GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra addresses investors Oct. 6, 2021 at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.
Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors
The massive valuations of electric vehicle start-ups such as Rivian, which made its public debut Wednesday on the Nasdaq at a higher stock price and market cap than General Motors, shows the legacy automaker is “so undervalued,” GM CEO Mary Barra said Wednesday.
Rivian’s stock began trading at $106.75 a share, a roughly 37% pop from its IPO price of $78 a share and a market valuation of $91 billion. That compares with GM at $60 a share and a market cap of $86.4 billion.
“What it highlights to me is the huge opportunity. General Motors is so undervalued,” Barra said Wednesday without specifically naming Rivian during The New York Times DealBook conference. “I see it as huge opportunity for General Motors to capture significant more value.”
When asked whether her competitors’ valuations make sense, Barra said she doesn’t view them that way.
“I look at every competitor as somebody that I respect. And that we have to be better, be faster, have vehicles that consumers want to have, solve the ownership equation,” she said. “So that’s the way I look at it. I would say if anything, it motivates me to work even harder.”
Rivian is viewed as one of the EV start-up frontrunners capable of taking on electric vehicle leader Tesla, as GM and other traditional automakers invest tens of billions of dollars in the emerging market segment.
GM was interested in investing in Rivian, but its largest crosstown rival, Ford Motor, ending up investing in the EV start-up instead. Ford, which owns about 12% of start-up, convinced Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe that Ford would be a better fit than GM, as recently reported by the Wall Street Journal.
GM has announced plans to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025, as it targets outselling Tesla in domestic EV sales by then.