If it were up to iconic investor and short-seller George Soros to pick the winners of automotive electrification, General Motors (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report would have a lot to worry about.
The legacy carmaker is however doing everything to be one of the major players in the very lucrative segment of electric vehicles.
GM seems to have a vehicle in each segment to compete with. The premium brand Cadillac offers an SUV, the Cadillac Lyriq. GMC offers an all-electric version of the very iconic Hummer, the GMC Hummer EV. Chevrolet has the Bolt entry-level vehicle in sedans and mini SUVs and should soon offer an electric version of the Chevrolet SIlverado pickup.
CEO Mary Barra has promised that GM will sell 2 million electric vehicles by 2025. Basically, the Detroit giant seems to have the cards in hand to fight with Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report, Ford (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report or Volkswagen (VLKAF) . And above all, GM hopes to be able to counter the young disruptors.
George Soros seems unconvinced by this display of strength and power. The billionaire has just sold all of his GM shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Soros Fund Management held 1.26 million GM shares as of December 31. Three months later, the fund no longer owns any shares in the automotive giant, according to the filing, which does not mention GM.
It is unclear whether Soros's decision is related to the individual situations of the two companies or whether it is motivated by the fact that the horizon of the automotive sector is currently clouded by disruptions linked to supply chains, the shortage of semiconductors and the soaring prices of raw materials.
Lucid and Nio Are Soros' Two New Bets
However, the demand for electric vehicles is strong. Automakers are currently struggling to meet demand.
Interestingly, Soros has not completely liquidated his automotive investments. As we reported recently, the billionaire's fund has confirmed its bet in Rivian (RIVN) - Get Rivian Automotive Inc. Report, the manufacturer of electric pickups, SUVs and vans.
It also appears that Soros believes in two other automotive disruptors. The first is Lucid (LCID) - Get Lucid Group Inc. Report, the manufacturer of the Lucid Air luxury sedans, which is Tesla's most serious competitor in the sector. Lucid also counts Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) as a key backer with a 62% stake.
The company plans to start building its second factory in the coming weeks in Saudi Arabia to serve regional and European markets. Lucid has also decided to increase the prices of its vehicles as of June 1.
Soros acquired 600,000 Lucid shares as of March 31, according to the SEC filing. This stake in Lucid is valued at $10.62 million at the current share price.
This is the first time Soros has invested in Lucid. In addition to the Californian company, Soros has also acquired for the first time shares of the manufacturer of Chinese electric vehicles Nio (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. American depositary shares each representing one Class A 蔚来汽车 Report. Soros now owns 69,896,000 NIO American depositary shares (ADSs) worth $84.36 million as of March 31.
Nio production is affected by the covid lockdowns in China. Nio, as The Street Kirk O'Neil reported, recorded 5,074 EV deliveries in April, which amounted to a 28.5% decline from 7,102 deliveries in the same month in 2021. Deliveries included 1,878 of its model ES6; 1,252 of its EC6; 1,251 of its ES8 and 693 of its ET7.