GM says that production of its Ultium-based all-electric vehicles has been constrained due to issues with an unnamed automation equipment supplier. The disruption arrives at a critical time for the automaker as it prepares to launch several key EV products. However, according to GM CEO Mary Barra, the issue is expected to be resolved by the end of the year, it not before, and GM still expects to hit its EV production targets going forward.
Per a report from The Detroit News, GM CEO Barra addressed the battery module production issue this week, saying that the delays stemmed from “delivery issues” associated with an automation equipment supplier, “constraining module assembly capacity.” However, Barra added that GM still aims to hit its EV production target of 100,000 units built in North America by the end of 2023, and 400,000 units by the middle of 2024. GM has already met its goal of 50,000 EVs built in the first half of the 2023 calendar year.
To address the recent automation supplier issue, GM has sent manufacturing engineering teams to help improve deliveries. In addition, GM is adding manual battery module production lines at several of its EV assembly plants, including the GM Factory Zero facility in Detroit and the GM Spring Hill facility in Tennessee. Further battery module production lines will be added to the GM Ramos Arizpe facility in Mexico and the GM CAMI facility in Canada.
“We’ll get behind this,” Barra told investors this week. “I’m very confident of the teams we have in place.”
Barra also stated that production of the battery cells that make up the battery modules is ahead of schedule. Cell production is now under way at the GM Ultium Cells facility in Ohio, operated under a joint venture with LG Energy Solution.
“Demand for our EVs remains very strong because the Ultium platform is purpose-built for electric vehicles,” Barra told investors. “It does not force customers to compromise on style, performance, utility, range or towing.”