DETROIT -- General Motors CEO Mary Barra plans to provide a peek of upcoming electric vehicles at CES next month and bolster the automaker’s credentials as a rising power in EVs, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Barra will give the opening keynote address on Jan. 12 for the all-digital expo, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show. She plans to explain how electrification is a necessary step to address environmental and societal change -- and how GM is ready to play a central role, said the people, who asked not to be named.
In addition to Barra’s address, GM will show a video at CES featuring its latest technology and preview some concept vehicles, including a plug-in Chevrolet pickup, some Cadillac models and vehicles for other brands, the people said. GM President Mark Reuss also will speak about the carmaker’s EV strategy.
GM’s messaging blitz is designed to signal the company’s commitment to electrification and intent to take on EV market leader Tesla Inc. It’s the culmination of a series of announcements the automaker has made over the past year to embrace EVs, a move that’s becoming a hallmark of Barra’s six-year tenure atop GM.
GM shares rose 3.8 percent to close trading at $42.45 on Wednesday in New York.
Investors have been receptive to that shift as GM’s shares have risen to highs not seen in a decade. The stock is up more than 15 percent this year, well below Tesla’s seven-fold rise but on par with the S&P 500 Index and better than Ford Motor Co.’s 3.4 percent drop.
It’s unclear if Chevy’s electric pickup concept will share the Silverado nameplate with its gasoline-fueled cousin, but it will join an electric Hummer truck that will go on sale late next year in a hotly contested market for battery-powered trucks. GM also will lean on its premium Cadillac brand to lead the charge into electrics when its Lyriq crossover goes on sale in 2022.
Barra unveiled plans to spur electrification last month by boosting GM’s spending on EVs 35 percent to $27 billion and pledging to push out 30 battery-powered models by 2025. Some of those vehicles will be aimed at mass market buyers looking for sticker prices under $35,000. The move marked an acceleration of a strategy revealed in March to deploy new battery technology developed with LG Chem Ltd. in all of its brands.