“Dedicated to creating Colombia the primary Latin American nation to assemble our EVs?”
That was the query Shilpan Amin, President of Basic Motors Worldwide, requested Colombia’s GM group throughout his go to to this nation on February 2 after listening to them say that Colombia’s authorities was dedicated to the vitality transition. A small query, and but, it has a whole nation dreaming.
Mr. Amin’s go to to GM Colmotores Plant, positioned in Bogota (capital of Colombia), occurred on February 2nd, which had been declared a “Automotive Free Day.” That is necessary as a result of it served to painting Colombia’s dedication to different mobility, but additionally as a result of it meant Mr. Amin might solely transfer round in an electrical automobile, particularly a Chevy Bolt EUV, which has solely been offered within the nation for a pair months.
The go to concerned checking the manufacturing strains for the Chevrolet Pleasure (sadly, an ICE automobile), speaking about future investments within the nation, and, after all, taking the chance supplied by the Automotive Free Day to current options for transferring round with out burning oil. The go to ended with the query that we talked about at the start.
The response contained in the nation was huge. Each single information outlet printed an article claiming Colombia would turn into Latin America’s first nation to supply GM EVs regionally. Some went so far as saying that GM Colmotores can be the primary Latin American plant in any respect to supply EVs, which is after all mistaken, as that honor belongs to Ford’s Cuatitlan Plant, positioned in Mexico DF. Regardless, for a rustic that has by no means had a big car-manufacturing base (and that misplaced one in all its three automobile meeting vegetation in the course of the previous decade), the chance to turn into the primary one to supply GM’s EVs in South America is just not going to be met with indifference.
However, if that is to occur, how precisely would it not look?
GM has had presence as a producing chief in Colombia since 1979, when it bought the Colmotores manufacturing unit beforehand owned by Chrysler. After the oil shock of 2014, it ceased to supply private autos and centered on vans and buses, solely restarting car manufacturing in 2023 with the Chevrolet Pleasure.
From Colmotores, GM towers over a moderately minuscule automobile market: a mere 250,000 automobiles are offered yearly in Colombia. Due to this, the plant capability stands at a paltry 36,000 automobiles a 12 months, and even then, most of those will go to different nations (solely 30% are anticipated to be offered regionally). Because of this even when Colombia is main the EV revolution in Latin America thus far, the market itself is within the low lots of (most of that are offered by Chinese language manufacturers). To offer an concept of the scales we’re speaking about, solely 16 Chevy Bolts had been offered in the course of the first month of 2023.
The explanations differ, however probably the most urgent one might be worth. The Chevy Bolt is at the moment being offered at 205,089,570 COP ($42,000 USD) regardless of having no tariffs and solely a 5% VAT. A tough comparability is often made between the Chevy Bolt EUV and the equally sized Chevrolet Tracker (ICE) that prices half the value (100,000,000 COP or $20,500 USD). That makes it exhausting for folks to think about the Bolt an inexpensive automobile in any respect, extra so in a comparatively poor nation (and area) the place most new automobiles are priced beneath $20,000 USD.
Because of this if GM is to construct (or assemble) an EV in its Colmotores plant, it’ll want to meet a number of of those situations:
- A vastly cheaper price for the automobile, maybe not far more costly than the Chevrolet Pleasure ($13,000 USD).
- A deal with exports, offering this automobile to everything of Latin America from Colombia.
- The means for manufacturing a low variety of autos whereas sustaining profitability.
My guess is that, if it occurs, it’ll be a mixture between decrease costs and exports. Nevertheless, since GM thus far has not introduced something cheaper than the $30,000 USD Chevrolet Equinox EV, I believe it could take some time. Or, maybe, GM is engaged on cheaper choices for creating nations. One can dream.
Oh, and in case you’re questioning, the response given to Mr. Amin’s query was a powerful
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