It seems likely that a range of new electric vehicles from General Motors will be produced in Mexico. As part of the car manufacturer’s goal of launching 20 electric vehicles by 2023, GM will embark on expensive and time-consuming renovations of some of its factories. The company has said some of its new EVs will be built at its Orion Township site, the same location where the Chevrolet Bolt is built, and its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly line that was taken offline in March for at least a year of retooling.
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In its annual Sustainability Report issued earlier in July, General Motors made specific mention of no fewer than twelve forthcoming EVs, including five from Cadillac, three from Chevrolet, two from GMC, and two from Buick. GM's Lake Orion Assembly and Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly are expected to produce seven of them, but the matter of where the other five will be built is the subject of some debate.
Some industry forecasters that Automotive News has spoken to are of the opinion that some or all of that production could be shifted to Mexico with GM's assembly plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico being retooled for EV production come 2023. The plant currently builds the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox crossover models. Alternatively, some say GM's Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, which currently builds the Chevrolet Camaro pony car and the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans, could make the switch in 2024.
While most pundits agree that electric propulsion will someday represent the bulk of new car sales, it's uncertain when that will be, and the market has been slow to adopt EVs.
Still, Cadillac Chief Steve Carlisle, who's set to become GM's President in North America in September, told Automotive News that "now is the time to really start moving forward" with creating conditions favorable to EV success.
"We are pretty convinced that we need to be launching [EVs] sooner versus later," Carlisle says. "I think the question will be more of what does the transition look like? How long does the transition take?"
Some forecasters believe that GM will retool its factory in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico to start EV production in 2023. This site currently builds the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox.
GM is spearheading its EV push with the Cadillac brand. In its recent 2019 Sustainability Report, the company outlined plans for 12 electric vehicles, five of which will be all-new Cadillac models. There will also be a GMC Hummer pickup and SUV, Chevrolet Bolt SUV, a Buick SUV and crossover, and a new Chevrolet electric pickup and midsize SUV.