Chevrolet expects ‘record’ Bolt sales this year after 2021 recall | Automatic functions
Chevrolet expects record sales of its Bolt products this year after having to halt production and sales last summer amid a massive recall over battery fire hazard on electric vehicles.
Chevrolet marketing manager Steve Majoros told reporters during a briefing that the General Motors Co. brand expects “record sales and production numbers for ’22 and we see ’23 being bigger than ’22 We’re bullish on Bolt EV and EUV, not just because of the current situation with gas prices… the percentage of EVs as a percentage of the industry continues to rise over the months and years. years.
GM restarted production of the Chevy Bolt EV and its big brother the Bolt EUV at its Lake Orion plant on Monday after months of shutdown while the automaker conducted a product recall, prioritizing new batteries at use as a replacement in the recalled Bolts.
Over the next month, GM will manufacture new bolts to begin selling again on dealer lots while also continuing to ship replacement batteries for the recalled population.
To kick off the Bolt’s return to market, Chevy is releasing two new commercials that will air nationally on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day.
“Our goal is to come back and, quite frankly, increase all of our trade metrics,” Majoros said. “We all see what’s happening in the market and we believe Bolt EV and EUV can catapult to their all time highs for both production and sales and we fully intend for that to happen.”
Bolt’s sales figure to beat is around 24,000.
Last year was supposed to be a big year for GM’s low-cost electric vehicles. The automaker launched the Bolt EUV and introduced a new version of the Bolt EV, which has been on the market since late 2016. Chevy has focused its marketing on how it has lowered the price of these Bolts compared to the previous version – the $5,000 Bolt EV and the $3,000 EUV. The 2022 Bolt EUV starts at $33,995 and the Bolt EV starts at $31,995.
GM halted production of the electric cars after issuing a recall in August 2021 on all bolts, more than 141,000, for a battery fire hazard. Automaker and supplier LG Energy Solution has identified two battery manufacturing issues, a torn anode tab and a bent separator, as the root cause of the fires at Bolts. Since then, GM has confirmed 19 Bolt fires around the world.
The automaker retained its Orion assembly plant where bolts are mostly shut down to prioritize new battery modules over recalled bolts. GM briefly reopened the plant in November to make new bolts for customers needing transportation while the recall was repaired.
Orion Assembly is now shipping a new product, and Majoros said of the 6,700 bolts that were on dealer lots before the recall and halted sale, 800 are salable this month.
“We wouldn’t have made this decision to simultaneously manufacture new vehicles, as well as send batteries to dealers to take care of dealer inventory, if we didn’t feel comfortable and confident…we have a very, very good reliable supply to make sure we can meet all of those needs,” Majoros said.
Chevrolet dealers have been replacing battery modules on recalled Bolts since October.
The automaker did not specify how many batteries dealers replaced.
Chevrolet spokesman Kevin Kelly said Chevrolet plans to “reuse or recycle 100% of batteries that come back under the recall.” Right now we are focusing on recycling.
Battery recycling is seen as an essential part of the electric vehicle business to help reduce the cost of obtaining needed minerals while reducing the environmental impact of mining for new supply.
For customers who have not yet received a new battery, Chevrolet dealerships are offering a software update that limits the car’s maximum state of charge to 80%, allowing users to charge indoors overnight. , to use the car with less than 70 miles of range and to park inside. after loading. The software is supposed to detect battery abnormalities.
Without the update, Bolts drivers should follow a series of recommended precautions, including not driving less than 70 miles of range. Only Bolt users with new batteries can charge to 100%.
LG Electronics Inc., the affiliate of LG Energy, agreed to pay $1.9 billion of the estimated $2 billion to recall and fix the bolts.
Majoros said the company has done “a lot to understand the general consumer perception of the situation.”
“I don’t want to minimize what we put our customers through, what our dealers did for our customers,” Majoros said. “But the data is pretty clear … we don’t see massive reputational damage. We will certainly remain humble. I think we have a great product and we’re just going to try to convince America that it’s the right EV at the right time.