GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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 ***anese 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.








.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
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.









.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,715 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,605 Posts
Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,605 Posts
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)

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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
35,450 Posts
Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,605 Posts
Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,605 Posts
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.
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,605 Posts
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.
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 :D, 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

I'd love it if GM or Ford had something in my green range when I'm ready to replace one of our vehicles. But hopefully that's a few years out.

The Tesla image means nothing to me. Especially after last year. On our "winter of fun tour", 6300 miles in the Acadia, I was one of those annoying old men who talk to strangers about their cars. At fuel stops, etc if there was a charging station with a Tesla plugged in I engaged. Almost without exception one thing I heard over and over was "I love the car, but hate the company". Parts and service. And goodness forbid you have collision damage. Nope, they have a ways to go to interest me. Wouldn't be surprised if they ended up the Beta Max of the BEV market.

I applaud all you pioneer early adopters but I have no interest in going down that road. Lots of barriers to universal adoption:

1. Supply of rare earth metals. You thought rogue control of oil and gas supply was a problem. This is even more concerning. You know they're in the motors too, right? Hopefully battery technology moves away from this. But it has to be economically feasible.

2. Universal charging availability. How far do you think horseless carriages would have gotten if brands or groups of brands needed special nozzles to fill up. I don't care whose it is, but it has to be universal.

3. Adequate supply infrastructure. Universal charging is useless if there's no "gas" in the tank.

I love the idea of losing the ICE powertrain maintenance, by the time that happens I probably won't even be doing brakes myself anymore. It would be a pretty carefree life. But I don't see anything that can deliver what even my Captiva does in any kind of weather and day in and day out, much less the Acadia. I'm still hoping though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,269 Posts
It's simple, someone will decide that Electric Vehicles are the only legal vehicles that count
and just ignore what the majority of people want. I can see that becoming the new norm...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

I'm certainly eager to own an EV, but I won't buy one until it's in a vehicle and brand I'm already comfortable with. Right now that's not Tesla. The EV selection today is still extremely narrow. EVs simply have to be in vehicles the majority of care about and that will happen over the course of this decade. There should be an EV for everyone and every price as soon as 2028.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,715 Posts
Re: WSJ: General Motors "can win a coming electric-vehicle race against Tesla."

It's simple, someone will decide that Electric Vehicles are the only legal vehicles that count
and just ignore what the majority of people want. I can see that becoming the new norm...
Its not like they care how you vote, why should they care how you want to drive?
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top