GM invests in electric conversion of further plants

Following recent strikes at the plants of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis last month, more and more details about the concessions the US union UAW has managed to secure from the "Big Three" are emerging. For example, more GM plants will soon be building electric cars - and an iconic model could also go electric.

Image: General Motors

According to Reuters, General Motors is planning to build a more cost-effective version of the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt at the Fairfax plant in the US state of Kansas from 2025. And it will produce electric cars for Cadillac and Chevrolet, including electric models called Corvette, at the Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan from 2027. Both plants currently manufacture combustion models and will be converted to produce electric cars with investments totalling 1.25 billion dollars for Lansing Grand River and 391 million dollars for Fairfax.

According to the report, these key points are part of the (currently still provisional) agreement between General Motors and the union United Auto Workers (UAW), so they can be considered practically binding – unless the management in Detroit wants to cause another strike. GM will not officially comment on the provisional agreement with the union until final ratification. In addition to the model and investment commitments for the plants, the UAW has also negotiated significant wage increases.

Chevrolet Bolt will probably come with LFP cells in 2025

Few details are known about the individual models. In the case of the new Chevrolet Bolt, it is clear that the main focus of the generation change will be on reducing costs. A switch to cheaper LFP cells is thus likely. Production of the current Bolt at the Orion Township plant will conclude at the end of this year. It has not yet been confirmed when the successor will launch – based on current information, the market launch is not expected until 2025.

Since this year, the iconic Corvette sports car has also been available as a hybrid version, the Corvette E-Ray. A purely electric Corvette based on GM’s Ultium platform is set to follow. Apparently, there are even plans to establish Corvette as a complete electric car sub-brand and expand the model range.

It was also recently announced that Stellantis has agreed to build a new battery factory and produce a range of electric models as part of its preliminary settlement with the UAW. But here, too, hardly any details are known – such as the partner for the new battery factory.

However, in the run-up to the agreement with the union, both Ford and General Motors warned of the impact of such an expensive labour agreement on investment planning. The tenor: If we have to pay higher wages, we cannot invest in new models and their production to the extent planned – which is why there could be delays in electromobility. However, it is not known what the original plans were.

However, Reuters also notes that GM’s production strategy differs from that of Ford and Stellantis. The two major US competitors (in the case of Stellantis with brands such as Jeep, Dodge and Ram) are also planning new hybrid models to make an offer to US customers who are not yet able or willing to switch to an electric car. However, GM is focusing on petrol and pure battery electric cars, which, according to analysts, is not without risk over the 4.5-year term of the UAW contract given the current demand for BEVs.


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