US automotive giant General Motors has revised its annual electric vehicle (EV) production plans, cutting projected output amid cooling global demand.

    It has also confirmed it’s putting money back into its Cruise autonomous vehicle division, after cutting spending there following recent safety issues.

    As reported by Automotive News, General Motors CFO Paul Jacobson announced the slimmed-down EV target at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Conference.

    Mr Jacobson said General Motors expects to produce 200,000 to 250,000 EVs throughout 2024.

    Earlier this year, the carmaker said it would build 250,000 to 300,000 EVs, with the revised target attributed to decreasing sales of battery-powered vehicles globally, according to Mr Jacobson.

    Despite this, Mr Jacobson says the brand’s EV lineup is strong, having sold 9500 examples of such vehicles throughout North America in May.

    “Despite the fact that we’re seeing a little bit of slowing that growth, for our portfolio, it’s still pretty strong,” the executive said, according to Automotive News.

    “We don’t want to end up in a position where we give out a production target and then we just blindly produce and end up with hundreds of thousands of vehicles in inventory because the market’s just not there yet.

    “We think that this is a really good blend of being able to drive the scale benefits that we need but still not get crazy with inventory levels, such that we have to start engaging in deep discounting to where customers who have already bought one start to see their residual values suffer.”

    For context, Good Car Bad Car reports EV giant Tesla sold more than 50,000 vehicles in the US alone in each of the opening three months of 2024.

    General Motors currently sells eight EV models across its Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and BrightDrop brands in North America, with its lineup due to expand in coming years.

    In the same presentation, Mr Jacobson announced General Motors would inject an additional US$850 million (A$1.285 billion) into Cruise, its autonomous robotaxi operation.

    It follows General Motors cutting US$1 billion (AU$1.51 billion) in spending at the troubled division in January, which came after an independent report commissioned by Cruise revealed how the company had mishandled dealings with road safety regulators following a high-profile pedestrian collision.

    On October 2, 2023, a Cruise vehicle in San Francisco ran over an already-struck pedestrian, with its systems later found to have identified the impact as a side-on collision – triggering the robotaxi to execute a pullover manoeuvre with the woman still underneath it.

    California’s Department of Motor Vehicles launched a probe into Cruise, which soon found the robotaxi operator hadn’t disclosed that its vehicle executed the pullover manoeuvre – instead telling regulators it had completed an emergency stop.

    Cruise’s permit to operate its driverless vehicles was later revoked by California’s DMV in early November 2023, which was followed by the company suspending all operations a handful of weeks later.

    The robotaxi firm has lost more than US$8 billion (A$12.1 billion) since the auto giant took ownership in 2016, despite GM CEO Mary Barra’s claims that it would generate up to US$50 billion (A$75.6 billion) annually by 2030.

    Cruise has since restarted certain operations, though only for human-driven or supervised autonomous journeys in Phoenix and Dallas, with non-autonomous rides in Houston.

    “The idea that six, eight months ago, there was a pool of capital available for robotaxi, we’ve got to earn our way back into that. And right now, we don’t have that,” Mr Jacobson said. 

    “So getting momentum back in the business is going to require some capital, and we’re trying to figure out the best way to provide that.”

    MORE: GM strikes a billion-dollar blow to autonomous driving dream

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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