GM's self-driving car unit Cruise to access $5 bln credit line

BERKELEY, California, June 15 (Reuters) - General Motors Co’s majority owned Cruise self-driving car subsidiary said on Tuesday it would gain access to a multi-year $5 billion line of credit with GM’s finance arm to finance its purchase of Origin vehicles starting in early 2023.

“This bumps up Cruise’s total war chest to over $10 billion as we enter commercialization,” Dan Ammann, chief executive of the Cruise unit, which also counts Softbank and Honda as minority investors, said in a blog posting.

Self-driving startups are racing to build warchests, as developing and scaling up the technology is expensive and takes much time.

This past month, General Motors began assembly of the first of about 100 pre-production Cruise Origin all-electric vehicles that will be built this summer for validation testing, Cruise said.

Cruise is gearing up to start a commercial ride-sharing service in Dubai in 2023, while it has this year applied for permits needed to start charging for autonomous rides and delivery in San Francisco. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Edmund Blair)