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How GM Convinces Auto Buyers to Switch to EVs

The electric Chevrolet Silverado unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April 2022.

Scott Mullin | CNBC

When people think of electric cars, their minds usually jump to Tesla. But Elon Musk’s company now has far more EV competitors than it does in Detroit.

in the last 6 years, general motors CEO Mary Barra has pushed the company toward a full transition from gasoline to electric vehicles as trade and consumer interest grow. GM plans to: Hertz to sell up to 175,000 electric vehicles globally By 2027 – Rentals are an important way to introduce EVs to more people without committing to buy them.And the company also had to close the reservation For the high-end all-electric Hummer after reaching 90,000 last week.

ford was on a similar trajectory and had to close bookings for it F-150 Lightning Pickupand car manufacturers second price increase Also for EV pickup.

Bookings and price increases aren’t just the absolute level of demand off the charts. Supply chain constraints and limited production of new models are the main factors.

That crowded EV landscape makes GM’s approach to marketing different.

“We have to get smarter,” Wall said. “I think there has been more competition, more innovation, than at any point in automotive history since we changed from horses to cars.”

The message from the automotive giant is clear.

While costs are being scrutinized more closely as the economy is in a period of uncertainty and inflation weighs on consumers and affects purchasing decisions, Wall told CNBC, GM’s core objective “Right now for us it’s about transforming. We believe EVs are the future.”

Bringing the Hummer into the world of EVs shows the automaker is betting on its continued interest in the high-end market. Tesla made its does mercedes Betting that luxury consumers will continue to lead EV adoption curve. But a transformation is happening across the automotive category, including the best-selling cars in the U.S. (two of the most popular cars in the U.S.) to the Cadillac Lyriq and the base-model Bolt sedan to under $30,000. pushed up to

“We’ve made it clear that we’re going to be all-EV in our portfolio, but getting everyone into it is a huge challenge for consumers right now,” Wall said.

Here are some of the key ideas inside GM that Wall shared with CNBC on how the auto company can make EVs a mass market success.

Let car buyers ask more questions

A recent Pew Foundation survey found that two-thirds of Americans support governments offering incentives to buy EVs. However, only 42% of Americans think he is very or somewhat likely to buy. People recognize the benefits of EVs, such as environmental benefits and gas savings, but these factors alone are not enough to convince the public to switch to EVs.

That’s why GM is doing everything it can to educate customers about EVs and get them comfortable with the switch.

“People have different levels of knowledge about EVs, so they need different information,” Wahl said. “It’s a whole different exchange.”

GM’s video chat platform GM EV Live Whether customers are interested in charging, range, or new technical features, customers can call a live showroom to ask questions and learn more about GM’s electric vehicles without going to a dealer. I can.

GM first kicked off this move to virtual showrooms in 2017 when it partnered with Dentsu Aegis Network to launch a mixed-reality dealership application. Over the years, GM has created virtual showrooms such as his Chevy MyWay and Cadillac Live, but GM EV Live is the first GM-only showroom for his EV.

Focus on all in-vehicle technologies, not just EV technologies

GM is focused on advancing technology to create a better and safer driving experience, along with more sophisticated EV models. On-the-go charging capabilities, active noise-cancelling speakers, and hands-free driver assistance are just a few of GM’s many technological advancements that will appeal to even those who are tired of EVs.

“They are already fascinated because the experience of the technology inside is so great, not just the core driving,” said Wall.

GM’s technology is finding ways to attract more EV customers, but the company still faces the challenge of getting customers on board with the idea of ​​self-driving cars. GM is currently testing its first self-driving car unit, Cruz, in San Francisco, with the goal of eventually making all vehicles electric and self-driving.

apart from 80 cruise car recalls In early September, GM pushed to expand cruise testing to Phoenix and Austin. A business worth $1 billion in revenue By 2025.

Upholding Core Principles Through EV

One thing that hasn’t changed, says Wall, is the underlying principles of marketing.

“I believe in the core fundamentals of marketing: tell a story, tell it well, do it in an engaging way, and if you’re really good at it, have a cultural impact,” she said. I got

For more than a century, GM has influenced American culture and established itself as a top automaker. That’s why it’s important to continue to maintain your corporate identity as you transition to EV.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks to investors on October 6, 2021 at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.

Photo by Steve Fecht, General Motors

For example, Cadillac has been remade as a luxury EV brand, starting with the Cadillac Lyric.

Wall said Cadillac was iconic on its journey and that was the new tagline. “And looking at the way they express themselves, they’re back to reinterpret the core of who Cadillac was for the modern era, and they’re doing it with the Lyriq EV. EV.” she said.

The starting price is $59,990, Lyriq will be the first electric Cadillac on the marketbut GM isn’t stopping there, with other electric Cadillacs already in the works. cadillac celestic, We plan to start production by the end of this year.

Keep up with celebrity and influencer trends

The world of celebrity endorsements also doesn’t look the same as it did ten years ago. GM is partnering with iconic celebrities and new social his media personalities in new ways, from NBA star LeBron his James to his TikTok influencer Breland.

In a recent Hummer EV commercial, James showed off the car’s CrabWalk feature. This allows you to drive diagonally, giving you more maneuverability when parking or off-road.

The Hummer EV has also been promoted in video games such as “Call of Duty,” and GM is expanding beyond traditional commercial production with a renewed focus on social media platforms.

“Influencers are the new media channel,” says Wahl.

Working with TikTok influencer and music-making buzz Breland, GM debuted the first TikTok for Chevrolet. Breland performed a parody of his version of his song “My Truck”, sang about Chevrolet trucks, and various Chevrolet his Silverados were featured on his TikTok.

“This allows us to get the core message to the right audience at the right time,” says Wahl. “It’s very easy to see which influencers are influencing which targets.” How GM Convinces Auto Buyers to Switch to EVs

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