The Orion plant is currently used to make other General Motors electric vehicles such as the Chevy Bolt, although GM plans to stop production of the Bolt later this year. GM plans to focus on transitioning the Orion assembly lines to produce the Silverado and Sierra electric pickups.
Last summer, GM announced that the Bolt will be redesigned on the new Ultium platform, although the company did not reveal where the updated Bolt will be manufactured. GM CEO Mary Barra said the company plans to push the new Bolt to market to take advantage of the growing number of EVs, and plans to sell the new models for under $30,000.
Economist Sam Fiorani told the Detroit Free Press that GM was smart to keep the Bolt cheap. “Tesla is threatening to introduce a model below the Model 3, which already starts under $40,000,” said Fiorani. “If GM doesn’t have the same price, Tesla, or another EV maker, can attract buyers who join.”
As for the Silverado and Sierra EV models, GM is producing them at its EV assembly plant called “Factory Zero” in Detroit, along with the Hummer EV and Hummer SUV models – both Hummers have also seen little interest in sales. According to GM spokesman Kevin Kelly, when the Orion plant closes, UAW workers there will be reassigned to other GM facilities – including Factory Zero.