By Christina Rogers 

General Motors Co. 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 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.

GM, for its part, is placing one of the industry's biggest bets on shifting its lineup to electric-vehicles, spending billions to develop new plug-in models and its own battery technology in-house. The company also is pursuing advancements in autonomous cars, a technology where software expertise is essential.

Still, GM and other car companies have struggled in the past to recruit for such areas, in part because they say much of that talent is based outside Detroit.

Mr. Morris said GM has been more effective than it had expected while working from home, and that has encouraged it to open up the hiring to people who would potentially work remotely.

"We have confidence in that flexibility now," he said. "We can get the absolute best people, and if they want to live where they currently live, they can do that."

--Ben Foldy contributed to this article.

Write to Christina Rogers at christina.rogers@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2020 14:17 ET (19:17 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
General Motors (NYSE:GM)
Historical Stock Chart
From Dec 2020 to Jan 2021 Click Here for more General Motors Charts.
General Motors (NYSE:GM)
Historical Stock Chart
From Jan 2020 to Jan 2021 Click Here for more General Motors Charts.