"I don't have an explanation for why investors are shrugging their shoulders when it comes to GM," said Ken Elias, a partner with the automotive consulting firm Maryann Keller & Associates. "GM has made amazing strides. It has a robust portfolio and every vehicle is solid."
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Elias' view is not unique.
Ask most who work in or close to the auto industry about General Motors and the leadership team under Mary Barra and you will generally hear positive comments. Last year, GM set a company record by selling 9.9 million vehicles worldwide. In the process it earned $2.8 billion.
And yet GM shares are stuck in neutral. Even a successful push by activist investors earlier this year that led to GM increasing its dividend and buying back more stock has failed to jump-start the stock.
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One issue has been the perception among some investors that GM and other traditional automotive stocks, such as Ford, represent the "old school" auto industry; companies like Tesla and the supplier Mobileye, meanwhile, are viewed as the "new auto industry."
Since late March, when Tesla was at its most recent low and GM at its most recent high, Tesla's stock is up 55 percent; GM, on the other hand, is down 16 percent.