GM to announce restart of Bolt production as it increases overall EV build – Detroit Free Press

General Motors is expected to announce a restart to 2022 Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV production soon.

The automaker is also aggressively accelerating production of other EVs, including the Cadillac Lyriq SUV, this year. 

GM is expected to provide an update on restarting production of the Bolt EVs in the next week or so, according to two sources familiar with production of the EVs. The people asked to not be identified because they are not authorized to release that information.

GM's Orion Assembly builds the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt used for testing its GM Cruise self-driving fleet.

GM idled production of the Bolt EVs, which are built at Orion Assembly in Orion Township, late last year so it could focus on fixing defective batteries as part of a global recall of 2017-22 model year Bolts. About 140,000 vehicles are affected in the recall.

More:Frustrated Chevy Bolt owners want their money back after massive recall

“Our current public guidance has not yet changed,” said GM spokesman Dan Flores. “Orion is down through February. We have not announced anything beyond that. We will obviously have to provide another update to the workforce by the end of the month.”

GM also plans to boost production of EVs and the Lyriq this year by more than six times the previously planned output, according to a report by Reuters, which cited information GM shared with suppliers as its source.

The report said GM intends to increase production of its electric trucks and the Lyriq to 46,000 vehicles this year. The previous plan was to build 7,000. 

In response to the report, GM spokesman David Barnas said GM is working to accelerate upcoming EV launches.

“We have announced battery cell and assembly capacity investments that will give us more than 1 million units of EV capacity in North America by the end of 2025,” Barnas said. “We now have teams working to accelerate all of our upcoming EV launches, and our target is to deliver 400,000 EVs in North America over the course of 2022 and 2023.”

GM will welcome President Joe Biden to Factory ZERO on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, as the company opens the doors to its all-electric assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. Here a worker builds a 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup.

Last week, CEO Mary Barra told Wall Street that GM wants to build 400,000 EVs in North America this year and next. Barra did not provide a specific breakout or how quickly GM would ramp up production.

But Barra told analysts that GM has 59,000 reservations for the 2022-23 GMC Hummer EV pickups and SUVs.

GM revealed the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup last month and already has 110,000 reservations for it, Barra said. The Silverado will start production next year at Factory ZERO and eventually at Orion Assembly.

GM told suppliers for its Hummer trucks to plan for production of 21,000 of those vehicles this year at Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck, Reuters reported. The previous plan was to build 3,800 vehicles.

Production of the Lyriq, assembled at Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee, will rise to 25,000 this year from 3,200 initially planned, Reuters said.

As GM was releasing its earnings results last week, Barra said, “Customer interest in the Cadillac Lyriq is growing so quickly that we will forgo a new round of reservations and begin taking customer orders soon after the Debut Edition launches in March.”

GM’s accelerated timeline is in part due to crosstown rivalry. 

In November, Wall Street analysts predicted Ford Motor Co. would trounce GM in EV sales. Ford expects to increase its EV production capacity to 600,000 vehicles a year by 2023, it has said. This week, Ford began shipping Transit EV vans and it will begin delivering F-150 Lightning pickups this spring. 

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Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletter. Become a subscriber.

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