GM to boost EV Chevrolet Bolt production

A Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle is seen at Stewart Chevrolet in Colma, California, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) said Monday it is ramping up its electric vehicle assembly plans, hiking production of the EV Chevrolet Bolt and other vehicles.

GM reported its highest quarterly sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, which totaled 14,709 vehicles. Bolt sales are down 11% for the first nine months of the year versus the same period last year.

In June, GM said it would sharply cut Bolt prices after it halted sales for six months following a battery recall.

GM will boost Bolt production for global markets to more than 70,000 in 2023 from about 44,000 vehicles this year, it said on Monday. Bolt sales in 2021 hit a record annual high of 24,828 vehicles.

The largest U.S. automaker said it was moving up body shop upgrades at its Detroit Factory ZERO for Silverado EV production in 2023 and taking other steps to prepare.

GM will pause production of the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup for several weeks starting in late November to prepare for that production jump, it said.

Cadillac Lyriq production will increase in the fourth quarter and GM plans additional production shifts for GMC Hummer EVs in 2023, it said.

The automaker reiterated its 2023 EV launches, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV and Chevrolet Equinox EV, were on schedule.

GM's EV sales are still a small fraction of U.S. sales. Out of 1.65 million U.S. vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year, GM sold 22,012 Bolts, 782 Hummer EV pickups and 36 Lyriq SUVs.

GM and LG Energy Solution (373220.KS)'s joint venture Ultium Cells LLC is considering a site in Indiana for a fourth $2.4 billion U.S. battery cell manufacturing plant, the venture said in August.

The St. Joseph County Council last week approved a tax abatement for the proposed 2.5-million square foot factory plant in New Carlisle. GM said on Monday "details regarding the fourth site will be announced soon."

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Bernadette Baum

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