HITTING THE ACCELERATOR
Early last year, just before COVID turned everything upside down, we revealed the Cruise Origin.
Since then, while many of us have been working from home, hundreds of engineers from General Motors, Honda and Cruise haven’t skipped a beat, completing their development work, getting supply chains ready, and ordering and installing tooling. Against all odds, they’ve kept the Origin program on time, and on track for production at GM’s Factory ZERO assembly plant.
Step one. Check.
Step two? Paying for all these Origins as they roll off the assembly line.
Which is why today we’re announcing that GM Financial, the automotive financing arm of GM, is working with Cruise and providing a $5 billion line of credit so we can efficiently finance the expansion of our fleet as we scale up over the next few years. This bumps up Cruise’s total war chest to over $10 billion as we enter commercialization.
$10 billion. It’s a big number. However, when you think about what we’re building — safer, cleaner, and more accessible transportation for the world — you quickly realize it’s also a necessary number.
This is an incredibly exciting time for Cruise. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve spent time in GM’s Pre-Production Operations center where the team has started building the first batch of nearly a hundred pre-production Origins. These will undergo an intensive testing and validation process this summer. Seeing them up close and in person is absolutely thrilling. I’ve also just visited GM’s 4+ million sq ft Factory ZERO plant where the machinery is being installed to build the Origin by the tens of thousands.
Personally, the citizen in me is extremely optimistic about the positive impact we’re going to make on the world. The kid in me just thinks the Origins are insanely cool. And the business geek in me gets to marvel at cutting edge technology meeting major manufacturing scale, brought together by an amazing team, powerful partners and extensive resources.
While I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished to date, I’m very much humbled by the fact that we’re really just approaching the starting line of what will be the transportation transformation of the century. So we need to celebrate on the run. And get back to work.
Author - Dan Ammann, CEO Origin, GM, Vision, Manufacturing
WALMART INVESTS IN CRUISE, THE ALL-ELECTRIC SELF-DRIVING COMPANY
Over the years we’ve been doing a lot to learn more about the role autonomous vehicles can play in retail, and we’ve seen enough to know it’s no longer a question of if they’ll be scaled, but when.
Today we’re taking the next step in our work with autonomous vehicles by making an investment in Cruise, the San Francisco-based company enabling a self-driving future through their all-electric fleet of self-driving cars. The investment will aid our work toward developing a last mile delivery ecosystem that’s fast, low-cost and scalable.
We began working with Cruise in November of last year developing a delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona. We’ve been impressed with Cruise’s differentiated business model, unique technology and unmatched driverless testing. We also value our shared commitment to a zero emissions future.
As delivery has become a staple in our customers’ lives, we’re focused on growing our last mile ecosystem in a way that’s beneficial for everyone – customers, business and the planet. With their all-electric fleet powered by 100% renewable energy, Cruise is a natural partner as we work to take collective action on climate change. We’re doing this not only in our own operations where we are targeting zero emissions by 2040 and have set a goal to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2035, but also throughout the supply chain and our environmental initiative, Project Gigaton, one of the largest private sector consortiums for climate action.
This investment is a marker for us – it shows our commitment to bringing the benefit of self-driving cars to our customers and business. We’re excited to join Cruise’s already impressive partner and investor ecosystem with the likes of GM, Honda and Microsoft as we work toward pioneering this emerging technology.
By John Furner, President and CEO, Walmart U.S.