Whichever way the world turns, car companies must be ready to adapt and turn with it — and that’s why General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) is preparing its ranks to roll out smaller, more efficient vehicles that will more effectively meet the needs of the current consumer.
With the subject of sustainability and fuel efficiency on more and more drivers’ minds, Bloomberg reports that GM is refurbishing about 70 percent of its brands to ensure it is keeping up with the clean energy trend.
Though the U.S. automaker has long been counting on its line of full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles to reel in a strong majority of its sales, sales trends illuminate that consumers are simply not as attracted to these gas-guzzling vehicles as they once were. They’re instead turning to smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles — and although these cars offer lower profit margins for GM, it has no choice but to hop on the sustainability train and make the most of it.
GM’s sustainability reports shed light on the consumer trends and goals that currently hold the automaker’s attention as it prepares changes for the future. Its 2012 report, Charging Ahead: When Customers Drive Sustainability, reveals what the car manufacturer is now focusing much of its efforts on.
Small and electric fuel-efficient vehicles are quickly becoming the name of the game for GM, evidenced by its goal to put 500,000 vehicles “with some form of electrification” on the road by 2017. With rising oil prices and a consumer push toward cleaner energy, the U.S. automaker has no choice but to refine its supply to meet demand.
The shift toward these types of vehicles reflects the carmaker’s desire to cushion itself from the risk factors that its report’s 10-K filings clearly spell out. The major risk that the company has to prepare for is weakened demand for its higher margin, full-size pickup trucks and SUVs due to the present volatility of oil prices. The report helps explain why GM will need to continue creating clean-energy patents and implementing them in the production of future vehicles. Its outline of the automaker’s future strategies illustrate that the company recognizes the need to “change as consumer preferences change.”
GM will publish its next sustainability report during the second quarter of 2014, around the same time the company’s annual financial results are expected to be released.