General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra has stated that the veteran automaker would be slowing down its electric vehicle strategy, at least in the meantime. The change in strategy comes amidst the rising costs of the UAW’s ongoing strike, which has been ongoing for several weeks now.
During a briefing with reporters, GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson noted that the UAW strike had cost the automaker $200 million during the third quarter and $600 million so far in the fourth quarter. Strike costs are running at $200 million a week, though this could rise if the UAW hits other key facilities in the United States.
Amidst the chaos from the UAW’s protests, GM has opted to rework its electric vehicle strategy in the United States. CEO Mary Barra noted that GM would be slowing down the launch of several electric vehicle models to cut costs. The company will also be pulling back on EV spending, as noted in a Reuters report.
General Motors is expecting to save billions due to a decision to redesign and relaunch the Chevy Bolt EV using lower-cost iron-based batteries from China. The company is also pausing an earlier plan, which called for an investment of about $5 billion for entry-level electric cars.
More importantly, Jacobson noted that GM would be abandoning its goal of building 400,000 electric vehicles from 2022 to mid-2024. “We’re just not going to be talking about the interim production goals,” the executive said.
Jacobson also noted that GM would be delaying the retooling of a large factory in Orion Township, Michigan, which was expected to produce electric pickup trucks. By delaying the initiative, GM is expecting to save about $1.5 billion in capital investments in 2024.
General Motors’ Cruise robotaxi unit, which is currently deployed in cities such as San Francisco, also saw its losses widen to $732 million in the third quarter. These losses, however, were in line with expectations considering the ramp of the robotaxi program, GM noted.
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