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The Wall Street Journal
June 20, 2022

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Tread



Mary Barra, General Motors Co.’s chief executive, spent weeks preparing for an onstage unveiling of the electric Chevrolet Silverado, GM’s big play in the fledgling market for battery-powered pickup trucks.

Ten miles away at Motor Co.’s headquarters, executives were plotting a pre-emptive public-relations strike, said people familiar with the plan. The day before Ms. Barra’s presentation in January, Ford said it would double factory capacity for its F-150 Lightning electric truck, citing overwhelming demand. Ford shares surged 12% that day.

Within days, in private meetings with investors, Ms. Barra was facing questions about why Ford’s truck would beat GM’s to market by a year. “They want to better understand the portfolio of EVs that we have coming,” Ms. Barra said of the meetings, adding that the topic didn’t dominate the conversation.

The Ford-GM rivalry—one of the business world’s fiercest for a century—is taking on an urgent new dimension as the companies enter the electric age. Ms. Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley have said they intend to seize the U.S. sales lead from Tesla, which sold about 13 times as many EVs as both Detroit companies combined in the U.S. during the first quarter.

GM plans to flood the market with a few dozen EV models across a wide price spectrum. Ford plans a narrower range of models but has emphasized speed to market.

GM’s Ms. Barra, 60, an electrical engineer who spent much of her career inside GM’s factories, has assembled the building blocks needed to produce EVs of all shapes and sizes. Each model will use a common set of battery cells, motors and other internal guts developed in-house—an approach that GM executives say has taken longer but will allow GM to reduce costs and put out many EVs in rapid succession.

Ford’s Mr. Farley, 60, spent many years as a marketing executive and wants to offer EVs in categories where Ford already leads, such as pickups and vans for business customers. He expects the Lightning’s head start to help establish Ford as a go-to EV brand for truck buyers. He is also getting help from former Tesla executives and recently divided Ford into two organizations to sharpen the focus on EVs.

“This will make for a great business-school case study someday,” said Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, about the dueling business models. Ford has generated consumer enthusiasm and an early EV sales lead, he said, while GM appears better positioned to scale up output in coming years.

In trucks, Ford took a quicker route to market than GM by modifying its internal-combustion F-150—its bestseller—to run on batteries. “We said, ‘Look, what’s the scrappiest way to get in market with an electric F-150?’ ” Mr. Farley said.
The Lightning has generated buzz with features such as a large “frunk”—a front trunk—and the ability to power a home during a blackout. The pickup’s rollout, which began last month, should give Ford a sales lead for at least a few years in all-electric pickups, according to forecasts from research firms LMC Automotive and AutoPacific Inc.

GM executives say their Chevrolet Silverado, scheduled for spring 2023, will have a longer driving range and faster charging than the current version of the Lightning. GM executives see Ford’s EV sales lead as fleeting, saying they have a head start on the industrial heft needed for large-scale EV production.

A new GM factory in Ohio is set to start churning out battery cells this summer, for example, more than two years before the scheduled start of Ford’s own battery output. “If you fast forward to this time next year, we’re dominant,” Ms. Barra said. “If the conversation is just about Silverado vs. F-150, that’s a pretty narrow view.”

But Tesla remains Target No. 1, and the pickup-truck market offers GM and Ford a chance to close the gap. Both got EV trucks to market ahead of Tesla’s futuristic-looking Cybertruck, which Tesla has said will arrive next year. Ford and GM executives believe their experience and brand loyalty in pickups—by far their biggest moneymakers—will give them an edge.

The GM-Ford competition heated up in the 1920s. Ford became the world’s largest car maker by churning out inexpensive black Model T’s. GM’s strategy to offer more choice—brands, models features—helped it overtake Ford. Since then, they have battled over vehicles from family sedans and sports cars to pickups.

The plan to focus first on Cadillac EVs changed during an early 2019 meeting in GM President Mark Reuss’s office with Ms. Barra and Mr. Parks. The subject was Rivian, which weeks earlier revealed a pickup and SUV. “All right,” Mr. Reuss recalled saying, “we’re going to make the super truck.”

Ford’s Lightning team decided to price it low, starting at $39,974—less than many gas-powered trucks, said Darren Palmer, vice president of Ford’s global EV programs. The team hoped that would nudge GM lower than it wanted in pricing the electric Silverado, people familiar with Ford’s thinking said.

GM months later would undercut Ford by $74, starting the Silverado at $39,900. A GM spokesman said the Lightning price didn’t affect the Silverado’s pricing.

This year, Ford and GM executives have been sniping at each other’s electric trucks and broader EV strategies. “The Silverado has got 400 miles of range, which they don’t have,” Mr. Reuss told The Wall Street Journal in January.
The next day, Ford’s Mr. Farley told the Journal that the specifications GM released for the electric Silverado implied it would be able to haul less weight in its bed than Ford’s comparatively tiny gas-powered Maverick pickup. “That’s not built Ford tough,” he said.

After Ford’s pre-emptive strike on the electric Silverado unveiling, GM in April reciprocated: On the morning before a Ford event to celebrate the Lightning, GM said it would eventually release an all-electric Corvette.

Ken Jackson, a retiree near Portland, Ore., said he has put deposits on a Lightning, a Hummer and an electric Silverado, in hopes of landing one to use on his small farm. “Whoever can put the thing in my driveway first,” he said, “is going to get my money.”

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive side marker light














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“The Silverado has got 400 miles of range, which they don’t have,” Mr. Reuss told The Wall Street Journal in January. The next day, Ford’s Mr. Farley told the Journal that the specifications GM released for the electric Silverado implied it would be able to haul less weight in its bed than Ford’s comparatively tiny gas-powered Maverick pickup. “That’s not built Ford tough,” he said.

It's 1965 all over again.

Let's hope they BOTH get it right.








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Can you say SILVERADO ? I'm from Missouri - SHOW ME. 🤪
The electric Silverado looks like an Avalanche to me, GM is probably going to do the Silverado what they did to the Blazer.
 

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Mr. Farley, who races vintage cars including a 1965 Ford Cobra, returned that year to Dearborn to run Ford’s global markets. He was irritated, he said, to discover that Ford had a fully electric vehicle under development without his knowledge and thought the prototype design was dull. “It looks like a Prius. That’s a joke,” Mr. Farley recalled saying when he saw the EV prototype. “What are we doing?”
The team began to redesign the vehicle—later named the Mustang Mach-E—which delayed it by several months.
This is interesting - I think a wise decision on Mr. Farley's choice to not go with a Prius looking vehicle. I bet if they came out with something like that it would be selling little better than the Bolt.
 

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This is actually exciting news for a change. Other than a vehicle here and there the entire market has been so dull in the last 15 years that I can’t believe I still follow it so closely.

Hopefully I’m not getting my hopes up for no reason, again. I can only take so many boring vehicles so I’m hoping we get more than the same boring vehicles with a different propulsion system. Hopefully the tech isn’t the only thing to carry the new excitement.
 

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“If you fast forward to this time next year, we’re dominant,”

We've essentially heard this from GM every year of our lives, but 'this time' they mean it?


This is hilarious!

The next day, Ford’s Mr. Farley told the Journal that the specifications GM released for the electric Silverado implied it would be able to haul less weight in its bed than Ford’s comparatively tiny gas-powered Maverick pickup.
 

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“If you fast forward to this time next year, we’re dominant,”

We've essentially heard this from GM every year of our lives, but 'this time' they mean it?


This is hilarious!

The next day, Ford’s Mr. Farley told the Journal that the specifications GM released for the electric Silverado implied it would be able to haul less weight in its bed than Ford’s comparatively tiny gas-powered Maverick pickup.
head start on the industrial heft needed for large-scale EV production. It may be wishful thinking, but GM already has Bolt EUV, Bolt EV and HUMMER EV Truck on Market.
Next year they launch a slew of other EV's including, Chevrolet Equinox, HUMMER SUV, Blazer, Lyriq, and who knows what else.
Say what you may, Mary Barrah has this very well thought out. Ford was wasting time with Bronco while GM was totally preparing for war with Tesla. Ford is fighting old fights.
 

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This is hilarious!

The next day, Ford’s Mr. Farley told the Journal that the specifications GM released for the electric Silverado implied it would be able to haul less weight in its bed than Ford’s comparatively tiny gas-powered Maverick pickup.
Sure the Lightning can carry nearly 1,000 pounds more in its bed than the Silverado EV but what good is that extra payload if, en route, it's found on the roadside with a dead battery?

It's probably safe to say that current full-size truck buyers and EV buyers have very different needs and expectations for vehicles. If the EV march continues those lines will be blurred but they are arguably two very distinct groups going into this first round of EV trucks. It appears to me that each company emphasized characteristics that would best appeal to their intended audience, for example: range vs payload. I suspect an initial pattern could emerge whereby the Lightning appeals more to truck buyers that are willing to experiment with an EV and the Silverado appeals more to EV buyers that are willing to experiment with a truck.
 

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They keep spelling Avalanche wrong in the article.
There is a mistake photo as well.

Avalanche sales (Mistake photo)
2011 20,088
2012 25,789
2013 16,526
2014 92
2015 8

Silverado sales
2011 415,130
2012 418,312
2013 480,414
2014 529,575
2015 600,554

If the Avalanche in the article wants to be a big sales winner, it needs just a hint of that classic Silverado look to it, no blind spots with the side panels behind the cab, nice and easy more practical to load things at the sides at front of the bed.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. classic Silverado is the way-to-go for big sales.
 

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Sure the Lightning can carry nearly 1,000 pounds more in its bed than the Silverado EV but what good is that extra payload if, en route, it's found on the roadside with a dead battery?
Folk don't constantly run out gasoline, l don't think they will run electric cars till the battery is dead either to be honest, in the same way drivers don't go round fully loaded up to the max every day.

Average American drives 14,263 miles a year that's just 39 miles a day, both electric trucks have the ability or go all week on those numbers between charges.

Personally l would want a truck that can carry more load, with a longer range, that has the best of both of these two trucks.

If you had to choose between one or the other what has the best functionality attribute. l would go for better payload capability is more useful, the lightning will always be able to stop charge up with the extra payload, l would maybe do long trips maybe twice a year, long range is not that important to me, can be fixed with a nice halfway welcome rest at a services, and a cup off coffee whilst the truck is charging up on quick charge for 40 minutes then off you go again with a full load again, the Silverado will never match the Lightning payload capability.

Saying that though the Silverado 400 mile range is pretty impressive that would get me to the top of Scotland in one stop, drive any further North you would end up in the North Sea. 99% of people normally fly and hire a car for that long trip to Scotland in the UK, l don't know a single builder or farmer that does 400 mile trips every day you would be driving all day, arrive tired out with no time left to do any work.
 

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“If you fast forward to this time next year, we’re dominant,” Ms. Barra said. “If the conversation is just about Silverado vs. F-150, that’s a pretty narrow view.”

I think that's just a clever way of saying they'll have more EVs in production than most, or all, automakers. It's PR spin.
 

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The next day, Ford’s Mr. Farley told the Journal that the specifications GM released for the electric Silverado implied it would be able to haul less weight in its bed than Ford’s comparatively tiny gas-powered Maverick pickup.
This is only because GM opted for more range and thus a bigger battery and a heavier vehicle. I think the Silverado will be competitive once the range/battery is dialed back depending on the customer requirements and use case in mind. Even the Lightning with the extended range battery hauls less than the standard range model.
 

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This is only because GM opted for more range and thus a bigger battery and a heavier vehicle. I think the Silverado will be competitive once the range/battery is dialed back depending on the customer requirements and use case in mind. Even the Lightning with the extended range battery hauls less than the standard range model.
I hadn't thought about it in those terms - that'll be a real choice to make for pickup buyers - range or payload. I wonder what the split will be? I'd think more people will opt for range as their payload needs are modest, but certainly a large amount of people that haul a lot. Though there are HD versions coming for those who want no compromise.
 

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I hadn't thought about it in those terms - that'll be a real choice to make for pickup buyers - range or payload. I wonder what the split will be? I'd think more people will opt for range as their payload needs are modest, but certainly a large amount of people that haul a lot. Though there are HD versions coming for those who want no compromise.
And COST. The real test willl be when there are comparable range models and what they cost to drive off the Dealership lot..... Real People have real budgets, and with inflation/interest rates going up, that will affect sales moving forward and how much (if any) manufacturers eat finance costs to make these expensive trucks affordable.
 

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And COST. The real test willl be when there are comparable range models and what they cost to drive off the Dealership lot..... Real People have real budgets, and with inflation/interest rates going up, that will affect sales moving forward and how much (if any) manufacturers eat finance costs to make these expensive trucks affordable.
Good point on that too! I'll have to then go with lower range and higher payload will rule the roost as most people don't drive all that far.

I think for most people that the lower range does make sense. Seems like a lot of people buy a truck with their "once a year worst case" scenario in mind and then tote around all that extra capability (with gas cost) for the rest of the year - probably cheaper to get a less capable truck and rent for that once a year usage.
 

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The electric Silverado looks like an Avalanche to me, GM is probably going to do the Silverado what they did to the Blazer.
Always loved the look of the Avalanche.

The look has nothing to do with the capability. Other trucks have a lot of tricks, Silverado needs to have them also!
 

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Truck stuff trick: the midgate. With the midgate open, and the optional configurable tailgate extended, that length increases to 10ft 10in. I think that's attractive to contractors and the general public alike, especially given the single crew cab config offered.
 
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