GM CEO Says General Motors EV Spinoff Brand Could Happen64
Back in October, GM Authority proposed a new General Motors EV spinoff brand as a means to highlight the automaker’s all-electric offerings and differentiate GM’s battery-driven vehicles from its internal combustion vehicles. Now, recent remarks from GM CEO Mary Barra indicate that such a thing could very well happen.
In a recent call with analysts following the release of of the GM Q2 2020 earnings numbers, Barra was asked if the automaker would consider a General Motors EV spinoff brand, especially in the light of investor enthusiasm for existing EV-centric companies like Tesla.
“We are open to looking at and evaluate anything that we think is going to drive long-term shareholder value, so I would say nothing is off the table,” Barra responded, later adding that she saw no obstacles to making such a thing a reality.
A refocus on the General Motors EV products was also addressed earlier in the call, when Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas suggested a possible company name change.
“Why not call the company Ultium?” Jonas asked, referring to the company’s latest all-electric vehicle battery technology, which will power upcoming General Motors EVs like the Cadillac Lyriq crossover and GMC Hummer pickup.
Barra responded by saying GM does indeed consider questions like that as it invests heavily into the EV segment and moves to offer additional EV products, adding that technology development, lower battery cost, and EV vehicle sales will be critical to gaining interest from Wall Street.
“We’ve got to deliver … and demonstrate that we have products people want to buy,” the GM CEO stated.
When asked if she expects any of the new General Motors EV products to sell at volumes of 100,000 annually or higher, Barra said that automaker will get “our fair share plus more.”
Last year, when GM Authority proposed a spinoff brand devoted to General Motors EV products, most readers responded positively, with a little over 50 percent of poll responders agreeing that such a proposal was a good idea. Meanwhile, a little under 40 percent of poll responders thought that the current branding was enough, while less than 10 percent of responders weren’t fans of EVs in general.
What are your thoughts on a General Motors EV spinoff brand? Let us know by voting in our new poll below, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for around-the-clock GM news coverage.
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Ok ok, Pontiac is for performance EVs only. Oldsmobile can be for sporty mainstream EVs and Holden should handle all RHD markets ICE and EV…
If you create a new brand specifically for EVs, it suggests existing brands will get less investment and more of a challenge to stay relevant. Then suddenly you have another brand to shutter and that’ll cost billions.
Seems a much better choice to add select EV products to all brands to see if EVs can prosper. Give individuals more choice. Already have existing dealers to provide assistance to the customer or let individuals order direct online.
Beautifully said. Let’s hope that Barra has this kind of common sense between her ears, and the GM board as well.
After the Hummer brand was shuttered, and the absolute MESS that followed from that, I can’t see GM doing something so stupid again. You have 4 main brands and a couple sub-brands (Denali, Hummer, Corvette)…use those.
I have no doubt she does. Her answer was appropriate for the investment group she was addressing. Yes, it’s a consideration but in reality very unlikely.
There’s no reason GM can’t meet EV needs through their current brands. Additionally, Barra remembers very well the impact of closing all the brands 10 years ago.
The challenge for GM will be getting dealers to adapt to EV and eliminate the negative connotation many people have of dealerships.
For example, Bolt for Chevy EV’s. Hummer for GMC EV’s, etc. They should not fall into the same mistake they made prior to 2009. More-brands means more operations, marketing, expenses, confusion, etc.
Exactly what I am thinking about
Lets try out some names, heres my takes:
– General Mobility
Not sure if there would be some trademark issues with Electromotive, since it references back to the formerly GM owned Electromotive Diesel (EMD), which is now owned by Cat. But it would sound good as a truck brand
I got it! How about this for a name … “Saturn Volt”. Barra is as relevant as yesterday’s news. Poor old GM.
In Business nothing is ever off the table.
What they will do is watch and see if the coming products do well under the present brands. If they stagnate then they could move to make a new division for just electric and market with GM o baggage from the old GM names.
GM wants to sell EV products like Tesla as tech products more so than Automobiles.
To be honest if they get the EV products right, price them right and market them right It matters little. But if they have problems and they fall short then they may have to relaunch as a new brand.
No not Pontiac. If GM is to step out they need to create a whole new name and image to fit a totally new car.
They can not pull another Saturn where they create a division and let it rot.
The real risk with starting a new brand is like Hummer did. If it fails it can be even more expensive to shut down.
I wager it will not come to a new division unless things go really bad.
To be honest to bring back Pontiac as an EV line would be like making Smokey and the Bandit 2 and 3 again. It would never live up to the original.
Saturn was the company to spearhead GM’s EV revolution. Looking back at Saturn’s roots, the company’s vision to create a different car, with the ability to mostly operate outside of GM’s corporate culture would have given them a firm planting in the EV market.
Really, if GM let Saturn stay true their mission, not dumped employees from other brands into it, and ultimately killed it off, Saturn could have been what Tesla is today, if not bigger.
I like GM and their capabilities, but they are often their own worst enemy.
i’m sorry, I’m old and my memory is foggy, which Saturn vehicle was the EV? If you can’t reuse Pontiac for EV’s, you certainly can’t reuse Saturn. At least Pontiac had a history, Saturn barely had a life.
The EV1 was based off of a Saturn. Saturn was also in charge of leasing them out. Saturn customers were probed for initial leasing of the EV1.
My argument was for mainly for Saturn’s vision and intentions as a car company. At least in the beginning.
A new name? How about NEXT? As in New Electric eXciting Transportation. It isn’t any dumber than a lot of GM’s other EV’s names. Look at the supposed names of the Cadillac EV’s. And of course, the oh so original Volt-Bolt names.
How about naming it Techtronic. Catchy name eh.
I like Roller Boogie Funk Mobile or RBFM for short. Way more entertaining than General Motors which shows no imagination at all.
I don’t believe they are going to be making electric rocket boosters. A Saturn II will put you in space, and doesn’t get very good MPG.
Why not Tesla does it and that’s who they want to copy isn’t it?
She better just be saying that. Makes Zero sense.
GM has Plenty of Brands and does not Need more.
Isn’t Cadillac supposed to be the GM innovation brand? And spearhead their electric technology? This just shows how little commitment there is from GM leadership – all the way from the top with Mary Barra.
Well we know they can’t stick to any plan for Cadillac longer than five minutes so as soon as the Lyriq hits the showroom, GM will probably announce a “first ever” all-electric brand and give Cadillac a new mission, or a send-off.
Don’t insult your four legendary brands (Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac) by saying you might create a new brand. Learn to produce and market and sell those four brands much better than you are now doing before anything else! Mark Reuss said this electrification meant they could reinvent all of those brands, so do that first. Make them the very best they can be! GM doesn’t need another brand – you can’t run away from your products, you must build them and refine them and improve them (and stop renaming them). Each of those brands has something special about it, so start there.
No thanks. But I’m starting to wish they would spin her off instead.
when they spin off, i think they mean a separate company; not a new division.
so the traditional ICE vehicles have been bankrolling these EVs and now that it is starting to bear fruit, they want a divorce?
That’s how I read it too…
But what exactly happens to GM as they continue to cleave away all the remaining ICE vehicles. I’d hate to be an investor in just the old co.
Its a way to get rid of the dealers, if you start a new company.
I’m not quite sure how the dealers will handle EV’s anyway. You would think every dealer would have a charging station for things like bolt etc. before the EV’s hit the road.
Dealers make most their money from service and there is little service on EVs unless GM ” faulty designs ” failures into them for service profit like they seem to be doing with the ICE vehicles they produce !
Anyway, I wish GM would just make a vehicle that lasted as long as the competition in the same price range.
Just get back to making a vehicle with good value, average cost of ownership, instead of some of the low quality vehicles they produce with HORRIBLE service !
I wish GM would just quit, jerking everyone around, stop being do cheap, and make a good vehicle !
Back that vehicle up with a true warranty, not a fake warranty, GM won’t honor !
Then add high quality service !!!
GM did this once. Remember !!!! Back when GM was great !!! Back when a service tech ( mechanic ) knew how to work on your vehicle. Back when you could talk to the tech if you wanted to discus your vehicle !
Now the tech knows nothing, and has to call into GM over the smallest things, how is an EV going to fit in here ?
GM has so much to do before any of this becomes reality in the USA, for sure now with the joblessness etc.
But I guess for GM there is China !
We have just heard GM boast 10 too many times to believe anything they are trying to sell, until we can sit in it and drive it !
An EV “spinoff” brand? Honestly, what fresh hell is this? That would just guarantee that GM’s existing brands would be progressively starved of product and would ultimately fade into oblivion. And most of GM’s lineup already has enough trouble getting enough marketing support…unless, perversely, that support is for an already high-volume product, which logically needs the least support.
I’m a lifelong GM fan, but I’m finding it harder and harder to maintain that enthusiasm when GM continually develops great products, only to let them wither on the vine when the company’s resident beancounters get their mitts on them. The late, lamented Blackwing V-8 engine–which should have led a product renaissance at Cadillac, but instead was smothered in its cradle–is to date the most distressing example of this.
I had high hopes when Mary Barra became GM CEO, because I understood at the beginning that she was a genuine car enthusiast. Instead, she’s let herself be known as the killer of the Chevy Impala, the full-sized Cadillac sedan, and the flagship Cadillac engine. It’s not much of a legacy to leave the once-great General Motors and its legions of devoted but continually disappointed fans. If she allows GM to be led off onto this inane “EV spinoff brand” rabbit trail, she could end up overseeing the demise of the entire company. Don’t go there, GM. Get rid of Contrary Mary first.
Call it Pontiac.
This is a perfect example of doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Tessa proved that people will buy electric vehicles if you give them a compelling reason. GM’s problem is they aren’t building any vehicles that would compel someone to buy them, with the exception of the C8 Corvette.
Creating a new brand costs billions of dollars. If Mary Barra and her team can’t figure out how to make electrified Chevys, Cadillacs, Buicks, and GMCs, they should step aside. A new brand will waste time and money. Simply ask where are Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Hummer? These brands failed because they didn’t stay relevant and didn’t offer a compelling reason to choose them over the competition. Seriously, if GM can’t electrify the Cadillac brand with interesting vehicles, they might as well get out of the car business altogether.
I think creating a spinoff brand makes a lot more sense than ruining Cadillac !!!
Cadillac is already ruined! Time to move on to ruining something else….
Mary is without a doubt the best leader in GM history. Yes Mary, the current name is so old school. this is the new age and we need to move away from smokestack industries.
GM is so boring and meaningless.