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GM On A Path Of All Out Push For EV Leadership Globally

GM On A Path Of All Out Push For EV Leadership Globally
United States based auto maker General Motors (GM) will now press on the acceleration peddle for an "all out pursuit of global EV leadership" as it aims to challenge the leadership of Tesla in this sector with an increase in investments and spending and speeding up the process of electric vehicle production targets.
This was said by the the Detroit automaker’s Chief Executive Mary Barra.
Barra told investors on Thursday during a conference sponsored by Barclays that with a goal of "putting everyone in an electric vehicle," the aim of GM is to offer customers electric vehicles across its lineup, from below $30,000 to over $100,000, over a course of time.
The company could increase its sale of vehicles by as much as 280,000 vehicles a year in coastal states of the United States, where its brand strength is relatively small, with the expansion of its EV offers, Barra said.
"We want to be No. 1 in EVs in North America," Barra said.
She said that the company plans to increase expenditure for development of electric and self-driving vehicles to $27 billion by 2023 which is 35 per cent higher than what the company had previously announced. The launch of a dozen new electric models will also be speeded up by the company. 
GM is likely to become close rivals of Tesla and German automaker Volkswagen AG in its quest to become the global leader in electric vehicle production. Last year, plans for an $86-billion electric vehicle investment plan were outlined by the German auto giant last week.
In the Chinese market, the largest electric vehicle market of the world, GM and VW rival head to head.
Following outlining of the company’s electric vehicle strategy by Barra, the shares of the company rallied into positive territory.
There has been pressure on Barra from some investors to spin off GM's electric vehicle operations into a separate business unit thereby separating it from the company’s much more profitable business of the conventional internal combustion engine vehicles business.
"We don't think it has to be separated," Narra said when asked about a spinoff of GM's skateboard or battery operations.
Rather GM has its eyes on the benefits it can derive form integration of the internal combustion and electric vehicle businesses as Barra noted that up to 70 per cent of the components required for EVs is the same as those in conventional fossil fuel powered vehicles.
At the new factory that GM is currently constructing in northeast Ohio with South Korea's LG Chem, the company has the aim of increasing its battery-making capacity, Barra said and added that the company is will also increase the number of production units where electric vehicles are manufactured.
There is increased pressure on established automakers to accelerate production of electric vehicles because of the increasing market capitalization of Tesla's and the stricter emissions norms that are being implemented by regulators to phase out carbon-emitting gasoline engines. However currently, the EV models of most legacy car makers offer much less profit margin for auto companies compared to the current trucks and SUVs that they sell.
When GM sided last year with the US President Donald Trump over the issue of preventing California from setting its own vehicle emissions rules and later on the decision of the Trump administration to reduce the efficiency requirements set in the Obama-era, Democrats and environmentalists heavily criticised the auto maker.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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