General Motors: Don’t Read into Autonomous Vehicle Announcement

#hashtags: #General Motors #Volts #Warren #Michigan #Oshawa #Ontario #Dan Flores #Flores

General Motors announced last week that it would develop a fleet of autonomous Volts for its Warren, Michigan campus by 2017, despite announcing earlier in the year that its struggling Oshawa, Ontario facility would be a hub for connected vehicles in April. GM spokesman Dan Flores said the Warren campus was the best fit for the self-driving Volts that will shuttle GM employees. “We have several global engineering centers in the world and they all play a role in development,” he said. “There shouldn’t be anything read into the autonomous center being based in Warren. It’s the company’s main technical center.” In April, GM announced it would hire 100 engineers to focus on connected vehicle development at Oshawa, which GM Canada President said would tap potential from engineers there. “We are making this investment because we see an opportunity to take advantage of a wealth of talent in mobile technologies, software and advanced automotive engineering available in Canada’s leading universities and other partner organizations,” GM Canada President Steve Carlisle said in April, according to the automaker. “Canada has the bench strength and, to borrow a famous hockey analogy, this is where the puck is going.” “Our team in Canada shouldn’t read into this. The engineering work that we’re doing in Oshawa is important,” Flores said. “Warren is the core global hub of our development; we have a center in Germany and China. We are and will continue to share technologies.” GM in Oshawa has had a difficult year. A former mayor of Oshawa called for a boycott if GM ended production of its Camaro without announcing a replacement. A small investment in the aging consolidated line has been one of the few bright spots for the bleak future of the plant. In its announcement last week, GM said that Oshawa produced an “eBike Concept.”