GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra addresses investors on October 6, 2021 at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.

Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors

DETROIT – General Motors CEO Mary Barra blamed the automation equipment supplier for the slow ramp-up of its new electric vehicles after Wall Street criticized the rollout of its latest EVs amid bold predictions to catch up with the industry leader. Tesla.

GM shares were down about 4% Tuesday morning despite quarterly results that beat a year ago. Analysts on the call questioned the company’s pricing strategies, EV profitability guidance and ability to meet previously announced vehicle targets.

“We have experienced unexpected ramp delays as our automation equipment supplier has experienced supply issues that are limiting module assembly capacity,” Barra said during a company meeting. second quarter earnings call Tuesday.

GM produced 50,000 EVs during the first half of this year for North America, in line with internal targets but much slower than many expected. Most of that production was of its outgoing Chevrolet Bolt models, rather than the new EVs that use the automaker’s “Ultium” batteries and technology.

Barra, a former plant manager and automotive engineer, said she was “disappointed” with the unnamed supplier and said she was personally involved in troubleshooting and updating the automated lines. She said GM was “surprised” at how little progress the contractor had made.

The automaker expects production to improve significantly by the end of this year, Barra said, with the restrictions “primarily” behind the company by then, if not sooner.

“We’ve already seen a lot of improvement since, I’ll say, you know, the last four to six weeks, we’re going to continue on that path,” Barra said.

Despite the problems with the battery modules that contain the vehicle’s battery cells, Barra said the company still plans to produce 100,000 vehicles in North America during the second half of this year, bringing cumulative production to 400,000 by the middle of next year.

“We’re not walking away from any of the targets that we threw out,” Barra said.

Reviving the Bolt

Those upcoming EVs will eventually include a next-generation version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, GM said.

In April, GM has announced that it will end production of the regular Bolt EV models until the end of this year shift the production of the plant where it is produced to electric trucks.

The Chevrolet Bolt EUV on display at the New York Auto Show on April 13, 2022.

Scott Mill | CNBC

Barra said the plans to build the next-generation Bolt follow increased consumer demand for the vehicles significant price reductions last year it made the vehicles the cheapest electric cars in the US

Barra said GM will update the vehicle with technologies from its new battery and software programs, known as Ultium and Ultifi.

GM declined to release other details about the next-generation Bolt, such as timing, price and production location.

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