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General Motors will begin production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV as well as a companion Opel model from late 2016, according to a report.

Sources have informed Reuters that the company will start producing the Chevrolet Bolt, as well as an as-yet-unnamed Opel derivative, from October 2016 at GM’s small-car factory in Orion, a suburb of Detroit.

A concept version of the Chevrolet Bolt, which was designed in part by the team at Holden, was unveiled at last month’s Detroit motor show.

The production version of the all-electric hatch is targeting a driving range of around 320 kilometres and a starting price of US$30,000 ($38,600).

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The GM factory at Orion Township is about 58km north of the company’s headquarters in downtown Detroit. Currently the plant produces the Buick Verano, essentially a gussied up Opel Astra sedan, and the Chevrolet Sonic, a car we know in Australia as the Holden Barina.

According to the newswire, the Orion factory is presently operating at well under capacity. Its sources indicated that GM is planning an annual production run of between 25,000 and 30,000 EVs at the plant.

GM is currently in the process of laying off 160 of the 1470 workers stationed at the Orion facility. Last year sales of the Buick Verano dropped around four per cent to 43,743, although the company did manage to shift 93,518 Chevrolet Sonics, up just over nine per cent on the year before.




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