The Cadillac LYRIQ, the brand’s first all-electric SUV that was unveiled last week, nine months ahead of schedule, was the result of new virtual testing and validation systems that helped accelerate the development process. The vehicle will be powered by GM’s Ultium Platform.
The process of virtual design, development, and validation allows teams to implement tools early in the development process that allows them to optimize a vehicle’s design, quality, and performance within a digital environment. This enables GM to accelerate product development cycles while reducing engineering costs by $1.5 billion per year.
Ultium is modular, allowing it to be adapted from one vehicle to another.
LYRIQ creators say elements of the vehicle were enhanced as a result of virtual development and validation, including cabin temperature control, aerodynamics to maximize range and performance, aeroacoustics and active road noise cancellation, driver assistance and active safety features, and protection of the Ultium battery in a variety of collision scenarios.
“Virtual engineering has allowed us to visualize aspects of our designs that have not been previously observable with conventional vehicle testing,” says Mike Anderson, executive director of virtual design, development, and validation. “… This new approach certainly achieved our initial goal of drastically reducing our engineering spend on expensive prototypes, but, more importantly, has enabled us to run faster than ever before and deliver better quality on our first production vehicle builds.”
Variation in manufacturing, customer usage, physics, and the design process is a challenge when innovating and developing machines. Through virtual development, the team was able to test thousands of designs through multiple scenarios to address variation, allowing the first drivable LYRIQ to be produced with a single optimized design.
With the updated timeline, LYRIQ is expected to go into production in the first quarter of 2022. Reservations will be available beginning in September 2021 with initial availability starting in the first half of 2022.
In related news, GM has committed to making changes in its media partnering model by increasing partnerships with diverse media, including diverse-owned and diverse-targeted media. The plan will address overall spend, spend distribution, measurement, deal structure, and infrastructure development and will apply to a range of diverse media.
The company has adopted a plan with five components.
The first is GM’s increased diverse media spend, including doubling company commitment for spending with Black-owned media to 2 percent in 2021 and 4 percent in 2022, with a goal of reaching 8 percent by 2025.
The second is deeper engagements. On May 14, GM will conduct a dedicated upfront with diverse media owners ahead of its traditional media marketplace. The summit will encourage existing and potential partners to submit an overview of their business for consideration by GM for deeper engagements beyond the summit, including a request for proposal. The process that will be used for the selection of media will be accredited by a third party to ensure fairness and transparency.
The third, sustainable growth, will create a Diverse Marketing Incubator Fund. GM is allocating $50 million over 10 years to support and scale diverse marketing companies. The investment will support growth and is incremental to GM’s media spend.
Fourth is increased flexibility. The company will create an Inclusive Measurement Rubric. With input from diverse media, GM established measurement criteria that will allow for more flexibility based on the size and scale of the media organization.
Fifth is expanded opportunities. Through a prospective partnering analysis, GM and its media buying agencies will use a multi-factor analysis for selection of diverse media. The analysis uses new criteria for assessing capabilities, reach, and analytics to drive more opportunity for diverse media.
“This action plan will transform our engagement model with diverse media in a sustainable way,” says Deborah Wahl, global chief marketing officer. “Over the course of several weeks, we met with many diverse-owned media organizations. We are grateful for the transparency and spirit of collaboration, which helped us frame this inclusive approach.”
The announcement follows GM’s pledge in June 2020, as part of the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, to commit to equality, inclusion, and systemic change in advertising.