General Motors isn’t giving up on the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV compact cars following the widely publicized battery fire recall that forced it to halt production and sales of the two nameplates last year.
According to Reuters, the automaker has produced a new high-dollar ad campaign for the two electric compact cars, which will air this week during television coverage for Major League Baseball’s opening day games. Chevy marketing boss Steve Majoros told Reuters the major campaign will give the Bolt the nameplate the second-highest media spend at Chevy in 2022, behind only the Chevy Silverado pickup. Majoros also predicted Bolt sales will reach a record high this year, topping the previous high of 23,297 units sold back in 2017.
This financial commitment to the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV is a clear sign that GM has not given up on the Bolt nameplate, despite negative headlines generated by the battery fire recall. The timing of the ad campaign coincides with the restart of production of the two vehicles at the GM Lake Orion Assembly plant in Michigan this month. Production of the vehicles had been offline since late 2021 as GM concentrated on manufacturing repair parts for recalled vehicles. A stop-sale order was also active on both vehicles during this time.
GM’s continued investment in the Bolt nameplate is noteworthy, as the automaker has multiple new EVs coming down the pipeline that will utilize its more advanced Ultium battery chemistry/design. The batteries in the Bolt are a previous-generation GM battery technology that will not be used in any of its future products. GM has also said it is working to ensure Ultium-based EVs, which include products like the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq and Chevy Silverado EV, will not inherit the same battery defects the Bolt did.
GM first expanded the battery fire recall for both nameplates last August, recalling more than 140,000 examples of the Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Bolt EUV in response to multiple reports of battery pack fires. The fires were later linked to a pair of manufacturing defects in the battery packs themselves. The defective batteries, produced by GM’s battery partner LG Energy Solution, typically featured a torn anode and folded separator that were present within the same battery cell. GM has since worked with the Korean supplier to tighten manufacturing controls at its battery cell plants.
Sales of the Chevy Bolt EV were at their highest in 2017, reaching 23,297 units, before falling to 18,019 units in 2018 and then to 16,418 units in 2019. Sales rose once again to 20,754 units in 2020 and then to 22,073 units in 2021 before the battery fire recall forced GM to pause sales in Q4 of that year. A redesigned version of the Bolt EV was introduced for the 2022 model year alongside the new Bolt EUV crossover model.