Back in March, GM CEO Mary Barra said that the automaker is increasing Chevy Bolt EV production without specifying any details.
Now, the automaker confirmed that it plans on increasing production by ‘more than 20 percent’ during the fourth quarter.
Chevy Bolt EV production has been limited to about 2,000 units per month despite much stronger demand in several markets, like in Europe and Canada.
The availability in Europe has been disrupted by GM’s sale of its European operations to the PSA Group.
Opel was selling the Bolt EV as the Ampera E by rebranding the vehicle manufactured by GM in Michigan, but the Detroit-based automaker limited the allocations in each market to an extremely low volume. This forced Opel to ask its Norwegian dealers to stop taking orders for the Bolt EV last year and to later increase the price by $5,500 for the electric vehicle in Europe.
In Canada, Chevy Bolt EVs are backordered by up to a year, according to Chevrolet dealers.
Availability has been better in the US, but inventory is mainly going to California and other CARB states.
Deliveries in the US this year have been down to just over a 1,000 units per month. GM stopped releasing monthly sales results and it is instead now focusing on quarterly deliveries, like Tesla.
The company released its second quarter results today. Chevy Bolt EV deliveries in the US were down 22% year over year to 3,483 units during the period or about 1,161 units per month.
But global deliveries are higher with GM starting deliveries in South Korea and Canadian deliveries remaining somewhat consistent.
GM said today that global sales are “estimated to be up more than 35 percent year over year in the second quarter and up more than 40 percent in the first half.”
Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations, announced the production increase in response to demand:
Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, especially in the United States, Canada and South Korea, has outstripped production. The extra production coming on line should be enough to help us keep growing global Bolt EV sales, rebuild our U.S. dealer inventory and bring us another step closer to our vision of a world with zero emissions.
GM says that fourth quarter production will be “more than 20 percent” higher “compared to the average of the first three quarters.”
Some good news and some bad news. Good news is that GM finally put a number on the previously announced production increase.
The bad news is that I think the production increase could actually be much higher if GM was actually trying to respond to the demand in full.
It sounds like it will push production to about 30,000 units annually, which is not bad as far as all-electric vehicle production programs go, but I think the Bolt EV could be a bigger program.
Baby steps for GM in electrification. At least, they are going in the right direction.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.