Tesla has made a name for itself by producing an expensive, electric vehicle – something that the company is now trying to reverse, somewhat, by producing less expensive models in an effort to conquer the mass market. General Motors is taking a different approach by adopting a strategy of making its newest electric vehicle a Cadillac, its top-of-the-line brand.
The company’s previous entries into the electric arena were with the Chevrolet Volt and Bolt – recently taken off the market. The new decision for electric vehicles (EVs) is based on sound reasoning. Since car batteries for electric cars are still too expensive to put into a budget car that offers the kind of power and driving range that American drivers demand, manufacturers must sell EVs at higher prices. That is easier with upscale brands like Tesla, BMW or Cadillac. These, along with Audi and Mercedes, have consistently been the auto industry’s leaders in technology pioneering and will continue to be so with the EVs for the U.S. market. Even Tesla’s latest scaled-down Model 3 is still $44,000 out the door, so prices for the newer versions of EVs will be considerably higher than their standard line cousins. In Europe, the situation will be different, as car makers strive to have large numbers of their cars be electric by 2025 – a goal of Volkswagen, for example. That goal will only be able to be achieved by reaching into the mass market, which will mean that VW will be sustaining only slim profit margins. Mary Barra and General Motors, on the other hand, are going for the stronger profit margins, with EVs produced in their best line and sold in lesser quantities to those who can afford them. In times of change, it’s the right strategies for the right time that make all the difference – so that ALL THOSE MOVING PARTS – leaders, employees, customers and suppliers – continue to move in concert.