GM delaying additional Silverado EV and Sierra EV production to Q4 2025

GM delaying additional Silverado EV and Sierra EV production to Q4 2025

This looks like more “Gotcha!” news about storms in the EV sector, but the word “additional” is key here. The Detroit News reported today that GM is pushing delaying production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV pickups at the Orion Assembly Plant to late 2025, about a year behind expectations. The Silverado EV Work Truck is already in production at GM’s Factory Zero in Detroit, which won’t change. Retail versions of the Silverado EV are still planned for production at Factory Zero before the end of this year, and the Sierra EV is expected to enter production at Factory Zero early next year. This new plan simply means GM won’t add more production of those electric trucks at Orion. 

GM builds the Chevrolet Bolt at Orion right now, assembly of that groundbreaking car to end this year. GM’s original idea was to spend $4 billion to convert Orion to EV pickup production in time to get its two giant profit makers rolling down lines in early 2025. The move to late 2025 could mean the plant is out of commission for about two years. The facility’s 1,261 employees are being offered spots in other plants, including Factory Zero. 

The automaker gave several reasons for the move, a spokesperson telling The Detroit News the company wants “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand,” and telling the Detroit Free Press, “We’re looking at EV demand and the trendline for EVs is stabilizing. … It is not rising as fast as originally forecasted.” On top of that, engineers “have identified engineering improvements that we will implement to increase the profitability of our products.” The spokesperson also made it clear that the delay has nothing to do with the UAW strike, now in its 32nd day. 

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Factory Zero’s working up to a near-term production capacity of about 600,000 units annually, GM saying it wanted to get capacity to 1 million EVs annually by the end of 2025. At the moment, the site builds the Silverado EV Work Truck, the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, and the Cruise Origin shuttles — not the Bolt taxis, the autonomous pods. The Detroit News reported GM sold 18 Silverado EV Work Trucks in Q3 this year, GM Authority says GMC Hummer EV production has ramped up to about 3,000 units per month, and Cruise Origin is still waiting on approval from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration to mass-produce the autonomous shuttles because the shuttles need an exemption for not having steering wheels.

With so much capacity on hand at Factory Zero and buyers seemingly hitting the pause button on EV madness, there’s no point in rushing another site. As the spokesperson said, “Production has been steadily increasing and significant scaling is planned for 2024, including a second production shift.”

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