Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    General Motors to Idle Ontario Plant Due to Battery Module Delays

    General Motors (GM) has announced that it will be idling its CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, from October through spring 2024. The decision to halt production is a result of delays in the delivery of Ultium battery modules that power the BrightDrop Zevo 600 and Zevo 410 electric vans produced at the plant.

    According to GM spokesperson Maria Violette, the downtime at CAMI Assembly is due to previously announced delays in battery-module supply. Production is expected to resume in the spring of 2024, with the launch of CAMI’s new battery-module line. This new line will have the capacity to fully support BrightDrop production at CAMI and supplement electric vehicle production at other GM plants.

    GM CEO Mary Barra had previously mentioned an unspecified issue with automation equipment supply for battery module production, which was slowing down the company’s electric vehicle production ramp-up. The delays were caused by an unnamed automation equipment supplier struggling with delivery issues, resulting in constrained module assembly capacity. GM has sent manufacturing engineering teams to assist the supplier and has added manual module assembly lines at its EV plants, including CAMI.

    Currently, the Ultium battery that powers the BrightDrop Zevo electric vans is manufactured at Ultium Cells’ Ohio battery cell plant. However, GM and its joint venture partner LG Energy Solution are planning to open a second cell plant in Tennessee in 2024 and a third in Michigan in 2025.

    The CAMI Assembly Plant employs approximately 1,500 people, the majority of whom are members of the Unifor union. Unfortunately, GM Canada has stated that “major layoffs” will begin in mid-October, resulting in the plant’s entire workforce being sent home. Unifor’s national president, Lana Payne, expressed disappointment in the news and is urging GM to reduce the downtime period.

    In summary, General Motors is facing delays in battery module supply, leading to the temporary shutdown of its CAMI Assembly Plant in Ontario. The company is working to resolve the issue and aims to resume production in spring 2024 with the launch of a new battery-module line. GM is also expanding its battery cell manufacturing capabilities to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.

    – [The Detroit News]
    – [The London Free Press]