GM's new business model turns carmaker into software company: 'A potential game-changer'

Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

General Motors' transition to all-electric vehicles will transform the century-old automaker into a software company that just happens to make hardware: cars.

In the new business model, the cars will be a platform to deliver GM-developed software to offer consumers services beyond their vehicle. Services that can be used in their homes and other areas of their lives, GM leaders say.

It is "a potential game-changer for delivering subscription services that create recurring revenue," said Alan Wexler, GM's senior vice president of innovation and growth.

Wexler said over the coming weeks GM will share more details on how its software strategy is turning cars into devices.

"(It's) similar to how you might think about your iPhone or Android phone," Wexler said Wednesday at the Benzinga Electric Vehicle Investor Conference held virtually. "We're working to create experiences and services, leveraging data in the vehicles and beyond the vehicles."

The new business model is helping GM recruit and hire the top technology talent too, GM President Mark Reuss said Tuesday at the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island.


"We've hired more people in the first half of 2021 than we did all in 2020 put together," Reuss said. "Younger people and experienced people who want to be part of the revolution of what this transformation looks like are coming to our company to do it."

Delivering desirability

Reuss said that in the past Silicon Valley and other tech types would have shunned the auto business, but now people understand that the car is a platform that delivers the software. "That's very exciting to a lot of people who probably wouldn't have thought about automotive in the past."

In November, GM said it would hire 3,000 engineers, designers and technology specialists through the end of the first quarter, and most of those people can work remotely, opening up the talent pool across the nation.


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