According to a statement on Tuesday, General Motors (GM) is delaying the production of its electric pickups to late 2025 at one Michigan plant, though the automaker says the change is not related to the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike.
GM announced plans to push back production on its Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV at its Orion, Michigan assembly plant, according to a spokesperson for the company in a statement to Automotive News. Citing EV demand and a need for engineering upgrades, GM also added that it hopes the move can help the automaker “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand.”
“In addition, we have identified engineering improvements that we will implement to increase the profitability of our products,” GM said.
The company plans to transfer 1,000 workers at Orion Assembly to its other Michigan factories, including the Detroit Factory Zero which is already producing the Silverado EV and the GMC Hummer EV pickup. Factory Zero has already stated plans to add a second shift in 2024 when it begins producing the Sierra EV.
GM will finish production of the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV at the end of 2023, then will begin retooling to build the electric pickups. Once the retooling process is completed, GM says it will invite workers to come back to the facility. The company’s original timeline had the company becoming operational again in Q1 2025, according to a statement to Auto News from GM Vice President of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson earlier this year.
Earlier this month, GM quietly reported initial deliveries of the Silverado EV, with just 18 units having been delivered in the third quarter of the year. The company has also been ramping up GMC Hummer EV production and had produced as many as 11,058 units by the end of July.
The news also comes as GM, Ford and Stellantis, dubbed the “Big Three” automakers of Michigan, continue to face strikes that have now lasted over a month. Part of the discussions in ongoing UAW contract negotiations include coverage for workers at certain future EV battery plants, and currently, GM is the only known automaker to have signed onto that part of the deal.