General Motors is pushing its $4 billion plan to convert its Orion Assembly plant into an EV truck factory to late 2025, a year later than scheduled.
GM’s reasoning behind the delay — which will mean Orion will sit idle for two years — is “to better manage capital investment while aligning with evolving EV demand,” the company said in a statement sent to TechCrunch. The company also said it’s identified engineering improvements that will be implemented to increase profitability of its products.
In other words, EV demand has changed and maybe isn’t as strong as expected. That softening demand, which we’ve seen at other companies such as Lucid’s deliveries numbers reported Tuesday, is forcing automakers to adjust timelines and plans to pour billions into new factories or conversions of existing ones.
GM’s Orion Assembly Plant, where some 1,271 employees, is currently where the Chevy Bolt and Chevy Bolt EUV are assembled. GM plans to end production of those two vehicles at the end of the year. Union employees at Orion will be offered other jobs in Michigan, including positions at Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, where the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and Cruise Origin are being produced. Factory Zero workers will also start making the GMC Sierra EV at next year. GM said production at this facility has been increasing with plans to add a second shift in 2024.
GM announced in January 2022 it would invest $4 billion to convert the Orion factory to produce electric trucks using the GM-developed Ultium Platform. The project, as originally outlined, would include expanding the existing facility, adding new body and paint shops as well as new general assembly and battery pack assembly areas.
That conversion is part of a larger $7 billion investment in four Michigan factories focused on battery cell and electric truck manufacturing, including a third plant with partner LG Energy Solutions.