US automaker General Motors Co. (GM) and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution have indefinitely postponed plans to build a fourth battery plant in the US.
According to the newspaper’s sources, negotiations on the project between top managers of GM and LG Energy, which lasted several months, ended without results.
The two companies’ joint venture, Ultium Cells LLC, owned equally by them, is building two battery plants in Tennessee and Michigan, in addition to one already operating plant in Ohio. GM and LG Energy’s combined investment in these projects exceeds $6.5 billion.
GM executives have said several times over the past year that they were preparing to announce details of the project to build a fourth plant. However, the process was delayed because the South Korean company did not want to rush into new investments in the U.S. given the macroeconomic uncertainty, the sources said.
Last year, the company announced its intention to build a plant in Ohio in partnership with Honda Motor Co. as well as a facility in Canada with Stellantis NV.
According to WSJ sources, GM is in talks with at least one other battery supplier to build a plant in the U.S., in addition to LG Energy.
“We have been very clear that we plan to invest in a fourth battery facility in the U.S.,” GM said, declining to comment on information about the controversy with the South Korean partner.
GM announced on Jan. 20 that the second and third Ultium Cells plants will open in 2023 and 2024, respectively. It also said it expects to increase electric vehicle sales in North America to 1 million units by 2025.