GM is hiring thousands of new tech employees to fight back against Silicon Valley upstarts who are trying to erode Detroit’s dominance of the auto industry. Christina Rogers reports for The Wall Street Journal:
General Motors Co. GM 5.36% plans to hire 3,000 new workers to bolster its engineering and software-development expertise, the latest auto maker to bulk up on tech talent as competition with Silicon Valley intensifies for the future automobile.
GM said Monday the hiring will start now and continue through the first quarter of next year, focusing mostly on filling positions in engineering, IT and design, where the company is trying to operate more virtually in its development of vehicles.
The company said it will offer more remote-working opportunities than it ever has in its effort to expand the workforce and tap talent outside of Detroit, where much of its product-development is now concentrated.
“We really want to advance the entire EV portfolio and that’s where we need the extra horsepower,” said Ken Morris, GM’s vice president responsible for autonomous and electric vehicles. “We’ve figured out how to do this very quickly and this is just going to help us move faster.”
The auto industry is moving aggressively to digitize both its operations and vehicles, aiming to develop a new generation of models that are increasingly dependent on computers and run on battery power.
The hiring comes as many businesses are still struggling to navigate what the future will look as the coronavirus pandemic drags on and the economy remains hobbled by rising cases and virus-related disruptions.
GM, like other auto makers, had a surprisingly strong third quarter, reporting a net profit of $4 billion, and its executives say it will continue to push into new technologies, making electric vehicles a core focus.
Legacy car companies like GM already are fending off new competition from well-capitalized tech companies in California, as well as smaller startups that are attracting the attention and deep pockets of Wall Street.
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