The electrification of General Motors may be a sticking point in the company's negotiations with the UAW, a report suggested, as GM's union employees kicked off a second week on strike over the two parties' inability to agree on new contract terms.
An unidentified source told the Associated Press that GM's restructuring is a pain point for negotiators, as union representatives want to preserve jobs in Lordstown, Ohio, formerly home to production of the Chevrolet Cruze. GM is interested in producing batteries in Lordstown, the source says, but it won't support as many union jobs—or, perhaps, union wages—as the old Lordstown facility did.
GM would build a new factory to facilitate this, but wants to work with a third-party supplier or develop a joint venture to do so.
The facility which housed production of the Cruze is expected to become the future home of EV startup Workhorse, which intends to use the factory to build an electric truck.
So far, Nissan is the only company to have produced battery packs for larger-volume electric vehicles entirely in-house, which it did for more than a decade. Last year, Nissan sold its battery production subsidiary, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, to China-based Envision Group.
Thus far, other automakers have relied on outside suppliers such as Panasonic and LG Chem to produce battery modules. Tesla's joint venture with Panasonic experienced some growing pains early in 2019 when the supplier backed off on its plans to expand production at its space in Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory.