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GM exec acknowledges Tesla’s lead in EV market: ‘They’re formidable competitors’

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General Motors Co. recently launched a $27-billion EV offensive to catch up with Tesla’s EV market lead, which GM executive Doug Parks recently acknowledged in a statement. Parks made the statement in a call before GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra announced the company’s goals in the EV market leading up to 2025. 

Parks is GM’s Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. His acknowledgement of Tesla’s lead reveals much about the legacy automaker’s current mindset and its goals for the future. “We don’t want to just participate, we want to lead,” he said in a call with reporters, according to TechCrunch

“Tesla’s got a good jump, and they’ve done great things and so they’re [Tesla] formidable competitors. There’s a lot of startups and everyone else invading the space, and we’re not going to secede leadership there.”

(Credit: General Motors)

On Thursday, November 19, Barra announced that GM is aiming to offer 30 all-electric vehicles by 2025. The car manufacturer also added $7 billion to its EV investment budget.  Before the pandemic, General Motors placed a $20 billion budget on EV and autonomous vehicle (AV) development. Now, it is at $27 billion.

“Climate change is real, and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” said GM’s Chairman and CEO. “We are transitioning to an all-electric portfolio from a position of strength and we’re focused on growth. We can accelerate our EV plans because we are rapidly building a competitive advantage in batteries, software, vehicle integration, manufacturing and customer experience.”

(Credit: General Motors)

Based on information released during the Barclays 2020 Global Automotive Conference, GM aims to increase its share in the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market in the United States. The legacy OEM calculated that the top 10 BEV US states provided the company with a 280,000-unit opportunity. For context, TSLA bull Pierre Ferragu from New Street Research projected that Tesla has an international addressable market of 20 million units with its S3XY lineup. The Cybertruck provided an additional addressable market of 3 million units.

In a press release, GM estimated that 40% of its entries in the United States would be battery-electric by the end of 2025, which may be a smart move for the experienced automaker. Tesla and other EV startups, like Rivian and Lucid Motors, seem prepared to fight for 100% EV adoption in the United States by 2030 as shown by the creation of Zero Emission Transportation Association or ZETA. 

GM’s presentation at the Barclays 2020 Global Automotive Conference could be viewed below.

Final Barclays Slides by Maria Merano on Scribd

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