General Motors’ plan to make more electric trucks has run into another snag. The company had originally planned to kick off production of its EV trucks at its Orion facility in Detroit in 2024 — but now it won’t get started until late 2025.
GM said it’s delaying production “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand.” Another reason cited is “engineering improvements” aimed at improving profitability.
Orion is where GM currently builds its Chevy Bolt EV and EUV, both of which are ceasing production at the end of 2023. GM has said it will build a new Chevy Bolt based on the automaker’s Ultium battery and drive technology — but has yet to say when that vehicle will go into production.
GM said it’s delaying production “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand”
GM said employees at Orion will be given the opportunity to take a position at the company’s Factory Zero facility at Detroit-Hamtramck, where GM has been building the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, Chevy Silverado EV, and Cruise Origin. Next year, the GMC Sierra EV is expected to start production at Factory Zero. Kevin Kelly, a spokesperson for GM, said Chevy Silverado RST reservation holders wouldn’t experience any delivery delays.
Orion was always intended to become a second assembly line for the automaker’s electric truck ambitions. GM has said it would spend $4 billion to convert Orion into an electric truck manufacturing facility. “Construction includes significant facility and capacity expansion at the site, including new body and paint shops and new general assembly and battery pack assembly areas,” the company said.
The delay is the latest to embroil North America’s largest automaker, which has the ambitious plans to produce 400,000 EVs through 2024 and has said it would sell only electric vehicles in the US after 2035.
Previously, GM dealt with a slower than expected ramp-up for its new Ultium-powered electric vehicles, including the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. That included problems with the battery supply chain that forced the company to reduce some of its production targets, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year.
Tellingly, the changed production schedule is not related to the ongoing United Auto Workers strike, which is now in its fifth week. The negotiations have centered around the auto industry’s massive shift to electric vehicles, which has some union workers anxious about the future. GM recently agreed to place its future EV battery plants under the UAW’s master agreement, in a sign that talks were progressing.