General Motors Co. revealed Tuesday that two new commercial trucks will be part of the 30 electric vehicles it plans to introduce globally by 2025. The company made the announcement in conjunction with its second-quarter financial results.
During a conference call with financial analysts and reporters, GM
“Both will complement BrightDrop and keep our commercial fleet market share growing,” said Barra. BrightDrop is GM’s business building so-called “last mile” electric delivery vehicles.
In a letter to shareholders Barra said, “to meet expected demand, we are pulling forward the transition of our CAMI Assembly plant in Canada from building gas-powered vehicles to assembling the BrightDrop EV600. We will now transition BrightDrop production to CAMI in November 2022.”
It’s all part of GM’s previously announced decision to accelerate engineering and capital investments in electric vehicles and self driving technology by $8 billion to $35 billion from 2020-2025.
GM’s transition to an all-electric future hasn’t come without a glitch. Last fall the company 2017-2019 model Chevrolet Bolt Evs after reports of batteries catching fire. But when batteries in two Bolts caught fire after software fixes in May GM launched another recall.
Barra addressed the issue explaining during the conference call, “We did an investigation and our engineering and analysis identified two rare manufacturing defects in some cells manufactured by our supplier in the ’17 to ’19 time frame. So we instituted a second recall with the overriding priority of doing the right thing. Because cells for 2020 and later vehicles were built using improved manufacturing processes, the recall does not impact newer Bolt EVs and EUVs. Since the recall we have worked with our suppliers to make further process improvements.”
The company plans to reveal more details of its electric and autonomous vehicle strategies to financial analysts at a live program October 6 and 7.
Edmunds Executive Director of Insights Jessica Caldwell warns GM must be careful in its march to an all-electric future, writing “GM must be mindful of how it transitions to this new EV world without eliminating the vehicles Americans actually purchase and love in favor of ones that might be a bit ahead of their time. It’s not a particularly encouraging sign that consumers have been experiencing at-home charging hiccups with GM’s sole EV in the market at a time when charging infrastructure is still so limited.”
As for the effects of the ongoing global semi-conductor shortage Barra said the situation remains “fluid.” The automaker announced this week the situation is forcing it to halt production at three assembly plants building its popular and high profit full-size pickup trucks. The plants affected are in Flint, Mich, Fort Wayne, Ind. And Silao, Mexico.
Barra said she had faith various teams would “find creative solutions that minimize the impact on our highest demand and capacity-constrained vehicles including full size trucks and SUVs.”
The updates came as GM reported a second quarter net profit of $2.8 billion compared with a $758 million loss in the period last year in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. Revenues rose to $34.2 billion from $16.8 billion during Q2 2020.
The improved performance and expected diminishing of the semi-conductor shortage led the company to revise its full-year financial guidance upward. In her letter to shareholders, Barra said the company expected full-year EBIT-adjusted in the range of $11.5 billion to $13.5 billion, compared with previously stated $10 billion to $11 billion.
“We are being cautious because of the uncertainty due to the Delta variant and its potential impact on the supply chain,” Barra said during the conference call. “We do believe the combination of our safety protocols and the rising vaccination rate will minimize the disruptions but we do have to note the situation does remains fluid.”
Fluidity is constant in an industry never known, even in the pre-Covid era now being called “before times” by some, as calm and constant.