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Expanded Silverado EV Production Delayed a Year as GM Cites ‘Evolving EV Demand’

The electric pickup is now slated to begin production at Orion Assembly in late 2025.
Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Silverado EV is the automaker’s eagerly-awaited entry into the electric truck space. As General Motors gets busy building the first examples, it has elected to delay one factory’s transition to EV truck production, which could leave it idling for almost two full years.

As covered by The Detroit News, GM will push back Silverado EV production at its Orion Assembly plant to late 2025, instead of late 2024. The decision has been made with an eye “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand,” said GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly. In regular terms, that means that current demand levels don’t justify switching over the Orion production line just yet.

The story of GM’s electric truck is still in the early stages as it has only just hit the market, selling 18 units in Q3. For now, GM’s Factory Zero is the only facility building the Silverado EV. Also known as Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, the plant is currently producing the Silverado EV work truck models, with production of retail models to begin before the end of this year. The Silverado has a twin in the form of the electric GMC Sierra, which is slated for production at Factory Zero in 2024. The factory also produces the GMC Hummer EV and the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle pod.

Orion Assembly will see the end of production of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV as 2023 closes out. This could leave the plant idle for almost two years on the new schedule with Orion kicking off truck production in late 2025. Currently, the plant is served by 1,261 employees. As production winds down, Kelly noted that workers will be offered other opportunities in GM’s other Michigan plants, including Factory Zero, where a significant ramp-up is planned for 2024. According to comments from GM CEO Mary Barra earlier this year, the Bolt itself will eventually return, but a specific timeline has not been stated.

GM isn’t the only player pulling back on EV production. As covered by Yahoo Finance, Ford has also recently cut shifts for F-150 Lightning production, citing supply chain constraints and a need to process vehicles held back for quality reasons. However, other hints suggest the market for the electric truck may be softening after an initial surge of interest, with the Wall Street Journal noting a United Auto Workers memo indicating faltering demand.

GM’s move comes at a curious time for the EV market. Recent years have seen automakers place big bets on new electric models, at times rushing to meet unprecedented demand with expanded production capacity. More recently, though, EV inventory has been piling up at dealers and some automakers have rushed to offer serious price cuts. Big Auto has always been good at mass production, but it seems that right now, it may be building more EVs than the market is willing to consume.

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