General Motors saw its 2022 wholesale volume grow about 25% from last year, bringing the automaker a record EBIT-adjusted US$14.5 billion. It plans to invest US$650 million in the largest lithium project in the US to secure battery materials supply.
GM reported its 2022 financial results on January 31.
GM financial highlights, 2022
YoY change (%)
Net income attributable to stockholders
Source: GM, compiled by DIGITIMES Asia, February 2023
According to its financial report, GM topped competitors in the US market with a share of 16%. The carmaker said the increased US market share and improved semiconductor availability increased its North American wholesale volume by 27%.
As for EV sales, with Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV creating record numbers in 2022, GM said it plans to increase production of the two models to over 70,000 in 2023. It reported 16,300 EV sales in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The financial report showed that GM took up 9.2% of China's automotive market last year. However, its equity income decreased from US$0.3 billion for the third quarter to US$0.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2022.
GM said the decline was mainly due to COVID-related impacts, including wholesale volume drop.
GM will not join the EV price war
Similar to the situation in China last year, the US has seen an EV price war started by Tesla and followed by Ford. At a conference call for the financial results announcement, GM executives said the company has no intention to join the competition.
CEO Mary Barra said GM's EVs have attracted strong interest and orders. The pricing it set up was also very appropriate.
The first plant of Ultium Cells, a joint battery venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, became operational last year. According to GM's financial report, the second joint plant is expected to open in mid-2023 in Tennessee.
The third plant, located in Michigan, will start operation in late 2024. While the fourth factory has been planned, Barra did not disclose when the project will be moving forward during the earnings call. The target capacity for the four plants is 160GWh per year.
Developing largest known lithium project in the US
To supply its growing demand for battery raw materials, GM announced on Tuesday that it will jointly develop a lithium mine, Thacker Pass, in Nevada with Lithium Americas.
The automaker plans to invest US$650 million in the project to develop the largest known lithium supply in the US. According to GM, production is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2026. It will enjoy exclusive access to the lithium off-take in the project's first phase.
Lithium Americas estimated that lithium production from Thacker Pass can supply up to one million EVs annually.
GM said it will offer nine EV models to the market in 2023, with the Chevrolet Silverado EV WT and GMC HUMMER EV SUV launched in the first half of the year. It is expected to create a net income attributable to stockholders between US$8.7 billion and US$10.1 billion in 2023. The EBIT-adjusted is likely to reach between US$10.5 billion and US$12.5 billion.