A new report from Automotive News has shed much-needed light on GM’s electric vehicle strategy in the near-term to medium-term future. As the Detroit automaker commits to 20 new electric vehicles by 2023 – up from just one Chevrolet Bolt EV on sale today – analysts are beginning to piece together where these vehicles will be built, what vehicles they will replace, and how much money it’s all going to cost. So far, General Motors has divulged plenty about its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant ambitions when it comes to electric vehicles. From there, analysts are determining that the Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant where the Chevrolet Blazer, Equinox and GMC Terrain are built will be retooled for electric vehicle production by 2023, while the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac sedan plant in Lansing Grand River will go through the same changeover by 2024.
Ultimately, this decision does not determine that GM is about to build a Chevrolet Camaro EV. As seen with the recent allocation of the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, new product allocations can be wildly different than the products they replace. For example, D-Ham retired the Cadillac CT6, and is instead being tasked to build the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle that appears ready for use at Disney World, but not the real world. The Hummer EV by GMC, as well as the rest of the GM BT1 portfolio, are also expected to be built at D-Ham, in place of other discontinued nameplates like the Chevrolet Volt and Buick LaCrosse.
This future EV could very well replace the Chevrolet Camaro on the line. Again, the timeline for the sixth-generation Camaro runs out by 2023, and the original plans of a seventh-generation Camaro have been cast aside as General Motors fully charges up from an EV product onslaught. That said, the highly questionable decision making across all brands at General Motors – particularly when it comes to naming vehicles – means we shouldn’t put it past them to force a standalone Chevrolet Camaro EV down the throats of a market that simply has not demanded it.
At the same time, the new Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans could disappear just as quickly as they came, as Cadillac is being positioned to be an all-EV brand. Confirmed vehicles include the Lyriq electric crossover, the Celestiq hand-built electric luxury sedan, and an electric Escalade. Recently trademarked names hinting at future EV products include the Optiq and Symboliq. We have every reason to expect they’re going to be BEV utility vehicles of some kind, considering the market shift from sedans.
Be sure to keep reading MC&T as this story develops.