In the latest setback for U.S. workers – blue and white collar – GM said today that LG Electronics has invested more than $250 million in an engineering and manufacturing facility in Incheon, Korea to support component development and manufacturing for major Bolt EV components and subsystems. How this affects UAW contract negotiations is likely negligible because what is being eliminated here is white collar jobs.
Following planning and research, GM and LG showed the Chevrolet Bolt concept at the North American International Auto Show last January. Chevrolet confirmed in February at the Chicago Auto Show that the Bolt EV would go into production at GM’s Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant in late 2016.
GM’s outsourcing to LG began in 2007 with LG Electronics supplying the vehicle communications module for GM’s telematics system OnStar . Another LG-owned company, LG Chem, and GM have a long-standing relationship since the company was chosen as the sole supplier of battery cells for the first-generation Chevrolet Volt, which launched in 2010.
GM said that after delivering more than 23 million cells with less than two problems per million cells produced for the first-generation Chevrolet Volt, GM asked that the Korean companies work on supplying components for the Bolt EV. This is the first time that GM integrated a full EV component supplier so early in its vehicle development cadence.
LG supplied major new components and systems for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, including:
• Electric Drive Motor
• Power Invertor Module that converts DC power to AC for the drive unit
• On Board Charger
• Electric Climate Control System Compressor
• Battery Cells and Pack
• High Power Distribution Module that manages the flow of high voltage to components
• Battery Heater
• Accessory Power Module that maintains low-voltage power delivery to accessories
• Power Line Communication Module that manages vehicle and a DC charging station
• Instrument Cluster
• Infotainment System