General Motors has confirmed the company’s Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson has commissioned a study of Tesla Motors, the upstart electric carmaker from Silicon Valley that has countered the generally weak market for battery cars by exceeding its sales forecasts this year.
According to GM vice chairman Steve Girsky, GM wants to be sure that Tesla doesn’t leave it behind in the field of automobile innovation. The start-up maker has generated almost universal raves for its Model S battery sedan and while it’s stock has taken some hits in recent days, Tesla shares are still up about 450% over the company’s 52-week low – and trading at more than three times higher than GM.
The decision to study, rather than write off, Tesla reflects a very different attitude at General Motors since its 2009 emergence from bankruptcy, Girsky said during an interview on Bloomberg TV. “In the old days, they would’ve said, ‘It’s a bunch of laptop batteries and don’t worry about it and blah, blah, blah,’” Girsky said.