General Motors to stop production on Chevy Bolt


Greg Gjerdingen | Flickr

Matthew Grubin

General Motors Co. will end production on the Chevrolet Bolt, one of the highest selling electric vehicles in the automotive industry, at the end of this year. 

GM announced the halt in an earnings call for its first quarter of the fiscal year on April 25. The company will move away from hatchback-style vehicles in favor of increased production of SUVs and pickup trucks.     

GM CEO Mary Barra said the company has “progressed so far” and will spend $4 billion to renovate its production plant in Orion Township in Detroit, Michigan, where the Chevy Bolt was produced. The company’s production will emphasize the GMC Sierra EV and the Chevy Silverado EV.

“When Orion EV assembly reopens in 2024 and reaches full production, employment will nearly triple,” Barra said. “We’ll have a company-wide capacity to build 600,000 electric trucks annually.”

The car’s sales increased 50% in 2022, and projections suggested that it would produce a record amount of 70,000 cars this year. Despite the EV’s strong sales performance last year, it costs $28,700 to manufacture the Chevy Bolt.

GM priced the Chevy Bolt at $26,595, which is approximately $2,000 below manufacturing costs, indicating that the model was cutting into GM’s net income during 2022. 

“Bolt is selling better than it ever has since the company dropped the price,” Sam Abuelsamid, a principal analyst for Guidehouse Insights, told CNBC. “On the other hand, that probably also means that they’re losing more money than they ever have on that car, so they don’t want to keep it going longer. They’re losing money on it.”

Having the Orion plant focus on EV Trucks will allow GM to tap into an emerging market in the automotive industry, along with various cost efficiencies.

The company projects that its electric-vehicle portfolio will reach the same level of profit as its non-electric vehicles by 2025, according to CNBC. Additionally, cost efficiencies include an in-house battery made in collaboration with a South Korean corporation.

Before GM reported the Bolt’s improved sales in 2022, which was 38,120 vehicles, the electric vehicle had significant issues with its battery in 2021.

“While range and price are compelling, the design, size and slow charging speeds never quite caught on with consumers, and a series of recalls due to fire hazards likely also made an impact,” Ivan Dury, the director of insights at the automotive research firm Inc., told CBS News.

Warnings were issued regarding the Bolt’s high-voltage battery, which could catch fire. Additionally, the car did not have propulsion, causing the model to lose power, according to Lemberg Law, which specializes in consumer law.

EV trucks may cut manufacturing costs for GM in the long term, hence improving their bottom line, creating continued development on batteries from the development insight on the Chevy Bolt and exceeding future earnings and operating margin expectations.