GM: How We’ll Make $$ on EVs

June 30, 2022

Not just selling vehicles, selling “services”.

Hot competition for engineers, but maybe 40 percent fewer hours of labor needed for production.

14 Responses to “GM: How We’ll Make $$ on EVs”

  1. tildeb Says:

    All of these issues raised in the videos by Bloomberg about GM ‘achieving’ electrification is a ‘Been-there, done-that’ aspect for Tesla, proving once again that legacy ICE industries are not shining examples of the way forward. They seem to have to be dragged kicking and screaming and amply supplied by public money and never-ending media optimism to even catch up to where Tesla already is… reached, it should be noted, without the same level of corporate welfare and in spite of determined effort by the political class and the media they own to vilify all things Tesla. The takeaway is that Tesla is already and at least 7 years ahead of the competition in all ways except in ‘political acceptability’. It’s almost like addressing climate change by mass producing electric vehicles isn’t as important to some in positions of authority as propping up and stroking unionized legacy automakers. I wonder why?

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      “The takeaway is that Tesla is already and at least 7 years ahead of the competition in all ways except in ‘political acceptability’.”

      – First off, ‘political acceptability’ is a major advantage in the real world.

      – It is inevitable that legacy companies that start late to the competition still market themselves as being leading edge (these are all investor-targeted pieces anyway).

      – A lot of Tesla’s head start is eaten up by the technology learning curve. Anybody who starts now has a lot more going for them than when Tesla started.

      – Right now Tesla is sucking up a lot of the EV investor attention, but as more Old Pundits start to buy EVs from legacy companies, a lot of that money will start to spread out more in proportion to the EVs produced. (Hint: Old people have more money.)

      – While Tesla released its Roadster in 2008 and didn’t produce the more normal-people car Model S until 2012, the Nissan Leaf BEV came out in 2010. Musk excels at selling the sizzle with the steak.

      – You can bet dollars to donuts that legacy automakers are salivating over the reduced labor costs that come with a highly automated manufacturing process that EVs allow.

      • tildeb Says:

        You’re right on many counts here. That uses a dated model for understanding what’s going on and so is quite accurate framing cars this way.

        The model is past its expiry date.

        Unlike many in the business of selling cars and trucks, Tesla is not a car company whereas GM and other legacy brands re-polished and shined up to look good remain so! Tesla is an energy technology company that, oh by the way, builds EV cars profitably. That’s the Rubicon no other EV maker has yet to cross not because the car is this or that, offers this service or that, but because it’s vertically integrated into part of the overall business model: technology and energy with fewer but superior supply chains. It’s really hard to be competitive when you are – and remain committed to being – horizontally integrated.

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I don’t quite get the “increased monetization” associated with their EV line. I am relatively out of touch when it comes to current ICE vehicle standards, but don’t they all have the same software and electronic extras as BEVs (Bluetooth, WiFi, navigation assistance, sat radio, video games, tax software, etc.)? Isn’t GM just as likely to make money pestering owners for years after buying their ICE vehicles as their BEVs?

    • tildeb Says:

      I think software updates for increased capability like battery tech improvement and various kinds of products (like individualized insurance, levels of autonomous driving, that kind of thing) is what is meant by ‘service’ that continues to provide increased monetization (ie through ongoing subscriptions and period billing).

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        Aye, but there’s a helluva lot of software and consumer tech and “subscription” opportunity in modern ICE vehicles, too. Unless, maybe, GM will try to make all of the component parts “intellectual property” so you can’t go to third parties for after-market work. Dunno. I think I’m better off suspecting that CFO was blowing hot air up the investors’ skirts.

  3. Anthony O'Brien Says:

    So if I buy a GM car it won’t be mine. I will have to keep paying through the nose for the features it came with.

    • tildeb Says:

      If it’s like Tesla, only those you choose – like insurance, for example. Mandatory updates (usually involving some safety feature or overall performance improvements) cost nothing.

  4. Anthony O'Brien Says:

    The US just can’t see beyond cars. There is another way

    • tildeb Says:

      Can’t see the video. Is there a link you can provide?

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Ye Olde Climate Charts (the Austin one is definitely out of date):


      (we had a record 22 days of 100°F temps in Austin in June)

      Austin has a lot of contours due to steep-cut creeks through a clay and limestone geology. The recreational bike paths along the creeks are fairly level, but if you’re going somewhere practical it’s definitely hillier than the flat low country (New Orleans) where I grew up.

      The City of Austin has been doing a lot ($$$) to make streets more bikeable and pedestrian-friendly, but only the most dedicated joggers will get up near dawn to get their fix during the morning lows in the 80s.


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