GM seeks to boost Hummer EV production as reservations top 65,000


GMC Hummer EV Pickup Truck

Michael Wayland/CNBC

PHOENIX – General Motors has received more than 65,000 reservations for its GMC Hummer electric pickup trucks and SUVs, as the automaker tries to ramp up production of the vehicles to meet demand.

The number of reservations is higher than the automaker’s initial expectations, according to Duncan Aldred, global vice president of GMC. The number of people converting their reservations into orders to buy the Hummer pickup, about 95%, is also higher than expected, he said.

“Production is actually slightly ahead of plan and we’re putting things in place now to speed that up as well, so we can deliver those bookings faster than we initially thought,” he told CNBC. here at a media event. “We are seeing a surge.”

The Hummer EV pickup is for sale, but new orders likely won’t be filled until 2024 due to the number of reservations in the pipeline, Aldred said. The SUV, which GM unveiled last year after the pickup, isn’t expected to arrive until 2023.

Reservations for electric Hummers have been largely for the pickup since it launched first, but new reservations have been split more evenly between the truck and SUV, according to Megan Hart, assistant marketing manager for Hummer . The company declined to provide a specific breakdown between pickup and SUV bookings.

March was the best month for bookings outside of when the vehicles were unveiled, Aldred said. GMC began advertising the Hummer EV pickup late last month with NBA star Lebron James serving as the vehicle’s celebrity spokesperson.

“What we’re looking at now is how can we build the maximum amount and how can we deliver, fill those bookings as quickly as possible?” Aldred said. “We are doing all the studies on this and we are confident that we can go much faster than we originally thought, but that still means that a reservation now probably means a delivery in 24.

The 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV and the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Sport Utility Truck, or SUT.

GM

Aldred said work to ramp up production includes securing additional supplies of key components, including battery cells.

GM is still in the early days of producing the Hummer pickup at a plant in Detroit. Both traditional automakers and new EV start-ups have made new EV production ramp-ups slower than previous ones to conduct strong safety and quality control efforts.

GM sold a Hummer EV pickup in December. The Detroit automaker is expected to release its first-quarter sales on Friday, including Hummer electric vehicles.

The company is on track to produce more vehicles than it originally planned, Aldred said. “And then similarly next year we’re going to build a lot more than our original plan.”

The Hummer EV pickup is an important vehicle for GM. It’s the first to include the Detroit automaker’s next-generation battery cells and platform, known as Ultium. It is considered a new flagship for the brand and the company.

Because of the vehicle’s price, volumes are lower than other trucks, but it’s still profitable, Aldred said. GM is currently building a limited “Edition 1” launch version of the pickup that starts at $110,295. Other cheaper versions – ranging from around $80,000 to $100,000 – will follow.


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