Facing weakened demand, Ford recently decided to push back its plans to build 600k all-electric vehicles annually to 2024, as well as two million of those units by 2026 as CEO Jim Farley says that EVs in general have become a “political football.” More recently, The Blue Oval paused construction at the future BlueOval Michigan Battery Park site amid ongoing contract negotiations with the on-strike United Auto Workers union, and also scaled back production of the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center – at least temporarily. However, Ford’s cross-town rival GM is also struggling with EV production due to issues with the assembly of battery modules. Now, GM has delayed the start of EV pickup production at the existing Orion Assembly plant as well, accordion to The Detroit News.
The Orion plant already builds the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV, but was previously slated to begin producing EV pickups there next year. Now, those plans have been pushed back to late 2025 “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand,” according to GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly. “In addition, we have identified engineering improvements that we will implement to increase the profitability of our products.”
GM has already been building the GMC Hummer EV and the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle at its Factory Zero plant – along with the work truck version of the new Silverado EV. Production of other Silverado EV models, along with the GMC Sierra EV pickup, are both slated to begin at the same plant later this year and at some point next year, respectively. Meanwhile, the automaker is investing $4 billion in the Orion plant to convert it for EV pickup production utilizing the automaker’s Ultium platform.
Production of the Bolt EV duo is slated to end at the conclusion of 2024, but the 1,261 employees at the Orion plant will be able to transfer to other facilities. “Consistent with the original plant conversion plan, represented employees at Orion will be offered other opportunities in Michigan, including positions at Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly where production has been steadily increasing and significant scaling is planned for 2024, including a second production shift,” Kelly said.