(New throughout, adds comments from GM source)
By Paul Lienert
DETROIT Feb 5 General Motors Co plans to
begin building its new Chevrolet Bolt electric car in October
2016 at an underused small-car plant north of Detroit, two
supplier sources said.
Despite the hype surrounding the car's unveiling last month
at the Detroit auto show, the sources said, GM's production
target for the Bolt is relatively modest, at about 25,000-30,000
cars a year.
Last year, GM sold 18,800 Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric
cars. The Volt, priced from around $35,000, uses a small
gasoline engine to increase range.
GM has said the Bolt's target price was $30,000. A GM source
familiar with Chevrolet's plans said the price would actually be
"in the mid-$30,000s" but federal and state incentives to
purchase "green cars" would reduce the consumer's final cost to
The Bolt is expected to go on sale in early 2017 and will
have a range between charges of more than 200
The Bolt will compete with Tesla Motors Inc's
similarly priced Model 3, planned to debut in calendar 2017, as
well as the Nissan Leaf, which sold just over 30,000 last year.
The supplier sources said the Bolt and a companion model for
GM's Opel subsidiary in Europe will be assembled at GM's plant
in Orion Township. The GM source said the company has not yet
reached a final decision on whether the Opel model will be
assembled in Orion Township.
The factory now makes the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano
and has been operating at well below capacity as small-car sales
have suffered from falling gasoline prices.
The Bolt is being developed on GM's Gamma global small-car
platform, according to the supplier sources. The same basic set
of components will provide the base for the next-generation
Sonic, also due in late 2016, they said.
The GM source asked not to be named and an official company
spokesman declined to comment.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit, editing by G Crosse and