SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – General Motors Co. said Friday it will launch 10 electric vehicles in South Korea by 2025 as part of its strategy to gradually shift away from internal combustion engine cars to zero-emission ones.
GM Senior Vice President Steve Kiefer outlined the Detroit carmaker’s EV plans for the Korean market during a press conference held at GM Korea Co.’s main plant in Bupyeong, just west of Seoul.
But GM Korea will bring all of the 10 EVs from the United States into South Korea without manufacturing them in the Bupyeong plant, said Kiefer, also in charge of GM’s international operations.
“GM is at an inflection point — we are transforming our company from an automaker to a platform innovator. Korea, a market of early adopters and very technology-focused people, presents many opportunities,” he said.
The U.S. company plans to bring in EVs at every price point from entry-level vehicles to performance cars, rugged trucks, capable SUVs and luxury products.
GM Korea plans to stick to the two-track plan, in which it sells locally produced vehicles and imported ones in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.
The company’s three plants — two in Bupyeong and one in Changwon, around 400 kilometers south of Seoul — have a combined output capacity of 630,000 units a year.
From January to October, GM Korea’s sales fell 30 percent to 211,239 vehicles from 300,352 a year earlier, due to the impact of continued chip shortages.
To revive local sales, GM Korea plans to add the Chevrolet flagship SUV Tahoe to the imported vehicle product portfolio, which is currently composed of the Colorado pickup truck, the Traverse and Equinox SUVs, the Bolt EV and the Camaro sports car, in the first quarter of 2022.
It also plans to add the GMC brand’s Sierra full-size truck to the imported vehicle lineup. The company didn’t provide the time frame for the release.
Moreover, the company will launch a next-generation crossover utility vehicle in the domestic market in early 2023 after assembling it in the Bupyeong plant, the executive said.
As for GM’s battery partnership with South Korea’s leading battery maker, LG Energy Solution, Kiefer expected more battery output capacity for EVs will be required.
GM and LG have partnered to build two battery cell plants with a combined annual output capacity of about 70 gigawatt hours in the U.S., which could power about 1 million EVs.