General Motors (GM) announced on Tuesday that it will delay the addition of a second factory for the production of electric pickups until late 2025.
Currently, the Silverado EV is being produced at GM’s Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, alongside the GMC Hummer EV. The GMC Sierra EV will also be manufactured at this facility beginning next year.
However, GM had plans to start producing electric pickups at the Orion Assembly in Michigan, where the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models are currently made. These plans have changed, as the factory will not transition to producing the trucks after the end of this year.
GM clarified that this decision was unrelated to the ongoing United Auto Workers strike and was driven by a need to “manage capital” and align with “evolving EV demand.” This move raises broader questions about the dynamics and demand in the electric vehicle (EV) market.
As a result of this decision, there will be fewer electric pickups produced next year. GM, however, did not disclose the extent of the reduction. United Auto Workers (UAW) workers at the Orion plant will have the opportunity to work at Factory Zero during the period when no production is taking place at the Orion facility.
Ford recently announced the layoff of 700 workers involved in the production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup. The company cited multiple constraints, including supply chain issues and the need to process and deliver vehicles that were held for quality checks following the restart of production in August.
Ford reported a 45% decline in sales of its EV truck in the third quarter compared to the previous year. However, the company expects sales to increase in the last three months of the year as production capacity at the plant improves. Ford also emphasized that overall demand for its electric vehicle lineup remains strong.
In the broader EV market, discounts for electric vehicles have been increasing, and these vehicles have been sitting unsold on dealer lots for longer periods compared to gas-powered vehicles. Analysts suggest that this indicates a potential decline in demand for EVs. Early adopters may have already purchased the EVs they desire, according to Joseph Yoon, a consumer insights analyst at Edmunds.com.
Yoon further stated, “A lot of carmakers seem to have tapped out of the early adopters, and so I think EVs are starting to sit a little bit.”
GM explained that aside from the need to align with demand, their engineers have identified potential improvements that would make the trucks more profitable once production begins at the new factory.
Previously, GM had announced a $4 billion investment in converting Orion Assembly to produce electric trucks.