At a 2018 meeting with a senior General Motors team, Chief Executive Mary Barra stunned the room with a sharp U-turn. She killed plans for a new high-end Cadillac that already had gushing reviews from the automotive press. 

Her reason: the car’s gas-guzzling V-8 engine. Barra, deep into her quest to turn GM into an electric-car powerhouse, decided it would send the wrong message to showcase another splashy Cadillac—the GM brand known for innovation—that leans on fossil-fuel technology. 

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