GM CEO Mary Barra says electric Chevy Silverado will be ‘unmatched’


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General Motors CEO Mary Barra speaks during a visit of the US president to the General Motors Factory ZERO electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan on November 17, 2021.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

DETROIT – The upcoming electric Chevrolet Silverado will be “unmatched” despite several rivals entering the market ahead of it, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said Thursday.

Her comments come as a slew of electric pickup trucks are coming to market, beginning recently with the Rivian Automotive’s R1T, followed by GM’s GMC Hummer EV this month. Those are expected to be followed by an electric version of the Ford F-150 in the spring and Tesla’s Cybertruck late next year. The Silverado E isn’t expected until 2023.

“I think when you see the timing that the Silverado will be available, and what that vehicle offers, I think is unmatched,” Barra said Thursday during an Automotive Press Association meeting in Detroit. “I think that’s going to make a big difference.”

GM is scheduled to unveil the Chevrolet Silverado E at the CES technology conference next month in Las Vegas.

Barra said the electric Silverado will “educate people on what you can do with an electric truck when you have an electric truck platform.” The comment was a slight dig at Ford that based the Lightning off of the current-generation F-150.

General Motors plans to produce an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup at its new flagship assembly plant for EVs that’s under construction in Detroit. The automaker released this teaser image of the vehicle’s name with a “E” highlighted in blue.

The Silverado E is expected to be a more direct competitor than the Hummer with the electric F-150 Lightning, which Ford recently closed customer reservations for after hitting 200,000 units. The first models of the Hummer are priced at $113,000, well higher than the electric F-150 starting at about $40,000.

Despite Ford’s order book as well as its American rival on pace to outsell GM this year in EVs, Barra said she believes GM is the leader in EV technologies as well as self-driving features among major automakers, also known as OEMs.

“For an OEM of scale, we’re first. Full stop,” she said. “For start-ups that are only focused on one area, luxury segments, etc., those are obviously competitors that we treat very, very seriously, but when General Motors puts its scale, its highest loyalty in the United States across our brands, we have a lot of assets that we’re going to bring to the party.”

Regarding an ongoing semiconductor chip shortage continuing to impact the automotive industry, Barra said she’s “cautiously optimistic” about the situation that has caused rolling shutdowns of factories this year. She said the company expects the second half of next year to be better than the first six months in terms of supply.

“What you think about things like omicron, I mean, we got hit pretty hard in September with Delta in Malaysia. So, new variants are concerning to me, but we’re still cautiously optimistic,” she said. “I think things will continue to get better.”

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