DETROIT — Car shoppers in 2020 will find vehicles that are smaller, lighter and equipped with a wide range of powertrains and materials.
Five industry executives offered their predictions for the 2020 model year at a panel on global product development for North America at last week's Automotive News World Congress.
By 2020, the panelists agreed, plug-in hybrids and battery-powered vehicles will be commonplace. But they also laid out differing paths that their companies will follow to get there.
"It is not a question of whether those technologies will exist," said Jon Lauckner, General Motors vice president for global program management. "The only question is, how fast are they going to roll out?"
The cars for the 2020 model year will be "increasingly electrified in a big way," he said. That technology is required to meet new, higher fuel-economy regulations.
"We are not going to meet these standards by magically cloning an internal combustion engine that does double what it does today," Lauckner said. "We made a huge investment in the Chevrolet Volt because we believe that is a huge technology that is going to be in the mainstream."
And not just in the United States. Indeed, he said, GM's revival will be aided by the automaker's increasingly global product development.