General Motors is delaying production of the Chevrolet Equinox EV, as well as the ramp-up of the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV pickups, according to statements made by CEO Mary Barra in a quarterly earnings call held Monday afternoon.
Production delays of “just a few months” will allow for changes aimed at improving efficiency and lowering production costs, Barra said during the automaker’s recent third-quarter investor call. Barra noted that planned changes will “make the trucks more efficient and less expensive to produce, and therefore more profitable” in the future.
GM last week announced that it planned to delay the ramp-up of its full-size electric trucks by a year. The Silverado EV and Sierra EV were slated to enter mass production at the automaker’s Orion Assembly plant in Michigan in 2024, but that’s now been pushed to late 2025. The Silverado EV is already in low-volume production at GM’s Factory Zero in Detroit. The Sierra EV was scheduled to be added in 2024, but it’s unclear how the delay will affect that.
The Orion plant currently builds the Chevy Bolt EV, but production is scheduled to end this year. GM made that decision to make room for the electric trucks, but didn’t give the Bolt EV an extension when it delayed pickup production.
The GM CEO revealed another important piece of news about the new Bolt EV it’s promised: that the model will mark the debut of lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) cells with the Ultium platform for North America. However, it hasn’t said when that new Bolt will arrive.
And now the Equinox EV, GM’s other planned affordable EV, has been put on hold. The Equinox EV was originally due in spring 2024 with a $30,000 base price. It’s unclear as of yet whether this will also delay the Honda Prologue, which is likely to be built at the Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, plant slated to build the Equinox EV.
Barra said that by mid-year 2024 production of Ultium cells will no longer be a production constraint in its EVs. Nevertheless that plus software improvements are among the reasons behind a “few months” delay for the launch of the Equinox EV, along with top versions of GM’s full-size electric trucks, the Silverado EV RST and the GMC Sierra EV Denali.
GM is already reportedly abandoning its target of selling 400,000 EVs in North America in the near term. The 400,000-EV target was to be reached in 2023 but recently got pushed to mid-2024. With the slow production ramp-up of the many EVs GM has announced, that target was already looking more like an impossibility.
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