GM CEO says spinoff of the automaker's EV assets not off the table

By REUTERS | 30 July 2020

Barra announcing GM's electric vehicle technologies and upcoming products at the GM Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan, in March.

DETROIT: General Motors Co chief executive Mary Barra said Wednesday “nothing is off the table” when it comes to maximising the value of the No. 1 US automaker’s electric vehicle efforts, including a possible spinoff of those assets.

Speaking to analysts after GM reported a smaller-than-expected loss in a quarter hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, Barra responded to a question about whether the Detroit company would consider a spinoff of its EV operations, given high investor appetite for companies like Tesla Inc, Nikola Corp and Nio Inc.

“We are open to looking at and evaluate anything that we think is going to drive long-term shareholder value, so I would say nothing is off the table,” she said.

Barra added that she saw no impediment to such a move.

Earlier in the call, Barra addressed a question around a name change for GM that would emphasise its EV efforts.

“Why not call the company Ultium?” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas asked, citing GM’s advanced battery technology.

Barra said GM evaluates questions like that given its push to invest in EVs and other advanced technology.

GM needs to perform, developing new technology and driving down battery costs, to get Wall Street to care about its stock, she said.

“We’ve got to deliver... and demonstrate that we have products people want to buy,” Barra said.

She said GM intends to get “our fair share plus more” when asked whether any of its electric vehicles would sell at volumes of 100,000 a year or higher.