GM To Push Cadillac As Tesla Rival

Logo of General Motors

General Motors was rallying Friday, up as much as 9%, after the company gave strong 2019 guidance and said it would use its Cadillac brand to take on Tesla.

Cadillac will be the first GM brand to launch an EV based on the platform, which has been created to be able to spawn everything from compact cars to large, 7-seat luxury SUVs.

GM is not expected to disclose on Friday additional details, including precisely when the Cadillac EV will be built, whether it will be a crossover or sedan, or where it will be assembled, the sources said.

This marks a departure from GM's previous strategy, that focused on offering EVs and electrified models under the Chevrolet brand, including the plug-in hybrid Volt and the all-electric Bolt.

The announcement was made by GM on Friday during an investor call conference, where the automaker also confirmed plans for a new modular electric auto platform.

GM in 2017 said it planned to launch as many as 20 electric cars by 2023, including both battery-electric and fuel cell-electric models.

After four years of record or near record United States sales of about 17 million vehicles, GM said Friday it expects 2019's numbers to be in that range, and that it sees the Chinese market holding up with about 27 million sales. The extra injection into Cadillac should make the brand a leader for electric technology.

Cadillac will become the face of GM's push into the electric-vehicle market, although it's unclear when exactly it will appear on the market.

This week, GM said Cadillac sales in China rose 17.2 percent in 2018, surpassing 200,000 units for the first time.

In October, GM urged the Trump administration to back a nationwide program to boost sales of zero emission vehicles like electric cars, even as the government has proposed ending California's ability to require more clean vehicles.

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