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GM, LG finish plans for fourth U.S. battery cell plant as automaker seeks new accomplice

GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra and LG Chem Vice Chairman and CEO Hak-Cheol Shin on the automaker’s battery lab in Warren, Mich., the place the businesses introduced a brand new $2.6-billion three way partnership on Dec. 5, 2019.


DETROIT – Basic Motors and LG Power Resolution have indefinitely shelved plans to construct a fourth battery cell plant within the U.S., as talks between the 2 sides lately ended with out an settlement, an individual conversant in the plans confirmed to CNBC.

The Detroit automaker is anticipated to proceed with its plans to construct the plant however is looking for one other accomplice, in keeping with the one who requested to not be named as a result of the talks are non-public.

“We have been very clear that our plan contains investing in a fourth U.S. cell plant, however we’re not going to touch upon hypothesis,” GM stated Friday in an emailed assertion.

The Wall Avenue Journal first reported Friday afternoon that talks had stalled between GM and LG partly as a result of LG Power executives in Korea have been hesitant to decide to the venture given the fast tempo of its latest investments with different automakers in addition to the unsure macroeconomic outlook. 

The paper, citing unnamed sources conversant in the plans, stated GM is in discussions with not less than one different battery provider to proceed with the fourth U.S. battery-cell manufacturing facility.

The breakdown in talks comes after GM CEO Mary Barra and different executives have stated they have been near saying particulars of the fourth plant, which was anticipated to be in-built Indiana, for a while.

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GM and LG initially introduced the joint-venture for a $2.three billion plant in Ohio in December 2019, adopted by different crops close to GM operations in Michigan and Tennessee. Solely the Ohio plant is at present working, whereas the others are below development. The three way partnership is named Ultium Cells LLC.

A spokeswoman for Ultium referred inquiries to GM and LG Power. In an emailed assertion, LG Power stated discussions on a fourth Ultium Cells plant “stay ongoing between LG Power Resolution and GM, however no resolution has been made.”

The connection between GM and LG Power is essential to the automaker’s future plans for EVs, together with topping Tesla and others to change into the U.S. chief in all-electric car gross sales. The Detroit automaker is anticipated to launch a handful of latest EVs this yr, together with mass-market automobiles such because the Equinox, Blazer and Silverado.

GM, in its Friday assertion, stated its second and third crops with LG are on monitor to open as scheduled in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The corporate additionally confirmed it’s on monitor to hit 1 million EV manufacturing capability yearly in North America in 2025.

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