SPY380.36-1.97 -0.52%
DIA309.45-4.53 -1.44%
IXIC13,192.35+72.96 0.56%

DJ GM's Super Bowl Ad Featuring Will Ferrell Will Focus on its Electric Vehicles -- Barrons.com

· 02/07/2021 14:24
By Al Root

After being left in the dust by Tesla over the past year, shares of General Motors and Ford Motor have started to rise. Both American car icons have new electric models coming, and GM is promoting its new models in a Super Bowl commercial. For GM and Ford, it feels like old times.

General Motors's (ticker: GM) Super Bowl commercial features TV and film star Will Ferrell. In it, Ferrell rails against Norway and its success in propelling electric vehicle sales in the country. "Did you know that Norway sells more electric cars than the U.S.?" asks Ferrell right before putting his fist through a globe. It's a funny commercial.

The commercial features the Cadillac all-electric LYRIQ and the all-electric Hummer. Some versions of the Hummer EV are set to go on sale in late 2021 and the LYRIQ is expected to come after that launch.

The advertisement also features GM's Ultium battery technology, the company's internally developed platform designed to be used on multiple EV models. The standardization can, hopefully, drive down EV cost and development time.

Not to be outdone, Ford (F) posted a video on Twitter showing its new all-electric Mach-E delivering pizza in Norway. Ford boasts it is already selling EVs in the nordic country, ahead of GM.

EV investors might ask themselves where is Tesla (TSLA), the EV leader and world's most valuable car company. Tesla doesn't do a lot of traditional advertising, relying on launch events, word-of-mouth and the personality of founder and CEO Elon Musk. They company saves the equivalent of billions annually by not having to sell cars like traditional car companies do.

Still, everyone loves a good Super Bowl commercial. What's more, watching Ford and GM take fun shots at one another feels nostalgic.

More than two decades ago, GM's EV1 commercial made its debut. That car came out around 1996 and used lead-acid batteries. Today's EVs use lithium-ion battery technology. The EV1's range was 70 to 100 miles on a single charge, about one-third of the range modern EVs achieve.

The EV1 didn't make it, but both Ford and GM are more heavily invested in EVs now. GM has committed to spending roughly $27 billion on EV and autonomous vehicle development between now and 2025. The plan is to launch 30 EV models between now and then.

Ford, for its part, plans to spend $20 billion on EV and autonomous vehicles between in that same period.

Investors are starting to take notice. Ford and GM shares are both up more than 45% over the past three months, better than the 11% comparable gain of the S&P 500.

Tesla stock, however, is up more than 100% over the same span. Tesla is still leading the EV race by many metrics. But traditional auto makers, including GM and Ford, are working hard to catch up and build brand awareness with consumers.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 07, 2021 14:24 ET (19:24 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.