DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors plans to begin building the Chevrolet Bolt, its all-new $30,000 electric car, in October 2016 at an underused small-car plant north of Detroit, two supplier sources told Reuters.
GM's production target for the Bolt is about 25,000 to 30,000 cars a year, the sources said.
GM is cutting output of the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano small cars built at the plant in Orion Township, Mich., amid higher-than-normal inventories. Low U.S. gasoline prices have put a dent in the sales outlook for small cars.
About 1,800 employees work at the 4.3 million-square-foot Orion plant, which was idled around the time of GM's bankruptcy in 2009 but re-opened in 2011 after a $500 million investment.
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 $30,000.
The Bolt is expected to go on sale in early 2017 and will have a range between charges of more than 200 miles.
It will compete with Tesla Motors Inc.'s similarly priced Model 3, which is scheduled to go on sale in 2017, as well as the Nissan Leaf, which generated U.S. sales of 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.
GM is expected to confirm at the Chicago Auto Show next week that it will build the Bolt at the Orion plant, a person with knowledge of the plan told Automotive News.
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.