General Motors bid farewell to the Chevy Bolt today in its first-quarter earnings call, bringing closure to its best-selling electric vehicle.
CEO Mary Barra confirmed the Bolt’s two offerings, the EV and EUV, will be phased out as GM aims to transition away from its older offerings and make progress toward higher production rates of vehicles that will utilize the Ultium platform, the automaker’s next-generation architecture for electric cars.
Barra said the decision concerns GM’s progression in its quest to dethrone Tesla from the peak of EV leadership. “We have progressed so far that it’s now time to plan to end the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV production, which will happen at the very end of the year,” she said.
The Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan, where the Bolt has been manufactured, “will be retooled in preparation for production of Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks” next year.
“When the Chevrolet Bolt EV launched, it was a huge technical achievement and the first affordable EV, which set in motion GM’s all-electric future,” Chevy spokesperson Cody Williams said. “Chevrolet will launch several new EVs later this year based on the Ultium platform in key segments, including the Silverado EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV. ”
Where GM has struggled is ramping up production of its newer EVs, which only highlights the very interesting strategy to axe the Bolt.
Of the 39,096 EVs that GM built in 2022, 38,120 were the Bolt EV and EUV, while 854 were the GMC Hummer EV, and 122 were the Cadillac Lyriq.
The methodology of GM to eliminate the EV that made up 97.5 percent of its total sales last year is definitely questionable. However, Barra said its strategy is to ramp up production to build 600,000 electric trucks annually at the Orion plant.
However, there are also questions of how long it will take GM to offer a product that is available at the price point of the Bolt EV and EUV, which both start at under $30,000 after substantial cuts last year when it released the new model year.
The Equinox EV will replace the vehicles and is expected to have a price point that is relatively comparable to the Bolt when it eventually makes it to production later this year.
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