WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

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Thread: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

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    News Contributor Premium Member Perian's Avatar
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    WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    The Wall Street Journal
    November 20, 2020


    Possible photograph of the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt - Burlappcar.com

    General Motors may finally have a shot at reinventing itself.

    On Thursday, GM made its strongest pitch yet that it is a technology company that can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla. “We are pivoting to a growth strategy,” said Chief Executive Mary Barra at an investor event organized by Barclays. She committed an extra $7 billion of capital spending to electric vehicles over the coming five years, while vaunting the skills the company can transfer across from the traditional car business.

    As Tesla’s share price has soared this year, GM has made its case ever more loudly. Recently, the message has started to sink in: GM is now trading at its highest level since June 2018, when it spiked on news that Japanese tech investor SoftBank would take a stake in Cruise Automation, GM’s “robotaxi” operation.

    It is quite possible that GM stock will fall back, just as it did when robotaxi hopes faded. The big problem facing GM and its incumbent peers, which the likes of Tesla and Chinese electric-car producer Nio don’t have, is that growth in electric vehicles will undercut its existing profitable business.

    But a route out of this self-cannibalizing trap just might be emerging for GM, which would justify a more optimistic valuation: It could license its technology to other car makers.

    This is starting to happen. Honda will use GM’s electric-vehicle platform for coming models following deals struck this year. And the U.S. company has also signed a provisional agreement to supply its fuel-cell and battery technology to controversial newcomer Nikola, though the transaction has yet to close.

    If GM can expand on this strategy, it will take share of the industry supply chain. The high value of the propulsion system within electric cars means the resulting growth could be meaningful, giving investors a reason to own the stock again. This could even shake a bit of excess capacity out of the industry, benefiting margins: Platform sharing is a form of consolidation without the political and cultural controversies that plague full mergers.

    Meanwhile, the opportunity for GM most talked about on Wall Street is an electric-vehicle spinoff. The idea is superficially seductive to those focused on the relative valuations of Tesla and GM, but ignores the likely impact on the Detroit auto maker’s huge traditional business and all the parts and technology that will be shared by regular cars and their electric equivalents. It may be exciting to model, but it would be tough to achieve in practice.

    Still, if GM’s vast technology investments add up to a credible growth strategy, it will be in the supply chain. For auto makers, the route to permanently higher valuations isn’t through financial engineering, but old-fashioned industrial engineering.








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    News Contributor Premium Member Perian's Avatar
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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    If GM can expand on this strategy, it will take share of the industry supply chain. The high value of the propulsion system within electric cars means the resulting growth could be meaningful, giving investors a reason to own the stock again.
    Remember this paragraph. GM has a bright future.









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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    GM’s real problem I think is it’s inability to monetize customer data and show a path to growth, they are now on the path to being the most profitable automotive business, on track to surpassing Toyota .

    Mother needs to show these two items and her value will easily be like a Technology company

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Quote Originally Posted by Perian View Post
    Remember this paragraph. GM has a bright future.
    Teslas look sleek but they look like a Chinese knockoff of someone else's design, and the build quality sucks. GM can easily beat them with styling, build quality and a more extensive dealer network where hopefully the staff is trained in good customer service. So can Ford.

    I would like to put a GM offering next to a Tesla, and the Mach E next to a Tesla. So yes GM has a bright future.

    With the effect of the lockdown, I wonder whether there is a bright future without Ford and GM being nationalized in secret. A minor dip in sales causes huge losses. Ford's payables increased 8B in the last Q that i saw.

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Is it bad that I want Tesla and GM to do well? (Ford too)

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Burr View Post
    Teslas look sleek but they look like a Chinese knockoff of someone else's design, and the build quality sucks. GM can easily beat them with styling, build quality and a more extensive dealer network where hopefully the staff is trained in good customer service. So can Ford.

    I would like to put a GM offering next to a Tesla, and the Mach E next to a Tesla. So yes GM has a bright future.

    With the effect of the lockdown, I wonder whether there is a bright future without Ford and GM being nationalized in secret. A minor dip in sales causes huge losses. Ford's payables increased 8B in the last Q that i saw.
    I have no doubt GM/Ford or any other mainstream car manufacturer can build a better BEV. But none of them will say "Tesla".

    Be nice if GM can achieve what the article is speaking about - be nice to see GM climb to the top again!

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Quote Originally Posted by wallus13 View Post
    Is it bad that I want Tesla and GM to do well? (Ford too)

    Hahaha! Seems like if you don't want GM to fail you'll be labeled a fanboi like I've been. And I certainly want Tesla to succeed - they are a really exciting company - they put a freaking car into space - that's nuts!!!! And while Ford is the competition to "my team", I'd be really saddened to see them fail - GM and Ford need each other to compete against.

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    I have no doubt GM/Ford or any other mainstream car manufacturer can build a better BEV. But none of them will say "Tesla".

    Be nice if GM can achieve what the article is speaking about - be nice to see GM climb to the top again!
    I think half or more of Tesla's success is it's NEW, and it's not OLD. And who's more interesting and crative, Musk of Mars or lifer bureaucrat Mary the Drudge. No not THAT Drudge, just drudgery drudge.

    Many moons ago a sister's friend was asking me about cars before she bought one for her and one for her daughter. She'd been driving Camrys. You know how this turns out, right?

    I suggested she drive a few. Impala, this, that... "Impala? Isn't that an OLD car?" Well, a new one isn't an old car. But I see her POV. She's a Camryiac.
    She bought herself a new Camry and a used one for her daughter. She didn't need to test drive, her Camry experience had been fine, no problems, she was not a carnut in any sense of the word. This is transportation. Starts every day. Doesn't quit out on the Interstate somewhere.

    So Musk of Mars is NEW AND IMPROVED. He's an exciting guy doing exciting and outlandish things. Putting a Tesla into orbit. Would GM consider that in 1,000 years? HELL NO.
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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    It's one thing to have the technical capability, it's another thing to sell it. GM is really good at tech, bad at convincing customers. I'm not convinced by anything GM promises until they have the customers in hand.

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    I think half or more of Tesla's success is it's NEW, and it's not OLD. And who's more interesting and crative, Musk of Mars or lifer bureaucrat Mary the Drudge. No not THAT Drudge, just drudgery drudge.

    Many moons ago a sister's friend was asking me about cars before she bought one for her and one for her daughter. She'd been driving Camrys. You know how this turns out, right?

    I suggested she drive a few. Impala, this, that... "Impala? Isn't that an OLD car?" Well, a new one isn't an old car. But I see her POV. She's a Camryiac.
    She bought herself a new Camry and a used one for her daughter. She didn't need to test drive, her Camry experience had been fine, no problems, she was not a carnut in any sense of the word. This is transportation. Starts every day. Doesn't quit out on the Interstate somewhere.

    So Musk of Mars is NEW AND IMPROVED. He's an exciting guy doing exciting and outlandish things. Putting a Tesla into orbit. Would GM consider that in 1,000 years? HELL NO.
    GM was once the exciting "it" company, just like Sony, IBM, Nokia, Blackberry and a whole host of other companies. Then somehow they weren't. Tesla, Apple, etc. will someday reach the same fate. But for today, they are the exciting ones that people want to be seen with.

    Camry - ugh... Even though for the first time in my life I think the Camry looks decent, I feel like Toyota is now more of an old people's brand.

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Quote Originally Posted by BORG View Post
    It's one thing to have the technical capability, it's another thing to sell it. GM is really good at tech, bad at convincing customers. I'm not convinced by anything GM promises until they have the customers in hand.
    Sadly, I agree with you. GM can deliver the product, but their marketing team struggles to sell cold lemonade on a hot day. And none of their vehicles will have "Tesla" on them.

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    GM marketing needs to overcome the Tesla “cool” factor. The same is true for all other Tesla competitors. I have 3 family members on the west coast who all own Tesla model S. As I think of them either they have no clue about the technology or simply want to belong to the “cool kids” club.

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    Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpole View Post
    GM marketing needs to overcome the Tesla “cool” factor. The same is true for all other Tesla competitors. I have 3 family members on the west coast who all own Tesla model S. As I think of them either they have no clue about the technology or simply want to belong to the “cool kids” club.
    I don't fault anyone for that, I think it's a common human trait to have that shiny bauble that others don't have. Tesla fits the bill nicely in that regard.

    I do have to say the attention I'm getting with my CT4-V is kind of cool, guys are really attracted to it. Sadly, the women don't seem to care , but it is cool when someone holds up traffic to ask me questions or all the techs in the tire shop come out to chat with me when my tires were swapped out. A little taste of what it is like to own a Tesla.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Burr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Perian View Post
    Remember this paragraph. GM has a bright future.
    Teslas look sleek but they look like a Chinese knockoff of someone else's design, and the build quality sucks. GM can easily beat them with styling, build quality and a more extensive dealer network where hopefully the staff is trained in good customer service. So can Ford.

    I would like to put a GM offering next to a Tesla, and the Mach E next to a Tesla. So yes GM has a bright future.
    Actually Teslas look like Teslas, just like Porsches looks like Porsches. The design cues of Tesla were introduced 10 years ago with the prototype S. When the S came on the scene, nothing looked like the Model S.

    Now, all the Teslas share the same traits, just like the Panamera, 911, Macan, Cayenne, etc. all share the same design cues (poorly, if I’m being honest).

    With two new models aimed at 2 different markets, the Chinese city car and the Euro hatch, there is bound to be some serious stretching of those cues. Probably won’t be a radical departure like the CT, but it does show Tesla doesn’t feel beholden to anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BORG View Post
    It's one thing to have the technical capability, it's another thing to sell it. GM is really good at tech, bad at convincing customers. I'm not convinced by anything GM promises until they have the customers in hand.

    ...part of it is the dumb decision making. The Bolt could have been a Caddy CT4 with SuperCruise and beat Tesla to the Model Y punch, but GM deduced that people who bought EVs were all greeny Ed Begley wannabes in Birkenstocks who were trading in their Priuses. They completely missed the cutting edge part of it.

    Second, they do silly things to hamstring their product. The Bolt only needed 125kW charge rate and it would have been considered far more by people looking for a LR vehicle. The choice to cap it at 50kW is a serious head scratcher. I still don’t understand it...like capping the CT6 PHEV at 3.3kW. I just don’t get it and obviously they didn’t either.

    I’m happy they’re tacking, as the Lyriq is a great car right now, but 2 years from now when 300+mi range is entry level, it’s going to seem very dated. If they want to beat Tesla, they have to aim to where Tesla is going to be and beat them there.

    Introducing me-toos 2 or 3 years later isn’t going to get’er done.

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