GM EV van startup BrightDrop to outsource early production

Brightdrop’s first 500 or so vans will likely be built by an outside supplier.

General Motors’ Electric commercial van startup Brightdrop Looks like it’s on track to make sales target at the end of 2021, But it is meeting that deadline in an unconventional way, according to A Monday report by Reuters.

That unconventional approach involves outsourcing production of the first batch of GM vans to a German company called Kuka. It’s not a long-term solution, but GM is still in the process of restarting its CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. This is the facility that currently produces the Chevrolet Equinox (as of April 2022, anyway).

“The interest we are receiving is significant,” Brightdrop CEO Travis Katz said in a statement. “We are working with Kuka for initial low-volume production to meet market demand and are on track to place our first EV600 order later this year. Production will begin November 2022 on GM’s CAMI assembly. which will be converted into an EV plant dedicated to large-scale Brightdrop EV600 production for a long period of time.”

GM’s early production partner Kuka is no stranger to the automotive industry, having previously worked with Ford, BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo. Planned production of the Kuka for GM is expected to be limited to about 500 units, and assembly will take place at the Kuka’s facility in Livonia, Michigan.

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