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GM CEO Barra Confident GM Can Overtake Tesla Despite Conflicting Sales Picture

The race between GM and Tesla is tightening up as the two firms prepare for a fierce war of sales attrition in the EV wars. GM CEO Mary Barra is confident the company can overtake Tesla despite a sluggish start to sales.


General Motors has been hyping its plans in the EV market for some time now, but a recent swerve in messaging by GM CEO Mary Barra during an appearance on CBS Mornings appears to confirm that not only does the company have plans to overtake Tesla, but that it will also have more massive moves in-store to tighten its grip on the market.

GM Off To Sluggish Start In Sales

GM reps have hyped up the company's EV plans for the past several years now, but while the company has released plenty of talk, there's not much to show for it. The company's Ultium platform is just now entering production in the GMC Hummer EV pickup and the Cadillac Lyriq has just recently entered the pre-production stage. However, The Hummer is only available in a limited run of Edition 1 models, and the Chevrolet Bolt is still currently idled due to the ripple effects of the Bolt battery recall. The company did announce plans for the Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer EVs which would allow Ultium to enter the $30,000 price bracket, but those models will not be out in the immediate future.

That's in contrast to the sizable headstart that Tesla has had in not only establishing a strong sales lead but also a following among customers. That following will help fuel more growth which will only add more fuel to Tesla's lead as GM focuses on preparing itself to be on a level competitive footing with Tesla. Tesla has also managed to reduce the starting MSRPs of its offerings with the Model 3 and Model Y starting in the $44k and $58k range respectively.

GM Hoping Massive Investments Will Help It Hit Target

Cadillac Lyriq

With this lackluster start in sales, the company is hoping that some of its recent investments will help the auto giant make up some of this lost ground. That includes a recently announced $7 billion dollar investment that will not only breathe new life into the Orion Assembly plant but also use some of the space at the Lansing Delta Township plant to build battery packs.

This push towards beefing up their internal supply structure mirrors what we have seen from corporate rival Ford which is also making massive investments towards enhancing their EV supply network which will be crucial towards that firm's efforts to ramp up the pressure on Tesla. It will be interesting to see how the sales war shapes up once Ford and GM get the bulk of their pieces in place, but in the meantime, look for Tesla to use the downtime to rapidly build up its sales lead.

Photo Credit: General Motors

Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. In addition to his specialization with Ford, he grew up in a General Motors household and is extensively familiar with their products too. Contact Carl on Twitter at @CarlMalek3, on Instagram and Facebook for automotive news to send news tips.