Mary Barra has transformed General Motors in the nearly 10 years she’s been CEO, setting the company up as an early-mover in the electric car market and investing in futuristic solutions like self-driving cars.
Instead, the company has been hit by production line issues and a tough market of consumers reluctant to embrace the software-heavy EVs.
In September, GM revealed that it was facing a major bottleneck in its factories due to issues with the automated systems that were meant to fit battery cells in their vehicles.
The Detroit factory where the Hummer is built was at times only making a dozen of the pickup trucks per day, despite the company saying it had a reservation list of around 80,000, The Journal reported.
The production line issue is expected to continue into 2024.
On top of factory issues, demand in the US market has stalled as EVs remain too expensive for many consumers and the tight economy has curtailed sales.
In its October third-quarter earnings call, the company announced that it would abandon targets to build 100,000 EVs in the second half of 2024 and another 400,000 by the first six months of 2024.
“As we get further into the transformation to EV, it’s a bit bumpy,” Barra said in the earnings call.
A partnership with Honda was also cancelled amid the tough sales conditions, Bloomberg reported.
The company has also wanted to push into the driverless car market, pumping over $8 billion into the San Francisco driverless startup Cruise. But the business has struggled and proved expensive for GM, which has an 80% stake in the startup.
Earlier this month, Cruise’s new boss Mo Elshenawy said that the company “all-time low” after recalling its entire fleet of driverless cars following an accident.
Despite their struggles, Barra remains positive about GM’s electric future, telling The Wall Street Journal that she still has confidence in both the electric and driverless-car parts of her strategy.
But for now, GM is going with the goal of producing 1 million EVs in North America 2025.