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Impact of electric cars on Ford/GM/Chrysler going forward?


Topic starter

Hey Scotty,

If there is a massive shift toward electric cars in the next decade (which many signs are pointing to) how do you think the big American car companies are going to handle the transition?  Their manufacturing focus is around combustion engines and associated drive-trains, whereas electric only companies (like Tesla) are setup to build electric vehicles without all the internal combustion baggage.  Won't the big auto companies be at a disadvantage needing to retool all their current manufacturing to electric based cars?  Will they survive without more bailouts?

Have a great day!


11 Answers

Chrysler is part of a huge corporation called Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM, Fiat, Abarth, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Vauxhall, ...). Although Stellantis's American brands haven't doesn't seem to be focused on electrification, they European branch it.

Stellantis' huge electric lineup is huge, but IMO the ones that standout are the Opel Mokka-E and DS 3 CrossBack E-Tense (The mass market models are the Peugeots like the e-208)

I'm sure that when they'll have to shift to electric, that they won't have much trouble just utilizing the technology and know-how they have acquired in recent years on the European market.

Ford and GM both are currently making electric vehicles, while it's definitely not on the same scale as Stellantis, they already have the technology that's needed to make the transition. The Chevrolet Bolt, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E are (IMO) both technologically not far behind Tesla.

Although they aren't really going head to head with Tesla, I'm sure it's a similar to story to how the (Volvo built) PoleStar 2 compares to the Telsa Model 3 - a bit behind, but not far.

I do not think transition to electric will have much impact on domestic car makers at all.

This post was modified 4 days ago 3 times by Dan

The "huge shift" may well fizzle out when electric cars wind up in the hands of regular car buyers rather than gadget freaks and greenies and all of the disadvantages can no longer be whitewashed. Expect more bankruptcies and bailouts in the future among car companies that go full electric.

I mean… In many parts of the world soon all cars will be required to be either hybrid or fully electric quite soon.
In much of Europe and where I live it’s hard to find a car that isn’t a hybrid, some manufacturers don’t even sell petrols - thanks to the 100% tax on petrols and “”””only”””” 25% tax on EVs and Hybrids (that’s where I live, in other places the taxes aren’t that insane, but very high taxes on petrols and purposefully harsh emissions tests (requiring a car to be tested over 15k miles just to get emissions data - as if the previous lab tests weren’t already bad enough) are being put in place across Europe)
Somehow it still works out for the **** in office, the average age of a car is still under 7 years…

Any place where driving patterns are like they are in the U.S., with people routinely driving long distances, electric cars are not going to work out very well. (That's without even getting into the problems of the electrical infrastructure for charging them.) Hybrids are another matter. Too expensive, too complicated, and deteriorate faster as they get old but they don't otherwise suffer from many of the practical problems that fully electric vehicles bring to the table.


The problem is really government. None of this is being driven by consumer demand. Car buyers didn't en masse wake up one day and decide they wanted electric cars. Unfortunately if something does not change, the U.S. will be going down the same rathole as Europe, albeit more slowly. However, getting into a deep discussion on the subject of out-of-control governments is beyond the scope of this forum.

Well, if the market would be a free market there is no doubt hybrids and EVs would be unpopular - but the government manipulates consumer demand.


Where I live Hybrids were extremely popular even before there were any incentives because gas is $7.5 a gallon (67% of that price is sales and other direct tax, realistically about 80% ±10% or that is indirect tax)
So when a Kia Niro can return 50mpg (the one I drove did 65mpg average, but let's assume a worse case scenario) and costs just a bit more (due to one of them being taxes 115% and the other "only" 25%) then a Corolla that returns only 35 mpg (assuming a best case scenario, my E150 MMT corolla does 29mpg),
that's, worst case scenario, a $6,000 saving over only 100k miles, from my experience that's wayyyyyyyy more - IMO including "safety benefits" and "green tax befits" it ends up being even even possibly twice that.
The difference between the average car travel where I live and the US is about 3.5k miles yearly - not negligible but not that significant when it come to what people end up buying.
I'm at that point where I'm considering either getting a Yaris Cross or a Nissan Leaf (or possibly even a MG ZS EV) because even if it lasts me only 120k miles - that's a whole $3k saved in not having to do CVT fluid changes, about $4k saved in maintenance, assuming 35mpg over 120k miles, meaning , another $20k in gas - meaning that savings from having an EV are about $30k... that's about what it costs to buy...)
And I see a similar pattern in the US, I have no reason to doubt that over the next 20 years - by just using market manipulation, this will be a world wide thing.
It's horrible.


Just based on press releases and what is publicly known. 

GM seems to have the best plan and platform between the three. I mean, they are transitioning their premere brand, Cadillac, to all electric, sooner than their other brands. 

Ford seems to be getting into it too. They have been flirting with electrification for years, in the form of hybrids, and have transitioned their best selling model truck to all electric. I also think they are playing it cautious, as to time their entry just right, rather than too soon. 

Chrysler seems behind. While their parent is working on the platform for EV, Chrysler itself doesn’t seem as vocal about electrification. At least how I perceive the information that is out there. 

Lastly, GM and other union plants may have the advantage if they get those huge tax rebates approved. I don’t agree with those huge tax rebates as it screws up the market on whether or not an EV can truly stand up on its own. 

Only time will tell. 


only companies (like Tesla) are setup to build electric vehicles

That's simply not true.

GM has been working on EV's for a while. They have already had a head start in China.

In N.America GM has already been selling the Bolt EV, and they've announced 30 more EV vehicles including a Silverado pickup.



Unfortunately, yes.  I think they are gearing up for the change and will be able to transition to electric vehicles.  US car companies have announced they are shifting future investments to designing and producing EVs.

Auto companies retool every year for new model production.  Ford for instance completely retooled their plants for the F150.  Since 2015 F150's chassis are now assembled with rivets and glue (for the aluminized bodies) for instance.

Regarding bailouts, we will have to see how they (and the US consumer) can weather the next recession.  

If the politics in the US stay the same, I see a continued and sustained push for EVs.  The worst part about it, is even if consumers don't buy them in large numbers (or outright reject them like I do) the government is going to continue to legislate them into existence.

I hope I'm wrong, I do not like EVs and the direction where things are going.

This post was modified 3 days ago by AutoDIY

do you get a free fire extinguisher with one?


Adapt or die. That's really it in a nutshell.

If electric/hybrid cars do start becoming the trend, the big companies will be forced to make the change.

Too early to say what will happen of course.


I'm curious to see if GM will fix their Bolt batteries which are basically fire emitting time bombs before they make more. hehe


Well Dodge just announced that the supercharged hellcat V8 engine will be no more after 2023.

They are now developing an electric version for 2024. I'm curious to see what it will turn out to be.


Several  "tons of money" will have to be spent to make electric vehicles mainstream. The target date of 2035 isn't likely to happen. We were suppose to have colonies on Mars by now and we were suppose to have had an ice age by now. Too many people making ridiculous predictions.

This post was modified 12 hours ago by TheEel

and we were supposed to be 20ft under water. I have my doubts about these predictions too. Politicians are terrible at planning beyond their terms. And often within them!