General Motors' third quarter earnings call brought several bits of EV-related news, but not all positive.
The company revealed that the Chevrolet Equinox EV model (alongside electric pickups) will be delayed to implement some improvements and, in general, to adjust to the current challenging market situation.
GM does not say exactly when the Chevrolet Equinox EV will enter production. According to the previous report from summer 2023, production was expected to begin during the fourth quarter of this year. GM’s CEO Mary Barra said that the delay might take "a few months."
What we do know is that GM delayed production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan (the second EV pickup manufacturing site) to late 2025 (compared to Q1 2025, planned initially).
Originally, GM said in 2022 that the Chevrolet Equinox EV would start at an MSRP of around $30,000. At this point, it's hard to say whether the entry-level version will really start at $30,000. In September, the Electric Vehicle Association even started a petition to hold GM accountable for that.
It will be interesting to see whether the manufacturing adjustments at GM will affect Honda's plans to introduce two Ultium-based models (one Honda and one Acura), which were expected to be produced alongside GM's products. There might be some delays too.
It's clear that with the disappointing all-electric vehicle sales volume last quarter (20,092 units), and the recently ditched goal to reach an EV production rate of 400,000 units annually in mid-2024, GM is struggling. The UAW strikes do not help for sure, while competition is getting fierce as Tesla applied significant price cuts this year.
A step back to adjust and improve the products, plants, and plans to reduce costs and improve margins appears to be a necessity.
There is some good news too, as the Ultium-based EV production is finally increasing. Additionally, GM is developing a next-generation, Ultium-based Bolt EV, which will be equipped with a LFP battery pack. The current generation of the Chevrolet Bolt EV/Bolt EUV duo will be discontinued, leaving an empty space in the entry-level EV segment.