October 26, 2021
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -General Motors Co said on Tuesday it will resume limited production for two weeks at its Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, which has been shuttered since August and builds the electric vehicle Chevrolet Bolt.
The largest U.S. automaker in August widened its recall of the Bolt to more than 140,000 vehicles to replace battery modules and to address fire risks. The plant that assembles the Bolt was idled through the end of October.
GM said limited production will start Nov. 1 to help optimize battery production and supply chain repair logistics, including providing vehicles to be used as courtesy transportation for customers during recall repairs.
GM President Mark Reuss at a roundtable in Washington Tuesday that the company is addressing the recall before it will resume production of new vehicles for consumers.
GM has suspended sales of new Bolt vehicles. Reuss said GM has to certify Bolt vehicles on dealer lots before they can be sold but he did not say when those sales might begin.
GM disclosed this month its partner South Korea’s LG Electronics agreed to reimburse it for the $2 billion estimated costs and expenses associated with the Bolt recall.
Reuss said Tuesday LG “are great partners … they stepped up in terms of commitment and problem solving.”
GM and LG said in April they would build a $2.3 billion battery factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee similar to the companies’ Ultium Cells joint-venture plant in Lordstown, Ohio. The Lordstown plant is finished but production has not started, Reuss said.
GM disclosed in June it will build two additional battery cell manufacturing plants. Reuss said he expects to disclose where the plants will be located within the next six months.
“There’s time but there’s not a ton of time,” Reuss said, noting that GM plans to have 30 electric vehicles by 2025.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Richard Pullin)
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