Friday, December 3rd, 2021

How CEO Mary Barra wants to use EV push to boost GM’s market value

Mighty valuations of Tesla Inc. and electric vehicle startups signal an opportunity for General Motors, says CEO Mary Barra.

Today, GM’s market cap is about $87 billion, far below Tesla’s, which stands at $1.04 trillion. And as of midday, Rivian’s IPO has given the startup EV maker a value of more than $100 billion.

“General Motors is so undervalued,” Barra said Wednesday during The New York Times DealBook online summit.

Investors’ interest in EVs marks “a huge opportunity for General Motors to capture significantly more value,” she said.

GM has long had a broad manufacturing, supply chain and retail footprint. To compete with the high valuations of Tesla and EV startups, “we have to be better, be faster, have vehicles that consumers want to have, solve the ownership equation,” said Barra. “If anything, it motivates me to work even harder.”

GM plans to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development and have 30 EVs available globally through 2025. By 2035, the automaker aims to launch a fully electric light-vehicle lineup. As GM converts its portfolio, Barra says it won’t lose share to any startup or traditional automaker.

Many customers own only one vehicle and depend on it every day, she said. “General Motors has brands that [customers] trust. We have the highest loyalty rating. We have manufacturing plants that are ready to go,” said Barra. “When I look at our ability to scale, to serve customers, I think we’re incredibly well positioned, and we’re not going to cede our leadership position to anyone.”

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