GM Manufactures Next-Generation EVs in South Korea image

GM announced it will manufacture its next-generation EVs in South Korea, part of its plan to revive the stalling vehicle technology.

Sergio Rocha, CEO of GM Korea, said that the automaker will manufacture its next-generation electric vehicles in South Korea but didn’t offer a time frame for the launch of the new models. He only said that the new vehicles will be slightly bigger compared with the Spark small car and will feature an entirely new design, unlike the Spark EV which is based on an existing gasoline engine model. Batteries will be supplied by South Korea’s LG Chem, GM’s partner in the country.

“This (next-generation electric) car has a lot of similarities with the products we produce today in Bupyeong,” Rocha said in the interview, on the sidelines of the Seoul auto show.

Currently, GM Korea manufactures more than 40% of the automaker’s Chevrolet-branded cars. GM produces at the Bupyeong plant, near Seoul, the Malibu, Captiva, Trax and the Aveo. These days EVs are not attracting many customers, because of their high prices, limited driving range and the lack of charging infrastructure.

Earlier this month GM said it plans to develop an EV with a 100-mile range and one with a 200-mile range. Also this month GM Korea began production of the current generation of Spark EV, manufactured in Korea for export to the States. The automaker will begin selling the model in Europe and South Korea in the second half of 2013.