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West Michigan auto parts suppliers preparing for EV transition

Chevy Bolt General Motors Orion Assembly plant.jpeg
Duane Burleson
/
Associated Press
Chevrolet Bolt EV at the General Motors Orion Assembly plant, Mich.

General Motors announced this week it’s making a $7 billion investment in electric vehicle manufacturing and battery cell production in Michigan.

The transition from internal combustion engine to electrification won’t happen with the flip of a switch, but the number of electric sedans, SUVs and pickup truck offerings will accelerate over the next few years. General Motors $7 billion investment in Michigan will benefit West Michigan auto parts suppliers.

“Your book of business is going to evolve and it will evolve pretty meaningfully in the not-to-distant future and you maybe need to have other business units, other strategies at play there.”

Mike Wall is Executive Director of Automotive Analysis with IHS Market. He tells us increasingly suppliers with an internal combustion focus are pursuing plays into EV integration.

“It might be battery separators, it might be battery thermal. Some of the power electronics and controls and the mechatronics that are more focused on the EV side.”

Wall explains the transition may be a bit difficult to navigate.

“You’re going to see this flood of new offerings, and the volumes are going to be a bit erratic. You know, not all of these vehicles are going to hit. You have to be able to kind of know what you’re going to go after, in terms of new business, and also forecast accordingly and budget and plan accordingly.”

The positive for parts suppliers is knowing GM, and most every automaker, is making major investments transitioning to the EV market and they are the established supply chain that can make it happen.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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