General Motors Changes up Its Business Logo to Reflect New Emphasis on Electric Vehicles

By Elijah Labby Monday, January 11, 2021

General Motors unveiled a new, freshened-up logo in early January, and it’s one more clear indicator that the company wants to move further in the direction toward making electric vehicles (EVs).

The new business logo, which changes out the company’s formerly capitalized initials for lowercased ones, also features a lighter blue color and a line under the “M” that creates a noticeable electric plug shape.

The change continues a burgeoning trend within the company of changing the logo every ten years or so, which began two logos ago. And while the company has had five different logos over the course of its 112 years, the most recent change is arguably its most notable.

"This was a project our team took so personally, not just for ourselves but for the 164,000 employees this logo represents," said Sharon Gauci, GM executive director of global industrial design. "At every step we wanted to be intentional and deliberate because this logo signifies creative and innovative thinking across the global General Motors family."

The automaker’s logo change is a part of a business marketing campaign dubbed “Everybody In” that is intended to simultaneously move consumers from natural gas-driven forms of transportation to electric vehicles as well as overtake existing EV companies that have gotten a headstart in the industry, like Tesla.

The transformation of GM’s business has been a long time coming. Back in October, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra announced that the company was committing $2 billion to EV development in the United States.

GM’s new electric vehicles include both the Cadillac Lyriq, a crossover, and a new Hummer that aims to be a more environmentally-friendly vehicle than the gas-guzzling Hummers of years past.

Indeed, on an industry level, corporations are saying that their foray into electric vehicles is intended to reduce the impact of climate change on the globe.

“Climate change is happening, and it’s time to do something about it,” said Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen. “That’s where e-mobility comes in, and Volkswagen is pushing the pace of e-mobility for everyone.”

Still, the market for electric vehicles is small, so companies taking part in this transportational paradigm shift are playing the long game. The value of the automotive industry as a whole was over $5 trillion in 2017. By contrast, the electric vehicle market was valued at a much smaller $162 billion in 2019.

So while the market for electric vehicles is currently orders of magnitude smaller than that of its parent market, the sheer number of legacy automakers moving into it are a clear indication that the future, at least according to the companies betting on it, lies in electric vehicles. GM’s logo change is more than a visual or aesthetic change — it’s a commitment and a sign the EV wars are heating up.

About the Author

Headshot for author Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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