General Motors to Launch 10 New Electric Vehicles in South Korea by 2025
【Summary】General Motors plans to launch ten new electric vehicles (EVs) in South Korea by 2025, said Steven Kiefer, the head of GM's international operations in a visit to the country. Although the move represents a big push for GM in South Korea, the company has no plans yet to manufacture EVs in the country.
Automaker General Motors is investing billions to develop new electric models in what will be the largest financial commitment in the company's history. Some of these new models will be sold in North America, but many will be sold in overseas markets, including China, which is the world's biggest auto market and an important one for GM.
But South Korea is also emerging as a key market for electric vehicles and GM announced plans on Friday to launch ten electric vehicles (EVs) in the country by 2025, said Steven Kiefer, the head of GM's international operations. The automaker's plans were reported by Reuters.
Keifer's visit to South Korea takes place after a Korean labour union delegation went to GM headquarter city of Detroit in June. His arrival in South Korea fueled speculation in local media that he could announce GM's new EV production plans.
Although the move represents a big push for GM in South Korea, the company has no plans yet to manufacture EVs in the country. As reported by Reuters, GM warned last year that persistent industrial action was preventing its further investments in South Korea.
GM Korea is the third largest automobile manufacturer in the country.
GM currently builds EVs in the United States and China. It also has plans to build them in Mexico and Canada where the company has a manufacturing base.
"We are not announcing any plans yet to produce electric vehicles in the country, so stay tuned for that," Kiefer told a media briefing.
GM's South Korea unit builds about 600,000 vehicles a year, shipping many to the U.S.,including the Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV, which has become one of GM's best selling compact SUVs. GM's South Korea plant employs around 12,000 people.
When Keifer was asked about the impact of the ongoing chip shortage at GM's Korea plants, GM Korea Chief Executive Kaher Kazem said production volume in the country this year was down about 25% versus last year, but the chip supplies are improving.
Kiefer also said GM's partnership with South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution was "very bright". "Clearly more (battery) capacity is going to be required, so stay tuned for some additional announcements," he added.
LG Energy Solutions is a subsidiary of South Korea's LG Chem, which is GM's battery partner. The two companies formed a joint venture company named Ultium Cells LLC to build batteries in the U.S. for GM's future EVs. Ultium Cells LLC is investing up to $4.6 billion to build two U.S. battery factories, one in Ohio and the other in Tennessee.
The combined output at the two factories will be roughly 70 gigawatt hours (GWh), which is enough for about 1 million EVs.
In June, GM announced that its increasing its investments in electrification and autonomous driving technologies to $35 billion through 2025 as it plans for an all-electric future with dozens of new battery-powered models in the works, many with autonomous driving capability.
Upcoming electric vehicles from GM include the Chevy Silverado, GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq SUV, but many other new EVs will be released globally.
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