Fleet professionals gather in Texas to preview the latest vehicles and technologies.
General Motors hosted their latest Fleet Solutions Summit in Dallas, Texas, welcoming over 900 fleet professionals from throughout North America, including a large number from Canada.
“We’re in the ‘check every box that matters’ business,” said a company representative right at the beginning at the business meeting, underscoring the fact that GM is eager to satisfy the diverse needs of the fleet community.
Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing at Cadillac, Rory Harvey began the program by introduced a number of new vehicles, including the Cadillac XT6 – a 3-row luxury crossover positioned between the XT5 and the Escalade, and packed with some of the brand’s latest technologies. It will be available in mid-2019.
Harvey also unveiled the CT5, Cadillac’s newest luxury sedan, first introduced at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
Next, VP of Global Buick & GMC Sales, Service & Marketing, Duncan Aldred spoke about sales figures, announcing that fleet sales were up 9% in 2018 for GM.
Aldred introduced the new GMC Acadia, available with a new 2.0L turbo engine, a 9-speed auto transmission, and seating for up to seven passengers.
He then announced that the next generation Sierra 1500 will be offered with five engine options and a host of safety features. For 2020 it will be available with adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a rear camera mirror that allows the driver to see beyond rear-seat occupants and cargo, an intelligent trailering package, and a carbon-fibre box for added strength and reduced weight. A new multi-pro tailgate is also in the offering.
The audience learned that the GMC Sierra Heavy Duty is bigger, stronger and smarter than ever. The HD frame is stronger and stiffer, and two new powertrains are available: a 6.6L V8 gas engine, and a 6.6L Turbo Diesel rated at 445-hp and 910 lb. ft. of torque, and paired with a new Allison 10-speed transmission. It boasts a 35,500 lbs. max towing capacity.
Aldred announced that GM is launching automatic crash response notification this year, and is developing technologies that will restrict cell phone use while driving, and that can identify the driver when he or she enters the cabin of the vehicle. Although the company has partnered with third-party suppliers like Fleet Complete and Geotab, GM is also launching their own telematics solution.
U.S. VP Chevrolet Marketing, Paul Edwards took the stage to discuss how GM is putting the emphasis on safety. “It’s Chevrolet’s priority,” he said, explaining that most fleets have a 20% accident rate each year. “When you consider property damage, lost productivity and potential third-party liability claims, the cost of each accident is about USD $70,000,” he said. “Imagine the time and money you could save if you could limit the accident rate, even by a fraction.”
Edwards introduced the all new Chevrolet Blazer, the 2020 Silverado HD and the Silverado 1500. Some of the noteworthy innovations on the HD include a feature that employs up to eight cameras to give the driver as many as 15 different views of his surroundings.
Another new technology allows the driver to see behind the trailer. This “transparent trailer” feature stitches together the images from cameras mounted on the tailgate and on the rear of the trailer. It allows the driver to virtually see through the trailer.
The meeting concluded with a panel discussion addressing electrification, autonomous vehicles, and the future of the industry.