Published on May 1st, 2019 | by Steve Hanley0
Mary Barra Says GM Will Build An Electric Pickup Truck
May 1st, 2019 by Steve Hanley
During a conference call with investors on April 30, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said “GM has an industry leading truck franchise and industry leading electrification capabilities. I assure you we will not cede our leadership on either front. We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs — including full-size pickups.” She added that details about an electric pickup truck from GM would be forthcoming “when competitively appropriate.”
Detroit News reached out for clarification after the conference call but a GM spokesperson declined to elaborate on Barra’s statement. It was only a few weeks ago that Rivian, the electric truck startup located in Plymouth, Michigan, said “No, thank you” to overtures from GM. Subsequently, Ford jumped in with both feet to place a half billion dollar bet on Rivian.
Pickups are the lifeblood of General Motors (and Ford and Chrysler, too). Americans have an apparently insatiable thirst for huge and hugely expensive vehicles. The average selling price for a full size Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck has increased a whopping $5,800 from a year ago. Older readers may remember a time when you could buy a new car for that kind of money.
Nevertheless, the company’s market share slipped from 17% last year to 16% today, a worrying statistic that has investors nervous. Despite higher than projected financials, GM stock slipped 3% after the company’s Q1 results were announced.
Questions about a battery operated pickup from The General abound. When will it be available, how much will it cost, how far will it go on a single battery charge, where will drivers be able to recharge it, how much stuff can it haul, and what will its towing capacity be? We know that Tesla is planning an electric pickup. If it goes on sale before GM’s offering, that could spell big trouble for the company.
The Tesla Model S decimated demand for the Mercedes S Class, Audi A8, and BMW 7 Series luxury cars in Germany. If a Tesla pickup did the same to General Motors, it could be all she wrote for the iconic US automaker. GM says it plans to have 20 fully electric vehicles for sale by 2023. Will one of them be a pickup truck? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.