Thursday, September 19, 2019

GM’s Mary Barra Bets Big on an Electric, Self-Driving Future | Bloomberg

From a GM transformation strategy reality check
"Taking vast resources from businesses that make money and moving them toward businesses that (so far) lose mountains of it is obviously a large and risky bet. But the gamble isn’t the decision itself. It’s the timing. GM, which is pushing hard into electrics and racing into autonomy faster than any other carmaker, could be blowing cash for years before there’s any payoff. Already, its Cruise Automation unit has postponed plans to deploy autonomous cars this year. If driverless and electric vehicles take off more slowly than Barra expects, then GM will have prematurely jettisoned thousands of skilled veterans and killed off its smaller gasoline models, leaving the company even more vulnerable to a spike in fuel prices than it is now. Worse, it could cede a chunk of profits from the remaining decades of the internal combustion era to others.

Barra is adamant that GM will sell a million electrics a year in the very near future, while lowering costs and gaining an economy-of-scale edge that Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. would envy. In autonomous driving, Dan Ammann, CEO of Cruise Automation, believes a small group of companies will divide a trillion-dollar market. That’s the potential that has Barra risking so much."
GM’s Mary Barra Bets Big on an Electric, Self-Driving Future | Bloomberg

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