GM may postpone EDU production at a Canadian plant

GM may defer its plan to build Ultium electric drive units in St. Catharines (Ontario), Canada. The plan was going to support its goal of growing annual EV production in North America to 1 million units by 2025.

Image: General Motors

Canadian publication Welland Tribune released a report saying GM is relooking at the production schedule for Ultium electric drive units at the St. Catharines plant. Responding to a query regarding the plan to make Ultium electric drive units at this factory, Natalie Nankil, GM’s director of corporate and internal communications in Canada, said that the company is thinking about the timing of the move.

GM makes the fifth-generation V8 engine and the Chevrolet Corvette C8’s 8-speed dual-clutch transmission at this factory. The company used to build a V6 engine and the GF6 6-speed automatic transmission also there, but it is working to retool the assembly lines of the same to make way for the Ultium EDUs. GM “is assessing the timing for that transition,” Nankil said.

Jordan Lennox, Unifor Local 199 labour union’s President, confirmed that GM has ceased production of the V6 engine and is tearing down its assembly line. The GF6 transmission teardown process would commence soon, he added. GM hasn’t communicated when it plans to start making Ultium EDUs or why it’s reassessing the timing of the same.

Recent reports suggest EV demand is weakening, and this has led to heavy discounting, production cuts, deferred new product launches, etc. Just back in early April, Ford said that it will postpone EV production at the Oakville Assembly Plant by two years.

When GM announced in 2023 that it plans to manufacture Ultium EDUs at the St. Catharines plant, it said that it will make an investment for the same and this funding may support approximately 500 jobs at the factory. The original plan was to make more than 400,000 electric drive units annually, but it won’t come as a surprise if GM reduces that number when it begins production, saving that goal for a later date when it sees EV demand coming back strong.


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