Feb 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

GM is eating Tesla's exhaust

Tesla Model 3. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

While Tesla shares went into Ludicrous Mode this week, GM executives were on Wall Street pitching investors on their own vision of an electric, self-driving future. But as Bloomberg notes, the market isn't buying.

Why it matters: GM may be investing billions to transform its business for the future, but to many investors, Tesla's lead in the fledgling electric vehicle market is seen as insurmountable.

Catch up quick: During a four-hour presentation Wednesday, GM laid out an aggressive plan to extend its EV lineup and expand availability of its Super Cruise driver-assistance technology.

  • GM President Mark Reuss highlighted the versatility of GM's new electric-vehicle architecture, which can be scaled up or down to make everything from compact cars to big trucks and SUVs.
  • In all, GM plans 20 different EVs by 2023. So far, it's described a Hummer EV truck, a Cadillac crossover and a ride-sharing shuttle, the Cruise Origin.
  • GM plans to unveil more details about its EV strategy on March 4.
  • Reuss also said 22 GM models will have Super Cruise by 2023, including its full-size pickups and SUVs.

But it's not easy chasing Tesla, which sparked the market for EVs a decade ago and later convinced many that cars could drive themselves on Autopilot (even though it's not true).

  • Bloomberg sums it up: "While GM and others are racing to put out models that can match Tesla's lineup, Elon Musk's company still has the iPhone of electric cars and no one has come up with the EV equivalent of an Android to defeat them."

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GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand and winding down operations in the two countries and Thailand by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The Holden brand has been in Australia and New Zealand for 160 years, per a GM statement issued in Australia. It is beloved by many motor racing fans down under. Holden produced Australia's first wholly locally made car in 1948.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

The great electric pickup production race

GMC Hummer's grille and the Tesla cybertruck. Photos courtesy of General Motors and Tesla

Automakers are competing to make the buzziest, strongest, fastest electric truck that would fare well in a dystopian future — albeit one with a reliable grid and eco-conscious drivers.

Driving the news: OK I'm being flip (it's Friday!), but yesterday brought news that GM is indeed reviving the gas-guzzling Hummer as a fully electric and powerful "super truck" with seriously gaudy specs.

Corporate clients could provide a lower-cost path to electric vehicles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Carmakers are compelled to introduce electric vehicles to meet rising emissions standards, but the transition is expensive and fraught with risk, and consumers aren't yet on board.

The state of play: There's another potentially faster and cheaper path to electric vehicle adoption: electric delivery fleets. They could catch on faster, especially with new approaches to design and production, and provide a large-scale proof of concept for consumers.