The chief executive said demand has been "exceptionally strong" across General Motors' brands but also acknowledged it is "still outstripping what we can produce." Barra said that the company has been working to overcome the semiconductor shortage and other supply chain issues.
"Frankly, since the beginning of COVID, the supply has been stretched pretty thin, so I'm very proud of what we're able to do," she said. "We're seeing an improvement with semiconductors and that's allowing us to make more and more vehicles."
Ticker Security Last Change Change % GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 39.26 +0.69 +1.80%
GM is investing over $35 billion through 2025 as part of its growth strategy, including expanding its electric vehicle portfolio and constructing more battery factories in the U.S. One of its plants, located in Ohio, is set to come online in a "matter of weeks," which will "unlock our ability to build" more vehicles, Barra said.
The company announced last week that it would reinstate a quarterly cash dividend of 9 cents per share of common stock after cutting it in April 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. General Motors also said it is resuming its share repurchase program and increasing its limit.
"We felt very confident in the business plan that we can sustain that dividend," Barra said Wednesday.
Hummer EVs are seen on the production line as President Biden tours General Motors. “Factory ZERO” electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan, on Nov. 17, 2021. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo / Reuters Photos)
Barra stood by her goal for General Motors to beat Elon Musk's Tesla on electric vehicle production. General Motors believes it can get to price parity between electric and internal combustion vehicles "in the latter part of this decade," she added, citing various efforts to scale production.
General Motors invested $2.2 billion in Factory ZERO, the single largest investment in a plant in the company’s history. (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)
It is a "critical quarter" for General Motors to scale up its electric vehicle production, Barra said. The company recently announced it had secured enough battery raw materials to achieve 1 million EVs annually in North America by 2025.
She also noted that General Motors is working on an affordable electric vehicle "that will be sub-thirty [thousand dollars]" in terms of price point in the future.
"We want to make sure that one of the things that's General Motors' strength right now is we have a full portfolio of vehicles from very affordable to very luxurious, from a Cadillac or high feature from a Sierra Denali," Barra added.