Saturday, February 4, 2023

GM, LG end plans for fourth U.S. battery cell plant; automaker seeks new partner

GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra and LG Chem Vice Chairman and CEO Hak-Cheol Shin on the automaker’s battery lab in Warren, Mich., the place the businesses introduced a new $2.6-billion three way partnership on Dec. 5, 2019.


DETROIT – General Motors and LG Power Answer have indefinitely shelved plans to construct a fourth battery cell plant within the U.S., as talks between the 2 sides not too long ago ended with out an settlement, an individual aware of the plans confirmed to CNBC.

The Detroit automaker is predicted to proceed with its plans to construct the plant however is looking for one other partner, in response to the one that requested to not be named as a result of the talks are non-public.

“We have been very clear that our plan consists of investing in a fourth U.S. cell plant, however we’re not going to touch upon hypothesis,” GM stated Friday in an emailed assertion.

The Wall Road Journal first reported Friday afternoon that talks had stalled between GM and LG partially as a result of LG Power executives in Korea had been hesitant to decide to the undertaking given the speedy tempo of its current investments with different automakers in addition to the unsure macroeconomic outlook. 

The paper, citing unnamed sources aware of the plans, stated GM is in discussions with no less than one different battery provider to proceed with the fourth U.S. battery-cell manufacturing unit.

The breakdown in talks comes after GM CEO Mary Barra and different executives have stated they have been near asserting particulars of the fourth plant, which was anticipated to be inbuilt Indiana, for a while.

GM and LG initially introduced the joint-venture for a $2.3 billion plant in Ohio in December 2019, adopted by different crops close to GM operations in Michigan and Tennessee. Solely the Ohio plant is at present working, whereas the others are below development. The three way partnership known as Ultium Cells LLC.

A spokeswoman for Ultium referred inquiries to GM and LG Power. In an emailed assertion, LG Power stated discussions on a fourth Ultium Cells plant “stay ongoing between LG Power Answer and GM, however no resolution has been made.”

The connection between GM and LG Power is essential to the automaker’s future plans for EVs, including topping Tesla and others to change into the U.S. chief in all-electric automobile gross sales. The Detroit automaker is predicted to launch a handful of new EVs this yr, together with mass-market autos such because the Equinox, Blazer and Silverado.

GM, in its Friday assertion, stated its second and third crops with LG are on monitor to open as scheduled in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The corporate additionally confirmed it’s on monitor to hit 1 million EV manufacturing capability yearly in North America in 2025.

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