Sources last week reported to a variety of media outlets that Michigan-based General Motors is exploring investment opportunities in the aerial mobility space. In recent months, the company has been seeking growth opportunities in complementary markets to their automotive expertise, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Rumors were emboldened when CEO Mary Barra highlighted the synergies between electric vehicles (EVs) and its research in electric battery technology. “We believe strongly in our EV future and not just for vehicles, the strength and flexibility of our Ultium battery system opens doors for many uses”, she added, “including aerial mobility.”
GM spokesman Stuart Fowle declined to comment on any formal statement, but said “It’s an area we’re really excited about and looking at.”
Barra recently appointed Alan Wexler as SVP of Innovation and Growth to explore alternative transportation opportunities which leverage GM’s capabilities. This group has to date been responsible for the formation of a defense business unit and a $214M contract to build up troop carriers for the US Army.
GM will face competition in this space as other automotive giants like Hyundai have made staggering investments in this new industry.
Why it matters: General Motors seems to be following the actions of other automotive OEM’s who have realized the business opportunities aerial mobility will offer; including the likes of Hyundai Motor, Toyota, Daimler, Volkswagen and Geely, among others. Automotive and aerospace have long shared opportunities for technology crossovers, and GM’s entry into aerial mobility could provide the expertise required to mass produce eVTOL products with a significant cost advantage.