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GM, Ford ramp up rivalry while battling Tesla

General Motors strives to catch up to Tesla by launching a number of electric vehicles tailored to a variety of segments, while Ford plans to produce a more narrow range and prioritize rapid roll-outs.

Photo: Keith Srakocic/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

The fight between Ford and General Motors – one of the most intense commercial brawls in the world, having lasted decades – will take on a new dimension as the companies enter a new age of electric vehicles, writes The Wall Street Journal.

The two automakers are under pressure to catch up to rival Tesla, which has long dominated the EV market: In the first quarter, Tesla sold 13 times more EVs in the US than the two Detroit-based companies combined.

The CEOs of both companies, GM’s Mary Barra and Ford’s Jim Farley, have said that their aim is to take over Tesla’s market position. GM aims to do so by launching a number of EVs tailored to a variety of segments, while Ford plans to manufacture a more narrow range of cars and prioritize rapid roll-outs.

”This will be a scenario future business students will be taught in,” says Barclays analyst Brian Johnson to the newspaper about the dueling business models.

According to the analyst, Ford has already succeeded in engaging consumers through early sales, while GM looks to be better positioned in terms of scaling up production in coming years.

The rivalry between the two carmakers goes back decades and was particularly fierce in the 1920s, when Ford became a global player by mass-producing the iconic black Model T. GM’s strategy of offering a variety of brands and models has since contributed to GM outpacing Ford.

Ford accelerates electric shift with major investment

General Motors to invest USD 7bn in battery production

Elon Musk says Tesla job cuts will reduce workforce by 3.5%

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