GM's electric pickup to hit dealer showrooms in fall 2021: CEO

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co's GM.N first electric pickup truck model will go on sale in the fall of 2021, the company's top executive said, around the same time that electric carmaker Tesla Inc's TSLA.O own model is expected to debut.

FILE PHOTO: General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announces a major investment focused on the development of GM future technologies at the GM Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, U.S. March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

“General Motors understands truck buyers and ... people who are new coming into the truck market,” Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said at an investor conference in New York on Thursday. “It will be a very capable truck, I’m pretty excited about it.”

The No. 1 U.S. automaker has so far given few details on its planned line of electric pickup trucks.

Reuters reported last month that GM plans to build a new family of premium electric pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant beginning in late 2021, possibly reviving the imposing Hummer brand on some of them.

Until now, the automaker had not given a date for when its first electric pickup truck would hit the market.

Pickup trucks are one of the most profitable vehicle segments in the world. The U.S. market is dominated by GM, Ford Motor Co F.N and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV FCHA.MIFCAU.N.

Ford also intends to sell an electric F-series pickup truck in late 2021, sources familiar with the plans have said.

GM’s Barra spoke on the same day that Tesla was expected to give details about its long-anticipated pickup truck model.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the company wants to add a pickup to its growing family of premium electric vehicles, but has not provided a specific timetable. Last month, Musk described the Tesla pickup as “closer to an armored personnel carrier from the future.”

Analysts have said they expect the Tesla pickup to debut in late 2021 or early 2022.

Separately, startup Lordstown Motors Corp said on Thursday it is now accepting pre-orders for its electric pickup truck, the Endurance, for $52,500 before tax credits.

The truck is due to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The company, which is 10% owned by Workhorse Group Inc WKHS.O, recently bought GM's shuttered Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio.

Lordstown Motors said its initial focus will be to sell to corporate fleets, but the Endurance will also be available to consumers.

Reporting by Nick Carey in Detroit; Editing by Franklin Paul and Matthew Lewis