GM aims to leverage software as it expands line of electric vehicles

DETROIT – GM plans to position itself as a technology platform company that is as software-focused as it is electric vehicle manufacturing when it meets with investors next week, including revealing a planned deployment of at least 20 vehicles electrics in the United States over the next several years.

The No.1 U.S. automaker said it will speak on Wednesday about its growth strategy, the benefits of its EV and software platform, its autonomous vehicle business and the related financial roadmap as it seeks to attract new investors and a valuation closer to that of market leader in electric vehicles Tesla Inc. A spokesperson declined to disclose further details.

GM executives will give a more detailed look at the company’s plans to spend $ 35 billion through 2025 on electric and autonomous vehicles, and set revenue and profit margin growth targets for the five-year period to follow, according to people familiar with the plans, who asked not to be identified.

“GM has gone from an automaker to a platform company and here’s all you can do with it,” one of the sources said.

“The question you should ask yourself is, will we see a doubling in revenue? Will we see an expansion in the margin? That’s the kind of thing you’re going to see over a period of time,” the person added. . “Stay tuned for some pretty impressive numbers on expanding revenues and margins.”

GM’s sales last year were close to $ 122.5 billion.

The strategy of GM chief executive Mary Barra, who took the helm in 2014, has so far pushed the company’s share price narrowly around its initial public offering price. from $ 33 in 2010 to almost double at one point. The shares were trading at around $ 53 on Friday.

Next week’s event aims to persuade investors to value GM (with a market cap of around $ 75 billion) more like Tesla ($ 762 billion).

More EV pickups to come

Also on Wednesday, GM will reveal more details of its planned EV product launches beyond the upcoming GMC Hummer pickup, EV600 delivery van and Cadillac Lyriq crossover. This includes plans for electric versions of GM’s full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks in late 2022 and late 2023, respectively, according to the sources, as well as an industry forecast provided by AutoForecast Solutions. (AFS).

Part of the investor’s day will be to describe what percentage of GM’s total vehicle sales will be electric vehicles by 2030, the sources said. The automaker set a goal in January to sell all new zero-tailpipe light vehicles by 2035.

On the software side, GM will discuss what its offerings allow it to do financially and how that will make the Detroit-based company’s business less cyclical than automakers have historically been, the sources said. .

Last week, GM showcased its software platform brand, Ultifi – coming in 2023 – and discussed creating an App Store-like approach to making the platform open to developers.

Software-driven products and services are essential for GM and other automakers to maintain profit margins during the transition to connected and electric vehicles, but it will require companies to develop the skills and workforce they lacked. in the past.

GM will also discuss how it will leverage its Ultium battery partnership with LG Energy Solutions (LGES), a unit of LG Chem, and how increased battery production will allow the company to cut costs, Ken Morris, GM’s vice president for electric vehicles and AVs, said at a conference this week. “We are really bringing all the pieces of our growth strategy together,” he said.

GM will launch at least 20 new electric vehicles in the United States – mostly pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers – through early 2028, according to AFS, whose data is based on planning information provided to suppliers by automakers. , and are widely used in industry. .

More concrete details, including the timing, prices and projected volumes of future electric vehicles, could be key to winning over investors as GM faces costly and damaging Chevy Bolt EV recall for battery-related fires .

At the same time, competitors are stepping up their own electric vehicle initiatives, including Ford Motor Co’s announcement this week of an $ 11.4 billion blitz with Korean battery partner SK Innovation.

While GM has showcased its range of electric vehicles through to the end of 2022, the following year is expected to feature the launch of at least five more, including the GMC Hummer SUV, the Cadillac Celestiq sedan which is expected to sell well in- over $ 100,000, and the Chevy Blazer SUV. , AFS said.

After that, GM plans to introduce five more electric vehicle models in 2024, two in 2026, two in 2027 and another in 2028, AFS said. Future entries include fully electric editions of the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs, as well as a new Cadillac crossover called Symboliq.

GM intends to build many of its future electric vehicles at five factories in North America: Orion Township and Detroit-Hamtramck in Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; Ingersoll, Ont., And Ramos Arizpe, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, AFS said.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert in Detroit; editing by Joe White and Matthew Lewis)


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