(CNW/CNN) — General Motors could very well share in the profits of Tesla.
The two automakers are planning to put much of their shared content into some of each other’s electric vehicles in the coming years.
“Yes, I will let it be known that, yes, we are both competing against each other in the marketplace,” GM CEO Mary Barra said Monday. “Our goal is to be the No. 1 player in electric vehicles.”
GM will put a rival version of the EV1 battery-electric car into its long-awaited Chevrolet Bolt, set to go on sale in 2019.
GM will also share parts in an arrangement with Tesla where the EV1, built on the same General Motors Saturn design as the Bolt, would be available as a subscription service — if not sooner.
GM has also announced plans to sell its fully electric Impala sedan to customers globally. The move puts it in a category above Ford and Fiat Chrysler, which have decided not to sell fully electric cars to the public.
Gains in battery technology make electric vehicles a more feasible idea than in the past. And electric-vehicle sales have been growing in recent years, outpacing traditional vehicles in some markets. General Motors currently sells 20% more EV models than a year ago.
As for Tesla, analysts have noted that the company can tap more debt if it needs. But CEO Elon Musk recently said that he was being more careful with money, and also posted another big loss in the second quarter of this year.
Musk continues to push Tesla toward profitability, including a $250 million plan to reduce prices of the company’s current models.
But Musk has often bashed GM, and that hasn’t changed. On Friday, Musk said that “much of the mass production” of the Bolt is being left to the Chinese at the expense of other GM products. On Monday, he complained that GM’s CEO has “never spoken to us on a profitable matter since we became a publicly traded company.”
Musk has also called the Bolt a “disaster,” but said, “will not be interested in giving them the Model 3/Tesla name.”
GM’s Barra has not reciprocated.
“Do I see this as a competitive market? Yes,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is drive value for the entire industry, and GM is really well positioned to lead the industry.”
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