Automobile

Gasoline models are GM’s hedge for sales, share in electric transition

Today, the automaker has only two EVs — the Bolt hatchback and crossover — in the North American market, compared with nearly 30 internal combustion nameplates.

Within five years, GM envisions a portfolio of at least 20 EVs in North America, with about 20 gasoline-powered nameplates expected to remain in the lineup.

Some existing vehicles, such as the Chevy Malibu and Camaro, won’t stick to the standard cadence of face-lifts and redesigns. Instead, they’ll ride out the current generation before making way for EVs.

GM’s target to electrify its entire light-vehicle lineup by 2035 will also transform its manufacturing footprint. The automaker has announced plans to build Ultium-powered vehicles at Factory Zero in Detroit, Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee, Ramos Arizpe Assembly in Mexico and CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario.

Meanwhile, the future of Fairfax Assembly in Kansas and Orion Assembly in Michigan could be in jeopardy. Fairfax, which builds the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4, has been idled since Feb. 8 because of the global microchip shortage. Production of the Malibu and XT4 is slated to end by 2025.

Orion is the only GM plant churning out EVs today. But production of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, which use the automaker’s previous-generation electric architecture, is expected to end by 2024.

Neither plant has products assigned beyond 2025, one forecaster said. Their fate likely will be determined by the next UAW labor contract, set to be negotiated in 2023.

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