How GM, Ford and Volkswagen Are Reacting to the Electric Car Revolution

Conventional wisdom says the only constant in life is change. Those who create change often think their innovations will be permanent, but they never are. The auto industry has enjoyed a long and successful history of building vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Many car company executives assumed the merry-go-round ride would never end. Then along came Tesla and suddenly everything changed.

Traditional auto manufacturers are seeing their comfortable worldview upended by the approaching revolution in electric and autonomous cars. According to some, the action in the future will not be in building cars but in operating fleets of self-driving transportation pods that specialize in TAAS — transportation as a service. According to theorists, we won’t own cars any more. We will simply summon a vehicle to service our immediate mobility needs, whether they consist of a ride to work or towing a boat to the lake for the weekend.

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