General Motors pushes away from Lyft, aims to double down on electronic vehicles

GM CEO Mary Barra announces bold new plan

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - General Motors CEO Mary Barra made news on two fronts Tuesday, announcing GM will distance itself from ride-sharing company Lyft and focus on an electric future with a bold new plan.

Both announcements came as surprises. Barra decided GM's investment in Lyft isn't working out, so she doubled down on electric vehicles.

"We are committed to an all electric vehicle future, and we continue to work in that direction," Barra said. "Ten days ago, we made an important announcement about Softbank, which reinforces the work we're doing from an autonomous vehicle perspective."

Barra continued her mobility play by making all GM models electric in due time, announcing Tuesday that it will be by the year 2023.

She's starting with building more Chevy Bolts at the Orion Assembly Plant for global sale.

"If you deploy a Bolt EV in a car-sharing environment and Maven, that vehicle is driven almost four times as much as an individual vehicle, on average," Barra said. "So we're looking at capturing the miles traveled with these vehicles that are good performers from an environmental perspective."

Earlier this month, Barra announced a partnership with high-tech electronics company Softbank to work together on autonomous vehicles through GM's Cruise program. It's a multi-billion-dollar deal.

She said she did the deal because not many millennial engineers think car companies are necessarily cool, but they think Softbank is.

"Their partnership is very strong," Barra said. "It also gives us the opportunity, I believe, to continue to attract and retain and actually accelerate bringing the right people into the business."

Barra said the tariffs issue coming out of Washington, D.C., have ticked up prices in spots, but she isn't immediately concerned about the situation. She said if the uncertainty continues for a long time, it could become a problem.

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