Mary Barra is the CEO of General Motors and as of 2017, the 5th most powerful woman in the world. She started at General Motors when she was 18 years old and ascended up the corporate ladder until she became the first female CEO of a major auto-manufacturer.
She is known for her open leadership style and innovative perspective. Most notably, the collaborative way in which she runs her business. Everybody is allowed to pitch ideas and feedback towards certain design concepts and the direction of the company. She also notes that issues do not need to be unanimously agreed upon, because she knows when to step in and make a final decision.
This inclusive and collaborative method of work produces efficient and innovative teams which have kept General Motors at the top of it’s industry for the last few years.
How She Will Crush Tesla
The premise is quite simple really. Barra has announced that General Motors are committed to an electric vehicle portfolio that would not only provide the technology at affordable prices, but also cover a large range of vehicle types in order to appease the consumer market.
Tesla currently produces pioneers electric vehicles which actually lose the company money. The company has recently recorded it’s largest ever quarterly loss.
Mary Barra has disclosed that General Motors pay US$145 per kWh for battery cells and are now aiming at bringing the cost to under US$100 per kWh.
There will be 2 new electric vehicles based on the Bolt’s modular EV platform which are expected to be released to the public in the next 18 months and furthermore, 18 more electric vehicles on new platforms planned for reveal in the next 5 years.
Flooding the market with affordable, electric cars which are accessible by every day consumers will steal a majority of Tesla’s target market. Successful and profitable innovation will only lead to further advancement of that technology and as such, cheaper technology. Tesla has unprofitable products and once GM start to produce electric cars en-masse, Tesla will lose its most fundamental asset, its branding. Their branding helps them to be perceived as innovative and pioneering, but if other companies make better products than them, their credibility is flawed.
The real question is, how does Elon Musk plan to counteract GM and keep Tesla at the front of the electric vehicle industry? Will he start competing with these huge companies to maintain market share? Or will he differentiate the brand and only produce prestige electric vehicles?