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Carroll School of Management

Daniel Akerson

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Company

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston

June 13, 2013

TAKEAWAY: A need to stay connected

We actually see that the automobile will be becoming the next technology platform. And we want to be part of the innovation that takes the analog car into the digital world.

And so just to give you an idea, if you could just get people to just trade in their cars as frequently as they do in their phones, we’d be a growth company. We’re not going to be able to probably accomplish that task, so we’re going to come at it a little bit different way.

The technology shift here—how many people use smartphones? Yeah, that’s about the statistics I have here, it’s good they dovetail.

There’s this unquenchable, irresistible need for people to stay connected wherever they are. So, consider these three statistics. The average U.S. consumer spends two hours and 38 minutes per day on smartphones or tablets. That actually tops the 15 hours per week that the average person spends in a car, either as a driver or a passenger. Excuse me, I didn’t think I was going to lose my voice today.

So if you marry these two statistics, you have a megatrend. I love megatrends, because we want to get out in front of them because we want to, and it’s our intention to, harness these statistics to our competitive advantage.