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Lawmakers Asking GM to Produce All EVs Domestically

Lawmakers Asking GM to Produce All EVs Domestically

Ohio’s U.S. Senators are asking General Motors to commit to producing all of its electric vehicles in the U.S. The lawmakers are also seeking additional details from the automaker regarding planned production cuts in the U.S.

Reuters reports Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown sent a letter to GM demanding answers by a December 21st deadline. The two senators asked GM if it would consider producing electric cars or electric SUVs versus the gasoline-powered sedans it is currently killing from its lineup.

The letter also seeks additional information from GM regarding the job loss at suppliers who support the company’s Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio, which is slated to shutdown in early 2019.

This letter is the latest in a host of attempts Congress and the White House have taken to attempt to change GM’s mind regarding closing five of its assembly facilities in the U.S. next year. GM CEO Mary Barra recently met with leaders in Congress to discuss the planned closings further, promising them to keep an “open mind” regarding the closures.

Company officials have stated the decision to close Lordstown and the other four plants in the U.S. won’t be reexamined until GM negotiates its new collective bargaining agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union next year. Barra has stated that Lordstown in particular would take two years to retool to produce something like an electric vehicle.

GM has previously announced plans to launch 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. The company has not publicly disclosed where it plans to produce these 20 new models. Production decisions are likely hinging on the economics of the new UAW contract.


About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. Tone
    It's an odd question. GM will ask: are there tax or other incentives for us to produce domestically? Will the government make legislative changes to make domestic production cheaper? Or, will government tax imported EVs and if so at what rate? The government knows what levers it has to drive domestic production. Asking nicely isn't really one of them.

    The challenge for all makers now in the current trade environment is that it makes it tougher to produce in a few locations with a mix of domestic and export production, which is desirable from a business perspective (and why Mexico with a lot of free trade agreements is gaining so much production). As that calculus changes, everyone will be doing the math on what volume a tarriff still makes it worthwhile to import a car (to get viable global volumes) vs producing locally. Most manufacturers will figure out the business case under whatever rules; what they hate is the current climate of complete unpredictability. I'd hate to be a product planner looking at next gen products today!
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