Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Electrek just ran an article on the dearth of Chevy Bolts in Canada despite a demand for them. Link: https://electrek.co/2018/05/18/chevy-bo ... ed-canada/

What is GM's problem? They have gone on record as saying that they could make 50,000 Bolts a year if there was sufficient demand. The article does not mention what level of demand actually exists, but if someone wanted a Bolt in Canada today and were told that it would be 12 months before one would be available to them, it sounds like an increase in production would be in order.

On the other hand, perhaps the GM strategy is to wait until Tesla works out all the kinks in its Model 3 production line and fills the demand not being met by GM. Then they can whine to Congress about how nobody wants to buy EVs and lobby to have emission standards lowered so they can sell more ICEs without any further R&D.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
A month or so back, Mary Barra said a second shift was being added to the Lake Orion plant that makes Bolts due to the increased demand. I don't know what's happening with that. On the other hand, it has been said that the Bolt is a loss leader for Chevrolet: there are claims that they lose thousands of dollars on every Bolt. There may be some bottlenecks in production, esp. the batteries and drivetrain from LG in Korea. Meanwhile, GM has committed to shipping 5000 Bolts to Korea this year, and dealer lots out here in California are said to be brimming with Bolts.

Has anyone else noticed that the Lake Orion production plant is only 50 miles from the Canadian border?

None of this makes any sense to me.

The irony of all of this: it's likely that the very same rail cars that are unloading Chevys at the Tesla plant in Fremont, CA (a former Chevy plant) are being loaded up with Teslas for delivery around the country and Canada. The Tesla plant is just a few miles from a former Ford plant that has been converted into a shopping mall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
It may be that GM loses a bit on each Bolt it sells, but the ZEV credit in CARB states offsets that loss. If so, there would be little incentive to offer Bolts in non-CARB locales. Except in low enough quantities that keep demand high and reduce the need to offer discounts. That's a total wild guess...

I believe that credits are based on vehicle range so they will earn more than 1 credit per Bolt (in the order of 2½ if I read the rules correctly). And they can sell excess credits to manufacturers without sufficient ZEV sales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It may be that GM loses a bit on each Bolt it sells, but the ZEV credit in CARB states offsets that loss. If so, there would be little incentive to offer Bolts in non-CARB locales. Except in low enough quantities that keep demand high and reduce the need to offer discounts...
Geez. It sounds like a marketing strategy that is at cross purposes with itself. Tesla has offered GM and all other EV makers a free pass to instant sales by simply making EVs available while the supposed newcomer figures out how to manufacture their mighty Model 3 in any significant quantities. And the response is a failure to manufacture their competing product in any significant quantities??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,146 Posts
Geez. It sounds like a marketing strategy that is at cross purposes with itself. Tesla has offered GM and all other EV makers a free pass to instant sales by simply making EVs available while the supposed newcomer figures out how to manufacture their mighty Model 3 in any significant quantities. And the response is a failure to manufacture their competing product in any significant quantities??
Meanwhile Tesla is shipping more Model 3's to Canada than GM is Bolts in spite of their "bottlenecks". Not to mention more Model 3's are built in 3 days than Bolts in a month. The head start that Tesla gave the rest of the industry by stubbing their toe is over. Maybe they should have loaded up the Bolt to $50k first then offer the $37,450 one after that thirst is quenched. They may not have lost any money on them.
GM's not stupid though. If they can only build 30k a year, and they seem to be able to sell 30k/year, why rock the boat? My own opinion is that they would be hard pressed to sell >50k/year no matter what they do until the long distance charging infrastructure and fast charging gets cut in half to make it a viable contender to ICEV's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Canada got extra Bolts in Q4 of 2017 after the Orion plant production was increased to 50% Bolt (vs. Sonic) up from 33% , and after it was recognized that California was overstuffed with Bolts.

In 2018 its a balancing act with more units going to Korea and Europe. If capacity is increased this summer it's possible that Canada may again get more later this year.

The provincial incentives especially Ontario Canada ( $14k rebate off the bill of sale ) is driving some demand for BEVs here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
What is GM's problem?
The Bolt platform is a transition development tool. It's not a car line in the traditional sense. That's the problem, we think this is 1969 where the future is in owning a car.

The compliance component has a value delta that is diminishing to zero quickly as pretty much every other manufacturer will have some token EV(s) in the market and no longer need to purchase credits (I don't even think GM sells their credits). The battery component is predictably still too expensive to justify increasing sales significantly whist taking a loss on each unit. Why make another 20,000 units in order to take an additional $150 Million loss?

There is "demand" for the Bolt, but not nearly enough at this time, or in the near future to justify production at the numbers needed to reach a true efficiency of scale (AKA: Real profitability/unit sold). GM has the luxury of awaiting mass market demand since they sell ICEv's. Tesla does not, this is why scale is the only thing that matters over there.

IMO, We all need to understand the following:

The Bolt is irrelevant in the big picture. The Bolt is just a partial means to an end. The Bolt is more of a proof of concept of 100% outsourced manufacturing...after all, the majority of the Bolt is NOT manufactured by GM, but by LG and Bosch. It is GM's new mission to transition away from manufacturing cars primarily for sale over the next 20 years. GM, like most manufacturers have married into the 'RoboTaxi'-future tribe. The RoboTaxi tribe Medicine-men & women are the industry investor analyst, who report to the investor Chieftains, who are looooong:

GM valuation does not reflect robo-taxi business, says Piper Jaffray Piper Jaffray analyst Alexander Potter says General Motors' "budding" robo-taxi business is wrongly being valued at zero. The analyst's city-by-city ride-hailing model indicates a market opportunity that could exceed $1 trillion in the U.S. alone. GM's "valuation does not reflect this opportunity (not by a longshot)," Potter tells investors in a research note. He thinks investors should be buying the stock and upped his price target for the shares to $57 from $52.​
New research from UBS predicts that US autonomous-vehicle revenue will reach $2.3 trillion by 2030—and 70% of the estimated is expected to come from selling experiences to the former drivers.​
Some forecast have the RoboTaxi market as big a $5T. GM has invested in Lyft, partnered with Uber, and to this moment has spent more on acquiring tech companies in the past 3 years than they have combined in their 100+ history. GM just invested in a Canadian AI company called Algolux a couple of weeks ago.

Considering all of this, does anyone really think that GM (and every other manufacturer) isn't concentrating all of it's efforts on what they see as the immediate future of transportation? A potential $5 Trillion Global market that is totally up for grabs? GM has far bigger fish to fry than the Bolt. I doubt if more than 40,000 Bolts will ever be produced in a single year...at least Bolt's manufactured for purchase by private individuals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
The Bolt platform is a transition development tool. It's not a car line in the traditional sense. That's the problem, we think this is 1969 where the future is in owning a car.

The compliance component has a value delta that is diminishing to zero quickly as pretty much every other manufacturer will have some token EV(s) in the market and no longer need to purchase credits (I don't even think GM sells their credits). The battery component is predictably still too expensive to justify increasing sales significantly whist taking a loss on each unit. Why make another 20,000 units in order to take an additional $150 Million loss?

There is "demand" for the Bolt, but not nearly enough at this time, or in the near future to justify production at the numbers needed to reach a true efficiency of scale (AKA: Real profitability/unit sold). GM has the luxury of awaiting mass market demand since they sell ICEv's. Tesla does not, this is why scale is the only thing that matters over there.

IMO, We all need to understand the following:

The Bolt is irrelevant in the big picture. The Bolt is just a partial means to an end. The Bolt is more of a proof of concept of 100% outsourced manufacturing...after all, the majority of the Bolt is NOT manufactured by GM, but by LG and Bosch. It is GM's new mission to transition away from manufacturing cars primarily for sale over the next 20 years. GM, like most manufacturers have married into the 'RoboTaxi'-future tribe. The RoboTaxi tribe Medicine-men & women are the industry investor analyst, who report to the investor Chieftains, who are looooong:


I agree that the Bolt is clearly a transition vehicle but I would argue that it's more than just a POC outsourced manufacturing model. Correct me if I am wrong but aren't the majority of parts in a a vehicle today third party? I think the Bolt is a POC but I would like to believe it's a POC of their next generation platform which is obviously all about autonomous technology. Anyway great post and insights and was not aware of some of their investments in AI technology...
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top