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Shares of General Motors opened Wednesday above $50 for the first time ever after CEO Mary Barra and other executives laid out an array of future business plans — from electric vehicles to flying cars — at the CES technology conference.

As Barra put it, the mission of the presentation Tuesday was to promote “confidence” in the automaker’s business, including GM’s “triple zero” vision of transportation without emissions, congestion and crashes.

GM used the event to flex its size and scale more than ever before. It showed how it’s integrating new businesses and why it refused to spin off its EV business last year amid pressure from Wall Street.

“We believe investors should prepare for a profound narrative change at GM put into action in 2021,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to investors Tuesday. “There is a lot more to come in terms of rolling out independent business units with its own management teams, technological domains and go-to-market strategies.”

GM’s stock closed up 1.9% at $48.73 a share, setting a new closing record after hitting an intraday high of $50.97 earlier Wednesday. The automaker’s market cap is $69.7 billion.

Here are five reasons the shares are taking off this week:


As Wall Street bets on which electric vehicle start-up will become the next Tesla, GM has poured billions into EVs and plans to deliver 30 new models globally by 2025. It’s part of GM’s $27 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles through then.

At CES, which is being streamed online this year, GM released new details of upcoming EVs, specifically for its luxury Cadillac brand.

Michael Simcoe, vice president of GM global design, previews upcoming EVs from the automaker on Jan.