LAS VEGAS – General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra addressed CES on Wednesday. A text of her prepared remarks is below. As always, the speaker’s words are definitive.
Thank you, Gary (Shapiro).
Congratulations on the Association's new name and, more importantly... 49 years of "bringing innovation to market" through CES.
CES began in 1967, the same year we produced our 100 millionth vehicle in the United States.
Two years later, we built the navigation system that guided Apollo 11 to the moon.
And two years after that, we built the mobility system for the Lunar Rover - which, as you know... was an electric vehicle.
Clearly, a lot has changed in the last 50 years... but today ...
the pace accelerates even more.
I have no doubt the auto industry will change more in the next
five-10 years than it has in the last 50.
The convergence of connectivity... vehicle electrification...
and evolving customer needs ... demands new solutions.
Societal trends like urbanization and sustainability are changing customers' requirements and how they interact with automobiles.
And new technology is driving tremendous advancements in everything from vehicle safety and fuel economy... to autonomous driving.
Embracing new technology and societal needs is the core to the Chevrolet brand.
You saw that on Monday when we announced a strategic alliance with Lyft to create a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles.
You saw it yesterday when we announced expanding our partnership with Mobileye to crowdsource highly precise maps to help enable autonomous driving.
And you'll see it in the weeks to come as we continue to roll-out additional initiatives to capture value in the convergence of
connectivity... electrification... and autonomous.
It's also why we meet frequently with the senior leaders at Facebook ... and why we're excited to be the first automaker to use Facebook Live to bring this keynote to our
Facebook and Chevrolet fans.
We have a long history of connecting people to the places they want to go...
...in fact, the Chevrolet brand has been doing it for more than 100 years.
And we've been connecting them digitally, with OnStar, for 20.
From automated crash response and stolen-vehicle recovery…
to remote door unlock and vehicle diagnostics…
OnStar has now responded to more than a billion customer requests since we pioneered the "connected car" back in 1996.
By the end of this year, we will have 12 million connected vehicles around the world.
In the U.S. and Canada, Chevrolet alone will have 68 percent…
or nearly 4 million of the vehicles with embedded 4G LTE.
And our lead is growing.
In 2015, we sold seven times more 4G-equipped vehicles than the rest of the industry combined.
The other piece of today's convergence is electrification.
This is another area in which Chevrolet has a rich pedigree.
As you know, we have the industry's broadest electric portfolio, including... here in the U.S. ...
...the second-generation Chevrolet Volt, the Spark EV, and the new Malibu Hybrid.
All thanks to our experience... our scale... and our simple guiding principle:
---we put the customer at the center of everything we do.
This means we are always working to create what's next - whether that's in electrification... connectivity... or autonomous driving.
And we're doing it while leveraging those areas of the business that many view as disadvantages ... our size... our dealerships... and our manufacturing capability.
These are areas where new entrants to the industry have little... or no experience ...
...and where we can use our scale to bring new technologies to more people ... faster.
And that's what Chevrolet is all about – giving you more than you expect.
If we look back... the automobile actually started as a boutique business.
It wasn't until revolutionaries like Louis Chevrolet started building affordable cars on a large scale that the automobile changed everyone's life.
Today, here in the U.S., a new car is sold every two seconds.
The same could be said for electricity.
It is something that we take for granted, but when electricity was first introduced, it was available only to the elite.
Having more than a light bulb was a luxury.
Today, electricity powers our lives.
And this pattern applies to the connected world, as well.
Today, we take connectivity for granted, but it didn't start that way.
The first phones were available only to those who could afford them… and very few could.
Last year... just 12 years after the Blackberry came to the United States and nine years since the first iPhone... 1.2 billion smart phones were sold around the world - keeping us connected all the time.
So imagine the power of combining connectivity and electrification in an automobile... at an affordable price…
Ladies and gentlemen… meet the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV!
With more than 200 miles per charge… and a cost of around $30,000 after government incentives… and an unparalleled level of connectivity… with the ability to upgrade with the mobility and transportation solutions we all will demand in the future…
...the Bolt EV is truly the first EV that cracks the code of long range at an affordable price.
And who are our customers?
Anyone who wants to: save time... money... and the environment… in a car that is truly fun to drive.
Bolt EV customers want the confidence that comes from a range of more than 200 miles - well beyond the daily driving needs of most people.
But confidence means more than just range - it also means scale, including 3,000 Chevrolet dealerships across the country.
We believe strongly in the dealer model, and the tremendous value our customers derive from neighborhood dealerships.
Unlike some EV customers, Bolt EV customers never have to worry about driving to another state to buy... service... or support their vehicle.
Scale also gives Chevrolet owners the added security that comes with OnStar - and our 20 years of experience in connected cars.
It goes beyond confidence and security.
We also understand the importance of giving everyone the features they love, and that make their lives better. For starters... as you can see in the Facebook 360 video of the interior above, you won't make any compromises in terms of space in the Bolt EV.
The Bolt EV's battery pack is incorporated into the car's chassis, and mounted entirely beneath the passenger cabin.
This gives Bolt EV a completely flat interior floor, and segment-leading spaciousness.
It offers plenty of room for five passengers and almost 17 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat.
But more importantly, the Bolt EV can actually give you time back.
Thanks to a DC Fast Charging System, the battery can charge to 80 percent of capacity in only 60 minutes, or to 100 percent overnight using a 240V charging system.
And because the Bolt EV is a pure battery electric vehicle, it qualifies for the holy grail of California commuting: the white "Clean-Air Vehicle" decal... and "single-occupant use" of the state's HOV lanes.
Another way we are looking to save everyone's time is by offering navigation with EV-specific routing.
With EV Navigation mapping, Bolt EV gives options -- like routes that maximize your range or provide access to charging stations.
Bolt EV also offers an advanced range predictor, which accurately estimates driving range based on topography... temperature... and driving habits.
Now... in addition to saving time, Bolt EV also makes life easier with features like a Bluetooth low-energy system designed specifically for the Bolt EV.
As you walk up to your car, the system instantly syncs with your smart phone to create a unique welcoming experience.
It expedites cabin pre-conditioning, and quickly provides you with information about charging status and estimated range.
It personalizes the car's home screen and loads your favorite music pre-sets.
And because it pairs instantly with your phone, there is no waiting for a connection.
Also, by relying on "Bluetooth Smart" technology, the system minimizes range-reducing energy draw on the battery.
Another way the Bolt EV makes life easier is by improving the driving experience with features like an innovative wide-angle Rear Camera Mirror.
As the name implies, we equipped the Bolt EV with a rear backup camera.
That's not unusual these days, but we did something new with it.
We streamed the camera to the rearview mirror.
Now, the "mirror" shows a full wide-angle view of everything behind the car, with no obstructions.
It's simple... it's innovative... and it makes the car easier… and safer… to drive.
It's exactly this kind of innovative spirit that we've infused throughout the car - including our connectivity.
We all love to be connected, and the Bolt EV connects all the devices we want to connect to all the things that matter to us.
It's all anchored by the Bolt EV's "floating" instrument panel.
A capacitive-touch screen which... at 10.2 inches... is larger than an iPad Air.
It features a widget-based "flip-board style" operation that is intuitive and easy to customize.
Chevrolet already offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in 14 models around the globe, more than any other automaker.
Now, we will extend that - making the Bolt EV the first all-electric vehicle offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Bolt EV will also be one of the first Chevrolet models to offer a new smartphone app that extends the capabilities of the vehicle.
It's called the MyChevrolet app, and it's designed to bring you information and features like: charge status... mapping... remote start... owner's manual... dealer service scheduling... and even pre-setting the temperature of the cabin.
All the things our customers care about most, in one application.
Now, what's really cool is that the Bolt EV is more than just a car - it's a platform.
It's a platform that is upgradeable for OnStar-based features that enhance and personalize the driving experience.
One example comes from our history with the Chevrolet Volt, whose owners - according to Consumer Reports - are among the most satisfied.
Our experience with Volt has shown us that EV customers love to compete-- against themselves and other drivers -- to see just how green they can be.
In response, we will introduce "gamification" into the Bolt EV driving experience ... allowing customers to compete with other EV drivers for eco bragging rights on things like most miles-per-charge... and the highest MPG Equivalent.
It is one way we are making Bolt EV as fun to own... as it is to drive.
And down the road, the connectivity that allows us to offer features like gamification... will one day... help us offer the technologies and transportation solutions that customers will demand.
Everything from car-sharing apps and new ownership models… to automated driving and, one day... self-driving cars.
One thing customers always demand is affordability.
Last month, Kelley Blue Book said the average price for a new vehicle in the United States was $33,800.
After government incentives, Bolt EV will sell for about $30,000 - a truly affordable EV.
The way people get around is changing forever.
We get that… and we are working to provide the kinds of solutions our customers want and value... both today and tomorrow.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV is the next step in this journey.
Lots of companies are talking about building electric vehicles, but the Chevrolet Bolt EV actually delivers on the promise of long range at an affordable price.
And thanks to 20 years of experience with OnStar, it also provides an unparalleled level of connectivity.
We see the Bolt EV as more than just a car.
It's an upgradeable platform for new technologies.
Now for the real kicker: this isn't some science project, or a concept that is years away.
The Bolt EV will be in production this year.
We invite you to experience driving the Bolt EV today - along with a range of Chevrolet electric vehicles - at our demonstration center across the street.
Chevrolet has been at the heart of the automobile market for more than 100 years.
Today's Chevrolet provides customers with the performance that meets their needs... and the technology that simplifies their lives and keeps them safe and connected.
Come experience the Chevrolet Bolt EV today, and see how we are working to redefine personal transportation.
Thank you for your warm welcome this afternoon.
I invite you to join me onstage with other members of the Chevrolet leadership team to take a closer look at the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.