous electric vehicle at the CES expo in Las Vegas next month.

GM, which introduced the Chevrolet Bolt EV at CES in 2016, said the vehicle — officials won’t say exactly what it was going to be — won’t be ready in time because of the strike.

Barra said in an interview with Motor Trend published last week that the vehicle would reflect GM’s commitment to an electric and autonomous future.

“We can’t go to CES without putting our best foot forward, and we could not get the models done that we wanted to get done with the strike,” GM spokesman Tony Cervone said in a statement. “We had worked as hard as we could with the infrastructure we had.”

Instead of revealing a new vehicle, GM plans to use CES to demonstrate Amazon Alexa integration on the Cadillac CT5 sedan.

The automaker likely planned to reveal an autonomous vehicle slated to be built on the Bolt’s architecture at the Michigan plant that makes the Bolt, said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions. The EV was supposed to launch last year, Fiorani said, but has faced multiple production delays.

“The delays on production of it connect well with it not being ready for CES,” he said.

There was media speculation last week that GM had a Cadillac EV planned for the CES reveal, but Fiorani said that vehicle is still a few years away.

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