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Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest makes first bet on General Motors after criticizing automaker

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Famed stock picker Cathie Wood has had a sudden change of heart on General Motors (GM).

Wood's Ark Investment Management snapped up ​​158,187 shares of the Detroit-based car manufacturer on behalf of its Autonomous Technology & Robotics (ARKQ) fund Monday, a transaction report outlining the firm’s trades showed. The move marks a sharp change in tune for Wood, who has been a vocal critic of legacy automakers.

The Ark Invest founder and chief executive officer told Yahoo Finance exclusively last month that her team recently met with General Motors CEO Mary Barra to discuss the company’s electric vehicle efforts, while also noting that Ark was “keeping an open mind” about investing in GM.

“One thing we have to be careful not to do is we must not have a closed mind,” Wood said in a sit-down conversation with Yahoo Finance’s Julie Hyman. “And when we see success, we have to acknowledge it and learn a lot more about it, so we're still on a fact-finding mission.”

“I'm fascinated by how Mary Barra is really turning that ship around and very focused on cruise automation,” she said.

In January, when Ford (F) and GM’s stock jumped after the legacy carmarkers unveiled their electric vehicle plans, Wood called the rallies “ridiculous” in a webcast and said electric cars will make up too small a share of the traditional automakers' sales.

Wood even went as far as to predict that GM and Ford may go bankrupt in an interview with Barron’s in November, also stating the companies "don't have the DNA" to make it in the electric vehicle space.

Cathie Wood, chief executive officer and chief investment officer, Ark Invest, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference on May 2, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Cathie Wood, chief executive officer and chief investment officer, Ark Invest, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference on May 2, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

General Motors has revved up its efforts to position itself for an electric future. The automaker has plans to roll out 30 EV models by the end of 2025, including the launch of its highly-anticipated electric truck next year.

The company is also working with Japanese car manufacturer Honda on a series of lower-priced electric vehicles in a potential bid to beat Tesla.

Shares of GM were mostly flat on Tuesday, trading at $38.19 a piece as of 1:31 p.m. ET.

Wood told Yahoo Finance in the April interview that Ark’s “confidence remains highest in Tesla,” and that the company's vertical integration has given it a “tremendous advantage” over competitors that are outsourcing their operations.

Recent trade reports published by Ark show the firm has trimmed its stake in Tesla across two of Ark’s other funds – the flagship Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK) and Ark Next Generation Internet (ARKW).

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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