GM Q4 sales: Ultium grows, Bolt ends best year ever as GM has 3.1% EV share

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GM has released its Q4 sales numbers, showing Ultium still ramping steadily, but overall EV sales are down as its best-selling model, the Bolt, winds down as Chevy takes it off the market in its best year of sales ever – leaving GM with only 3.1% EV share, well below the US average.

In Q4, GM sold a total of 19,469 EVs in Q4, a small decrease from last quarter’s total of 20,092, and a significant increase from Q4 2022 which had 16,266 EV sales.

After quite a bit of difficulty getting Ultium off the ground, GM’s new battery platform is finally seeing significant ramps in production. Both Lyriq and Hummer EV sales grew, and Blazer and Silverado EV finally saw deliveries of cars to the public, though still in small numbers.

GM EVs this year
2023 Hummer EV pickup and SUV versions (Source: GM)

Hummer EV had an impressive quarter, particularly considering how ridiculously excessive it is, with 2,028 in Q4 ’23, almost doubling last quarter’s sales of 1,167 units, and up from just 72 in Q4 of last year.

The Lyriq saw similar growth, as GM sold 3,820 Lyriqs, up from 3,108 in Q3 and from 86 (yes, 86) in Q4 of 2022.

So while we’re not yet seeing large volume deliveries of Ultium-based EVs, we are at least seeing significant ramping of deliveries each quarter now. Hopefully this means the kinks are getting ironed out at GM, and the floodgates can really open as the more mass-market models come into play.

One of those potentially more mass market models (at least, when the base model becomes available – as of now, it’s hard to justify the $56k base price when compared to the Lyriq) is the Blazer EV, which had its first customer deliveries in Q4. 463 Blazers were delivered to customers, marking the start of the model’s availability. But this number would have been affected by a temporary stop sale on the model related to software issues, which resulted in a recall today.

The Silverado EV also started deliveries to customers, but only the work truck version is available so far. It sold in similar numbers, with 443 units delivered in its first quarter of availability.

But the real mass market model, the Equinox EV, isn’t out yet. So we’ll have to see how the ramp goes on that, when it shows up later this year.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

However, overall EV sales were down for GM, primarily due to one model: the Chevy Bolt. The Bolt had a down quarter, going from 15,835 units sold in Q3 to 12,551 in Q4 (also down from 16,108 in Q4 ’22). But this wasn’t because people aren’t interested in it – it was because GM ended Bolt production in December.

This is part of a planned phaseout of the Bolt so GM can focus on Ultium, including an upcoming Ultium-powered Bolt, but it also means that Chevy ended production on the Bolt during its absolute best year yet.

Previously, the Bolt’s best year sold 38,122 units in 2022. But in 2023, the last year of its existence, Chevy sold 62,045 Bolts – a 63% improvement. And now it’s done, so we won’t get to see how far up that line could have gone.

But if you’re still interested in a Bolt – and you should be, because it’s an excellent vehicle – you can still get one from Chevy in the next weeks and months. And it’s a better deal than ever now that the US EV tax credit is now easier to get for low-income buyers and available upfront as well, making it possible to get a Bolt for under $20k off the lot. If you’d like, you can use our links to contact your local dealers about the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV or 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV, and see if they have any in stock before it goes away for good.

Finally, GM delivered 164 BrightDrop vans, up from 35 last quarter.

Electrek’s Take

19,469 EVs represents 3.1% of GM’s 625,176 overall sales in Q4, which is well below the US average of about 8% EV market share (based on Q3 numbers). GM has claimed for years that it is “all-in” on EVs, but it is currently well behind the pack in US EV sales.

If GM truly was “all-in” on EVs, then it should be bringing the average up, not pulling the average down. Even if you ignore the all-EV startups (a newer one of which, Rivian, is almost matching you in sales), big automakers like Hyundai, VW and Volvo are all bringing the average up, along with several luxury brands (including one GM brand, Cadillac). Why can’t the rest of your brands do the same, GM?

GM employees told us at the Blazer EV drive event that they’re certainly feeling the internal pressure to get more EVs out quickly, but looking at these numbers, it seems like there must not be nearly enough pressure. So we’re here to provide a little more.

GM is one of the largest automakers in the world, and largest in America, and therefore is more responsible for the pollution choking all of our lungs than almost anyone else.

GM’s current complacency on EVs is not only not good enough, but it is actively bad, because a vast majority of the company’s sales are of polluting vehicles. Every gas vehicle GM sells this year will continue to pollute the air for a decade or more, exacerbating climate change and causing political and social instability.

If GM was leading the charge for EVs, if it was above the average instead of below it, if it was making more high-volume EVs after years of promises and getting them into customers hands in volume, then our words would not be as harsh. We’re sure that many GM employees are trying – but the numbers show that it is clear the company as a whole is not trying hard enough. 3% is pathetic. At least be average, GM.

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