Tesla’s lead in electric vehicle sales in China has General Motors changing its strategy to reverse a decline in demand in the Asian country.
During a series of presentations on Wednesday, GM detailed its new plan to roll out a line of electric cars, along with petrol-powered SUVs, and intelligent driving and connectivity in China. GM CEO Mary Barra and President of the company’s Chinese sector, Julian Blissett, were present for the updated plan presentations, Bloomberg said.
Additionally, a press release from GM stated that “more than 40% of GM’s new launches in China in the next five years will be electrified models. They will all be manufactured in China, with almost all parts coming from local suppliers.”
GM is trying to keep up with Tesla’s dominance in the world’s largest automotive market, which has been fueled by the demand of the Model 3. EVs are becoming more appealing in China because of government incentives, and Tesla has proven to be the leader in terms of sales in the country. GM wants to establish itself as a worthy competitor.
Some investors have tried to convince the Detroit-based legacy automaker to establish its EV lineup as a completely separate entity because Wall Street has squandered billions of dollars of investments into electric car startups recently.
GM has other ideas, and it starts with building a functional and reliably fleet of EVs under its name, with plans to put more than $20 billion in capital into electrification.
“From 2020 to 2025, we will allocate more than $20 billion in capital and engineering resources to our EV and AV programs,” Barra said in a video on GM’s investor website.
To compete with Tesla, GM will have to focus on the development of its battery infrastructure. The company has developed a “state-of-the-art” Ultium battery system to power its future fleet of electric cars.
Tesla and GM have gone in two separate directions in terms of stock valuation in 2020. While Tesla shares have skyrocketed so far this year, increasing in value by four-fold, GM’s stock has experienced a tumultuous value in price per share. The stock is down about 18% so far this year.
In 2010, an ex-GM executive by the name of Bob Lutz claimed that Tesla was bound for the automotive graveyard because of its spending allocation. Now, Tesla is the benchmark for electric vehicles, and GM is chasing after the company to compete in international markets. GM has drawn inspiration from the company that it once deemed as basically a guaranteed failure.
However, in the ten years since Lutz’s comments, Tesla has established itself as the leader in electromobility and battery tech, and GM is just another car company trying to catch up.