GM Wishes to Sell One Million Units of Electric Vehicles to Surpass Tesla. Has Something Gone Wrong?

published: 2021-01-20 18:30 | editor: | category: News

The latest strategic goal for General Motors is to become the best automotive brand in North America. During a recent interview, the company commented that the only concrete method in surpassing Tesla is to achieve an annual sales of 1 million electric vehicles by 2025, though there seems to be something wrong with the particular method and target.

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, commented at the end of 2020 that the company is about to expedite on the progress of electrification by investing an additional US$7 billion and releasing 30 BEVs by 2025, where the cheapest model will be cost below US$35K.

 “We will continue the battle in the market of electric vehicles until we become the best electric vehicle manufacturer in North America”, commented Barra, who did not have to emphasize on Tesla as it is the current leader in the market.  

Interestingly enough, GM was the leading electric vehicle manufacturer back when Tesla first publicly announced Model S in 2012, who dominated the market with a sales of 23K units of Chevrolet Volts, and second place Toyota Prius merely had half of its sales. GM had a whopping 18% in the market share of electric vehicles in the US.

Now GM is certainly frustrated that its competitor has over 50% of market share in the US market of electric vehicles, and strives to regain its status in North America, though how will the company go about it? GM commented that the annual sales target of 1 million units by 2025 has prompted the company in investing an enormous amount of money in electric vehicles and battery technology in order to offer multiple choices and the best experience for the consumers.

GM Ultium battery adopts a wireless power management module that drastically reduces costs and elevates efficiency.


Annual Sales of Million Electric Vehicles Is the Common Goal for Automotive Manufacturers

Ambitious is a good motivation, though there seems to be something off about this particular target. Putting aside the fact that Tesla had already sold 500K units of vehicles in 2020, Volkswagen, the biggest competitor of Tesla, has drafted the target of selling 1 million units of electric vehicles by 2022, which is 3 years earlier than that of GM.  

The sales of ID.3 and ID.4 have been compelling since the launch in the second half of 2020, and have surpassed the sales of Tesla in Europe. The two models will commence production and sales in the US starting from 2021, which further reinforces Volkswagen’s target of achieving the sales of 1 million units by 2022 under competitiveness demonstrated from performance and prices.

Tesla had “almost” achieved the sales of 500K units in 2020, and will be aiming for the target of million units in 2021, which is relatively difficult, though not entirely impossible, from the help of Giga Shanghai.

One of the weapons that GM can apply when challenging Tesla is the quality of assembly, since it is a well-known fact that the latter lacks quality in assembly. However, GM might reconsider in attacking Tesla, since Ford was counterattacked when the company tried to criticize Tesla a while back, and GM actually had to recall more than 60K units of vehicles due to the multiple fire incidents that occurred while charging.

Despite the defects in assembly quality, there have been few fire incidents for the batteries of Tesla vehicles that were occurred by “non-impact” causes, as it is expected from the company with the most battery patents, which is something that Tesla excels in compared to other companies.

The production for GM Hummer EV has accelerated to prepare for the delivery phase in autumn 2021.

GM is also equipped with two other leverages, with the first being a drastic degree of price cutting competition, and the second being the Ultium battery that they spent an eternity preparing for, which will debut in the Hummer EV for the first time, and we will soon know if it is actually as powerful as it claimed to be. Even if meeting the annual sales target of 1 million units by 2025 does not make GM the best electric vehicle brand, it will still be a major progress for this ancient brand.

 (Cover photo source: GM)

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