GM takes aim at Tesla’s market share with growing portfolio of ‘really affordable EVs for people’

General Motors laid out its forthcoming EV portfolio at its investor event Wednesday, with the full-size electric pickup Chevrolet Silverado as the centerpiece, as the company seeks to gain market share in the increasingly crowded electric truck market.

While GM had previously announced the electric Silverado, the company confirmed some additional details, like that it would feature a fixed-glass roof for certain models and that the vehicle would debut at the trade show CES in January 2022. It’s joining Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Rivian’s R1T in the burgeoning electric truck segment — a segment that until now has been conspicuously empty, despite the truck being one of the best-selling vehicle types in America.

Other details on the truck remain a mystery, however, particularly in relation to how GM plans to market the truck and the customers it anticipates lining up to buy it. “The proof points of who we’re going to target is going to be very evident when you see the truck,” GM’s president Mark Reuss said during a media briefing Wednesday. “If you look at the micro segmentation that’s happened on pickup trucks over many years, there’s a lot of different buyers. There’s not one buyer on the pickup truck [that] we target.”

GM also announced crossovers from its brands Chevy and Buick, in addition to its upcoming GMC Hummer pickup and Cadillac Lyriq crossover. The vehicles are part of the automaker’s plans to invest $35 billion through 2025 on electrification and autonomous vehicle tech, while also doubling its revenue by the end of the decade.

To what degree the automaker will face an uphill battle to hit these targets is unclear. Like other OEMs, GM reported dismal sales for the third quarter, citing the ongoing semiconductor shortage that disrupted manufacturing and vehicle delivery. In contrast to the legacy automakers, Tesla’s sales were very strong for the quarter, beating expectations on vehicle deliveries and previous delivery highs.

However, GM CEO Mary Barra emphasized that the company will offer affordable EVs — “really affordable EVs for people” — as well as other features to lure some would-be Tesla customers. “We believe that we’re going to attract those customers,” she said. She and Reuss added that GM has other advantages, like customer loyalty, strong manufacturing capacity and a wide dealership network to position it well in the EV market.

The company is also betting that it’s Ultium battery electric propulsion platform, which is manufactured in partnership with South Korea-based LG Energy Solutions, will give its forthcoming vehicles a competitive boost. The electric Chevrolet Silverado, for example, will have a range of 400 miles.

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