Mary Barra plans to beat Tesla at its own game with GM's time-tested formula

May 12, 2022, 12:15 PM

Tesla sold 310,000 electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2022. Ford has reservations for 200,000 F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks. 

Mary Barra: "You've got to provide entry models." (Photo: GM)

General Motors, however, sold only about 500 EVs in the first quarter, and CEO Mary Barra is unworried. Why? GM is playing a long game, she tells The New York Times.

The Times reports:

In her view, the G.M. strategy should enable the company to make more affordable E.V.s than most competitors, and eventually to win over many of the tens of millions of mainstream car buyers who are not yet shopping for electric vehicles.

... The heart of the strategy is a battery pack design that G.M. has engineered over the last five years. Its packs, marketed under the name Ultium, are made up of Lego-like battery modules that can be combined in different sizes and used in any G.M. vehicle, from a compact car to a full-size pickup. Since the modules all use the same parts, G.M. believes it will reap great economies of scale that will drive down its costs and give it an advantage over other automakers.

... “If you want E.V.s to get to 100 percent or even 50 percent of the market, there have to be affordable E.V.s,” she said. “You’ve got to provide entry models in that space.”

In other words, let Elon Musk grab the early money, while GM waits for Everyman.

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Read more:  The New York Times

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