GM’s All-Electric Pledge Hinges on Demand, CEO Barra Says

Plans to Sell Only EVs by 2035 Could Change for General Motors
Mary Barra
General Motors CEO Mary Barra. (Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg News)

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General Motors Co.’s pledge to have an all-electric fleet by 2035 hinges on consumer acceptance, Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said.

The automaker still aims to convert all of its vehicles to battery power by then, Barra said Dec. 5 at a media event in Detroit. But GM will remain flexible and could back off if consumers aren’t ready to make the switch.

“We will adjust based on where customer demand is,” Barra said. “We will be led by the customer.”

GM and other automakers have pulled back on their EV investments in the face of slowing sales growth. Barra recently delayed expansion of electric truck production at a plant in suburban Detroit by one year to late 2025.

While EV sales are still growing, volume expanded just 6% sequentially in the third quarter after a 14% jump in the second quarter, according to researcher Kelley Blue Book.

Through nine months of 2023, sales are up almost 50% from a year earlier, but the growth rate is declining and more companies are offering competing models.

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