GM Stumbles, Future Grim


The future of the American car industry is grim, at least as measured by stock prices. GM’s share price has dropped 40% this year, and Ford’s by nearly as much. Ford has a powerful horse in the race for electric vehicle market share. GM does not.

CNBC recently ran an article titled: “GM is far behind Tesla in electric vehicle sales. CEO Mary Barra has bet on the company that will change.” The writer discussed the debate about whether America’s largest car company can compete directly with Tesla. Based on its market share, GM has trouble.

GM has a problem many other legacy car companies have. It will take them years to migrate most of its manufacturing to EVs. Part of the reason is that their next generation cars are barely off the drawing board. 

Another hurdle is that EV adoption, at least in the U.S., could be slower than expected. Some research shows many Americans are reluctant to change from gas powered and hybrid vehicles to EVs.

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GM also must deal with Tesla’s remarkably powerful brand. In BrandZ’s 2022 “Most Valuable Global Brands, Tesla ranked 29th with a brand value of $76 billion, up 78% from the previous year. Toyota, Mercedes, and BMW were much lower on the list. GM and its brands were not present. Tesla’s lead is more than in unit sales and technology. People worldwide see it as the leading electric car company, by far.

Ford has a huge advantage over GM in the U.S. It recently launched the F-150 Lightning. The F-150 has been the best selling vehicle in America for four decades. There are millions of them still on the road. This is a huge customer base to target for an EV version.

GM is in the process of spending billions of dollars to become an EV leader, The evidence so far is that it has not made much progress.

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