DETROIT — After years of indifference and sometimes outright disdain for legacy automakers, Wall Street seems to be changing its tune about General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
Both companies' shares have risen more than 30 percent so far in 2021. GM stock last week soared to its highest level since the company's 2010 initial public offering. Ford stock has nearly tripled since last March and is up roughly 70 percent since Jim Farley became CEO in October.
The Detroit automakers' performances so far this year have even outpaced Tesla Inc., which analysts have long praised as a leader in electric vehicle development and connected-vehicle technology. The gains come after a flurry of announcements related to partnerships and EV production.
"I think there's an impressive level of innovation coming out of traditional OEMs," Philippe Houchois, a managing director at Jefferies, said on a panel at a Society of Automotive Analysts event last week.
GM shares surged on last week's news that Microsoft joined a $2 billion round of funding for self-driving startup Cruise, of which GM is majority owner. That followed GM CEO Mary Barra's CES presentation this month in which the company launched a commercial EV brand with FedEx as its first customer and revealed a new corporate logo and marketing strategy centered on EVs.
Ford, too, is betting big on commercial EVs. It unveiled in November the 2022 E-Transit van and is positioning its upcoming F-150 electric pickup as a workhorse for businesses. Ford last month began shipping the first Mustang Mach-E electric crossovers, which have over-the-air-update capability.