General Motors postpones expanding electric truck production
General Motors Co. has delayed adding a second factory to produce its electric small cars until late 2025, the automaker announced Tuesday.
The Silverado EV is now in production at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, where it is built alongside the GMC Hummer EV. The GMC Sierra EV is also scheduled to be built there starting next year.
But GM had planned to start producing electric trucks at an additional plant in Michigan, Orion Assembly north of Detroit, as well. This is where the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV are now manufactured. Instead, when those electric vehicles go out of production at the end of this year, the plant will not quickly shift to making trucks.
GM said the decision had nothing to do with the ongoing United Auto Workers strike, but was to “manage capital” and better align with “evolving demand for electric vehicles.” The move involving the Orion Township plant raises broader questions about the dynamics and demand in the electric vehicle market.
GM’s decision will result in fewer electric pickup trucks being produced next year, but the automaker declined to discuss the extent of the reduction. UAW workers at the Orion plant will be given the opportunity to work at Factory Zero during the period when nothing is being manufactured at the Orion plant.
Broader EV problems
Ford recently announced it would lay off 700 workers building its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, citing “multiple supply chain constraints and working through the processing and delivery of impounded vehicles for quality inspection after production resumes in August.”
Ford’s EV truck sales fell 45% in the third quarter compared to a year earlier, the company reported earlier this month. Ford said it expects to record an increase in sales during the last three months of the year, with increased production capacity at the factory. Ford said overall demand for its electric vehicle lineup remains strong.
In the broader electric vehicle market, discounts on electric vehicles have been increasing, according to Edmunds.com, and the vehicles have remained unsold at dealers longer than gas-powered vehicles. These things indicate a slowdown in demand for products. This may be because eager early buyers have already gotten the cars they want, said Joseph Yuen, a consumer insights analyst at Edmunds.com.
“A lot of automakers seem to have taken advantage of early adopters, so I think electric vehicles are starting to sit back a little bit,” he said.
GM said besides the need to match demand, its engineers have identified improvements that could make the trucks more profitable for automakers once a factory starts making them.
In 2022, General Motors announced that it would spend $4 billion to convert Orion Assembly to manufacture electric trucks.
CNN’s Chris Isidore contributed to this story
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