© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The new GM logo is seen on the facade of the General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., March 16, 2021. Picture taken March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo
By David Shepardson and Ben Klayman
DETROIT (Reuters) -General Motors Co said on Tuesday it will delay production of electric pickup trucks at its plant in Michigan’s Orion Township by a year as the No. 1 U.S. automaker grapples with flattening demand for electric vehicle.
The move is the latest sign that electric vehicle production and demand may not be as strong as forecast. GM had been set to begin production of the electric Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in late 2024 at the suburban Detroit plant. The company said the plan now is to start it in late 2025.
GM said the change was being made “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand” but said the move does not impact its battery plant plans. GM said in July battery production at the Ultium joint venture plant Ohio has been hampered because “our automation equipment supplier is struggling with delivery issues.”
The automaker in July reiterated a previous target of building 400,000 EVs from 2022 through the first half of 2024, and projected EV revenue of $50 billion in 2025. GM has said it is targeting production of roughly 100,000 EVs in the second half of 2023.
Reuters reported in July that the U.S. electric vehicle market is growing, but not quickly enough to prevent unsold EVs from stacking up at some automakers’ dealerships.
GM’s rival Ford (NYSE:) said on Friday it was temporarily cutting one shift at its plant that builds the F-150 Lightning EV. Ford said in July it would slow the ramp-up of electric vehicle production and forecast a full-year loss of $4.5 billion on its EV unit.
A GM spokesperson said the decision announced on Tuesday was unrelated to the ongoing talks with the United Auto Workers for a new labor deal. Some analysts worry a more costly contract could crimp the company’s spending plans.
GM still plans a significant boost in EV production in 2024 including adding a new shift at a Detroit-Hamtramck factory that is currently building EV SUVs and pickup trucks. GM is set to begin building the GMC Sierra EV next year in Detroit.
General Motors (NYSE:) said on Tuesday it still plans to end production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV at the end of 2023. GM, which vows to end the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, sells few EVs in the United States outside the Bolt. Just 2.8% of its total U.S. sales this year are EVs.