General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world has announced recently it has allied with Korean electronics conglomerate LG Corp for a wide-ranging partnership that includes the production of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle.
Analysts and industry experts are now viewing the move as a potential outline towards further collaboration projects between the two – after certain LG units, including LG Electronics and LG Chem have been assisting closely the American automaker to develop and deploy electric motors, battery cells, dashboard displays and other electronic systems inside the Bolt, which should roll off the assembly line in a Michigan plant late 2016. The alliance between the two also comes as Gm is pressured by smaller rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to explore a close relationship to lower the costs of developing the latest models with advanced technology and fuel saving systems. So far GM chief executive officer Mary Barra has turned down FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, claiming her company can find other ways to cope with the current and future automotive challenges.
The new GM-LG partnership is seen as one of the largest yet between a US carmaker and an overseas supplier, aiming to shift both development time and the production cost to a partner that has a massive technical expertise. The Bolt has been envisioned as an affordable electric auto, with a target price starting at $35,000 and a range of 200 miles between charges. The model would go up against the BMW i3, the Nissan Leaf and Tesla’s yet to be announced Model 3.