Mary Barra says GM will begin to tie executive compensation to the success of its electric vehicle goals

In a recent interview, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra stated that long-term executive compensation will be conditioned on the US automaker reaching specific targets for its electrification transition. With some daring goals already in place, what better way to get paid for allowances than by hanging a zero-emissions carrot in front of it?

As I mentioned CNBCGeneral Motors CEO Mary Barra said executive compensation will be tied to electric vehicle goals early this year. The full scope of these goals is expected during a GM dealer presentation on Friday, but for now, we know they’ll include North American EV volumes as well as launch timing and vehicle quality.

The US automaker recently began moving several of its manufacturing facilities to support expanded production of electric vehicles, as it moves to increase its annual capacity to 2 million electric vehicles in North America and China by 2025.

These moves are part of the automaker’s larger overall strategy to go electrified by 2035. Barra briefly spoke about the decision behind new executive compensation terms during GM’s recent first-quarter earnings call:

At GM, the company’s success has always been driven by our wages. No one should doubt our commitment to driving electric vehicles or the passion our team has for this task.

In 2020, Barra earned $2 million in base salary as president of GM, plus an additional $13 million in stock grants, making her total compensation package comfortable $23.7 million.

A glimpse of the all-new Chevrolet Corvette electric car

Lots of play before GM executives get paid

In 2022 alone, General Motors announced a new 50-GWh battery facility coming to the US, and $7 billion to expand electric vehicle production in the US. That doesn’t even mention the slew of new electrified cars like the Chevy Equinox, Blazer, and even the AWD Corvette. Oh, and GM plans to steal the crown from Tesla as the best-selling electric car by the middle of the decade. By that point, Barra said, GM expects to generate $50 billion in electric vehicle sales in North America alone.

These are some of the great goals that GM is putting a lot of effort (and capital) into achieving, but the results have been lagging so far. In the first quarter of 2022, General Motors introduced 457 anemic EVs, which included 99 new GMC Hummer EV pickups. That low number stemmed from the saga of the Bolt EV and EUV discontinuation that finally resumed, and, well, just the lack of other EV options currently on sale.

GM’s first Cadillac Lyriqs on GM’s Ultium platform rolled off the assembly line in Tennessee last month, so we can expect to see those deliveries soon. Meanwhile, Bolt and Hummer EV production will continue to rise. There is a lot in the pipeline of course, there is not much work on this pipeline just yet.

That’s all the more reason to motivate GM executives to do everything they can to reach their electric vehicle goals, we suppose. There’s a lot to do before GM begins writing an “electrified vehicle captain” acceptance letter, so these executives may want to defer yacht deposits for now. Shall we suggest exploring electrified marine options?

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