Elon Musk laughs back at GM CEO’s promise

Elon Musk laughs back at GM CEO’s promise

elon musk

  • Despite Mary Barra’s 2021 confidence, GM lags far behind Tesla in EV sales
  • GM recently withdrew its 2023 and 2024 production targets, highlighting production challenges
  • Musk now acknowledges the growing threat from Chinese EV makers like BYD

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Friday laughed at General Motors CEO Mary Barra‘s interview from two years ago where she expressed optimism that the Detroit-based automaker would be able to take over Tesla in electric vehicles by 2025.

What Happened: In an interview with CNBC in October 2021, Barra said that she is “absolutely” sure that the company will overtake Tesla by 2025, thanks to its powerful lineup including the Hummer EV, the Lyriq EV, Silverado EV, and more.

“I am very comfortable because when people get into these vehicles, they are just wowed. So we will be rolling them out and we are just going to keep working until we have the number one market share in EVs,” Barra then said.

Musk responded to the video on X on Friday with a short, “Lmao.”

GM EV Sales And Plans: As of the end of 2023, GM is largely behind Tesla in EV sales. According to data from Cox Automotive, GM sold about 2.6 million vehicles in the U.S. in 2023 and Tesla sold about 655,000. But while all of Tesla’s vehicles were EVs, only about 76,000 of GM’s sales were EVs last year. Further, the now-discontinued Chevrolet Bolt EV/ EUV accounted for a majority of these sales.

In October, GM withdrew its EV production targets. This included both the 100,000 EV target the company had set for the second half of 2023 as well as the cumulative 400,000 target the company had set for from 2022 to the first half of 2024. However, it continues to eye going all-electric by 2035. In the interim, however, the company also intends to deploy plug-in hybrid vehicles, Barra said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in January.

Other Players Musk Laughed At: In October 2011, Musk laughed at Chinese EV maker BYD in an interview with Bloomberg. When asked by the host about BYD trying to compete with Tesla, Musk laughed and replied, “Have you seen their cars?”

However, 12 years later, the plates have shifted. In the fourth quarter of 2023, BYD took over Tesla as the biggest battery electric vehicle (BEV) seller with 526,000 units. Tesla sold only about 485,000 vehicles in the quarter.

During Tesla’s fourth-quarter earnings call in January, Musk warned against competition from Chinese automakers. “Frankly, I think if there are no trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world. So they’re extremely good,” Musk said.

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