GM wants to transform beyond cars and trucks

General Motors is trying to transform itself and take a page out of Apple's playbook: make a product, in this case an automobile, and pair it with a range of services that can potentially generate sales long after the first sale.
This transformation of the company, which is more than a hundred years old, is already taking place under the supervision of CEO Mary Barra, who aims to develop a growing segment of auto services valued at over a trillion dollars.
According to interviews between Reuters and several GM executives, an in-house innovation team is developing new areas of business that may incur monthly or quarterly subscription fees that go straight into GM's pockets.
One such product is already making headway: BrightDrop, a unit that provides commercial delivery companies with electric vehicles and associated hardware, starting with FedEx.
Another idea is to leverage GM's longstanding OnStar vehicle communication service to sell other services that can be wirelessly delivered to Internet-connected vehicles.
For example: GM executives told Reuters that its dealers could offer insurance policies to owners when they buy or lease a vehicle.
Barra told Reuters, "Instead of continuing to give shareholders billions of dollars back for dividends and share buybacks over the past few years, she will use that money to invest in electric vehicles and hire employees to give GM more Silicon Valley flair.
But it will have to overcome the many skeptics out there who doubt that an old-fashioned automaker can transform into an Apple-like juggernaut and become a more formidable rival for Tesla.
And it's not alone - all other automakers have zoomed Tesla to the top as the world's most valuable auto company - and are also in the midst of change - with a strong focus on introducing electric vehicles.
Investors see an opportunity for GM to move forward, however, and have propelled the stock nearly 50 percent so far this year.
Video transcript
- change. You can resist, be left behind ...
- General Motors is trying to transform itself and take a page from Apple's playbook to create a product, in this case an automobile, and couple it with a range of services that can potentially generate revenue long after the first sale . This transformation of the company, which is more than a hundred years old, is already under the supervision of CEO Mary Barra, who aims to tap into a growing segment of auto services valued at over $ 1 trillion. According to interviews between Reuters and several GM executives, an in-house innovation team is developing new areas of business that may incur monthly or quarterly subscription fees that go straight into GM's pockets.
Such a product that is already making progress? BrightDrop, a unit that provides commercial delivery companies with electric vehicles and associated hardware, starting with FedEx.
- OnStar Insurance--
Another idea is to leverage GM's longstanding OnStar vehicle communications service to sell other services that can be wirelessly delivered to vehicles that are connected to the Internet. For example, GM executives told Reuters that its dealers could offer insurance policies to owners when they buy or lease a vehicle. Barra told Reuters that instead of continuing to return the billions of dollars in dividends and share buybacks from the past few years to shareholders, she will use that money to invest in electric vehicles and hire employees to give GM more Silicon Valley flair.
But it will have to overcome the many skeptics out there who doubt that an old, clumsy automaker can transform into an Apple-like juggernaut and become a more formidable rival for Tesla. And it's not alone. All other automakers have seen Tesla race to the top as the world's most valuable auto company and are also in the midst of change, with a focus on the introduction of electric vehicles. Investors see an opportunity for GM to move forward, however, and have propelled the stock nearly 50% up so far this year.
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