‘Charging Ahead’ Book Details Mary Barra’s Quest To Electrify GM55
With almost 30 new electric vehicles on the way by 2025, General Motors is at the forefront of electrifying its vehicle portfolio, led by CEO Mary Barra. A new book, appropriately titled Charging Ahead, tells the story of Barra’s mission to electrify GM since she took the reins as CEO in 2014.
The book, penned by Bloomberg writer David Welch, went on sale on September 20th, 2022. At 304 pages, it gives a detailed overview of GM’s electrification strategy, including its 112-year evolution from early gasoline-burning engines to modern assembly line production of electric vehicles and associated parts. GM’s story is particularly captivating, considering that the automaker has been around for over a century and has seen much change in that time.
Charging Ahead also takes a close look at Mary Barra’s journey as CEO of GM and her attempts to reinvent the automaker in the age of the electric vehicle. “She has been ripping out GM traditions by the roots,” says the book’s description on its web page. “Her plan is to take GM – the company famed for the gas-burning Corvette, hulking Cadillac Escalade, and carbon-spewing Silverado pickup – purely electric and clean by 2035.”
The book’s jacket summary states, “Mary Barra’s quest to move GM to a manufacturer of electric cars has captured the attention of automobile aficionados, green-business advocates, and leaders of all types who have to admire Mary’s toughness in moving forward despite the overwhelming obstacles in her path.”
Those interested can pick up Charging Ahead for $30 as a hardcover or eBook. It can be purchased almost anywhere books are sold, including Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and Kobo. So far, it has received positive reviews, praising the author for “delivering a definitive account of Mary Barra’s harrowing and inspiring quest to revitalize GM.” It can be found on HarperCollins’ website here.
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“My Struggle” I guess didn’t play well with the German translation.
“Mein Kampf” is what you means ?
This sounds like an anti-GM book, at least based on this article, with quotes like “She has been ripping out GM traditions by the roots”. Are GM’s traditions supposed to be “ripped out”? According to the author, the current Corvette is “gas-burning” and the Silverado is “carbon-spewing”, which quickly sets the tone of the book (are those really the best adjectives to describe one of America’s most popular sports cars and versatile pick-up trucks?) At least the Escalade is only described as “hulking” – apparently the author couldn’t think of a more negative adjective for that vehicle other than to point out its large size. In contrast, the new vehicles will be “purely electric and clean.” Setting aside the fact that most charging stations will rely on fossil fuels for the time being, the new, clean Escalade EV will still be “hulking,” so I still can’t figure out why that adjective was chosen to contrast “old GM” with Mary Barra’s “new” gm.
Any book that’s written before the event is completed will be strong on advocacy and weak on substance. Yes, gm will come out with many new EVs, and I really hope they work well for the company – and maybe I’ll even get one, but right now GM has released the Bolt EV, Bolt EUV, Hummer EV, and the Cadillac Lyriq. Does that deserve a 300+ page book cheering the destruction of GM’s traditions? I think that’s a bridge too far.
“Destruction of GM’s traditions…”. Alternative wording – “creative destruction”, which is the principle underlying capitalism – find a better way of doing something and leave the old ways behind – creating the new will destroy the old. As it should be.
I’m not a fan of Tesla, but I will note that were it not for the relative success of Tesla, GM would not be so committed to EV’s, base on GM’s sour experience with the Volt and Bolt. Tesla’s success gave proof to GM to at least try electric, and Barra took the “try” and pushed it, and GM and many others will benefit.
Kudos to Barra.
All part of the “great reset.” Everything we’ve built over the last 200 years must be destroyed for their “brave new world”
Unfortunately, this book seems to be more about a “celebrity” CEO than a company that is setting the world on fire. Unfortunately, gm has been loosing market share on a consistent basis this century. Toyota sells almost a third more vehicles worldwide than gm does now. I consider it progress when a company is growing, not regressing.
Take a look at Ford and Chrysler (which is technically gone is gone) and say GM is doing something wrong. GM is outselling Ford in trucks for years now including HD. Trucks were Fords last stand and they are losing that front.
What goes up will go down
A Book?! How analog is that? Should be a battery charger tablet. Retire already. If those lines are really from her book, she should be embarrassed for peeing on her company’s history.
Quote from the blog post:
Those interested can pick up Charging Ahead for $30 as a hardcover or eBook. It can be purchased almost anywhere books are sold, including Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and Kobo.
repeat: “or eBook”
The book already reads like garbage and seems to be more for non car fans. The more I read the excepts, the more infuriated I get. Look at this crap… “She has been ripping out GM traditions by the roots,” which explains a lot. Also “Her plan is to take GM – the company famed for the gas-burning Corvette, hulking Cadillac Escalade, and carbon-spewing Silverado pickup.” Yep garbage. Not recommended reading in my opinion.
This feels like the New York Times article about Kathleen Kennedy and her all women Lucasfilm Story Group writers, right before they took Star Wars from maybe the biggest movie IP in the world to just making CW type TV shows for their streaming service. Hopefully it works out better for GM.
How about GM give people options, not just all electric that many have no interest in?
She’s about as smart as Brandon!
Another Mary butt-kissing publication. No criticism of Mary allowed in the automotive industry.
Indeed… both are in top positions, we are not
She is definitely smarter than you.
And you want it when? You can talk about it all day, but you have to deliver also. 36 Lyriq’s so far, really?
I won’t be purchasing anymore GM vehicles if it’s going to all EV. I’m glad I got my C8 Vette when I did.
neither me… keep my 10 years old car, if could, 40 years more and it is ok, it has an engine and 4 wheels
gm is alienating customers like Anita. Not good.
I will wait till the book comes out and read it before I make an opinion on something unknown.
I do wish someone would come out and really address this whole EV car thing good and bad with honest facts as to what is going on.
There is a ton of politics here and businesses that are being forced to change or disappear. GM is not doing this because they want to save trees or the planet they want to save GM.
With everyone being forced over they took up the move early and are tying to take advantage of it.
The government is doing this and are forcing MFGs and the public and there is little chance of it changing.
The other issue is there are lies on both sides of the argument and the truth is in the middle.
The other factor is there really is a growing segment of customers for the EV market. It is not totally being rejected and even with out the government forcing this a good percentage of the market would still be electric.
The infrastructure is being updated as we speak. Just in my area they are spending $70 Billion.
There is much to go here and it will be a crazy ride but I expect GM to be in a better place to deal with this than most of the others. Many will have to find partners to survive.
Good for you. My power went out 9 times last week. And no, I’m not even close to the hurricane.
The book IS out, and you can download from Amazon:
Charging Ahead: GM, Mary Barra, and the Reinvention of an American Icon – Kindle edition by Welch, David. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device …
Just take care not to confuse it with other “Charging ahead” titles like “Charging Ahead: Hydro-Québec and the Future of Electricity” or “Charging Ahead: An Itroduction to Electromagnetism” or “Charging Ahead [Explicit] by White Mic (feat. Fatlip) on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD’s and MP3s now on Amazon [dot] com”
You sound very level headed and are asking great questions. Approximately 5 years ago I bought a used Volt after crunching a lot of numbers. I paid nearly the same as an ice car because it was coming off a lease. It drives great and is comfortable. My 22 mile round trip for work is all electric. Out of town trips are a mix electric and gas. Oil changes are rare, brakes are lasting forever, and I seem to be saving about $850 per year on fuel. I get about 3 mi/kwh at 11.4 cents for each kwh. According to my electricity supplier my electric miles produce about 1/4 of the carbon dioxide of gasoline miles. I am working on solar now. I would love all electric, but the infrastructure isn’t there yet. This has been my real world experience.
So, you’re saving $2.33 per day??? Wow, that’s really something to write home about! Still not interested in the least. $850 savings/year divided by 365 days = 2.328
So you wouldn’t want an extra $850 a year. Is that what you are saying? Since you are not interested in savings, then how about sending any money you save to the Cancer Society.
Who would spend $30 to read about her
GM needs new leadership, I’m embarrassed that they just bent over and went along instead of standing up for their customers.
To hell with woke Mary Barra.
Here we are again praising this electric CEO Mary! 🤦♂️🤦♂️👎
Maybe a better title for the book would be “Into the Darkness”. That’s where we are all probably heading when the multitudes plug their EVs into our soon to be inadequate grid.
Instead of following Brandon,she should put a survey in every dealership around the world and then sh could see what the car buyers want instead of shoving electric vehicle down our throats.
That would be like a landline phone company asking if you wanted mobile phone in the 80’s. People have natural blinders to things they are familiar with. For people that go to their Chevy dealer every few years to buy a new Silverado they are going to be amazed at the different options in the next few years.
People keep saying EV’s don’t go as far or tow as much. That’s a true statement today. Will that be true 3, 5, 13 years from now? I highly doubt it.
But a mobile phone offered huge benefits over a landline. And landline tech never progressed like cars did. Today, the average EV is asking the consumer to buy a new vehicle that has comprises over the average ICE car. Yes, you don’t have to fill the gas tank. But what else is advantageous enough for people to switch?
EV’s are quieter, faster, less maintenance, more space for equivalent sized vehicles, etc. ICE are hitting dead ends as far as tech goes. They are getting more and more complicated with marginal increases performance/efficiency. EV’s on the other hand are at their infancy as far is battery technology goes.
Great! Then EVs don’t need subsidies and government mandates! Their sheer brilliance and superiority will suffice in establishing their market dominance!
Do some research and find out.
She won’t like the results, and then she’ll blame the buying public for being stupid and narrow-minded…
One should not ask the frogs when you want to drain a swamp
You don’t have to buy one.
Maybe Barra has decided its easier to print books rather than manufacturing US made cars , including EVs..
People constantly worried about the ‘grid’ at least won’t have anything to worry about since so few of those vehicles will be GM.
30 new vehicles? I see 2 – a Bolt EV in 2017 , and a 2022 BOLT EUV, (purchased in 2021)… I’ve purchased both, but I’ve also purchased THREE vehicles which GM has discontinued – Gen 1 volts, Gen 2 volt, and caddy ELR.
I don’t count the Chinese puddle jumpers since China will Nationalize whatever GM has there in time. But Barra will be enjoying her Golden Parachute, and royalties from her book since she is banking on selling more books than cars.
I don’t see either the newly promised (1 1/2 years late) battery for my EUV, and I also don’t see my New LYRIQ, ordered 1/2 year ago on a FIRM ORDER.
… do not need her book … have internet … think the Bibliography of Lee Iacocca is enough, 1 Book.
As said, MK, you can download the book as eBook and read it on an eBook reader
Mary woke will be the ruin of what is left of GM . she’s putting all her eggs in one basket.