GM said on Tuesday it will build a battery plant with South Korean partner Samsung SDI. The two companies will jointly invest $3 billion to build the plant, but GM did not disclose the location. GM is working with another South Korean company, LG Energy Solution, on a battery plant in Ohio, along with two others under construction in Tennessee and Michigan.
Later this year, GM plans to introduce three models using its new battery packs. The electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup is expected around mid-year, followed by the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox SUVs
GM is hoping that sales of electric vehicles will surge this year, backed by these new models. Mr. Jacobson said the automaker expects to produce more than 50,000 electric vehicles in the first half of the year and roughly double that in the second half.
“We are pleased with the strong demand for the electric vehicles we produce,” he said.
The automaker’s first-quarter earnings fell by $900 million, money GM has earmarked for severance and other measures as it cut 5,000 jobs. Overall, GM is trying to cut costs by about $2 billion a year.
Mr Jacobson said the cost-cutting measures were taking effect “more quickly than we expected”.
GM slightly lowered its net income forecast for 2023 due to layoff expenses. The company said it now expects net revenue of $8.4 billion to $9.9 billion next year. In January, it had forecast a range of $8.7 billion to $10.1 billion.
The trajectory of the auto industry remains unclear. In the US, new vehicle sales rose about 7% to 3.6 million vehicles in the first quarter. But by March, the pace of sales slowed markedly. Most of the growth came from purchases by rental car companies and other commercial fleets, not individuals.