Overtaking Tesla is all that GM seems to care about. Their goal, in my opinion, should be larger than that. Tesla’s mission is focused on sustainability. GM, which has been around longer than Tesla and has actively fought against EVs, seems to only care about beating Tesla.
I think that GM will fail if its primary focus is on Tesla and not providing a viable product that people want. Any company would. That said, I want to share something that CEO Mary Barra said a few days ago. I think it’s important to mention this because I’ve been very hard on how GM and President Biden are pushing the idea that GM, not Tesla, is the real EV leader.
In an interview with 62CBS Detroit, Barra said,
“We wanna lead in EVs, full stop. And so that’s where we’re aggressively moving.”
This is the most realistic statement I’ve ever heard her say. It also implies that she understand that GM currently isn’t the leader of the EV markets. This doesn’t excuse the fact that the White House has been snubbing Tesla, nor does it excuse the fact that Barra hasn’t stood up to Biden and said, “No, we are not the leaders yet, but we are working on changing that,” or something along those lines.
We all know that Tesla is currently the leader of the EV market and is what’s driving the awareness about EVs and EV adoption. Will Tesla be the leader 10 years from now? I can’t see the future, even though I actually do own a few crystal balls. I think GM, Ford, and the other legacy automakers can compete with Tesla, but I don’t think they will lead or overtake Tesla until they are selling more EVs than ICE vehicles.
Not only do they have to produce enough EVs to at least match what Tesla is producing, but they need to cease ICE vehicle sales and fully commit to electrifying all of their fleets. This goes for any automaker that wants to “beat Tesla.”
However, I think — and this is just my opinion here — GM seems more focused on beating Tesla than actually leading. Or at least doing the work that a leader should do. They want the title and the trophy but don’t want to put in the work.
In a well-written and honest article, InsideEVs noted GM is investing heavily into its goal of overtaking Tesla. GM invested a lot of money into the EV segment and announced its commitment of $7 billion to ramp up EV and battery production in Michigan. This is a good thing and shouldn’t be discounted. But it also shouldn’t be used to push the narrative that Tesla, which invested $10 billion and is providing thousands of jobs in Texas alone, doesn’t exist — yet President Biden implied that by hyping up GM and claiming it is leading.
In the InsideEVs article, the author had a realistic take on GM’s goals.
“If Tesla sold nearly 1 million vehicles in 2021, and has plans to up that by some 50 percent for 2022, GM’s plans for 1 million in 2025 won’t likely be enough to overtake Tesla. Tesla’s 2021 production came from just two factories. The brand is now producing EVs at a huge factory in Texas, and its other new factory near Berlin is set to open soon.”
I also want to point out that legacy automakers have been around far longer than Tesla but now that Tesla has proven the possibility of mass-producing EVs at scale is not only doable but is actually profitable, these automakers must feel like fools especially since they have been around longer than Tesla.
And it shows that if they had any interest in mass-producing EVs at scale, they would have done so with their large factories. Instead, Tesla, the newbie — with just its Fremont car factory for years and now its Shanghai factory — did the impossible. And Tesla’s just getting started.
It should also be noted that InsideEVs has been rooting for GM’s success in the EV market, and in my opinion, I think this is actually pretty awesome. I want to see GM succeed. Yes, I’ve been brutally honest of what I think of GM claiming to be the leader and how it’s playing along with Biden’s manipulation of the American people. Yes, I think GM could do better. And, yes, I think GM should focus on the bigger picture. Beating Tesla isn’t the bigger picture, and until they realize this, they won’t “beat Tesla.”
The reason why I bring up InsideEVs’ support of GM’s success in the EV market is that I think its article is constructive feedback for Barra, GM, and even other automakers such as Ford. The author is approaching this from the perspective of being a Chevrolet Volt owner, and this perspective is refreshing.