GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,023 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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














.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,023 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
“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.








.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top