The Detroit giant recently launched production of the long-awaited Lyriq SUV/crossover, the car intended to compete with Tesla’s (TSLA) – Get the Tesla Inc report Model Y SUV and Ford (F) – Get the Ford Motor Company report Mustang Mach-E SUV.
The Lyriq, Cadillac’s first electric vehicle, is ahead of schedule: GM aims to start delivering the first units before the middle of the year.
The automaker will also resume production of its entry-level electric vehicle on April 4. Production of the Chevy Bolt sedan and Chevy Bolt EUV SUV was suspended for several months due to battery issues. The company had decided to halt production of the two electric vehicles while it replaced faulty batteries in cars already sold, according to a recall notice.
(Coming fall 2023, the Bolt will no longer be GM’s entry-level electric vehicle. That accolade will go to what will be the Chevy Equinox EV.)
Yet another catalyst for GM: Demand for electric versions of the Hummer is exceeding the automaker’s most optimistic projections. In particular, bookings accelerated during the month of March.
Reservations for the Hummer EV Speed Up
“Reservations are increasing every day,” GM spokesman Chad Lyons told TheStreet on Wednesday. “Today bookings are at 66K+ to be more specific.”
The total reservations include pickup and SUV versions of the Hummer EV, as well as the various trims, which consumers have been able to order for months.
The surge in electric Hummer bookings coincides with the start of an advertising campaign with National Basketball Association star Lebron James as an ambassador.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra told analysts in February’s fourth-quarter earnings call that GM had received more than 59,000 reservations for the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV.
“Unsurprisingly, some of the first owners (of the Hummer) are very prominent figures in the sports and entertainment industries, and their early feedback has been nothing short of amazing,” Barra said at the time.
A few days ago, Duncan Aldred, global vice president of GMC, said reservations totaled more than 65,000 units for GMC Hummer electric pickup trucks and SUVs.
“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,” Duncan told CNBC. “We are seeing a surge.”
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“Bookings are exceeding expectations, but I won’t quantify by how much,” the spokesperson confirmed to TheStreet.
The percentage of people converting their reservations into orders to buy the Hummer pickup – around 95% – is also higher than expected.
GM is ramping up production to meet demand
GMC, one of GM’s four brands, began producing the Hummer EV last year in Detroit and delivered a single unit in the fourth quarter. Deliveries were expected to accelerate this year.
The company continues to take bookings. But “if you book today you would see your vehicle delivered in 2024 because we have to build before all the orders that have been placed by people since October 2020 when we revealed the pickup and started taking orders” , said the spokesperson. .
The company is “working hard to expedite deliveries as we ramp up production,” he added. Deliveries began in December 2021 “and continue to increase”.
He declined to say how many units GM is currently producing and delivering each month, but the automaker is expected to release that data on April 1 in its first-quarter delivery numbers.
As we reported in February, GM told suppliers of its Hummer and Chevrolet Silverado electric trucks to plan production of 21,000 of these vehicles this year. This is more than five times the previous plan of building 3,800 vehicles.
Like other automakers, GM is facing disruptions in its supply chain and a surprise rise in the prices of raw materials, such as nickel, palladium and aluminum, after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Russia is a major producer of nickel, a key element in the development of batteries.
The Hummer EV’s main rivals are Rivian (BANK) – Get the Class A report from Rivian Automotive, Inc. The R1T pickup truck, Ford’s long-awaited F-150 Lightning and Tesla’s cybertruck. Tesla has repeatedly postponed the release of the cybertruck.
The Hummer EV is initially available in a $110,295 top-of-the-line Edition 1 model, but GM has planned offer three cheaper variants with a starting price of $80,000, $90,000 and $100,000.
The 2022 Hummer EV Edition 1, which has long been reserved in limited copies, has almost all the equipment available in addition to offering an extreme off-road package.
Like the 2023 EV3X Hummer model, its battery powers three electric motors that together generate nearly 1,000 horsepower, enough to accelerate from 0 to 40 mph in just over three seconds.
In short, even in a 100% electric form, the Hummer remains a monster, both in terms of its physical size and its skills. The range is up to 329 miles.
The Hummer EV pickup will be followed by the Hummer EV SUV in 2023. Reservations for the first model, Hummer EV SUV Edition 1, with a starting price of $105,595, are full, according to GM. There are three variants with a starting price of $80,000.