Dec. 8, 2020

Who owns our electric future?


Do multi-billion-dollar investments from legacy players mean anything? Will consumers follow the lead of Detroit’s top brass? Can anyone take on Tesla?

The future of transportation is unequivocally electric...but there are more questions about what that future looks like than there are answers. Let’s see what we can do about that. 

Today on Business Casual, hear from General Motors CEO Mary Barra about the profitability, competitive pressures, and uncertain future of the electric vehicle industry. This is an episode you don’t want to miss.

Quick note: We recorded with Mary on November 20, 2020, just before General Motors released a flurry of news about its electric strategy. Still, the episode is as relevant as they come. GM’s last couple weeks are plenty proof.

Want more Business Casual? Check out my weekly op-ed column. Sign up here and read my thoughts on the electric vehicle space here.

Transcript

Kinsey Grant, Morning Brew business editor and podcast host [00:00:08] Hi there, welcome to Business Casual. I am Kinsey Grant, and we've got a big one today, so let's get into it. [sound of a ding]

 

Kinsey [00:00:17] You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Similarly, you can invest $27 billion in electric vehicles over the next five years, but you can't make Americans buy them. For the legacy automakers, both here in the United States and abroad, that doesn't seem to matter much. Once old-school carmakers, from Ford to Volkswagen, are investing billions in what they consider to be the future of transportation—electric. 

 

Kinsey [00:00:44] Perhaps none are as enthusiastic about this electric future as General Motors. The company has endeavored to lead the pack in EVs, or at least to put up the biggest fight against Tesla. GM is now investing more in electric vehicles than gas-powered products, with recent news of a $27 billion EV investment by 2025, up from the $20 billion GM pledged in March. 

 

Kinsey [00:01:06] Now, in GM's case, that'll mean more than half of its capital siphoned off to electric and electric autonomous vehicle programs. This is the same GM that was founded in 1908, 112 years ago. But it's worth noting that investments, shiny as they might be, don't always pan out. 

 

Kinsey [00:01:24] In September, GM announced a major deal with electric truck company Nikola. The former would supply investors, and street cred, and invaluable tech and money to the latter. But recently, Nikola's faced criticism, namely for its failure to sell much of anything to anyone just yet. GM and Nikola significantly pared back their tie-in just before this episode went live. 

 

Kinsey [00:01:46] Now, GM will only supply Nikola with hydrogen fuel cells for its heavy-duty trucks. General Motors has now nixed plans to make an electric pickup truck for Nikola and to take an 11% stake in the company. All this said, the automotive industry is in flux, and there's major evidence that a paradigm shift is happening. But still, there are also major questions that bear asking, not the least of which revolve around the legacy automaker's role in the electric future. 

 

Kinsey [00:02:13] Clearly, these automakers are bullish, but will consumers follow suit? That's what we will find out today with Mary Barra, the chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors. And a quick note before we dive in. I recorded this episode with Mary before that Nikola deal news broke. Keep that in mind when she explains GM's thesis on startup investing. Now, without further ado, let's get into it. 

 

Kinsey [00:02:36] Mary, it is so fantastic to have you here on the show. I have a ton of questions to ask you, but before we get to some of the tougher stuff, I'd love it if you could just explain to me why we need this shift to electric vehicles. Why is this shift so necessary? 

 

Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors [00:02:49] Well, we at General Motors, and I personally, believe in climate change. Climate change is real. And so we have to address the impact that vehicles have on our environment. And we believe shifting to an all-electric future is the right thing to do. And we've got the technology to enable it for everyone. 

 

Kinsey [00:03:07] Yeah, and for everyone is such an interesting concept. When we think about the moral imperative that the world around us is changing, getting hotter, we have to change with it. We have to change the ways that we get from one place to another. There also, though, is this financial imperative, this financial perspective. I'm curious how much money is there on the table here with a shift to electric vehicles? What does it mean for GM's balance sheet? 

 

Mary [00:03:30] Well, for General Motors, we announced that we are increasing by $7 billion what we'll invest over the next few years. So from $20 to $27 billion. So that's, I think, a pretty strong commitment when we say we're investing $27 billion to make the shift to electrification. 

 

Mary [00:03:47] But I also think for General Motors, it represents a huge growth opportunity because I think we can grow in EVs and in states where we don't have the same market share we have across the country. So it's growth for us from EVs. And then across all segments, we think we can have offerings that are going to be profitable as we move forward, especially as we continue to take cost out of our batteries. 

 

Kinsey [00:04:10] Do you think that this could possibly open you up to new customers who maybe hadn't shopped for a car at General Motors prior to electrification? 

 

Mary [00:04:17] Absolutely, absolutely. We've already seen with the Chevrolet Bolt EV that it's a lot of new customers coming to General Motors, and there's some of our most satisfied customers overall. So we see that as a huge opportunity to introduce people to the GM brand, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and show them what we have to offer. 

 

Kinsey [00:04:36] Right. And I would definitely classify General Motors as having taken a leadership position in this shift to electrification. We've seen obviously a huge amount of investment across the board. But also, I would say in terms of timing, GM has been out and in front in a lot of ways. I wonder why, though. 

 

Kinsey [00:04:50] Why is right now the right time for this shift to electrification? And not just for GM, also for Ford and Volkswagen, what have you. But electric vehicles have existed for such a long time. How come right now is when we're seeing the shift actually happening? What was the impetus? 

 

Mary [00:05:05] I think there's several factors. One, we're seeing customer interest. I think customer interest is coming because we're getting vehicles now that have a range of over 300 miles, and that's kind of a sweet spot where you lose range anxiety. We also see the charging infrastructure developing rapidly, and that takes care of a way of that charging anxiety issue. 

 

Mary [00:05:27] So we're solving the issues that in the past have been barriers to electrification ownership. But I think what is also key is getting battery costs down so EVs can be affordable. And so it's all of that coming together that is making now the time. 

 

Kinsey [00:05:42] Yeah, it's so interesting. Usually when you think about the big hurdles to mass adoption of electric vehicles, it's the infrastructure and the range anxiety. It's the design sometimes, but also, it's the pricing. The pricing can play a huge part of this. So what would you say to consumers who maybe have been a little apprehensive of adopting EVs because of prohibitive pricing? 

 

Mary [00:06:02] Well, it's our job to make sure that we can have EVs in the market that are affordable. And I think customers are very rational. They want to do the right thing. But they also, for a lot of people, your vehicle is your most important, your second-most important purchase. So how do we make it affordable, give you the functionality that you need, the vehicle size that you need? 

 

Mary [00:06:20] And that's what we're working hard to do, but that's where we can pull all the assets General Motors has, as it [indistinct] manufacturing capability or scale, pull that all together. So we're well-positioned to drive affordability. 

 

Kinsey [00:06:33] Yeah. Scale and manufacturing capacity are so important in this conversation because we think about getting an electric vehicle in every driveway, right, which is the goal that so many people talk about. It takes a lot of scale to make that happen. [chuckles] 

 

Kinsey [00:06:44] There are a lot of driveways that need a car to be put in them. I think that that is one unique place where some of the more legacy automakers can step in, take a leadership position. How do you view the more up-and-coming, kind of startup-y competitors in the EV space? What is your take on the younger, scrappier EV startups? 

 

Mary [00:07:03] I'm not going to let you call them scrappier because [laughter] I think we're pretty scrappier. I don't underestimate anyone. I think we're in the middle of a transformation, and I take all—whether it's existing OEMs or new entrants—I take them all very seriously. 

 

Mary [00:07:17] But I think when I look at the, again, the assets General Motors bring, we have a proven track record of manufacturing millions of vehicles. We have the facilities to do that, as well as a trained workforce that's very, very capable. And then we have the engineering, the design, and the testing, especially our safety labs. All of those things are something we have tremendous experience. 

 

Mary [00:07:41] And so I think we have an advantage as we look at that, especially when you look at some of the other new entrants that don't have that access to that vote, whether it's those labs, the safety processes, et cetera. 

 

Kinsey [00:07:55] Right. I can see this in almost two directions. On one hand, GM has existed for quite some time. You have a proven track record of selling a lot of cars. But on the other hand, it takes a lot of effort to transition the manufacturing capacity that you have now to manufacture electric vehicles. 

 

Kinsey [00:08:12] You have to retrain people in a lot of ways. There are a lot of changes to be made that might be a little bit more difficult to make at scale. When you think about a company like, let's address the elephant in the room, when you think about a Tesla, this is really all that they have known since their founding. How do you reconcile those two things? 

 

Mary [00:08:27] Well, when you look at the fact that if you set aside the propulsion system of the vehicle, there's a huge commonality in the vehicles. And we've already developed the training procedures that are necessary, the safety practices that are necessary when we launched the Chevrolet Bolt EV. 

 

Mary [00:08:46] And then where we have an advantage is because we have facilities and we're going to be able to leverage huge portions of those facilities, really only changing the propulsion system. I've spent a lot of time—I grew up in manufacturing. I ran a plant. I know our workforce and our robust training facilities. 

 

Mary [00:09:03] So launching a new plant that's building electric vehicles, training, and then getting the quality fast is something that's a core competency of General Motors. And electrification is, to us, it's just a different propulsion system. And we introduce new technologies into our vehicles all the time. 

 

Kinsey [00:09:20] Do you think the same could be said for your fellow legacy automakers? That they could just kind of flip the switch and figure it out? 

 

Mary [00:09:27] I think there's varying degrees of readiness just based on where they've invested on to date. Like I said, we've been working on electric vehicles since EV1. We had the Chevrolet Volt and now the Chevrolet Bolt. So when you look at that, it's a solid 10 years. So I think we're in a leadership position of traditional OEMs of having the experience with electrification. And what that means, not just to build them, but to design safely, to build and then also to sell and to service. 

 

Kinsey [00:09:56] I mean, yeah, when we think about these traditional OEMs, they've been around for a while, much like General Motors. But everybody is spending so much money. GM is certainly spending some of the most and writing some of the biggest checks in terms of this shift to electrification. But spending in the billions is certainly not unique to General Motors. 

 

Kinsey [00:10:13] So, Mary, I want to hear your perspective on this spending race toward electrification. Before we do that, though, going to take a short break to hear from our partner. — And now back to the conversation with Mary Barra. 

 

Kinsey [00:10:28] Mary, in a sense, do you feel like there is this race to see who can outspend one another or invest as much as possible in this as soon as possible to be the market leader? I'm curious what you make of this mass spending in terms of competition. 

 

Mary [00:10:42] Well, I think it's more—I mean, clearly, you have to have the resources to invest in the new vehicles, in the propulsion systems. I think where General Motors has a leadership position is the fact that we now have a joint venture with LG Chem to build our own cells. We are doing a lot of our own battery development and then partnering with LG Chem. 

 

Mary [00:11:04] And again, this is a journey we've been on. I announced three years ago we were starting electrification. We've been working solid since that time. You know, there's other OEMs that are just contemplating should they even build batteries internally, much less do the design. That's an advantage that we have. 

 

Mary [00:11:20] And why that's so important is for electric vehicles to be affordable, it's all about the battery and it's all about the battery cell. And that's where we are well on our way. We have one of the largest battery labs in North America in our Warren Technical Center. And now we're growing our capability from a process as well. So that investment in batteries and having the competency in the company to understand it is a huge advantage for us. 

 

Kinsey [00:11:48] As the leader of General Motors, what encouraged you that the investment would be worth it? That investing, I think it's, what, $27 billion over the coming years in electrification, was going to be worth it, instead of, say, just buying a smaller startup that was building these batteries at a smaller scale and introducing them into the GM family? What influenced this decision of build versus buy? 

 

Mary [00:12:08] Well, I think we already had a long standing partnership with LG Chem, who has the battery technology. But when we have already seen with the joint venture and it's a development joint venture as well as a manufacturing joint venture, when we put our experience and our subject matter expertise together, we're finding ways that we can be more efficient in manufacturing, we're able to leverage the supply base. 

 

Mary [00:12:31] It used to be that we weren't even talking to the tiered suppliers of LG Chem or of a battery manufacturer. Now we're working with them and we're leveraging our scale. So, going deep and partnering with LG has been, I think, something we're already seeing costs come down because of it. 

 

Kinsey [00:12:50] Right. So much of this is so compelling when you think about the smart partnerships and the huge investments and what this might mean for the future of transportation. It sounds really promising. But at the same time, General Motors has not, in all honesty, gotten the same attention from investors as something like a Tesla has. 

 

Kinsey [00:13:08] How do you figure that in the broader Wall Street landscape, how come General Motors, a company with a proven track record that has actually sold a lot of cars [laughs] compared to Tesla, isn't getting the same recognition? What does that mean for you? 

 

Mary [00:13:22] Just means we have to work harder and we have to be first. And we have—sometimes, it's just, it's the way things are. We just have to prove it by demonstrating and doing it. General Motors does have a 100-year history, but we've had challenges in our past. 

 

Mary [00:13:37] And I think—you asked the question—how does a company like General Motors that has all this experience, how do we change? We have to demonstrate it. And I know we will. And when we start launching next year, not only the GMC Hummer EV that really showcases our knowledge of trucks, our deep knowledge of trucks, but also our technical capability, along with the Bolt EUV, and then shortly thereafter the Cadillac Lyriq. 

 

Mary [00:14:02] I think in the next year, as people see the capability of these products, how we'll launch on time, how we'll launch with quality, and how we'll delight the customer, it will happen. So we just have to show them. 

 

Kinsey [00:14:13] Yeah. I'm sure that launching on time was not an accidental turn of phrase [laughs] on your part. This is something that we've seen happen with Tesla time and again—not meeting expectations and then suddenly exceeding them. And that has been the cycle for Elon Musk for quite some time. 

 

Kinsey [00:14:27] But I'm curious to kind of get at the root of this conversation about competition. Why is it that Tesla, a relatively young company—and not just for General Motors, for any automaker right now—is the one to beat? This is what everybody's after. How come the chips fell in such a way? 

 

Mary [00:14:43] Well, I think, you know, what the interest in Tesla shows the commitment and the interest and the excitement around electric vehicles. And that's all they're doing. We can leverage, though. There's so much that I don't think people realize how much of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle can be leveraged to accelerate our ability to do EV. 

 

Kinsey [00:15:05] So, when I look at the excitement, I say it's just endorsing our strategy—that this is a huge growth opportunity. That's why we're investing—that's why we have been investing. And people will see it as we move forward. 

 

Kinsey [00:15:18] Do you think if Tesla had never been founded, that the electric vehicle conversation would be where it is today? 

 

Mary [00:15:25] I generally hesitate to guess on [Kinsey laughs] those types of things, but what I can tell you is we were already on an EV path. We already had the Chevrolet Volt and frankly, the Chevrolet Volt EV was really the first affordable with a very respectable range of around 250 several years ago. So it was a path we were on and we were committed to. It's hard to say what are the puts and takes of where we are, but I'm more focused on where we're going, and that's fighting until we are number one in North America with volume—or with market share. 

 

Kinsey [00:15:58] OK. Let's talk about this North America market share versus globally. How come adoption of electric vehicles in North America has been relatively meager so far compared to a market like China? 

 

Mary [00:16:10] Well, when you look at some of the other markets, China and Europe, for example, a lot of what is driving it is regulatory. There's requirements you have to meet to sell the rest of your vehicles. That hasn't been the regulatory environment in the U.S. today, but General Motors' commitment has been instead of being driven by regulation, let's be driven by providing something that is so great for the customer that has the right range. That's beautiful. That is the size vehicle they want. 

 

Mary [00:16:35] That we create access to charging infrastructure, and then we provide a wonderful customer experience that people choose EVs as opposed to the regulatory environment that other countries and markets are facing. So that's our focus in North America. We're also very intent because we're number two in China, and so we're very intent. And that scale that we get from China will help as well. 

 

Kinsey [00:16:59] When you think about regulation here in the United States, is it a net positive? I know that you can say that we want to do this regardless of what the regulatory landscape looks like. But is regulation, as a company that both sells electric vehicles and will sell more, but also sells internal combustible engine vehicles, is regulation a net good or a net bad for you at General Motors? 

 

Mary [00:17:21] Well, I think it depends on the regulation, [laughs] but we're very supportive because we believe, for an OEM that provides really good, clean, middle-class jobs across this country—almost 50,000 in addition to the almost 85,000 people that we employ in this country— we can make this conversion. 

 

Mary [00:17:41] We can do it is as quickly as the customer really wants and be in full alignment with not only the regulatory environment today, but I anticipate a increasing push to drive electrification. I guess what I'm trying to say is we're not waiting to be pushed. We're pushing forward and we're gonna lead. 

 

Kinsey [00:18:00] And this brings up an interesting concept that we talk about a lot in terms of electric vehicles—is that right now, for the most part, it's the manufacturers who are leading the charge. It's less so that consumers are demanding it, and more so that General Motors and the like are saying this is what we're building and this is what you're eventually going to buy. 

 

Kinsey [00:18:17] So let's think about what that means for electric vehicle adoption and for the automakers themselves after a short break to hear from our sponsor. — And now back to the conversation with Mary Barra. 

 

Kinsey [00:18:30] Mary, like I said before the break, right now it's mostly carmakers who are the most optimistic and the most bullish on electric vehicles, and less so the actual people buying the cars. So is this almost, in a sense, leading a horse to water and hoping that it drinks? I mean, how do you ensure that people are actually going to adopt electric vehicles at scale? 

 

Mary [00:18:49] Well, we've done a lot of work listening to customers, understanding what's important to them. And that's where we know 300 miles range, where we know we need a robust charging infrastructure open to support them, that it's got to be the right vehicle that has the right feature functionality. So learning and listening to the customers, and then affordability matters. 

 

Mary [00:19:09] A lot of people don't have the opportunity to, you know, it's not their second, third, or fourth car. It's their only vehicle. To get the kind of mass adoption we're talking about, we have to create the whole ecosystem where a customer says, I want to buy an electric vehicle and it's my only vehicle, and it will meet all my needs. And so that's what we're working on broadly. And that's what's going to get from this 2% level to 10 to 20 to 30 to 40 to 50 and beyond. 

 

Kinsey [00:19:34] How important do you think reputation is in trying to encourage this mass adoption? General Motors has traditionally not been a company that you would associate with electric vehicles as much as maybe some of the newer up-and-coming kind of competitors that you guys have in the space. How do you reframe the way that the average American car buyer is interpreting General Motors compared to your other competition? 

 

Mary [00:19:58] You know, we're in really, really early days, and some of the companies you're talking about have yet to put a vehicle on the road. We have the highest loyalty in the country with our customers, and we sell more vehicles in this country than any other manufacturer. So when you think about that reputation of—people, again, will we get to mass adoption? 

 

Mary [00:20:21] I think that's an advantage [chuckles] for us because we sell more than anyone else. We have the highest loyalty. We have the highest sales and service ratings. We're in the top with our brands. And so those are all advantages when you look at mass adoption. 

 

Kinsey [00:20:35] You said when we first started speaking, Mary, that General Motors believes in science, believes in climate change. This is part of what is driving this effort toward electrification at General Motors. Unfortunately, and against all logic, that is not the case for some people in the United States. Some people just don't buy that. What do you say to them if they want to go out and buy, say, a truck, and they don't believe in the necessity of an electric future. How do you sell them on an electric vehicle? 

 

Mary [00:21:03] Well, first I think it's important that every new vehicle that we come out with, we're working to improve the fuel economy, reduce emissions. And if we can put a truck out there—and I think the Hummer, GMC Hummer EV is just the start—that there's no excuses. They're not giving anything up. In fact, that is a super truck and we have more to follow behind it. 

 

Mary [00:21:23] So instead of, you know, I don't know if I'm going to be able to convince somebody who doesn't believe in climate change. There's probably better people than me to do that. I'm just going to give them such a great product that they want it. 

 

Kinsey [00:21:33] Hmm. Interesting. So, how many electric vehicles do you think we will see compared to today in say, 2025? What share are you expecting us to be closer to? 

 

Mary [00:21:45] Well, our goal is, between China and the United States, to have over a million vehicles by that time. So, it's always hard to predict. External forecasters are saying by the 2030 time frame, the range is huge. There's going to be 10. It's going to be 35. One of the things that's a strength of General Motors is we have that flexibility. 

 

Mary [00:22:05] Now we're leaning hard when you look at the investment that we're making in EVs, because we believe that we can drive adoption because we're going to delight our customers with not only the vehicle, but the experience and the ownership. So that's the bet we're making. That's what we're committing to. 

 

Kinsey [00:22:23] And using that leadership position can certainly be advantageous. We, right now, have the, quote unquote, big three of the auto industry here in the United States. Who will be the big three of electrification in say, 50 years from now? 

 

Mary [00:22:37] Of the big three, we're the biggest of the big three. [Kinsey laughs] And we are not ceding that position. 

 

Kinsey [00:22:42] Do you think any non-legacy, quote unquote, legacy automakers will join you in that big three classification? 

 

Mary [00:22:48] It's going to be who executes well, who delights the customer. Legacy does not give you a right to win. Being new doesn't give you a right to win. At the end of the day, when you get to that level, it's because you're executing beautiful vehicles that people want to have, that they can afford to have, and an ownership experience that there's no disadvantages. So that's who will be the big three—is the people who do that best. 

 

Kinsey [00:23:12] OK. And we, I guess, have to just kind of see how it shakes out. So when you look to the future for General Motors' future and for—I guess I'll ask this in two ways. General Motors future and the future of electrification on the whole—what scares you the most? 

 

Mary [00:23:28] Frankly, I'm more excited. But I'm an engineer, so I'm a problem solver. So things that—will we achieve the battery projections that we have? Of course, those are always technical things, but I'd bet on the GM team day in and day out. So, to me, it's much more what I'm excited about, and I'm excited about being able to create vehicles that change the way people move, that solve some of the biggest issues, like the impact on the environment. So to me, it's just an excitement, and how fast can we go to get there? 

 

Kinsey [00:24:00] Do you think there's a risk of going too fast? 

 

Mary [00:24:02] Not if you're focused on the customer. 

 

Kinsey [00:24:04] What about the safety concerns? I know there are safety concerns with any kind of transportation, but we have seen recalls of electric vehicles for battery issues, fire-related issues. What is your take on this? 

 

Mary [00:24:16] Again, we're always going to be focused on safety. We do extensive testing. There's going to be times where there's an issue, a manufacturing issue, something happens. And the key is, do you have systems in place to find it fast, solve it, and fix it. And I'm very proud of the track record that General Motors has of identifying issues, solving them fast. 

 

Mary [00:24:38] The measurement to me—obviously you want to have a defect-free vehicle for the entire length and ownership experience, but if there is an issue in these incredibly technical vehicles, it's how fast do you find it and how fast do you fix it. And we have a team that's dedicated to doing that as we move forward. 

 

Mary [00:24:56] So, with any vehicle, there can be concerns. That's where I look at, again, the capability we have from a vehicle validation, a safety testing, and then a, you know, the analytics and the work that we do to find issues fast and take care of them if they do exist. 

 

Kinsey [00:25:12] How has the team that you employ shifted with the shift to electrification? How has your hiring strategy changed? How have you had to retrain your team? What is that like? 

 

Mary [00:25:23] One of the things that most people don't understand about General Motors, because they [indistinct] kind of you been describing that old things, [Kinsey laughs] almost 50% of our technical talent has less than five years with the company. So we've been quite successful at bringing in new talent, bringing in a tremendous amount of software talent. 

 

Mary [00:25:39] We just, due to natural demographics, about five years ago, we needed to hire because we had people naturally retiring. We leveraged that to reshift the skill set and bring in a tremendous amount of software engineers. And I can tell you they're excited. I mean, I get emails from our team or texts, just being so excited about our direction where we're headed. 

 

Kinsey [00:26:00] That's gotta feel good. 

 

Mary [00:26:01] It is. It's fun for someone like me, who's been at the company—I started as a co-op student—for 40 years, to be interfacing and talking and seeing the excitement and the commitment of those that have been with the company two, three, four, five years. They're enthusiastic and it just fuels everyone at the company. 

 

Kinsey [00:26:18] Right. So finally here, you've been at the company for quite some time—to your point, many decades. And you've seen General Motors exist in several different iterations. But to your earlier point, so many of us in the media, and I think just in general, think of General Motors as a, quote unquote, legacy company. One that has existed for a long time, has been around forever. How do you reshift the narrative to put General Motors in that innovative and cutting-edge bucket instead of the old, stodgy, carmaker bucket? 

 

Mary [00:26:49] Well, I think with the focus when you see our team—I mean, I think we've got to tell our story and tell it better. I think the launch of the Hummer EV was really important. We showed the team who did it, whether it was the off-road experts or the interior designers that crafted every detail or the battery experts. I think we have to keep demonstrating. 

 

Mary [00:27:08] I mean, people don't know how new our work force is. People don't know the technology that we have inside. If you haven't grown up in the business, you don't understand the depths of validation testing that is done with every vehicle that goes on the road. So we're just going to keep putting points on the board. 

 

Mary [00:27:25] And I think we'll do that because we have iconic brands in the company—brands that mean something and people value. And as we shift that to electrification, there's huge equity there that we'll tap into. 

 

Kinsey [00:27:39] Absolutely. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Well, Mary, thank you so, so much for taking the time to come on Business Casual. What a fun and insightful conversation this has been. Certainly a lot of stuff to still shake out in this electrified future that we are all eventually, inevitably headed toward. But it's exciting to see all of it happen in real time and to learn a little bit more about it. So thank you very much. 

 

Mary [00:28:02] Well, thanks for the opportunity. It was great to talk to you today. 

 

Kinsey [00:28:12] Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Business Casual. I gotta be straight with you guys. It is such a privilege to get to speak with such incredible titans of industry like Mary Barra. 

 

Kinsey [00:28:22] I want to bring more people like her on the show. So let me know who you want to hear from on Business Casual. Shoot me an email. Give me your thoughts. I am Kinsey@MorningBrew.com. That's k-i-n-s-e-y@MorningBrew.com, and I'll see you next time. [sound of a ding]