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Exclusive: GM’s Cadillac will be the introduction of EV in the fight against Tesla – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cadillac is expected that General Motors Co (GM.N) lead-electric-vehicle brand, as the biggest AMERICAN carmaker gears up for the launch of a new model under which a luxury tent to the challenge of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), two people briefed on the matter said Thursday.

The Cadillac stand shows the company logo at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, USA, 16 January 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

GM is set to announce Friday as part of an investor update that Cadillac will be the first vehicle based on the upcoming “BEV3” platform, the people said. The vehicle platform is the basis for the vehicle’s underpinnings, including the battery system, and other structural and mechanical components.

GM is not expected to disclose on Friday, more details, including exactly when the Cadillac EV will be built, or it will be a crossover or sedan, or where it will be merged, the sources said.

A GM spokesman declined to comment.

GM had previously focused on making electric vehicles under the mass-market Chevrolet brand, including its plug-in Chevrolet Volt and battery-electric Bolt. GM announced last year it was the end of the production of the plug-in Volt and a low-selling plug-in Cadillac CT6, even as it moved to boost EV-expenditure.

GM said in November as part of the restructuring it was a doubling of the funds for electric and autonomous cars in the next two years.

Last month, two Ohio senators asked GM to commit to the construction of the future electric vehicles for AMERICAN buyers in the country.

GM said that in 2017 the plan from 2021 to the introduction of a new dedicated flexible electric vehicle architecture and an advanced battery system to support the development of at least 20 new models in the United States and China.

GM said in 2017 a new electric vehicle platform in 2021 will serve as a basis for at least nine derivatives, ranging from a compact crossover with a large seven-seater luxury sports utility vehicle and a large commercial vehicle.

Johan de Nysschen, who was Cadillac’s president, told Reuters at the Detroit auto show in January 2018, the luxury brand plays a central role” in GM’s electrification strategy, including China. He added that Cadillac would be “in the vanguard” of the rollout of new electric vehicles in the United States and China. He left GM in April.

This week, GM said Cadillac sales in China rose 17.2 percent in 2018, more than 200,000 units for the first time. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra has said that GM wants to sell 1 million electric vehicles in the year 2026, many of them in China, the strict production quotas on these vehicles.

Barra said in 2017 the company plans to have at least 10 new electric or hybrid vehicles to the Chinese market in 2020. GM opened a battery plant with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (600104.SS) last year.

In October, GM urged the Trump administration to back a national program to boost sales of zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars, even as the government has proposed to end California’s ability to require more clean vehicles.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Richard Chang

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