GM shifts nearly 50-% of engineering to alternative propulsion

GM shifts nearly 50-% of engineering to alternative propulsion image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: General Motors | posted February 18, 2016 11:01

Alternative and electrical propulsion meets demand of market

The call to make more fuel-efficient vehicles is louder than ever before. Governments, environmental groups and even motorists are demanding automakers to go above and beyond the markers on emissions standards.

It has not gone unheard as manufacturers have gone with smaller displacement engines, hybrid technology, fuel cells and even electricity to power current and concept cars.

One automaker has gone one step further in order to reflect, not just the current global trend, but also their internal philosophy and belief by literally changing their powertrain division's name to something, well, more to the times.

After 24 years, General Motors will rename GM Powertrain to GM Global Propulsion as the automaker shifts nearly 50-percent of their engineering efforts to research and development of better alternative and electrical auto propulsion.

“The new name is another step on our journey to redefine transportation and mobility. Global Propulsion Systems better conveys what we are developing and offering to our customers: an incredibly broad, diverse lineup – ranging from high-tech 3-cylinder gasoline engines to fuel cells, V8 diesel engines to battery electric systems, and 6-, 7-, 8-, 9- and 10-speed to continuously variable transmissions,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development.

GM's timeline of powertrain evolution

This makes General Motors the first automotive manufacturer to formally change an internal department name to show the industry and worldwide shift to more environmentally friendly vehicles.

GM currently has in their lineup the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV that, based on GM’s testing, can go more than 322 kilometers on a single charge. The automaker also boasts having the highest non-hybrid passenger car fuel economy in the US market, the diesel-powered Chevy Cruze.

GM Global Propulsion is composed of about 8,600 people that design, develop and engineer all propulsion related products and controls for GM worldwide.

“Gone are the days when a gasoline engine and a transmission designed independently meet a customer’s expectations. Today’s customer is demanding unprecedented technology integration that requires unprecedented engineering and supplier partnerships. The diversity of our propulsion systems requires a name that reflects what we are already working on and delivering to our customers. I believe this will establish an industry trend,” Dan Nicholson, vice president, GM Global Propulsion Systems.