Efforts by General Motors to ramp up electric vehicle production have not been working out. Mike Colias reports for The Wall Street Journal:
General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra has called 2023 a breakout year for the company’s electric-vehicle push. It is off to a slow start.
The Detroit auto maker is dealing with the slower-than-expected rollout of two high-profile electric vehicles, the GMC Hummer EV and the Cadillac Lyriq, increasing pressure on Ms. Barra after GM lost EV market share to rivals last year.
More than 15 months after GM began building theelectric GMC Hummer pickup truck, the company has been making roughly a dozen a day, a figure far below initial targets for this point in the rollout, people familiar with the matter said. The Hummer has a wait list of more than 80,000 people. Some Hummers have been stuck at dealerships under a sales freeze since October, as GM investigated a potential problem with water seeping into the battery pack.
GM’s other high-profile new EV, the Cadillac Lyriq SUV, which it started selling almost a year ago, is also experiencing an unusually slow ramp-up. Through February, GM had sold roughly 1,000 Lyriqs since it began building them in March 2022. Comparatively, Tesla Inc. sold an estimated 252,000 Model Ys in the U.S. last year, according to research firm Motor Intelligence. The Lyriq is a direct competitor to the Tesla Model Y.
GM aims to produce 36,000 Lyriqs in the U.S. this year, 9% lower than its original target, partly because of a tighter-than-expected supply of battery cells, people familiar with the matter said.
GM says EV output will accelerate, especially in the second half of the year. The difficulties highlight how amid the fanfare around electric vehicles, car companies are having trouble manufacturing them at scale, hindered in part by challenges of navigating new supply chains for the technology.
Read more here.