GM CEO Mary Barra says the automaker is still on track to fully transition its new light-duty vehicle lineup to all-electric powertrains by 2035. Barra added that while The General was still focused on that goal, the automaker would also adapt to customer demands. Barra’s comments follow GM’s decision to abandon plans to build 400,000 EV units in North America by the mid-2024 calendar-year timeframe.
Barra’s comments were made at a recent Automotive Press Association event, per The Detroit News.
“We’re going to be led by the customer,” Barra said in regard to General Motors’ EV transition. “But I do believe this transition will happen over a period of time.”
Back in 2021, General Motors announced plans to eliminate tailpipe emissions from its new light-duty lineup by 2035 and become fully carbon neutral by 2040, stating that it plans to gradually add a variety of battery-powered vehicles to its portfolio, with 30 all-electric models launched globally by mid-decade, and 40 percent of the company’s U.S. models equipped with all-electric powertrains by the end of 2025. General Motors said it aims to offer an EV “for every customer, from crossovers and SUVs to trucks and sedans.”
The automotive industry has since come to grips with an industry-wide ramp up in EV models, as well as a changing regulatory landscape and shifting consumer demands. In a recent meeting with shareholders, Barra said she was “disappointed” with GM’s EV ramp-up, saying that the company’s EV production this year was met with difficulties in battery module assembly. However, the GM CEO added that the company has since “made substantial improvements both to the process and to the organization responsible for this work,” and that General Motors expects significantly higher Ultium EV production and EV margins in the 2024 calendar year.
Further headwinds include lost production due to the UAW strike, as well as reduced confidence in the company’s autonomous vehicle technology division, Cruise. Last week, General Motors announced a $10 billion accelerated share repurchase program and 33-percent increase to the company’s common stock dividend, resulting in a significant boost to GM stock value.
General Motors has also announced that it is still on track for 1-million annual EV production capacity by the end of 2025.
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